Writers’ Biographies

M. E. BoothbySummer 2023

Megan Elizabeth (M. E.) Boothby is a neuroqueer writer and PhD candidate living in St. John’s, originally from Peterborough, Ontario. Her writing has appeared in Untethered Magazine, Carolyn Smart’s Lake Effect 7, and Lake Effect 8, with upcoming work in Gothic NatureHorseshoe Literary MagazineShrapnel Magazine, and Fantastika Journal. Her work is particularly interested in ecology, nonhuman imaginings, speculative futures, and ‘weird fiction.’ She has a soft spot for monsters, mycorrhizal fungi, sassy cephalopods, and other misunderstood entities. Her debut novel, Holistic Ecology for Hopeless Planets, is currently represented and in the process of negotiating publication. 

Megan Gail Coles, Summer 2022

Megan Gail Coles is a writer of plays, poetry and prose originally from
The Strait of Belle Isle on the Great Northern Peninsula of
Newfoundland/Ktaqmkuk. Her books include Squawk, Satched, Eating Habits
of the Chronically Lonesome and Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward
Gun Club. Her work has been a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller prize,
a Canada Reads contender and has twice won the BMO Winterset award.
Megan is the Artistic Director of Poverty Cove Theatre Company and
Executive Director of Riddle Fence Publishing in St. John’s.

William Ping, Summer 2021

William is an emerging writer from St. John’s, NL. He recently completed his MA in English at Memorial University. His work has previously been featured on CBC, in Riddle Fence, and in the forthcoming anthologies Us, Now, and Corner Stor(i)es. His debut novel Hollow Bamboo was awarded the Department of English Award for Thesis Excellence and will be published in the near future.

Michelle Porter, Fall 2020

Michelle is an award-winning journalist and poet. She is a citizen of the Métis Nation and a member of the Manitoba Metis Federation. Her first book of poetry, Inquiries, was published in 2019. Her essay, Fireweed, was longlisted for the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize. She is the nonfiction editor with Riddle Fence while studying creative writing and teaching journalism. In 2016 and 2017, her work was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize. She also won a Gold Atlantic Journalism Award in 2005 and the 2018 Arts and Letters competition for nonfiction. She currently lives in St. John’s.


Heidi Wicks, Spring 2019

Heidi has a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Memorial University. Through her studies, she has written fiction, creative nonfiction, plays, screenplays, and has written and produced podcasts. Her thesis is a novel titled Melt. Her work has been featured in Newfoundland Quarterly and Breakwater’s nonfiction anthology, Best Kind. She is the recipient of the 2019 Cox and Palmer Creative Writing Award. She has written locally and nationally about arts and culture for The Telegram, CBC, The Independent and The Globe and Mail.

Matthew Hollett, Spring 2018

Matthew, a writer and visual artist in St. John’s, was the 2018 recipient of the Cox & Palmer Sparks Creative Writing Award.  Matthew’s poetry was awarded the Malahat Review’s 2017 Open Season Award for Creative Nonfiction and he won the 2017 Prairie Fire Short Fiction contest. His work has been published most recently in Prairie Fire and subTerrain. Matthew was selected as the Newfoundland Quarterly Creative Non-Fiction Fellow for 2016/2017. In 2016 Matthew was longlisted for the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize.


Karen Solie Fall 2018

Poet Karen Solie was the writer-in-residence for the Fall semester at Memorial University. Nationally and internationally recognized for the quality of her work, Solie’s work has received great acclaim, beginning with her debut collection, Short Haul Engine, published in 2001 and shortlisted for the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize; that book won the Pat Lowther Award, the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and the ReLit Award. Her second book of poems, Modern and Normal (2005) was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award, a prize which she won in 2010 for her third volume, Pigeon, which also won the Griffin Poetry Prize that year. In 2013 Bloodaxe Books in England brought out a selection of Solie’s poems, The Living Option. Solie’s 2015 collection, The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out, was published by Anansi in Canada and Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the U.S. Reviewing the book for Poetry Magazine Jim Johnstone observes that Karen Solie is “already one of Canada’s most internationally acclaimed poets, needing only five books to ascend to the head of her class.”

