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WT Amplified Voices

WT Amplified Voices is a collective marketing campaign to promote books published during the COVID-19 pandemic by Canadian authors who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour. The goal is to give those authors who missed out on in-person book launches, the festival circuit, and bookstore foot traffic another opportunity to be discovered by readers. WT Amplified Voices is made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

Meet the twenty-five authors below who were selected for the first iteration of the program by an independent, five-person committee representing the literary community from coast to coast to coast. We hope you enjoy discovering these great reads by Canadian BIPOC authors. For more details, please visit the program page.

Selina Boan

Selina Boan is a white settler-nehiyaw writer. Her work has been featured twice in The Best Canadian Poetry. She won a National Magazine Award for Poetry in 2017 and was a finalist for the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize. Undoing Hours is her first book. Boan lives in Vancouver.

Undoing Hours explores the interconnection between time, body, and land from a nehiyaw perspective. A book that isn't afraid to be messy, it is tender with (re)learning, longing, and hope.

◢ See Boan in conversation with fellow author shalan joudry (Waking Ground) on Instagram and YouTube.

◢ More on Boan and her book on Twitter and Facebook.

Undoing Hours is published by Nightwood Editions. Read more about the book

Tenille K. Campbell

Tenille K. Campbell is a Dene/Métis author and photographer from English River First Nation in Treaty Ten, northern Saskatchewan. Campbell completed her MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia and is working on a doctoral degree in Indigenous Literature at the University of Saskatchewan.

nedi nezu (Good Medicine) is a collection of poems that explore the space between being a sensual Indigenous woman, a partner, a fantasy, a heartbreak waiting to happen, and as an auntie, a role model, a voice that connects to others walking the same path.

◢ See a recitation of Campbell's poem, "We Aren't All Nice Aunties," on Instagram and Twitter.

◢ Head over to Facebook see Campbell's poetry and photography.

nedi nezu is published by Arsenal Pulp Press. Read more about the book ◥

Marty Chan

Marty Chan writes books for children, plays for adults, and tweets for fun. He is best known for his Marty Chan Mystery Series, which has won the City of Edmonton Book Prize and the Diamond Willow Award. Chan lives in Edmonton.

In Haunted Hospital, a group of teenagers sneak into an abandoned hospital to look for ghosts as a part of a role-playing game. Instead, they find a group of squatters who have turned the hospital into their home and the kids must help them before the police clear the building.

◢ Find out if Marty Chan believes in ghosts from his reading of Haunted Hospital on YouTube.

◢ Learn more about Chan's writing process and enjoy some rubik's cube magic while you're at it on Instagram.

◢ Check out Chan's spooky Haunted Hospital book trailer on Twitter and Facebook.

Haunted Hospital is published by Orca Book Publishers. Read more about the book ◥

Sam Cheuk

Sam Cheuk is a Hong Kong-born Canadian author of Love FiguresDeus et Machina, and Postscripts from a City Burning. He is currently working on Marginalia, which examines the function, execution, and generative potential behind censorship. Cheuk lives in Vancouver. 

Postscripts from a City Burning captures the evolving cultural mood of Hong Kong during the 2019 protests. Written in the span of three months, it bears witness to the chaos of a citizenry attempting to cope with the deteriorating of democratic freedoms promised by the Chinese Communist Party’s "one country, two systems" framework. 

◢ Read Cheuk's powerful reflections on the 2019 Hong Kong protests in a series of photos taken from the event on Instagram.

◢ Head over to Twitter and Facebook for more of Cheuk's powerful imagery and commentary.

Postscripts from a City Burning is published by Palimpsest Press. Read more about the book ◥

Aimée Craft

Aimée Craft is an associate professor at the Faculty Law, University of Ottawa. An Indigenous (Anishinaabe-Métis) lawyer from Manitoba, she is an internationally recognized researcher in Indigenous laws, treaties, and water and holds a Research Chair Nibi miinawaa aki inaakonigewin: Indigenous governance in relationship with land and water. Craft lives in southern Manitoba. 

