FINISHED! Next Poetic Justice Reading: Sun Mar 20 at 3:00 pm.

Wow!  What a presentation!

If you weren’t there on Sunday Feb 21, you missed an absolutely stellar reading of Emily Dickinson’s work. But it was much more than that. Renée Bucciarelli was the very embodiment of the reclusive poet. She brought Dickinson alive.

Poetic Justice brings you both dead poets and live ones, too! On Sunday March 20, we are going to wow you again with two poets (who are very much alive) whose work is gaining a lot of attention.

Rob Taylor and Jennifer Zilm are going to be here in New Westminster to take over from Emily Dickinson.  We hope to see you on Sunday March 20!

Rob Taylor

Rob Taylor

Rob Taylor is the author of The Other Side of Ourselves (Cormorant Books, 2011) and one of the coordinators of Vancouver’s Dead Poets Reading Series. His poems have appeared most recently in The New Quarterly, Grain and Lemon Hound.

Born and raised in Port Moody, Rob now lives in Vancouver with his wife and son.

In 2015, he received the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for the Literary Arts (Emerging Artist). Canada’s Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke, said, “anyone who can write a good poem – as [Rob] Taylor does – about writing bad poetry, is a poet of talent.”

Jennifer Zilm

Jennifer Zilm

Jennifer Zilm writes poems that have appeared or are forthcoming in journals across Canada, including The Malahat Review, Prism, FreeFall, CV2, Prairie Fire, Grain, Arc, Vallum and the Antigonish Review. Her first chapbook, The Whole and Broken Yellows was published by Frog Hollow Press (2013).

She lives in East Vancouver, has a collection of Bibles, and works in libraries and social housing.

Her manuscript Waiting Room was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry and will be published by BookThug in the Spring of 2016. A second collection will be published by Guernica Editions in 2018.


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FINISHED! Next Poetic Justice Reading: Sun Feb 21 at 3:00 pm.

She’s alive!  Emily Dickinson’s alive!

Well, not really, but Renée Bucciarelli is going to be channeling Emily Dickinson later this month and you’ve just got to be there.


Renée Bucciarelli worked twenty years in New York theatre as a professional actor, teacher, and administrator before relocating to BC. Her acclaimed educational program, The Shakespeare Playground (for kids of all ages), has been hosted by Shakespeare festivals, schools, and arts centres in both Canada and the United States for nearly two decades (and returns to the Anvil Centre this spring). As artistic director of City Stage New West, she commissioned and produced the Ovation-award-nominated musical STUMP CITY STORIES, based on the diverse history of New Westminster, as well as its professional cast recording donated as a cultural legacy to our City (also available for purchase at Brick & Mortar Living). She has portrayed Emily Dickinson in the acclaimed one-woman show The Belle of Amherst at several Vancouver theatre venues.

This will be our first reading at our new home, New Westminster’s Boston Pizza. We are suggesting a $5 admission donation for this and all future Poetic Justice readings.

Your Host for this special event will be Poetic Justice’s Co-Manager, Franci Louann.

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FINISHED! Next Poetic Justice Reading: Sun Jan 31 at 3:00 pm.

What a riotous array of readings last Sunday!  And every darned one of them superb. Whew!  Still recovering.  This week, another trio of talents awaits you, as we say goodbye to our host venue, Original’s.  Come and find out where we’ll be in February, but first come and support these fine poets…

Featured Poets:  Navaro Franco, and Keith Garebian (Debut!) and Alan Hill

Host:                     Franci Louann

Navaro Franco

Navaro Franco

Navaro Franco has devoted her life to studying tribal music, dance and earth-based traditions. Beginning in 1981, she studied and apprenticed with renowned teachers in Africa and North America, and since 1990 has been performing in these disciplines ever since.

Music and dance are, for her, a path of health, healing, and connecting with truth and beauty. A lifetime practice of yoga and dance also deeply inform Navaro’s musical work, giving her a special emphasis on embodied rhythm.

On her literary side, she constantly reaches for essence and the ecstatic state. Navaro believes words are ‘spells’ that create, but the disciplines of music and ecstatic dance continue to inform her writing.

Today her focus is predominantly in the literary world. She is part of a vibrant writing group that includes fine local writers Aline La Flamme, Marilyn Meden, and Jungian therapist, Lynette Johnston.

Navaro believes that writing is a solitary act, but the words truly come alive once shared.

Keith Garebian (Photo: Elisabeth Feryn)

Keith Garebian
(Photo: Elisabeth Feryn)

Keith Garebian’s poetry collections include Frida: Paint Me As a Volcano; Blue: The Derek Jarman Poems; Children of Ararat; Moon on Wild Grasses, and Georgia and Alfred.

