Tawahum Bige is a Łutselkʼe Dene, Plains Cree poet and spoken word artist from unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh Territory (Vancouver). Completing his Bachelor of Arts in creative writing at KPU in 2019, he’s continued to establish himself in the arts community, working as a poetry mentorship facilitator and self-employed writer. “KPU encouraged me to get involved in the field before I even graduated. Finding that path changed my whole life’s direction. You can work and connect on an intimate level here. It’s easy to feel welcome.” Speaking at various rallies and protests and performing at venues across Canada, Tawahum represented KPU at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and completed the first-ever Indigenous Spoken Word residency at the Banff Centre during his education. He also worked with other members of the KPU community to run the annual KPU Pow Wow and served as an Aboriginal Student Representative with the Kwantlen Student Association.
“I connected with Indigenous culture and community. I was representing myself and my communities in the public or at national events” he says, adding, “the relatively small yet active Indigenous community on campus allows you to engage with you Indigeneity on your own terms in a safe environment.” Now, Tawahum has been published in over a dozen literary journals and magazines, with his work first being published before he completed his degree and receiving his first grant to create his own poetry collection within a year of graduating. He currently has self-published three chapbooks, with additional poetry collections coming soon.
“You will never actually be fully ready—dive in head-first anyway. The process will teach you more than you would ever know.”
Nina Mosallaei graduated from Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s creative writing program in 2017 and hasn’t slowed down since. Building on the skills she learned in the program, Nina completed a master’s degree in library and information studies and blending this with her passion for poetry, hopes to become a public children’s librarian and publish a children’s poetry collection she’s currently developing.