Treaty Words: For As Long As the Rivers Flow is meant to be read aloud. Readers young and old are asked to engage with their natural environment to understand how good relationships are made and how they formed the basis of treaty relationships. 

◢ Watch as the pages of Craft's Treaty Words are brought to life through a vibrant digital animation project on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Treaty Words is published by Annick Press. Read more about the book ◥

Norma Dunning

Norma Dunning is an Inuk writer, professor, and grandmother.  She won the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for English-language fiction for Tainna. Her first collection of short stories Annie Muktuk and Other Stories received the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. Her collection of poetry, Eskimo Pie: a poetics of Inuit Identity was released in 2020. Dunning lives in Edmonton. 

Tainna: The Unseen Ones is Dunning's second collection of short stories. Tainna examines the lives of several Inuit characters who live outside of Inuit Nunangat, exploring their encounters with colonialism, racism, assimilation, and love. 

◢ See Dunning in conversation with 2021 Weston Prize finalist Darrel J. Macleod about her book on YouTube.

◢ For more of her #WTAmplifiedVoices content head over to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Tainna is published by Douglas & McIntyre. Read more about the book ◥

francesca ekwuyasi

francesca ekwuyasi is a writer and multidisciplinary artist from Lagos, Nigeria. Her debut novel, Butter Honey Pig Bread was a finalist for CBC's Canada Reads and was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, a Lambda Literary Award, a Governor General's Literary Award, the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, and the ReLit Award. ekwuyasi lives in Halifax. 

Butter Honey Pig Bread is a story of choices and their consequences, of motherhood, of the malleable line between the spirit and the mind, of finding new homes and mending old ones, of voracious appetites, of queer love, of friendship, faith, and above all, family. 

◢ See ekwuyasi in conversation with fellow author Leah Ranada (The Cine Star Salon) on YouTube.

◢ Listen as she shares her opinion on art and subjectivity on Instagram.

◢ See more of ekwuyasi's #WTAmplifiedVoices content on Twitter and Facebook.

Butter Honey Pig Bread is published by Arsenal Pulp Press. Read more about the book ◥

Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch

Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch is a poet whose work has appeared in The Best Canadian Poetry, TNQ, and Arc Poetry. Their work has been longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the QWF Concordia First Book Award. Their second book, The Good Arabs, was published in 2021. El Bechelany-Lynch lives in Montreal. 

knot body is an experimental book that plays with the ways pain can be expressed on the page by combining letters, poems, and a lyrical essay. The speaker is a queer and trans Arab with fibromyalgia who explores their diagnosis and wonders what it means to have a disorder that’s both rarely understood by the medical system and presumed to be only experienced by cis white women. 

◢ See El Bechelany-Lynch in conversation with fellow author Rebecca Salazar (sulphurtongue) on Instagram.

◢ See more of their #WTAmplifiedVoices content on Facebook and Twitter.

knot body is published by Metatron Press. Read more about the book ◥

shalan joudry

shalan joudry is a Mi'kmaw mother, poet, playwright, oral storyteller, and ecologist.  Her third book, Waking Ground, was shortlisted for the J.M. Abrahms Atlantic Poetry Award, the Maxine Tynes Nova Scotia Poetry Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and the Indigenous Voices Award for Poetry in English. She lives in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. 

Waking Ground is a collection of poetry that grounds the reader in ecological time. Weaving the Mi’kmaw language throughout, joudry ruminates on the interconnected relationships between land and culture, the personal and communal. 

◢ See joudry in conversation with fellow author Selina Boan (Undoing Hours) on Instagram and YouTube.

◢ More on joudry and her book on Twitter and Facebook.

Waking Ground is published by Gaspereau Press. Read more about the book ◥

Nyanza Julian

Nyanza Julian is a single mom who wrote and illustrated  Come, Walk With Me, which was published in December 2020. A recent sociology and English graduate, she is currently taking time to continue healing intergenerational wounds and breaking cycles for future generations. She lives in Millbrook, Ontario. 

