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Steering Committee

The Calgary Distinguished Writers Program is governed by a steering committee composed of local writers, business people, creative writing professors, students, and university administrators. Steering committee members are chosen by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts on recommendation of the committee.

The 2015-2016 Steering Committee comprises:

Derek Beaulieu is the author or editor of 16 books, the most recent of which are Please, No more poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013) and kern (Les Figues, 2014). He is the publisher of the acclaimed no press and is the visual poetry editor at UBUWeb. Beaulieu has exhibited his work across Canada, the United States and Europe and is an award-winning instructor at the Alberta College of Art + Design. He is the 2014-2016 Poet Laureate of Calgary, Canada.


Francesca Cadel teaches Italian and Film Studies at University of Calgary. She received her Doctorat in Études italiennes from the University of Sorbonne-Paris IV in 1999 and her PhD in Comparative Literature-Italian at the City University of New York (CUNY), The Graduate Center in 2002. She has published a monograph on Pier Paolo Pasolini (La lingua dei desideri. Il dialetto secondo Pier Paolo Pasolini, Lecce, Manni: 2002), an Anthology of World Women’s Poetry (Poeti con nome di donna, Milano, BUR, Rizzoli: 2008, with Italian poet Davide Rondoni), several articles on Pier Paolo Pasolini, Andrea Zanzotto, Ezra Pound, as well as interviews, with Italian philosopher Antonio Negri among others. Her interests include creative writing, poetry, graphic novels, translation, film studies and the visual arts. Her forthcoming book is Le radici inquiete della speranza, an Anthology of Literary Texts on Italy and the Cold War, edited with Davide Rondoni, Forlì, Cartacanta, 2015. Her current book project is entitled Cultural Landscapes in Post Fascist Italy: Umberto Saba (1883-1957), Elsa Morante(1912-1985), Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975).


Jacqueline Jenkins is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of English at the University of Calgary. She is the author of a number of articles and essays on medieval women and medieval texts, such as The Book of Margery Kempe and Julian of Norwich, as well as on medieval women’s reading habits, and vernacular religious writing and saints’ lives. She has edited several collections of essays, most recently Editing, Performance, Texts: New Practices in Medieval and Early Modern English Drama (with Julie Sanders, Palgrave 2014), and has edited scholarly editions, such as The Writings of Julian of Norwich (with Nicholas Watson, Penn State Press 2006), and The Humorous Magistrate (with Mary Polito, Malone Society 2012). Her current research is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada funded project on the relationships between medieval dramatic literature, saints’ lives, and the performance histories of medieval manuscript texts. She is currently completing a book on late medieval Bath and guild performances of the life of St Katherine of Alexandria.


Clem Martini has over thirty plays, and ten books of fiction and nonfiction to his credit, including the Calgary Book Award-winning Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness and the internationally acclaimed young adult trilogy, The Crow Chronicles. He has served on the boards of numerous writing organizations including the Alberta Playwrights Network (Vice President), the Playwrights Guild of Canada (President), and the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs (founding President). His texts on playwriting, The Blunt Playwright, The Greek Playwright, and The Ancient Comedians are employed in universities and colleges across the country. In addition to writing, he is the Chair of Drama in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary.


JoAnn McCaig is the author of The Textbook of the Rose: A Tale (Cormorant 2000), which won the W.O.Mitchell City of Calgary Book Prize, and of Reading In: Alice Munro’s Archives (Wilfrid Laurier UP 2002). She holds a BA in English from the University of Victoria, and an MA and PhD from the University of Calgary. JoAnn held sessional teaching posts at the University of Calgary and St. Mary’s College from 1989 to 2009. In 2010, she opened an independent bookstore in Calgary, Shelf Life Books. She sits on the Board of Directors of Broadview Press, as well as the Management and Editorial Boards of Freehand Books. She is the mother of three grown sons. 


Lisa Murphy-Lamb has taught creative writing in elementary, university, and community settings. Currently she is the Directory of Loft 112, a literary creative space in Calgary's East Village. 


Jess Nicol is a PhD candidate in the English Department at the University of Calgary where she studies creative writing, the Gibson collection, and fictocriticism. Her passions (and talents) are editing and teaching, and her creative work appears in filling Station, as well as in numerous slush piles and rejection records across North America.


Nick Thran is the author of three collections of poems and is the 2015-16 Writer-in-Residence of the CDWP. His most recent collection, Mayor Snow, has just been released with Nightwood Editions. His previous collection, Earworm, won the 2012 Trillium Book Award for Poetry. His first collection, Every Inadequate Name, was a finalist for the 2007 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. In 2013 he published a small children’s book called Halifax Hal (Bayeux Arts), with illustrations by Gabe Foreman. Born in Prince George, British Columbia, Nick has lived and worked in a variety of cities across Canada, as well as in the United States and Spain. In 2011 he received an MFA from New York University, where he was a Goldwater Teaching Fellow. In 2014 he was one of the inaugural writers-in-residence at The Al Purdy A-frame in Ameliasburgh. He currently works as a poetry editor for Brick Books, and lives with his wife and daughter in Montreal. During his residency Nick will be working primarily on a collection of essays, though he also hopes to compose a number of new poems.