Meet the dedicated and talented people who oversee the many day-to-day responsibilities at Diaspora Dialogues.
Helen Walsh is a writer, editor, publisher and producer. She founded Diaspora Dialogues in 2005 and continues to be inspired by its community of writers. From 1998-2017, Walsh was president of Literary Review of Canada and founding director of the Spur festivals. She has worked as a film and digital producer in Toronto, New York and Los Angeles, and her films have played festivals around the world, and been broadcast on television. Her first novel, Pull Focus, will be published in 2021 by ECW Press in Canada, the US and the UK and Walsh is currently adapting it for television.
Zalika Reid-Benta is a Toronto-based writer, TV fanatic and cheeseburger enthusiast. Her debut short story collection Frying Plantain won the 2019 Danuta Gleed Literary Award and the 2020 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in literary fiction. Frying Plantain was shortlisted for the 2020 Toronto Book Awards, it was longlisted for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was shortlisted for the 2020 Trillium Book Award. Frying Plantain is currently nominated for the 2021 White Pine Award. Zalika is also the winner of the 2019 Byblacks People’s Choice Awards for Best Author.
Manager, Business Operations
An arts administrator and manager for the past 10 years, Christian comes to Diaspora Dialogues from a performance background, and a strong belief in the power of mentoring in allowing the artist the keenest opportunity to emerge and find their own identity and voice. As a professional musician Christian has had the good fortune to have wonderful role models and to pass his own experiences on to nurture the next generation of musicians, and is proud to have a hand in growing this capacity for the writers who come to DD and leave transformed.
Manager, Marketing and Events
Hailee Mah graduated from Western University’s Media and the Public Interest program where she learned about how the media landscape influences our world on an individual, social, environmental, economic and political level. Hailee develops promotional graphics, e-newsletters, social media, website maintenance and program registration for Diaspora Dialogues news and events. Her favourite part about working at DD is seeing how much passion the Canadian literary community puts towards creating a meaningful experience for readership. Hailee hopes to continue further work in the media industry. During her spare time, you can catch Hailee enjoying happy hour, running or eating pavlova.