Workshop Instructors

Brenda Leifso

Brenda is the CFO and COO at Brick Books – Canada’s premiere publisher of poetry.

Brenda has taught yoga for over 20 years and has specific training in deep rest and restorative yoga. She is a certified Relax and Renew® Level One Teacher. She is also a poet; her third book of poetry, Wild Madder, shortlisted for the Fred Cogswell award, follows Barren the Fury (Pedlar Press, 2015) and Daughters of Men (Brick Books, 2008), which was shortlisted for an Ottawa Book Award. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies across Canada, has won the Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award, and has been short- and long-listed for the CBC Literary prize.

A communications expert and experienced teacher, Brenda has worked with governments, non-profits, literary retreats, start-ups, and individual writers to raise their profiles and to edit their work. She’s taught editing and designed courses at the post-secondary level. She inspires students in every age group with her enthusiasm and warmth.


Alayna Munce

Alayna is the publisher and editor at Brick Books.

Her first novel, When I Was Young and in My Prime (Nightwood Editions, 2005) was nominated for the Trillium Book Award and appeared on the national bestseller list. Alayna has also worked as a freelance fiction editor. In recent years, books she has edited have won and been nominated for many national and regional awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, The Griffin Poetry Prize, and the Trillium Book Award.

Alayna has also worked for over a decade using poetry to craft and officiate custom weddings and funerals. She lives in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto in a bustling household of six, and is slowly at work on a new novel.