Board & Staff

The Press is led by a dedicated and hard-working Board of Directors, which functions as the publisher. Counted among these are established writers, critics, academics, and journalists, who read and solicit manuscripts for the Press.

Board of Directors

• Sandra Anderson

Sandra Anderson, BA, MA, PhD (German literature), attended Duke, Heidelberg, and Northwestern Universities, before obtaining her LLB (University of Calgary), and practiced education, labour & employment, human rights, privacy law, and general litigation in Edmonton for many years as a partner at Field Law. In the 1980s, she founded a public alternative school in Calgary, was elected to and chaired the Calgary Board of Education, and, has served on and chaired a number of boards, including those of Augustana University College (now Augustana Faculty, University of Alberta), and the Canadian Mental Health Association (National, Provincial, & Edmonton Region), on all of which she engaged in extensive policy development, bylaw revisions, and human resources management. A published academic author and voracious reader, Sandra joined the NeWest Board in 2019.

• Douglas Barbour (President)

Douglas Barbour is Professor Emeritus, Department of English & Film Studies, University of Alberta. His books include Visible Visions: The Selected Poems of Douglas Barbour (NeWest Press; winner of the Stephan Stephannson Award), Story for a Saskatchewan Night (rdc press), Fragmenting Body etc (NeWest Press), Breath Takes (Wolsak & Wynn), &, with Sheila E Murphy, Continuations & Continuations 2 (University of Alberta Press); & the critical texts, Michael Ondaatje (Twayne Publishers) & Lyric / Anti-lyric: essays on contemporary poetry (NeWest Press). University of Alberta Press published his latest book of poems, Listen. If in Spring 2017. He was inducted into the Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame in 2003. Eclectic Ruckus is his review blog:

• Diane Bessai (Honourary Member)

• Thea Bowering (Member-at-Large)

Thea Bowering is interested in writing that pushes against received ideas and forms of storytelling. She wrote an award-winning short story collection about urban outsiders called Love at Last Sight (NeWest Press, 2013) and has recently turned to bio-fiction. Her poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and interviews have appeared in Canadian literary magazines and anthologies. Her master’s degree in Comparative Literature from the U of A has led her to sessional work as a film studies and creative writing instructor. She’s also a contract editor and freelance writer, and host of the literary radio talk show WORD on CJSR. She grew up in Vancouver but has lived in Edmonton within Treaty 6 territory for many years. Thea joined the NeWest board in 2018 and reads and edits fiction for the press.   

• Jenna Butler

Jenna Butler is the author of five award-winning books of poetry and essays. Her research into endangered environments has taken her from America’s Deep South to Ireland’s Ring of Kerry, and from volcanic Tenerife to the Arctic Circle, exploring human impact on lands under threat. A multiethnic woman interested in narratives of identity and place, Butler is a professor of creative writing and environmental literature at Red Deer College. She runs an off-grid organic farm in northern Alberta.

• Jennifer Bowering Delisle

Jennifer Bowering Delisle is the author of The Bosun Chair (2017), a hybrid of poetry and family memoir set in early twentieth-century Newfoundland. She has a PhD in English from UBC, and is also the author of The Newfoundland Diaspora: Mapping the Literature of Out-Migration (2013). She regularly teaches creative writing at the U of A Faculty of Extension. She lives and writes on Treaty 6 territory (Edmonton).

• Merrill Distad (Treasurer)

Merrill Distad, PhD (History), MLS, Associate University Librarian (Emeritus), University of Alberta, is an historian, biographer, bibliographer, teacher, author and editor. His own published books and numerous articles have focused mainly on the literature of travel and exploration, as well as the history of books and publishing. He has championed and edited award-winning books for NeWest Press – both fiction and non-fiction – since joining the Board in 2010.

• Kit Dobson

Kit Dobson lives and works in Treaty 7 territory in Calgary. His most recent book is the non-fiction book Malled: Deciphering Shopping in Canada (Wolsak and Wynn, 2017). He is the author/editor of six other books with academic presses and is a Professot at the University of Calgary. A member of the NeWest Editorial Board since 2013, he reads and edits primarily fiction and poetry for the press. He can be found at

• Paul Hjartarson

Paul Hjartarson’s recent books include The Thinking Heart: The Literary Archive of Wilfred Watson (2014), co-written with Shirley Neuman, and Counter-Blasting Canada: Marshall McLuhan, Wyndham Lewis, Wilfred Watson and Sheila Watson (2016), co-edited with Gregory Betts and Kristine Smitka. Other recent publications include joint special issues of two journals: "Magazines and/as Media: The Aesthetics and Politics of Serial Form", which appeared in English Studies in Canada, 41.1 (2015) and "Magazines and/as Media: Periodical Studies and the Question of Disciplinarity,” published in the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies, 6.2 (2015), both co-edited with Faye Hammill and Hannah McGregor. As these publications perhaps suggest, in an earlier life Hjartarson was a Professor of English (at the University of Alberta). His ongoing interests lie at the intersection of modernist literatures, storytelling (including various forms of life writing), history, migration, print culture (aka book history), small presses (witness his involvement in Quarry, Turnstone, Longspoon and NeWest) and new media.

