Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is “a gifted writer who brings passion and commitment to her storytelling and who has demonstrated an uncommon ability to manage an impressive range of genres from traditional storytelling to critical analysis, from poetry to the spoken word, from literary and social activism.” In 2014, Leanne was named the inaugural RBC Charles Taylor Emerging writer by Thomas King, and she was also nominated for a National Magazine Award. In 2012, she won Briarpatch Magazine’s Writing From the Margins prize for short fiction. Leanne has published fiction and poetry in the Walrus, Arc Poetry Magazine, Geist, and Kimiwan. Her first book of short stories and poetry, Islands of Decolonial Love was nominated for a ReLit Award in 2014. Her second book of short stories and poetry, This Accident of Being Lost is being published by the House of Anansi Press in the spring of 2017.
Leanne holds a PhD from the University of Manitoba and has lectured at universities across Canada. She is currently faculty at the Dechinta Centre for Research & Learning in Denendeh (NWT). The Native American Indigenous Studies Association awarded her the most thought provoking paper of 2014 for "Land As Pedagogy". Leanne's books are regularly used in university courses across Canada including Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back, The Gift Is in the Making, Lighting the Eighth Fire (editor), This Is An Honour Song (editor with Kiera Ladner) and The Winter We Danced: Voice from the Past, the Future and the Idle No More Movement (Kino-nda-niimi editorial collective).
Leanne is also a musician combining poetry, storytelling, song writing and performance in collaboration with musicians to create unique spoken songs and soundscapes. Her first album, Islands of Decolonial Love was #3 on RPM.FM's best of 2013 list. Leanne's new record f(l)light with her band consisting of Cris Derksen, Nick Ferrio and Ansley Simpson and produced by Jonas Bonnetta, was released September 30, 2016 on RPM Records.
Leanne is Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg and a member of Alderville First Nation.