#ThinAir2022 / #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 Diehl is a writer, editor, and performer, and since 2003 the Director of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba in 1992 and was an English professor at the University of Waterloo before returning to her beloved Canadian prairies in 2000. She has published essays, poetry, non-fiction, reviews, interviews, academic studies, and several chapbooks.

Her book Out of Grief, Singing: A Memoir of Motherhood and Loss (Signature Editions, 2010) was shortlisted for both the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Non-Fiction Award and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year. Also a lover of jazz, she was the associate editor of a dig! magazine for a dozen years, has performed original poetry with her own jazz ensemble, A Flock of Bards, and is now the producer of the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances series. In 2019, she received the Making a Difference Award at the Mayor’s Luncheon for the Arts.

Chelsey Young
Administrative Coordinator

Chelsey Young graduated from the University of Winnipeg with her Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric, and Communications in Spring of 2020. THIN AIR 2022 is her 5th festival and she is thrilled to be working toward bringing lively content to the hybrid edition. When she’s not ferociously tracking spreadsheets, you can find her singing pretty much everywhere she goes!

Alina Moore
Communications Coordinator

Alina Moore is the Communications Coordinator for the Winnipeg International Writers Festival. Raised in the small lakefront town of Gimli, Manitoba, located on Treaty 1 Territory, she moved to Winnipeg to pursue a degree in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications at the University of Winnipeg. She received her 3-year BA, and after a short break is back in classes to pursue a 4-year BA.

Alina is passionate about the importance of reading and writing and is thrilled to work with an incredible team that is dedicated to bringing phenomenal line-ups of authors and books to the community throughout the year. When she’s not drinking an iced coffee and reading a book at the lake, you can find her drinking an iced coffee and taking care of her 20+ indoor plants in her Winnipeg apartment.

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.

Sébastien Gaillard
Coordonnateur de livres en fête

Originaire de France, installé depuis 2017 à Winnipeg avec sa famille, il poursuit son parcours professionnel atypique, axé sur le développement des arts et de la culture. Côté pile, il est Sébastien Gaillard. Un nom qui sied comme un gant à un grand bonhomme, passionné de littérature. Côté face, il est Seream. Auteur, performer, agitateur poétique.

Originally from France, he has been living in Winnipeg with his family since 2017, and continues his atypical career path, focused on the development of arts and culture. On the flip side, he is Sébastien Gaillard. A name that fits like a glove to a tall man, passionate about literature. On the other side, he is Seream. Author, performer, poetic agitator.

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.