• Smaro Kamboureli (Member-at-Large)

Smaro Kamboureli is a Canadian poet and scholar who currently is a professor of English at the University of Toronto, where she also sits as the Avie Bennett Chair in Canadian Literature. She previously taught English and was the Director of the TransCanada Institute at the University of Guelph. Kamboureli was awarded a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Critical Studies in Canadian Literature in 2005. Before joining the University of Guelph, she taught for many years at the University of Victoria where she was Director of the English graduate program and the first Associate Dean—Research. Her publications include in the second person (Longspoon 1985), On the Edge of Genre: The Contemporary Canadian Long Poem (1991), Making a Difference: Canadian Multicultural Literature (1996), and a new edition of it, Making a Difference: Multicultural Literatures in English Canada (2006). Her book, Scandalous Bodies: Diasporic Literature in English Canada (2000), which won the Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian Criticism, has just gone out of print, but is available on the TransCanada Institute's web site.

• Anne Nothof (Vice-President)

Anne Nothof PhD is Professor Emerita at Athabasca University, where she developed and tutored courses in literature and drama. She has published essays in Theatre Research in CanadaModern DramaMosaic, and the International Journal of Canadian Studies; and in Siting the OtherCrucible of CulturesCamden’s History of Literature in Canadaand the Cambridge History of Canadian Literature. She has edited collections of essays on Sharon Pollock and on Alberta theatre; and a collection of Alberta plays. She is past president of the Canadian Association of Theatre Research, and editor for She has been a Board editor for NeWest Press since 1999, for which she has edited twenty-nine works.

• Michael Phair

Former member of Edmonton City Council and former Chair of the University Of Alberta Board Of Governors. Currently Michael is co-Chair of EndPovertyEdmonton, coordinator of Edmonton Pride Senior Group, member of Edmonton Homeward Trust, North Saskatchewan River Conservation Society and the Alberta Judicial Advisory Committee. Michael has been active for over 30 years with Edmonton's Queer Community including Founding member and Chair of the AIDS Network of Edmonton (now HIV Edmonton).

• Sheila Pratt (Member-at-Large)

Long time journalist Sheila Pratt covered Alberta politics as a newspaper reporter and columnist and a TV and radio commentator. Pratt also served as city editor and managing editor in the Edmonton Journal newsroom. She took on special assignments, feature writing, environmental and investigative reporting. She also won a Southam fellowship at the University of Toronto.

• Eva Radford

Eva Radford was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She came to Alberta in 1969 and earned a degree in library science from the University of Alberta, which led to a job with Hurtig Publishers and a career as an editor. She has enjoyed many fascinating jobs, including editor-in-chief with the late Mel Hurtig, Duval House Publishing, Green Learning, Alberta Learning, Lone Pine Press, Oz New Media, The Canadian Encyclopedia, the University of Alberta Press, Brush Publishing, Athabasca University, Grant MacEwan University, and Epic Legacies, among others. She was chair of the board of the Editors' Association of Canada—Prairie Provinces Branch (EAC-PPB). In 1984, she was invited to join the board of directors at NeWest Press, She has been involved with NWP ever since. She worked for a few years in the office as promotions manager and general manager and still sits on the board.

• Leslie Vermeer (Secretary)

Dr. Leslie Vermeer, author of Last But Not Least and The Complete Canadian Book Editor, teaches grammar, editing and publishing, and communication theory at MacEwan University in Edmonton. She has worked as an editor for more than twenty-five years and has been extensively involved in Alberta’s cultural industries.


• Matt Bowes, General Manager (he/him)

Matt Bowes is the General Manager of NeWest Press. An avid film fan, he co-hosts Bollywood is For Lovers, a bi-weekly podcast on Hindi cinema. He has also presented two film series at Edmonton’s Metro Cinema Society, a monthly series comparing comic books and film called Graphic Content, and a retrospective on outlaw filmmaker Seijun Suzuki. His critical writing has appeared at The Pulp, Sequential Tart, and Luma Quarterly.

• Claire Kelly, Marketing and Production Coordinator (she/her)

Claire Kelly is a graduate of the master’s program in English – Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick. She has worked in publishing for ten years and has written two collections of poetry, One Thing—Then Another (ECW Press 2019) and Maunder (Palimpsest Press 2017), and a chapbook, Another Final Girl: Horror Poems (Rahlia's Ghost Press, 2020). Her work has appeared in literary journals across Canada.

• Christine Kohler, Office Administrator (she/her)

Christine Kohler is a fine artist, and not-for-profit administrator. She has a Fine Arts Degree from GMCC and a Small Business Management & Administration Certificate from Lokken Career Training. A walk with a good coffee and her family is one of Christine’s favourite things to do.