Because the land we live on is a defining element of this project, we’ll start things off by acknowledging that Grand River Country is the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples.
Today, this watershed is home to many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples; by acknowledging their presence, cultures, and teachings, we’re reminded of our connection and responsibility to this land where we live, work, and learn.
Episode 1: Erin Bow
We talk with Kitchener writer Erin Bow about her award-winning middle-school novel,
Stand on the Sky, in which a young Kazakh woman trains an eagle to hunt. We also talk
about Russian folk tales and the place of science and poetry in Erin’s writing life.
Episode 2: Janice Jo Lee
We talk with the multi-talented Janice Jo Lee about what it takes to write and star in a one-person musical, her tips for writing poetry as song, and her advocacy work with young writers.
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 16
Episode 3: Yvonne Blomer
We meet Yvonne Blomer, the editor of the Caitlin Press volume Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds and speak with poets who are writing about and for their local watersheds. With Gary Barwin and Laurie D. Graham.
TUESDAY MARCH 2
Episode 4: Textile
We talk with writers and editors of Textile, a literary magazine that showcases the diversity of the Grand River region, and works to mentor emerging writers in the creation of community-engaged art. With Yasmeen Nematt Alla, Ashley Hynd, and Fitsum Areguy.
TUESDAY MARCH 16
Episode 5: Mike Chaulk & Sarah Tolmie
We talk with Mike Chaulk about his book Night Lunch, in which he crews on a ferry and freight vessel up the Labrador Coast.
Also on the show, Sarah Tolmie introduces us to her book, Check, about confirmation bias, and we talk about writing speculative fiction.
TUESDAY MARCH 30
Episode 6: Tasneem Jamal
We speak with Tasneem Jamal about her novel, Where The Air is Sweet, about a family who move to Kitchener following Idi Amin’s expulsion of Asian-Ugandans, about the power of fiction to fill in historical gaps, and Tasneem’s new manuscript that explores female friendship in the 1970s.
TUESDAY APRIL 13
Episode 7: Janet Rogers
We sit down with Tuscarora writer, performer, and publisher Janet Rogers to discuss what it has meant for her to come home to Six Nations of the Grand River after decades away, her dreams as a literary Auntie, and the personal and political power of her new book
Ego of a Nation.
TUESDAY APRIL 27
Episode 8: Luke Hathaway
We talk with writer and editor Luke Hathaway about love and radical transformation, about the Waterloo Region roots and the international reach of his latest book, Years, Months, and Days, and about the importance of influences in maker culture.
TUESDAY MAY 11
About The Show
Watershed Writers features interviews in an exciting mix of local novelists, poets, authors, playwrights and essayists from a wide range of genres, serving as an outreach and showcase of a community of well-known writers as well as up-and-coming writers not readily available elsewhere.
Tanis MacDonald is the author of six books, including her memoir, Out of Line: Daring to Be an Artist Outside the Big City. Her writing appears in publications in Canada, the United States, and Ireland. Originally from the prairies, she’s lived since 2006 in Waterloo, where she is a Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Martin de Groot
Martin de Groot is the program editor for the Promenade community radio magazine, a project of the Commons Studio at The Working Centre and CKWR FM 98.5, Canada’s first community radio station. Martin wrote the Saturday arts and culture column for the Waterloo Region Record from 1997-2019, and served as Executive Director of the Waterloo Regional Arts Council from 2001 – 2011. His contributions were honoured by his peers in the arts community with the Arts Award Waterloo Region for Lifetime Achievement in 2019.
Frances Roberts Reilly
Frances Roberts Reilly is Producer of Watershed Writers. She is also an internationally published poet and author.
A seasoned broadcasting professional as a producer and director in radio, television, film and new media, Frances is a contributor on CBC IDEAS. She has made award winning documentaries for broadcast on web and as private commissions.