UVic Diversity Writing Contest 2014

Spoken Word

Dia Davina / 1st place

Dia Davina is a queer, genderqueer, feminist poet and performer. Since they found spoken word poetry in December 2012, they have performed all across Canada and competed in numerous slam poetry competitions, including winning fourth place in the 2014 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Competition. Dia is also a workshop facilitator in youth-driven, community-based arts programming, combining a love of poetry, art, anti-oppression initiatives and supporting safer spaces for queer, genderqueer and trans folks. Their work celebrates diversity in all forms, and offers a critical look at topics such as gender, sexuality, mental health and sexualized violence. As a a white settler, Dia currently resides in the Unceded Coast Salish Territories, also known as Vancouver. 

Simone Blais / 2nd place

Simone Blais is a first-year UVic student in the departments of Writing and Indigenous Studies who was born and raised in Toronto, by mother hailing from the Metis nation of Manitoba and a father from Trinidad. She has been a visitor to this land since September and is grateful to be able to learn and play on Lekwungen and Coast Salish territory. She's been part of Take Back the Night and Solidarity with Ferguson since moving to Victoria and plans to work on Indigenous resurgence in the coming months.

Poetry

Erin Cotton / 1st place

Break the Box

Erin's poetry is a handwritten love letter filled with dirty jokes and queer politics. She owns three t-shirts from the Victoria Spoken Word Festival and she was a member of the 2013 ensemble. She was Victoria Slam Champion last year and competed at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word as part of the Victoria Slam Team. She is also Volunteer Coordinator for Tongues of Fire and a regular local performer. Erin is a student at UVic studying Canadian History and Literature.

Yusuf Saadi / 2nd place

When I kissed Derrida on the lips

Yusuf is a Masters student at the University of Victoria in English with a concentration in cultural, social, and political thought. His writing has appeared in magazines including PRISM international and Vallum.

Fiction

Alexa Norton / 1st place

Wax Crayons

Alexa is currently a graduate student at the University of Victoria in the Social Dimensions of Health program. She is studying the impact of moral discourse on public health primary prevention campaigns, with specific regards to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Alexa grew up in northern Alberta and moved out west at 21. Reading and writing fiction sustains her through all of her academic work. In her writing she is often moved by memories of the prairies and the transition to coastal life.

Holly Lam / 2nd place

Knocking Over the Vanilla

Holly Lam is second year Women's Studies student at UVic with an interest in sexuality and creative writing, focusing on fiction and screenwriting. She was raised in Victoria, has written for UVic’s independent student newspaper, The Martlet, and is involved in Victoria’s spoken word community. Holly strives to bring her experiences as queer and mixed race into her creative work and strongly believes in art as a form of activism.

Non-fiction

Seth Walker / 1st place

Death of a Grandmother

Seth Walker has two brothers and parents whom he loves. Currently, he enjoys taking Practical Criticism with Dr. Leighton, Shakespeare: Comedies and Romances with Dr. Wong, and Studies in a Major Figure: Alice Munro with Dr. Dean. Seth thanks God, his family, his friends, this year’s Diversity Writing Contest, Camosun College, the University of Victoria, and the entire universe, including all who have contributed to his learning, for the 2015 Diversity Writing Contest non-fiction award. He hopes to complete his Honours English degree, participate in The Albatross this semester, and continue as Director of the English Students’ Association.

Amber Moore / 2nd place

He Lived Behind our Dumpster

Amber Moore is a graduate student at the University of Victoria in the Faculty of Education. Her research is focused around using trauma literature in the secondary Language Arts classroom. Amber also has a MA in English literature and is a high school English teacher in Alberta. She enjoys writing fiction, essays, and poetry when she’s not helping her students. She is recently published in In/Words Magazine & Press, The Quilliad, and untethered Magazine. Amber would like to thank her partner, Mike, for always editing her work.