About The Author
Diana Morita Cole is the winner of the 2017 Richard Carver Award for Emerging Writers sponsored by the Nelson & District Arts Council and the Kootenay Literary Society. One of the jurors noted, “Diana’s a very engaged writer, presenter, teacher, storyteller, educator and organizer… I especially liked the way she has engaged with and encouraged young writers.”
Diana's first chapter of Sideways: Memoir of a Misfit was published in The New Orphic Review and shortlisted in the Open-Season Competition of The Malahat Review creative non-fiction category for 2013. It was also nominated or the Pushcart Prize Anthology for 2015. "Mama's Belly" and "Outside The Bath" are included in the reading list of the creative writing classes at Selkirk College.
Sideways: Memoir of a Misfit has been added to the collection of the National Diet Library upon request of the Japanese government. Sideways: Memoir of a Misfit has been selected by Professor Dennis M. Ogawa for inclusion in The Japanese American Experience lecture series at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Diana was a guest speaker at the University of Hawaii and gave a reading at the Japanese Cultural Centre of Hawaii.
Another of Diana’s creative nonfiction stories, “Two Human Rights Complaints,” is required reading for the San Francisco State University graduate social work course, Ethnic and Cultural Concepts and Principles I. Diana’s reports, chronicling her battle against the spraying of Agent Orange in Nova Scotia forests, have been cited by Dr. Mark Richard Leeming in his 2013 Dalhousie University doctoral thesis, in Defense of Home Places: Environmental Activism in Nova Scotia, 1970-1985. Diana has lobbied Parliament, advocating the banning of Agent Orange, and the US Congress, advocating against landmines.
Cole initiated projects to diminish racism and foster justice, peace, and environmental awareness. She was a co-founder of the Seventh World, an association of biracial couples that created a writing contest for London Ontario K-12 children to promote racial harmony. This program has since been implemented in several other communities throughout southwestern Ontario. This project and her work to eliminate landmines was referenced in her special feature article, "Peacetime," written for the holiday issue of the Pacific Citizen, the national newspaper published by the Japanese American Citizens League.
Diana was awarded a grant by the Columbia Basin Trust and the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance for the publication of Sideways: Memoir of a Misfit. A recipient of a JACL scholarship, she holds degrees in Music and English Literature.
Cole resides in Nelson, British Columbia where she has organized forums in support of residential school survivors. Her articles about her return to her birthplace were published in the Pacific Citizen, the Nelson Star, and Discover Nikkei website. She has told the story of the Japanese Latin Americans at the 2015 Kootenay Storytelling Festival. She is a feature writer for the Pacific Citizen, the national newspaper of the Japanese American Citizens League. She has written extensively about the atrocities committed by the Canadian government against the Japanese Canadians during WWII.
Diana is the founder and organizer of the Asian Heritage Celebration in Nelson and a member of the West Kootenay People for Racial Justice.