Listen, someone has to run this thing, and these people are the ones who have stepped up to make this festival something great. How about a round of applause?
Rayanne DoucetExecutive Director
Rayanne Doucet has been working and playing in the art and culture community in Edmonton for over a dozen years. She has been published in magazines, anthologies, online and is the author of two poetry collections and a paranormal novel. She has an extensive background with non-profit Boards, marketing, fundraising, organizational leadership, accounting and financial leadership, and change management. She has had the privilege of sitting on numerous boards of directors, committees and grant juries to support the work of Alberta artists. Rayanne is dedicated to building a vibrant community for poets and writers in Edmonton.
Adriana OnitaProgram Coordinator
Adriana Onita lives at the intersection between poetry, art, and languages. Originally from Bucharest, she writes poetry in English, Spanish, Romanian, French, and Italian. She is the founding editor of The Polyglot, a magazine featuring Canadian multilingual poetry and art. Since 2010, she has worked the Art Gallery of Alberta, designing and delivering bilingual education programs. She also owns For the Love of Language, a company dedicated to teaching Romance languages through poetry and art workshops. When she is not writing or teaching, Adriana can be found painting in the river valley!
Alice Major founded the Edmonton Poetry Festival in 2006 while she was serving as Edmonton’s first poet laureate. (She warns all future laureates to be careful what they start!). Alice has published nine award-winning collections of poetry, including The Office Tower Tales (which won the Pat Lowther award) and Memory’s Daughter (which received the Stephan G. Stephansson Prize). Her latest book is an essay collection, Intersecting Sets: A Poet Looks at Science, published by the University of Alberta Press. Her website is here.
Jannie EdwardsVice President
Jannie Edwards has published three books of poetry, the most recent of which, Falling Blues, was a finalist for the Writers Guild of Alberta poetry prize. Her second collection, Blood Opera: The Raven Tango Poems, was adapted for the stage and performed by an Edmonton theatre group. Jannie is one of the animators of the Mill Woods Artists Collective, whose mission, Building Community through Art,” energizes creative people and projects, including the monthly Glass Door coffeehouse series. Her creative non-fiction essay, “All Night Mirror: Notes Toward an Elegy” won the Writers Guild of Alberta James H. Gray award for creative non-fiction.
Pierrette RequierBoard Member
Pierrette Requier, a bilingual writer involved in the Alberta literary community for over 2 decades is a published poet, an emerging playwright, an event organizer, a presenter and a spoken-word performer. She serves as literary representative of the Regroupement artistique francophone de l’Alberta (RAFA). She has enjoyed her term as the 25th Writer-in-Residence at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton as well as mentoring a poet during The Writer’s Guild of Alberta Mentorship Program. She has designed the Wind Eye Writing Seminars and has been hosting monthly gatherings for the past 13 years. Her most recent interest is working at bridging languages and she is thrilled to initiate and participate in multidisciplinary collaborations with her friends from the Trio avec Brio. Her dream is to collaborate with artists across Canada.
Bill HoweBoard Member
Bill Howe has been basking in the sounds and rhythms of the Edmonton poetry scene for over 20 years. As a high school English teacher, he is eager to see his students encounter poetry both in and out of the classroom — not because the curriculum says he needs to, but because as much as poetry, in both play and intensity, connects to what it means to live fully, it cannot be ignored. And if it is ignored, or dismissed, or trivialized, our entire community suffers because of it. Though not a ‘published poet,’ Bill readily writes poetry for and with students and enthusiastically supports and applauds the words that speak the heart and mind of the soul’s urgency.
Don PerkinsBoard Member
Don Perkins teaches creative non-fiction writing and a variety of literature courses in areas such as popular culture and modern drama for the Department of English and Film Studies at the U of A. His M.A (Saskatchewan) was on Robert Browning’s musical performer poems.His Ph.D (Alberta) was on contemporary Canadian history plays. For “relaxation,” he writes “Short Order” poems not only at the Edmonton Poetry Festival, but with friends at a local tea shop (Cally’s), and anyplace else that feels inclined to host such an event.
Matthew StepanicBoard Member
Matthew Stepanic is the editor of Glass Buffalo, a literary magazine for students at the University of Alberta, and the assistant editor of WHERE Edmonton. He loves books, particularly the ink-and-paper kind, and currently has more of them than shelf space.
Liam CoadyBoard Member
Liam Coady is a sweat’s drop of sunset, a wedge of a watermark, and a bit of a bush wolf. He is a recent graduate of the University of Alberta where he completed his BA in Drama with an English minor. A winner of the 2011 National Poetry Slam and a finalist in the 2014 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam, Liam has been recognized across Canada for his poetic endeavours. Along with poetry, Liam is also an actor, performance creator, dramaturge, and joe jobber. Liam has just released his chapbook Talks with the Immortal Jellyfish and is working with local musicians to record soundscapes and poetry. You can look Liam up on his Facebook page (Liam Coady Poetry) and Twitter (@TheLocoCoyote).
Patrick SealBoard Member
Patrick Seal studied science and business at the University of Alberta before obtaining a CA designation. Now working as a consultant with KPMG, Patrick applies his financial and strategic expertise to help organizations plan and change for the future. Patrick is much better at reading poetry then writing it, and passionately believes in the importance of local writing to shape and express the identity of a community.
Brandon WintBoard Member
Brandon Wint is an Edmonton-based poet, spoken word artist and teacher of poetic writing. His writing often explores themes of love, spirituality, and family history. In addition to being a well respected and veteran contributor to Canada’s national spoken word community, he has twice been a national champion competitor at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. Brandon is also the author of one chapbook, 2014’s Love, Our Master (In/Words Magazine and Press) and has released one album of spoken word accompanied by classical compositions, The Long Walk Home. In addition to this artistic output, Brandon has also been a devoted workshop facilitator and writing teacher for people of all ages and experience levels.
Shelaine SparrowDonor Relations
Shelaine Sparrow has been exploring culture and development for two decades. Her perpetual involvement with festivals, progressive grassroots initiatives, and internationally connected local movements has become a fluid personal practice and professional vocation. With arts and culture clients and collaborators, she weaves her passion for connecting people, places, ideas and opportunities to enable development that is rooted and evolutionary.
Tonia LaRiviere started working in film and television, which organically grew into publicity. She has worked in various capacities supporting different festivals, events and not-for-profits in the city for more than twenty years. She loves being a part of Edmonton’s dynamic art and culture community and is always inspired by the initiatives and people in it.
Charlotte CranstonSign Up Coordinator
Charlotte Cranston is an organizer with the Breath In Poetry Collective and a student in MacEwan University’s Arts and Cultural Management program. In 2015 she was named Edmonton’s first Youth Poet Laureate. She loves the smell of lilacs and the sound of distant lawnmowers.
Randall is one of the founding fathers of the Raving Poets and has been involved in the spoken word scene for longer than he can remember. His photography has been published in the Globe and Mail, Edmonton Journal, See, Vue and Edmonton Life Magazine. He particularly enjoys making author bio photos. Randall likes to forge connections between the spoken word and the world of images, music and motion video. When he’s not making photographs, this is where you’ll find him.
Michael Gravel believes that art, design, and poetry strive for the same ideal: to say the most with the least. He has penned three chapbooks: The Fast Places (2008), Corduroy Forecast (2010), and We Need You (2014). He was one of the founding founders of the Raving Poets and was their MC for 8 years. He lives in Edmonton with his poet wife, Kerry Mulholland, stepdaughter, and an incorrigible hound.