Brenda Niskala‘s novella Of All the Ways to Die (Quattro) was published 2009; her short stories have appeared in several anthologies and literary journals. Her poetry has been published in chapbooks, the co-authored Open 24 Hours, and collected in Ambergris Moon. For the Love of Strangers (Coteau Books 2010) is her first book of short fiction.
Brenda has taught Creative Writing for the University of Regina Extension Department, the Festival of Words and the Sage Hill Writing Experience Teen Camp. She has read her work to audiences across Canada, and in Finland and England. Saskatchewan born and raised, she currently makes her home in Regina.
A few years back, when Wes published out his chap-book Humble Beginnings, no one was more surprised than him at how well-received it was. This inspired him to keep plugging away at his sort-of-memoir Dead Rock Stars. Shortly after being released, his novel was a pick-of-the-month for the local C95 book club and was a subject on several local radio and television talk shows. It was short-listed for a Saskatchewan Book Award and received an Honourable Mention for Writers’ Digest International Self-Published Book Awards.
Besides dabbling in real estate and working part-time in healthcare, Wes enjoys writing the Life on Broadway column in Saskatoon’s Neighbourhood Express Magazine. He also stays active in the Saskatoon Writers Coop and putters away at another manuscript.
TARA DAWN SOLHEIM
Tara Dawn Solheim has performed poetry and music in many contexts throughout Canada, America, England and Japan. From 2004 to 2005, she worked with the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina to develop and host a jazz and poetry performance series called the Seldom Sessions. Tara has been commissioned to create original musical and poetic performances for CBC, various dance shows and local festivals including the Cathedral Arts Festival, the Regina and Brandon Folk Festivals, and the Her-i-cane Women’s Art Festival.
After moving to Tokyo in 2005, Tara began to focus on music and performed regularly with bands. Her original music draws on blues and jazz from the 1920 / 30’s and early rock ‘n’ roll. Tara returned to Canada last year and is now working on a new album to be recorded in autumn 2010. She is also in the process of bringing a prairie superhero back to life through the serial poem, “The Adventures of WonderWalker”.
Kris Brandhagen used the University rag as a vehicle for her first publications in 2001, and the story goes on from there to publish in Spring Magazine, In Medias Res, Transverse Journal, Carousel, Ramble Underground, Cahoots, Poetry Reviews, Contemporary Verse 2, and Regina Fine Lifestyles Magazine.
As far as education goes, Kris completed a BA in English literature and Visual Arts from the University of sunny Regina in 2004. She then did a little housekeeping in Canmore, Alberta before heading off to Seoul, South Korea in 2004 to splash her feet in cultural waters and teach English as a Second Language.
Running parallel to the story of Kris as a writer, there is the story of Kris as a photographer. What brought her back to Canada in 2005 was the Commercial Photography program at Dawson College in Montreal, where she spent two years being squeezed like a lemon. Regina was happy to have her back in 2007. She did a little of this and a little of that.
In 2008 she applied for and received a grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board to work on her book-length manuscript of poems, Jennifer. Kris is currently hard at work on her second, third, and fourth manuscripts as well as several visual and interdisciplinary projects.