Come, Walk With Me is a story about cultural values and the seven sacred teachings, commonly referred to as Grandmother/Grandfather teachings, and features illustrations of community members from the author’s reserve who have helped teach these values throughout her life. Come, Walk With Me is an invitation to walk with Julian through her experiences as a Mi'kmaw person.

◢ Read Julian's reflection on why she wrote her book and how she intends to continue learning from her community in this Instagram post.

◢ Check out Julian's social media takeover of @writerstrust Twitter.

◢ Read her reflection on what writing her book meant to her and her commitment to community on Facebook.

Come, Walk With Me is published by Eaglespeaker Publishing. Read more about the book ◥ 

Rahela Nayebzadah

A mother of two young children, Rahela Nayebzadah came to Canada from Afghanistan via Iran when she was two years old. She holds a doctorate from the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia and lives in Vancouver. 

Monster Child introduces the three unforgettable children of the Afshar family: Beh, Shabnam, and Alif. Set in the spring of 2000, we watch as this family of Afghan immigrants tries to navigate their way through an often uncaring society. When a sexual assault on 13-year-old Beh exposes hidden secrets from the past, we’re left wondering which one of the three Afshar children is truly the monster child. 

◢ Check out @writerstrust on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for a reading of Monster Child by Nayebzadah and insight into her writing process.

Monster Child is published by Wolsak & Wynn. Read more about the book ◥

Shanice Nicole

Shanice Nicole is a Black feminist educator, facilitator, writer, and (out)spoken word artist. Recently nominated as Gala Dynastie's Author of the Year, her celebrated debut children's book Dear Black Girls, illustrated by Kezna Dalz, was inspired by one of her earliest pieces. Nicole lives in Montreal. 

Dear Black Girls is a letter, poem, and story. Above all, it is a necessary reminder to Black girls that they are special and loved. 

◢ Nicole and her illustrator Kezna Dalz discuss how themes in their work affect their respective audiences on YouTube.

◢ The duo discuss what it was like to publish a book during the pandemic on Facebook.

◢ Nicole talks about how her spoken word became a published children's book on Twitter.

◢ To listen to their full conversation on Dear Black girls, their art, and plans for future work, head over to Instagram.

Dear Black Girls is published by Metonymy Press. Read more about the book ◥

Leah Ranada

Leah Ranada’s stories have been published in On SpecRoom Magazine, and Santa Ana River Review. Born in the Philippines, she moved to Vancouver in 2006 and attended The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University in 2013. Ranada works at the University of British Columbia and lives in New Westminster, British Columbia. 

The Cine Star Salon is a story of an immigrant businesswoman whose decision to help a financially-ruined friend back home threatens the bright future she has worked hard to achieve in Canada. 

◢ See Ranada in conversation with fellow author francesca ekwuyasi (Butter Honey Pig Bread) on YouTube.

◢ Listen to her as she shares her experiences with rejection and finding a space to share her work on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

The Cine Star Salon is published by NeWest Press. Read more about the book ◥

Anuradha Rao

Anuradha Rao is a biologist, writer, and facilitator who has worked on research, conservation, mapping, planning, policy, restoration, and stewardship projects across Canada and in 12 other countries. Her book One Earth received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, and was shortlisted for a Forest of Reading Award. Rao lives in Vancouver. 

One Earth: People of Color Protecting Our Planet is a nonfiction book celebrating environmental defenders from around the world who are Black, Indigenous, or people of colour. Rao tells the story of 20 individuals and shares how their hard work combined with their cultural influences enabled them to achieve environmental success. 

◢ Head over to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to see Rao's six tips on how to live a greener life.

One Earth is published by Orca Book Publishers. Read more about the book ◥

Jael Richardson

Jael Richardson is an author, a book columnist on CBC’s q, and the founder and executive director of the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD). Her debut novel Gutter Child was shortlisted for the Amazon First Novel Award. Richardson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and lives in Brampton, Ontario. 

