2023 Writing Cohort

2023 Writing Cohort (Jan – Feb 2023)

Sarah Beauchamp is an emerging writer who tackles the complexities of identity through her lived experiences as a woman who is both Indigenous and of mixed European ancestry. Born on the traditional territory of the Deshkaan Ziibing Anishinaabeg (London, Ontario), Sarah now lives (and writes) in Sinixt təmxʷúlaʔxʷ (Nelson, British Columbia).

Meghan Doraty is a proud citizen of Métis Nation British Columbia. She is a writer who has been published in the likes of Descant and Prairie Fire and was long-listed for the CBC short story prize. She is currently working on a novel for Young Adults.

Laura Fukumoto gets paid to talk a lot. She settled in so-called Vancouver more than a decade ago from the Toronto area. She writes about her Japanese-Canadian heritage, queer joy, and mycology. She loves her grandma. BFA Theatre Production from UBC and The Writer’s Studio, SFU.

Dax Heaven (they/them/theirs) is a multidisciplinary writer, photographer and visual artist living on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations. They recently graduated from University of British Columbia with a BA in Film Studies. Their practice is informed by their continuous curiosity on the phenomenon of boundaries. Through the joining of a variety of mediums, their multi-media work highlights the interconnectedness amongst all things in the universe.

Kyla Yin James (they/them) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work is inspired by mythology, the unconscious, subcultures, speculative fiction, and history. They describe their practice as thinking and feeling out loud, dissecting and reassembling how they approach the different thought worlds they grew up in.

Palesa Koitsioe is a multi-disciplinary artist born in Johannesburg, South Africa. They are a prolific poet and are currently working on their collection of poems detailing the journey of their identity as both a Black woman and a non-binary person. Palesa is passionate about showing the world how to say ‘YES’ to life and all its wonders, one day at a time with poetry, song and storytelling.

Zaynab Mohammed is an award-winning professional performance poet. She lives and works in the Slocan Valley of BC with her dog Threshold. She writes about what is possible in the realms of healing and creating new ways forward. She is currently developing her first one-woman show titled, Are You Listening?

Venus Noirre (she/her) is a Black and Queer artist who lives on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh. Their cultural identity and traumas have led them to share their words with the world. With no formal art or writing education, they have published zines, essays and poetry on queer identity, sex work and Blackness. The continuous genocide of Black and Indigenous bodies in the Americas has force them re-examine what and how they share of themselves with their audience. Blackness and autonomy as a black femme is at the center of their work and they know that it is essential that they continue telling these stories.

Gurnoor Powar is a second generation Indo-Canadian currently residing in Vancouver, BC. As of now she is in her fourth year at UBC in the Faculty of Arts, majoring in English with an emphasis on literature and minoring in Asian Canadian and Asian Migration studies (ACAM).

My name is Grace Swain, I’m from Swan Lake First Nation, and I’m an Indigenous entrepreneur, influencer, speaker, artist, writer, and advocate. I’m passionate about creating inclusive businesses & making traditional land-based art accessible for all Indigenous peoples. I’m also the CEO of Anishinaababe Inc. which helps businesses scale on social media.

Xavier is a Chinese adoptee residing on lək̓ʷəŋən and WSÁNEĆ territory (colonially Victoria, B.C.) with their two cats, Stardust and Katara. X is passionate about anything fantasy, learning, languages, astrophysics, and dancing. They are grateful to the lək̓ʷəŋən People, known today as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations, for their stewardship of the land, and for allowing X to live and learn in such a beautiful place.

Cathy Xu (they/she) is an emerging storyteller, writing from unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skxwú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) lands. Their work explores bodies and land as archives, storytelling through food, and Asian and queer futures, appearing in SAD Magazine and ReIssue. They find comfort in pastries and bodies of water. Follow them on Instagram (@cathy_jzx).