Among his numerous poetry awards are a Scarborough Arts Council Poetry Award, W.H. Drummond Poetry Award, the Surrey International Writers Conference Poetry Award, and a CAA (Niagara Branch) Poetry Award.

He has been shortlisted for the FreeFall magazine award and the Gwendolyn MacEwen-Exile Poetry Award for Best Single Poem from a Suite. He has also won a Canada Council Grant for Non-Fiction and two Ontario Arts Council Awards for Work in Progress, one for non-fiction and another for poetry.  Keith lives in Mississauga.

Alan Hill


Alan Hill is the author of two collections of poetry, The Upstairs Country and The Broken Word. 

He has also been published in over forty periodicals in Canada, the UK and the USA.

Alan emigrated to Canada from England in 2005 and is a proud resident of New Westminster. He is currently working on his third collection of poetry, A Fire in a Winter Field.

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FINISHED! Next Poetic Justice Reading: Sunday Jan 24 at 3:00 p.m.

There is no better butterfly net to capture life experience than poetry. And last Sunday’s featured poets were a testament to this.  This coming Sunday it’s another debut, but it’s also a family affair.  Come out and enjoy three incredibly accomplished writers.

Featured Poets:  Frances Boyle (Debut!), and Bren Simmers and d.n. simmers

Host:                     James Felton

Frances Boyle

Frances Boyle

Frances Boyle is the author of Light-carved Passages (BushchekBooks, 2014) and a chapbook, Portal Stones (Tree Press, 2014).

Her poetry and short stories appear in The New Quarterly, Vallum, Arc, Prairie Fire, CV2, Fiddlehead, Room, Freefall , CV2, Ottawater, Truck, Moonset and other literary magazines, as well as in anthologies on form poetry, Hitchcock, love poetry, and daughters remembering their mothers.

Prizes she’s received include This Magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt, the Tree Reading Series chapbook contest and the Diana Brebner Prize. She is a member of Arc Poetry Magazine’s editorial board.

Bren Simmers

Bren Simmers


Bren Simmers is the author of two books of poetry, Hastings-Sunrise (Nightwood Editions, 2015) and Night Gears (Wolsak and Wynn, 2010). She is the winner of an Arc Poetry Magazine Poem of the Year Award and was a finalist for The Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize.

Hastings-Sunrise was nominated for the 2015 City of Vancouver Book Award.

Bren currently lives in Squamish, BC.


d.n. simmers

d.n. simmers

d.n. simmers is a special editor with Fine Lines. You can find him in current issues
of Poetry Salzburg Review and The Common Ground Review. He appears in
six current anthologies and was in the international anthology, Van Gogh’s

He is online in Your One Phone Call ( Wales) and Wilderness House
Literary Review (long poems). He is in upcoming issues of Nerve Cowboy,
Tears in the Fence (a U.K. lit mag) and Red Savina Review. d.n. is an active member of the Thursday Writers Studio and a graduate of the Writers Studio with a two year creative writing certificate.

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FINISHED! Next Poetic Justice Reading: Sunday Jan 17 at 3:00 p.m.

Last Sunday, we had a great turnout to hear the men. This Sunday it’s the women’s turn. Once again, Poetic Justice will be bringing you a debut feature! Why don’t you come out and show that the women can outdraw the men?!

Featured Poets:  Sonja Grgar  and Aline LaFlamme  (Debut!)

Host:                     Franci Louann

Sonja Grgar

Sonja Grgar

Sonja Grgar is a freelance journalist and creative writer with a passion for the complex and the profound. Most recently she was published in the Family Ties Anthology (Hidden Brook Press, 2014), and was the recipient of the 2014 Writers International Network Canada Literary Ambassador Award.

Sonja’s writing has also appeared in the Globe and Mail and has been broadcast on CFRC 101.9 FM Radio in Kingston, ON as well as on Vancouver’s Co-Op radio. She has also created several magazine-style television stories and documentaries for Shaw TV.

When she is not writing she can be found salsa dancing or waxing poetic about Cuba.

Aline LaFlamme

Aline LaFlamme

Aline LaFlamme is a Métis traditional healer and storyteller who only turned to creative writing eight years ago. She is the Founder and Past Executive Director of the Aboriginal Front Door Society, providing traditional healing and culture to Aboriginal street people. She is also an accomplished drum-maker and has helped others create over 1,300 native hand drums.