Bridget Canning Spring 2017

Winner of the Cox and Palmer Creative Writing Award Bridget’s work has also won the BC Federation of Writers Literary Writes competition, the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Awards and has been shortlisted for the Cuffer Prize. She was selected as one of the 2015 apprentices with the Writers Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Mentorship Program. Her first novel, The Greatest Works of Wanda Jaynes, received an Honourable Mention with the Atlantic Writing Competition and was published with Breakwater Books in April, 2017. She lives in St. John’s where she writes and works as a College Instructor.


George Murray Fall 2017

George Murray has authored seven books of poetry. He has been widely anthologized and has published poems and fiction in journals and magazines in Canada, the United States, Australia, and Europe. He has won or been shortlisted for several awards, and he has been on the part time faculty at University of Toronto, New School University, and Humber College. George is a former poetry editor for the Literary Review of Canada and has been a contributing editor for several journals and a literary website. He has lived in St. John’s, Newfoundland, since 2006 and was made the poet laureate there in 2014.


Elisabeth de Mariaffi Fall 2017

Elisabeth is the critically acclaimed author of two previous books: the Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominated short story collection How to Get Along with Women, and the literary thriller The Devil You Know. Both were a Globe and Mail Best Book and lucky number 13 on the NP100, the year-end list at the National PostThe Devil You Know was optioned and is currently in development for television. It was also shortlisted for the prestigious Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Elisabeth’s poetry and short fiction have been widely published and praised, and have been shortlisted for the National Magazine Award. Born and raised in Toronto, de Mariaffi now makes her home in St. John’s, Newfoundland.


Martin Poole Spring 2016

Martin Poole is a writer hailing from Ramea, Newfoundland. He has published short stories, poetry, and art criticism. He is currently working on a philosophical work entailing the influence of ideology on art interpretation in Newfoundland. He is a philosophy graduate from Memorial University of Newfoundland and the founding editor and contributing writer for a new journal of art criticism, based out of Montreal and St. John’s, titled CUSS Journal of Arts and Environment.


Mary MacDonald Spring 2016

Mary is an artist, critic, and independent curator residing in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Mary graduated from Mount Allison University with a BFA in 2006 and completed her MFA in Criticism & Curatorial Practice at OCAD University. She served as the Director of Eastern Edge Gallery. Her research interests include artists working within rural communities and contexts, interdisciplinary approaches to curating, and alternative locations for contemporary art.  She has written for The Overcast, Visual Arts NewsCuss, The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, The Owens Art Gallery, Memorial University, Struts Gallery, Dalhousie University Art Gallery, XPACE, and Eastern Edge Gallery. Mary McDonald passed away in 2017.

Claire Wilkshire 2015

Claire is a writer, editor, teacher and translator based in St. John’s.  Claire studied English and French at Memorial and completed an MA at McMaster and a PhD in English literature at UBC. She taught English and French at Memorial for 15 years. Her stories, book reviews, and articles have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. Her first novel, Maxine, was published in March 2013 by Breakwater Books. Her short fiction has appeared in publications such as Grain, The New Quarterly, Event, and The Fiddlehead. A member of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, she’s a founding member of the Burning Rock writing group. Claire’s current fiction project is a young adult novel set in St. John’s.


Linda Buckmaster 2014

Linda is a former Poet Laureate of Belfast, Maine, has published three books of poetry, and her poems, essays, fiction, and journalism have appeared in regional and national journals, including a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2014 and as a winner in the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance.  An Atlantic and Gulf Editor for National Fisherman magazine, her beat was Newfoundland to Texas. Linda works in a nonprofit and is Adjunct Faculty in the University of Maine System. Her special interest is “spirit of place,” the interconnection of landscape and geology with the human culture.


Peter Neary 2014

A 2014 returning Trust sponsored Writer-in-Residence and Kent Centennial panel moderator, Peter Neary was born on Bell Island, Conception Bay, Newfoundland, and is a graduate of Memorial University and the University of London. Peter has written extensively on the history of Newfoundland and Labrador. He is the author of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic World, 1929-1949 and On To Civvy Street: Canada’s Rehabilitation Program for Veterans of the Second World War, the co-author of Part of the Main: An Illustrated History of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the editor of White Tie and Decorations: Sir John and Lady Hope Simpson in Newfoundland, 1934-1936. Peter’s contributions to the art history of Newfoundland and Labrador include essays on Clare Bice, Frederic Edwin Church, Alan Collier, Maurice Cullen, and Rhoda Dawson. He is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of History, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.

