Myrna Kostash is an acclaimed writer of literary and creative nonfiction who makes her home in Edmonton when she is not travelling in pursuit of her varied literary interests and passions. These have taken her from school halls in Vancouver, BC, to Ukrainian weddings in Two Hills, Alberta; from the site of the mass grave of Cree warriors in Battleford, Saskatchewan, to a fishers’ meeting in Digby, Nova Scotia; from the British Library in London, UK, to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. She is inspired in her work by her childhood in the Ukrainian-Canadian community of Edmonton, her rites of passage through the Sixties in the US, Canada and Europe, by her rediscovery of her western Canadian roots in the 1980s, by her return to her spiritual sources in Byzantium and the Eastern Christian (Orthodox) Church, and, most recently, by her re-education in the history of Indigenous and Settler relations in western Canada.
Myrna is the author of the multicultural classic, All of Baba’s Children (1978), which has never gone out of print. Her second book, Long Way From Home: The Story of the Sixties Generation in Canada (1980), was the first to narrate the specifically Canadian experience of that era, and has been acknowledged as such by grateful scholars of today. Though out of print, No Kidding: Inside the World of Teenage Girls (1987) and The Next Canada: In Search of the Future Canada continue to find readers because of their passionate reportage. With Bloodlines: A Journey into Eastern Europe (1993) and The Doomed Bridegroom: A Memoir (1997), Myrna hit her full stride in the burgeoning nonfiction genre known as creative nonfiction, the latest example of which was her 2010 book, Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium, a gathering-together of travel writing, memoir, historical and political narrative, art history and reflection. In original documentations of two key events in western Canadian history, she is the editor of The Frog Lake Reader (2009) and The Seven Oaks Reader (2016). Her work-in-progress is The Ghost Notebooks, about her grandparents. Read more
Dr. Jessica Zychowicz holds the Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Contemporary Ukraine Studies Program at the UAlberta Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. She was recently a US Fulbright Scholar (2017-18) in Area Studies based at Kyiv-Mohyla University where she conducted research for her second book, and taught in the sociology department, one of the only departments in all of Ukraine today that has instituted the teaching of gender studies as a subject. Her first book, Superfluous Women: Feminism, Art, and Revolution in Twenty-First Century Ukraine, will be available on University of Toronto Press June 2020. Read more
Dr. Vita Yakovlyeva earned her PhD in Social Theory and Cultural Studies in 2016 from UAlberta. Parts of her doctoral research, “Childhood after Chernobyl: A Social History of Childhood in Ukraine, 1986-1996,” have been published in English, Ukrainian, and Polish. Read more