The Poets - Finalists 2009


Chris Gilpin (aka Faust McKenzie) - Vancouver
Nicole Pakan - Edmonton
Jennifer Mojisola Kunlire - Calgary
Robert Currie - Regina
Skip Stone - Winnipeg
Krystle Mullin - Toronto
Shane Neilson - Fredericton
Nanci Lee - Halifax
Aaron Schneider - Sydney
Randy Drover - St. John


Chris Gilpin (aka Faust McKenzie)Chris Gilpin (aka Faust McKenzie) is a member of the 2007-08 Vancouver Poetry Slam Team, the runner-up in the 2008 Vancouver Individual Poetry Slam playoff, and the champion of Vancouver's 2008 Haiku Death Match. In the summer of 2006, he toured the Canadian Fringe circuit with his play "87% True: The Lies That Bind", co-created with Rosemary Rowe. His literary work has been published in Vancouver Review, Forget Magazine, 42opus, The GIG, and others. Chris also performs as Dr. WTF?? in the interactive, multimedia clown rock band, Awesome Face.



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Nicole PakanNicole Pakan is an active member of the Edmonton literary community, performing regularly at venues around the city. She is the Co-Editor for the international online and print literary journal DailyHaiku. Her recent publication credits include poems in: filling Station, The Prairie Journal, Other Voices, Notebook Magazine, Misunderstandings Magazine, The Toronto Quarterly and Blue Skies Poetry. She was also short-listed for the CV2 2-day poem contest for 2008. 




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Jen KunlireJen Kunlire a local activist, poet and dreamer. An emerging poet on the Calgary scene she has performed extensively in a relatively short time throughout the city. Some of these events include including Afrikadey Poetry Jam, Single Onion Fundraiser/CD Chapbook launch, One Yellow Rabbit High Performance Rodeo Midway, the 2008 Calgary Slam Team and recent 2009 Barack Obama Inauguration Party.She also formed Humble Line Press in 2008, an alternative grassroots paper focusing on local & international concerns, artist showcase and community voice.



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Robert CurrieRobert Currie lives with his wife, Gwen, in Moose Jaw where he taught English for thirty years at Central Collegiate. He is the author of five books of poetry and three of fiction, with a new poetry collection, Witness, coming in 2009. Currie is Saskatchewan's current Poet Laureate.






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Skip StoneSkip Stone is a Winnipeg born writer who lives his civilian life under the alias Jonathan Surla. He is a member of Winnipeg B-boy crew Dangerous Goods under many aliases, and tried to be an actor in Toronto for what he feels may have been waaaaaay too long. He's been a member of the Winnipeg Poetry Slam Team twice and competed in Toronto and Halifax. He raps, wears hats, teaches kids how to boogie, and in his spare time he likes to write short bios for his various other aliases.



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Krystle MullinKrystle Mullin’s distinct raspy voice may well be taller than she is (she stands only 5’3) but a lack of vertical height hasn’t stopped this spoken word artist from reaching unimaginable heights in a short period of time.  She has been performing for 3 years and has already toured across Canada and the U.S., been a 3 time member of the Toronto Slam Team and performed at esteemed festivals such as Hillside and The Eden Mills Writers' Festival. 




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Shane NeilsonShane Neilson published his first book of poems, Exterminate My Heart, with Frog Hollow Press in 2008. His first trade book of poetry, Meniscus, will be published with Biblioasis in 2009. A memoir of his experiences as a physician, much of it published in the New Brunswick Reader, was published by Pottersfield Press in 2006. He was born in Oromocto and attended the University of New Brunswick before completing medical school at Dalhousie University.




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Nanci LeeNanci Lee is a Halifax-based poet, adult educator and community development worker supporting microfinance associations. She believes in poetry in its own right and as a springboard for social justice. She won the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia Unpublished Manuscript poetry prize in 2007 and has recently begun publishing. A friend gave her the tagline “ever in flight.”

Nanci Lee's website



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Aaron Schneider Aaron Schneider is a writer, teacher and environmental activist. His poems have been published widely in poetry magazines, journals and anthologies in Canada, the US and Europe and have been read on CBC Radio. He has won several awards and prizes including the Word on the Street poetry readings sponsored by Atlantic Books Today, the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia prizes for the A Best Poetry Book in Manuscript in 1985, for Adult Poetry in 1984, and Honourable Mention for Short Fiction in 1995. He received a New York Creative Artists Public Service Program Poetry Fellowship in 1977. A selection of his poems, Wild Honey, was published in late 1998. Other works include CBC Radio Commentaries, the books Deforestation and Development in Canada and the Tropics, Selection Management of Private Woodlands in Nova Scotia: a Steward=s Guide, numerous articles on environment and development issues and art, photography and theatre reviews for Arts Atlantic, Visual Arts News, The Halifax Herald, the Cape Breton Post, Inverness Oran, The Victoria Standard.

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Randy DroverRandy Drover is a fourth year student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, who studies English and History and is also working towards diplomas in creative and professional writing. His work appears in Paragon, and most recently in The Current’s column ‘Word Up!’ Originally from Upper Island Cove, his spare time is devoted to creating lives that are far more interesting than his own.





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