Gutter Child is a dystopian novel that follows the story of Elimina Dubois, who grows up in a perilous world that threatens her hope and her future and tests the boundaries of resilience. 

◢ See Richardson in conversation with 2021 Amplified Voices committee member Bianca Spence about Gutter Child on Instagram.

◢ More on Richardson and her book on Facebook.

◢ What's she working on next? Find out on Twitter.

Gutter Child is published by HarperCollins Canada. Read more about the book ◥

Lindsay Ruck

Lindsay Ruck is an author and the Africentric Publishing Program coordinator for the Delmore "Buddy" Daye Learning Institute in Halifax. Her first book Winds of Change: The Life and Legacy of Calvin W. Ruck is a biography about her grandfather. Amazing Black Atlantic Canadians is her first book for younger readers. Ruck lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 

Amazing Black Atlantic Canadians features over 50 profiles of individuals who have beat the odds, kicked up the dust, changed the game, and inspired future generations to dream big. With beautiful illustrations, sidebars, a glossary, and text boxes throughout, this book celebrates and honours some truly amazing Black Atlantic Canadians. 

◢ What inspired Ruck to write her book? Head over to Instagram to find out.

◢ See some of the incredible Black women featured in Ruck's book on Facebook.

◢ Ruck gives us a sneak peak inside Amazing Black Atlantic Canadians — check it out on YouTube.

Amazing Black Atlantic Canadians is published by Nimbus Publishing. Read more about the book◥

Rebecca Salazar

Rebecca Salazar is a writer, editor, and community organizer living on the unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik. Their first collection, sulphurtongue, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language poetry. She lives in Fredericton. 

Located in a body that is unruly with intersecting identities, the poems in sulphurtongue confront the messiness of living through climate crisis with tender grief and gleeful puns. Dwelling in haunted swamps, polluted mining towns, drag shows, and magical lineages, these poems ask what new kinds of care become possible in a toxic environment. 

◢ See Salazar in conversation with fellow author Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch (knot body) on Instagram.

sulphurtongue is published by McClelland & Stewart. Read more about the book ◥

Hana Shafi

Hana Shafi, also known as Frizz Kid, is a writer and artist. She is the recipient of the 2017 Women Who Inspire Award. Her first book It Begins With the Body was selected by CBC as one of the best poetry books of 2018. Shafi lives in Toronto. 

Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty is a collection of essays and art about hope, humour, and honesty. Drawing on her own experiences, Shafi delves into everything from body politics to pop culture, with reminders that we are all flawed and on a journey of self-discovery. 

◢ Check out @writerstrust on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to learn more about Shafi, her writing, and her art.

Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty is published by Book*hug Press. Read more about the book ◥

Sheung-King Aaron Tang

Sheung-King Aaron Tang's debut book You are Eating an Orange. You are Naked. was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language fiction and the Amazon First Novel Award. It was also longlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads, won an AudioFile Earphones Award, and was named a Best Book Debut by The Globe and Mail. Tang lives in Richmond, British Columbia. 

A young translator living in Toronto frequently travels abroad, often with his unnamed lover. In restaurants and hotel rooms, the couple begins telling folk tales to each other as a way to fill the undefined space between them.  

◢ Sheung-King shares a quick travel tip for Prague on Instagram.

◢ Sheung-King is releasing a new book -- learn more on Twitter and Facebook.

You are Eating an Orange. You are Naked. is published by Book*hug Press. Read more about the book ◥

Sarah Suk

Sarah Suk lives in Vancouver where she writes stories and admires mountains. When she’s not writing, you can find Suk hanging out by the water, taking photos on film, or eating a bowl of bingsu. Made in Korea is her first novel. 

In Made in Korea, two teens selling Korean beauty products at school go head-to-head to outsell each other — and maybe fall in love along the way. 

◢ For a fun popup annotation animation of Suk's book and some behind-the-scenes on her writing inspiration, head over to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Made in Korea is published by Simon and Schuster Canada. Read more about the book ◥

Cheryl Thompson

Cheryl Thompson is an assistant professor at The Creative School. She is the author of Uncle: Race, Nostalgia, and the Politics of Loyalty and Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture. Thompson is currently writing her third book on Canada’s history of blackface. She lives in Toronto. 

