Lisa Bird-Wilson

Lisa Bird-Wilson

Writer-in-residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House in March 2024.

Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Saskatchewan Métis and Cree writer whose work appears in literary magazines, newspapers, and anthologies across Canada.

Her most recent book, Probably Ruby (2021), is published internationally and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and for the Amazon First Novel Award, and won two Saskatchewan Book Awards including Book of the Year.

Her collection of short stories, Just Pretending (Coteau Books 2013), won four Saskatchewan Book Awards, including 2014 Book of the Year, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award, and was the 2019 One Book, One Province selection.

Bird-Wilson’s debut poetry collection, The Red Files (Nightwood Editions 2016), is inspired by family and archival sources and reflects on the legacy of the residential school system and the fragmentation of families and histories.

Lisa Bird-Wilson is the past prose editor for Grain magazine as well as a founding member and chair of the Saskatchewan Ânskohk Writers Circle Inc (SAWCI) / Ânskohk Indigenous Literature Festival. Lisa lives in Saskatoon and is the CEO of the Gabriel Dumont Institute, Canada’s first Métis post-secondary education and cultural institute.

While living and working at Joy Kogawa House in March 2024, Lisa Bird-Wilson researched, wrote, and edited a book-length memoir with the working title “Magpie Dreams.” To share artistic practices with local writers while in residence, she will present the following community-engaged writing program:

Magpie Dreams: Seeking and Finding Family through Memoir

This workshop included a discussion of finding voice through creative non-fiction and the medium of memoir to organize and tell one’s own story. Questions we considered include: does memoir need a theme, who owns the facts of your story, and how is storytelling a site of resistance?

Held Sunday, March 10, 2024, 3:00 to 4:30pm, in the living room at Joy Kogawa House.

Thanks to the Carol Shields Prize Foundation for their support of the Carol Shields Prize Foundation Residency at Historic Joy Kogawa House. We have been honoured to host Lisa Bird-Wilson for the inaugural residency in this exciting collaboration.