Adult Poetry Judge
Becky Alexander was born and raised in Hespeler, in its glory days. She resides in the Preston. Her love of the outdoors and related madness regarding nature and haiku poetry are the result of Scottish and Irish genes, and from her idyllic childhood in what was then the rambling countryside surrounding Hespeler.
Becky is a retired school teacher. She acquired her Bachelor of Arts degree at Wilfrid Laurier University and took post graduate studies through the University of Western Ontario. Her inherent madness propels her to learn new things, whether that is to study art, take up photography, learn how to use her computer (she wishes) or to make handmade soap. She is a great cook and a lousy baker.
Her poetry and prose have been published in over 200 periodicals and anthologies nationally, and internationally, and she her poetry has won hundreds of awards.
Becky is a member of the Cambridge Writers Collective since 1993, as well as the Kentucky State and Pennsylvania State Poetry Societies, and Green River Writers in the U. S.
She operates Craigleigh Press, a micro publishing company. She has published six poetry collections. Her memoir, Growing Up in Hespeler, is in its third printing.
Youth Poetry Judge
Janice Jo Lee is a poet, roots-folk musician, theatre artist and community organizer from Kitchener, on Haldimand Treaty territory. She is a hard femme queer radical known for being disarmingly hilarious, off-the-cuff and fearlessly honest in her work. Her work has been published in Ricepaper Magazine and Broken Pencil. Lee's latest album Sing Hey is a vocal and acoustic showcase with songs themed on feminism, poverty, and friendship. Her debut album Drown the Earth was played on CBC Radio across the country. She is the artistic director of the KW Poetry Slam and has toured across Canada. In 2015 Lee was the City of Kitchener's Artist in Residence and received the Oktoberfest Woman of the Year Award in Arts and Culture. Currently she is recording her third studio album and writing her one-woman spoken word musical comedy called Janice Lee and the White Supremacy Smackdown.
Children's Poetry Judge
Tara Mondou's life-long interest in reading books and telling stories has developed into a passion for writing and editing. As a first time author, she recently published the heart wrenching, true story of her Mother's childhood, in her book Little Girl in the Mirror.
Tara works for Best Version Media as the Content Coordinator for Neighbours of West Galt magazine, a local publication in Cambridge, Ontario. She also works for the Waterloo Regional Block Parent Program, developing programs that encourage children to be more physically active and independent.
She very recently started working as a Substantive Editor at Meraki House Publishing, an independent publishing house in Toronto.
When she's not working and volunteering in her community, she is creating social groups and special events for local writers and authors that help support and promote the literary arts.
Tara lives in the West Galt area of Cambridge with her husband and two young daughters.