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Kris Kaila is a queer Punjabi Canadian poet, book reviewer, and blogger. Her poetry explores themes of ancestry, colonialism, mental health, gender, and relationships, ultimately centering itself on her body, the main source of her words and art. Kaila’s poetry can be found in anthologies and publications including Usawa Literary Review, Salt & Citrus Zine, and That Gray Zine. Inspired by her Bibi (grandmother) who never had the opportunity at an education, Kaila wants her work to act as a voice and allow her Bibi and women like her to be recognized and acknowledged for their hard work. She lives in Vancouver, BC. 

Program History


“There is tender tension in Kris Kaila’s poetry. We feel the pull and the love of her Ancestors as she awakens to a new vision for herself as queer woman of colour. Her poetry speaks of skin scorched by the white male gaze and all that follows when their ‘desire’ supersedes her longing for autonomy. Kaila’s words linger just as the aftereffects of sexual violence do. She is not afraid to ask the questions many women hold in their bodies. In a world where gaslighting and disinformation are a daily occurrence, I felt held by the power of her words and her honesty.”