Uncle explores the twists, turns, and mutations of Uncle Tom from the 19th century novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. Thompson traces this figure throughout the decades and argues that as an archetype of Black masculinity — passive, loyal to whites and white institutions — Uncle Tom has never gone away. 

◢ Learn more about Uncle Tom depictions throughout history from Cheryl Thompson on Instagram.

◢ Thompson talks Uncle Tom's Cabin, "Tom-mania," and Black inferiority on Twitter.

◢ Listen as Thompson discusses her writing process and the importance of editors on YouTube.

Uncle is published by Coach House Books. Read more about the book ◥ 

Rinaldo Walcott

Rinaldo Walcott is a Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. His research is in the area of Black Diaspora Cultural Studies, gender, and sexuality. 

On Property: Policing, Prisons, and the Call for Abolition is a thoughtful, compassionate, and profound exploration of the long shadow cast by slavery’s afterlife. Rinaldo Walcott shows how present-day abolitionists continue the work to ensure freedom and equality for all. 

◢ See Walcott in conversation with 2020 Writers' Trust Rising Star and Bronwen Wallace juror Canisia Lubrin on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

◢ Walcott describes what makes transatlantic slavery different from other forms of slavery on Twitter.

On Property is published by Biblioasis. Read more about the book ◥

Terry Watada

Terry Watada's upcoming fourth novel Hiroshima Bomb Money won a manuscript grant from the Toronto Arts Council and is a finalist for the Eyelands International Book Awards in the category of unpublished historical fiction. His poem "Masks" won third place in the Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest run by The New Quarterly. Watada lives in Toronto. 

Mysterious Dreams of the Dead examines the search for identity by Sansei Japanese Canadians — the third generation — before, during, and after the Campaign for Redress for wartime injustices. The story reveals several secrets kept from the Sansei. 

◢ Head over to Instagram and YouTube to see Terry Wada in conversation with Lynne Kutsukake about his book.

◢ Watada talks about what it was like learning about Japanese internment on Facebook.

◢ Watch as Watada talks about community and recalling stories from the past on Twitter.

Mysterious Dreams of the Dead is published by Anvil Press. Read more about the book ◥

Jesse Wente

Jesse Wente is an Anishinaabe writer, broadcaster, and arts leader. Born and raised in Toronto, his family comes from Chicago and Genaabaajing Anishinaabek and he is a member of the Serpent River First Nation. Wente was appointed Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts in 2020, the only First Nations person to ever hold the position. 

Part memoir and part manifesto, Jesse Wente’s Unreconciled: Family, Truth, and Indigenous Resistance argues that the concept of reconciliation is flawed. His book is a call to build a new, respectful relationship between the nation of Canada and Indigenous peoples. 

◢ See Wente in conversation with 2021 Amplified Voices committee member Trina Roache about his book on Instagram.

◢ Wente talks colonialism and connectivity on Twitter.

Unreconciled is published by Allen Lane. Read more about the book ◥

Sennah Yee

Sennah Yee writes poetry, prose, and film criticism. She is the author of the poetry collection How Do I Look? and the children’s book My Day With Gong Gong . She is the co-founder and managing editor of In The Mood Magazine, and a poetry editor at Peach Mag. Yee lives in Toronto. 

My Day With Gong Gong follows a young girl named May as she faces Chinatown's busy streets, language barriers, and her hungry tummy while spending time with her grandpa. It's a heartwarming story of sharing love and joy — and of course, good food — across generations and cultures.

◢ Travel with Yee through Toronto's Chinatown and see the places that inspired her book on Instagram.

◢ Look at a few of her beautifully illustrated book pages on Facebook.

◢ Learn more about Yee's gong gong, the inspiration for her book, on Twitter.

My Day With Gong Gong is published by Annick Press. Read more about the book ◥