About The Author
Diana Morita Cole is the winner of the 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.”
The 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. It was also nominated or the Pushcart Prize Anthology. "Mama's Belly" and "Outside The Bath" have been included in the reading lists of the creative writing classes at Selkirk College.
Sideways: Memoir of a Misfit has been added to the collection of the National Diet Library at the 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 Hawai'i at Manoa. Diana was a guest speaker at the University of Hawai'i and gave a reading at the Japanese Cultural Centre of Hawai'i.
Another of Diana’s creative nonfiction stories, “Two Human Rights Complaints,” was 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.
Diana's play, "Delivering Telegrams" was aired on Kootenay Coop Radio.
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 Pullman and a JACL scholarships, 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 Kootenay Storytelling Festival and the Langham Cultural Centre. She has been 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 upon the Japanese Canadians during WWII. Her latest article, "The Extraordinary Rendition of Japanese Latin Americans," is published on ScheerPost.
Diana is the founder and organizer of the Asian Heritage Celebration in Nelson and a member of the Nelson Storytelling Guild. She was the keynote speaker for Opening Night of KDocsFF, Kwantlen Social Justice Documentary Film Festival, and a featured author at the Get Lit! Festival and the LiterASIAN Festival.
The Washington State Library has selected Sideways: Memoir of a Misfit to be transcribed into braille and narrated into an audiobook for the blind and print-disabled. Both formats will be added to the National Library Service for the Print Disabled and the Blind BARD app for download.