Berni Stapleton 2013

Berni is a Newfoundland/Labrador author, actor and playwright. She is a recipient of the Ambassador of Tourism award from Hospitality NL and is a past recipient of the WANL award for best work in non-fiction for her book They Let Down Baskets. Her recent book of short stories is called Rants, Riffs and Raves: The World According to Berni Stapleton and is now working on a new book of comedic essays entitled A Toothache in My Heart. She has been a playwright-in-residence with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Playwright’s Workshop Montreal, Alberta Theatre Projects, CanStage, PARC and other companies, and is a writer and performer with Rising Tide’s Revue.  She is a regular contributor to The Newfoundland Quarterly.


Sharon MacKay 2012

An award-winning author, Sharon is working with graphic novel artist Daniel LaFrance on an adaption of her Charlie Wilcox & Charlie Wilcox’s Great War – imagined stories of a Brigus boy who accidently goes to the great war. Paying tribute to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, children and young adult publisher Annick Press will be translating both books into one epic graphic novel.


Sarah Tilley 2012

An award-winning writer and theater artist, Sara is continuing a selection of short stories based upon a collection of letters from a family ancestral home in Elliston, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, covering five generations. Sara is the author of Skin Room, published by Pedlar Press, a novel of a young woman’s coming of age and set between Sanikiluaq, Nunavut and St. John’s, Newfoundland. Placing bookends on the continent, Sara is also finishing a draft of a second novel, DUKE, tracing her grandfather’s steps in and between Newfoundland and Alaska.

Sara Tilleyhttps://saratilley.ca

Jenn Farrell 2011

Jenn is the author of two collections of short fiction: The Devil You Know and Sugar Bush and Other Stories (both Anvil Press, 2010, 2006). She is a two-time winner of the Vancouver Courier Fiction Contest, and the recipient of the 2002 Maclean-Hunter Endowment Prize for non-fiction. Jenn is a board member of the Magazine Association of British Columbia and a contributor to CBC Radio. Now living in Vancouver, she works as a freelance writer, editor, and creative writing teacher in Continuing Studies at Langara College, and is currently working on her third book.


Frederick Lewis 2011

A documentary filmmaker and a Professor at the School of Media Arts and Studies at Ohio University, Frederick is currently writing a Rockwell Kent biography to be published next year. He produced, wrote and directed the 3-hour documentary Retracing Rockwell Kent. Frederick was a 3-week guest of the Trust and is engaged in the 2014 centennial recognizing Rockwell Kent’s arrival in Newfoundland and stay at Landfall.


Marie Wadden 2010

An accomplished journalist and author living in St. John’s, Marie worked on her first venture into fiction with a strong Conception Bay flavour.  Marie spent the better part of Hurricane Igor at Landfall comfortably nestled in Kent Cottage.  Marie’s experience as a journalist has been very helpful to the Trust.

Dennis Flynn 2010

From Colliers, Newfoundland, Dennis is a photographer and writer. During his residency, Dennis completed an extensive “as built” photographic record of Landfall, both internal and external. This will be of considerable value to the Trust’s Kent Cottage conservation and preservation efforts. He also published an article for the April 2010 issue of Life is Better Downhome, entitled The Landfall Legacy


Kevin Major 2008

An accomplished teacher and writer, Kevin has published more than 12 novels, many focusing on children including the critically acclaimed The House of Wooden Santas. Many of his award-winning books have been translated into several languages and four have been adapted into plays. Kevin’s Landfall residency included working with classes at Amalgamated Academy. Kevin resides in St. John’s with his wife, Anne, and family. Kevin and Anne are members of the Landfall Trust Advisory Committee.


Eleanor Wachtel 2007

Recipient of six honorary degrees, award winning writer, broadcaster, and popular host of CBC Radio’s “Writers and Company” program, Eleanor was the first Trust sponsored residency. During her residency at Landfall, Eleanor gave a sell out presentation at Memorial University in St. John’s, The Lives of Writers. Proceeds from the presentation supported Landfall Trust programs.