Mahak Jain – Organizer, Host, Curator

Mahak Jain is the author of the picture book Mayaa CBC Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and winner of the 2017 South Asia Book Award. Her short fiction has appeared in The Journey Prize Stories 28, PRISM internationalThe New Quarterly, Joyland, and Humber Literary Review. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph and has received scholarships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. She teaches creative writing for the University of Guelph, University of Toronto, Inkwell Workshops, and Toronto Public Library. Learn more about Mahak at

Marcia Walker – Organizer, Host, Curator

Marcia Walker’s writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The New York TimesFiddleheadPRISM internationalRoomEVENTAntigonish ReviewUniversity of Toronto MagazineThis MagazineThe Globe and MailCBC radio and The Broken Social Scene Story Project. She has been shortlisted for PRISM’s fiction and non-fiction prize, the Writers’ Union of Canada short prose competition, the Lascaux fiction award and the New Works Playwright Festival. Her plays have been part of Nightwood Theatre’s Groundswell festival and the F.O.O.T. festival. A graduate of the Guelph MFA program, she teaches creative writing at the University of Guelph, University of Toronto, and online at Before becoming a writer, Marcia worked in theatre and as a lawyer. Learn more about Marcia at

Ana Rodriguez Machado – Curator, Occasional Host

Ana Rodriguez Machado lives and writes in Toronto. She holds an MFA from the University of Guelph. In 2016, her poem “Conversations about home in Havana” was shortlisted for the PEN Canada New Voices Award and longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize. Learn more about Ana at

Jessica Popeski – Marketing and Promotions Manager, Occasional Host

Jessica Popeski is an opera singer, internationally published poet, and Professor of English. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, and released “Oratorio” and “The Wrong Place” with Anstruther Press. Raised by her mother and her grandmother in Moscow, then South Yorkshire, she writes ekphrastically about grandmaternal legacy, geographical rupture, and violence and voicelessness, and sings (mostly) Mahler in Newcastle and Tkaronto/Toronto. Learn more about Jessica at