#ThinAir2023 / #Livresenfête2022

About / À propos

Winnipeg International Writers Festival International des écrivains de winnipeg

The Winnipeg International Writers Festival is a charitable non-profit organization that promotes reading and literacy in Manitoba by curating the annual THIN AIR writers festival and showcasing writers throughout the year.

Le Festival international des écrivains de Winnipeg est une organisation à but non lucratif qui fait la promotion de la lecture et de l’alphabétisation au Manitoba en organisant le festival annuel d’écrivains THIN AIR et en présentant des écrivains tout au long de l’année.

At the 2003 festival, Margaret Atwood flashed one of her devilish smiles, pulled a scarf up across her face, and quoted Shakespeare’s Prospero: “These our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air.” Then she pirouetted and ducked into the maze of milling people.

That passage—and that moment—hold everything in balance: the ephemeral quality of art-making, the durability of memory, the powerful impact when an artist meets an audience. This is THIN AIR.

Au festival de 2003, Margaret Atwood a lancé l’un de ses sourires diaboliques, a remonté un foulard sur son visage et a cité le Prospero de Shakespeare: «Ces nos acteurs, comme je vous l’ai prédit, étaient tous des esprits et sont fondus dans l’air, dans les airs. ” Puis elle pirouette et se faufile dans le labyrinthe des meuniers.

Ce passage – et ce moment – tient tout en équilibre: la qualité éphémère de la création artistique, la durabilité de la mémoire, le puissant impact lorsqu’un artiste rencontre un public. C’est THIN AIR.

Who We Are / Qui sommes-nous?

Charlene Diehl

Charlene has been at the helm of this organization since 2003, and still feels she has the best job in the world! She’s a happy team leader, a passionate reader, an avid jazz fan, and a charter member of the pandemic sourdough brigade.

Chelsey Young
Administrative Coordinator

Chelsey is excited to be celebrating her 5th THIN AIR Festival! You can find her planning and organizing and answering a hundred emails a day with her dog, cat, and a good cup of coffee.

Evan J
Programming Coordinator

Evan J (he/they) is in his 1st season as THIN AIR’s Programming Coordinator. He’s the author of a poetry collection, Ripping down half the trees, and recently welcomed a new puppy into his household.

Emma Joyal
Coordonnatrice de livres en fête

Emma (elle/she/her) est une diplômée de l’Université de Winnipeg en anglais avec distinction. Elle aime lire et écrire à propos de la théorie et de la littérature queer! C’est sa 1re année comme membre de l’équipe, en tant que Coordonnatrice de Livres en fête.

Emma (elle/she/her) is a recent English honours graduate from the University of Winnipeg who loves to read and write about queer theory and literature! This is her 1st year on the team as the Livres en fête Coordinator.

Alina Moore
Communications Coordinator

Alina loves promoting books, and is thrilled to be handling website preparation and social media for her 4th THIN AIR Festival! You probably can’t find her because she’s moved apartments again, but if you catch a glimpse, she will most likely have an iced coffee in hand!

Ariel Gordon

Ariel Gordon (she/her)  is a writer, editor, and enthusiast based in Winnipeg/Treaty 1 territory. Ariel worked for University of Manitoba Press as publicist for a decade and is the ringleader for Writes of Spring, a national poetry month project with the WIWF that sees Manitoba poets published in the Winnipeg Free Press. Her latest books are Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests (Wolsak & Wynn, 2019) and TreeTalk (At Bay Press, 2020), nominated for three Manitoba Book Awards.

ryan steel thin air winnipeg international writers festival international ecrivains team
Ryan Steel
Virtual Content Prep

Ryan Steel is an independent filmmaker and animator from Treaty 1 Territory. After being introduced to the Winnipeg Film Group at the age of 13, he was sucked into the weirdo world of arthouse cinema.

brian hydesmith thin air winnipeg international writers festival international ecrivains team
Brian Hydesmith
Graphic Artist & Designer

Brian Hydesmith endeavours to connect the visual world with the written word. As a photographer, reporter, and graphic designer he has worked in various capacities on newspapers, magazines, books, academic journals, and visual projects of all types on three continents. Brian enjoys working with Winnipeg’s creative community to assist in sharing all they do to make the world a better place.

Janelle White on Blue Crop Small
Janelle Desrosiers
Web Design & Development

Janelle is the Founder and Creative Director of Bloom + Brilliance, a Winnipeg-based design studio that builds beautiful brands and websites for feminist entrepreneurs and leaders.  She is also an avid reader who is thrilled to be a part of the THIN AIR team.

History / Notre histoire

Winnipeg International Writers Festival International des écrivains de winnipeg

The Winnipeg International Writers Festival was created in 1997 by three individuals from the Manitoba Writers Guild. Their goal was to create a week of literary events that featured some of the best writers around. Director Charlene Diehl took the helm in 2003, and over the past two dozen years, the organization has branched out in many directions: we now host two annual festivals, a monthly poetry open mic, several annual programming initiatives, and we maintain a long-term collaboration presenting literary events with McNally Robinson. 

We’re grateful to the vision and determination of our founders, Robyn Maharaj, journalist, poet, former arts administrator, and true crime author; Mark Morton, award-winning author and journalist now based in the Centre for Teaching Excellence at the University of Waterloo; and the late Andris Taskans, founding member of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and co-founder and long-time editor of Prairie Fire Magazine. 

Le Festival international des écrivains de Winnipeg a été créé en 1997 par trois personnes de la Manitoba Writers Guild. Leur objectif était de créer une semaine d’événements littéraires, mettant en vedette certains des meilleurs écrivains du pays. La directrice Charlene Diehl a pris la barre en 2003 et au cours des deux dernières décennies, l’organisation s’est développée dans de nombreuses directions : nous organisons maintenant deux festivals annuels, un micro ouvert mensuel de poésie, plusieurs initiatives de programmation annuelle et nous entretenons une collaboration à long terme avec McNally Robinson pour la présentation d’événements littéraires.

Nous sommes reconnaissants envers la vision et la détermination de nos fondateurs : Robyn Maharaj, journaliste, poète, ancienne administratrice des arts et auteure de romans policiers, Mark Morton, auteur et journaliste primé, qui travaille maintenant au Centre for Teaching Excellence de l’Université de Waterloo, et le regretté Andris Taskans, membre fondateur de la Manitoba Writers’ Guild et cofondateur et rédacteur en chef de longue date du Prairie Fire Magazine.