With a degree in Criminology, Aline designed, developed and delivered culturally-based healing workshops and ceremonies in our penitentiary system. She is also a seasoned workshop presenter and facilitator and continues to participate in numerous multicultural, spiritual and environmental events, often providing opening ceremonies and songs with her Daughters of the Drum group.

In 2007, she was honoured to be asked to light the ceremonial flame for Vancouver’s World Peace Forum. In 2010, Aline was bestowed with another prestigious honour by being named one of Vancouver’s Remarkable Women.

Relatively new to creative writing, she has turned to the genres of short-story writing and poetry. Aline is now working towards her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC as well as completing her first full-length novel.


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FINISHED! Next Poetic Justice Reading: Sun Jan 10 at 3:00 p.m.

Well, the holidays are behind us and the New Year lies before us. Happy New Year to all PJ fans! May 2016 be filled with poems, and may their creators all be blessed with gilded pens or keyboards. We kick-start the year with yet another debut feature as we continue bringing you an in(trans?)fusion of new blood (sorry, just got in from the blood donors’ clinic).

Featured Poets:  Robert Martens  and Hendrik Slegtenhorst (Debut!)

Host:                     James Felton

Robert Martens

Robert Martens

Robert Martens was born and raised in an ethnic Mennonite village established by refugees from the emerging USSR. He said goodbye to the community when he studied at Simon Fraser University during its years of student protest.

Robert eventually settled down in Abbotsford, where he has co-edited and co-written several regional histories as well as a literary anthology, Half in the Sun. He writes poetry in an effort to re-envision some kind of human community, though he is unsure what that means.

Robert’s most recent publication is little creatures (Ekstasis Editions).


Hendrik Slegtenhorst

Hendrik Slegtenhorst

Hendrik Slegtenhorst has published Caravaggio’s Dagger (Iguana Books, 2013) and over 100 works in established publications.

He is a past co-chair of the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton, a past president of the Federation of British Columbia Writers, and a past director of the Alberta Branch of the Canadian Authors’ Association. He also has held executive positions in local government, heritage, and post-secondary education.

His cultural website is Hendrik lives in Vancouver.


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FINISHED! Next Poetic Justice: Sun Dec 20 at 3:00 p.m.

Last Sunday, we brought you the debut of a Featured Poet.  This Sunday, we’re doing the same.  So come on out for the last Poetic Justice reading of 2015 and witness the inaugural reading from another of our Featured Poets.  Both these poets have been churning the cream to make buttered poetry the likes of which you’ve never heard before.

Featured Poets:  Annette LeBox (Debut!) and Cassandra Metcalfe

Host:                     Candice James, Poet Laureate of New Westminster

Annette LeBox

Annette LeBox

Annette LeBox is an award-winning poet with more than 45 poems published internationally in literary journals such as Event, Poetry Canada, Prairie Fire and the Southern Review. She is the author of five picture books, including Peace is an Offering by Penguin, 2015 and Salmon Creek, winner of the BC Book Prize. Her YA novels, Miracle at Willowcreek and Circle of Cranes were also shortlisted for awards. Annette earned an MFA in Creative Writing at UBC and recently completed SFU’s The Writer’s Studio. She divides her time between her home in Maple Ridge and a remote cabin in the Cariboo.


Cassandra Metcalfe

Cassandra Metcalfe


Cassandra Metcalfe is an all-around creative in the current publishing world. A sometime poet, sometime marketing manager, and occasional book reviewer, she is currently Poetic Justice’s resident tech and re-branding consultant. Her favourite poets (for the moment, at least) are Derek Walcott, T.S. Eliot, H.D., and Nicole Brossard.

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FINISHED! Next Poetic Justice: Sun Dec 13 at 3:00 p.m.

Last Sunday, on a wet, windy, grey afternoon, the weather was cold but not the spoken word. An intimate group enjoyed a trio of readers at our second PJ reading at our new venue, ORIGINAL’S Restaurante Mexicano.

This coming Sunday showcases our PJ Co-Founder reading with what will be a debut performance, so come on out and support them!

Featured Poets:  Franci Louann and Brandon Pitts (Debut!)

Host:                     Renée Saklikar

Franci Louann

Franci Louann

Co-founder and Co-Manager of Poetic Justice, Franci Louann’s published poetry has spanned over four decades. First anthologized in Dorothy Livesay’s iconic Woman’s Eye: 12 B.C. Poets (Air: 1974), her most recent e-publication is Wild Horses (Purple Poppy Press: 2015). She is the recipient of poetry prizes from Pandora’s Collective, the Burnaby Writers’ Society and the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. An accomplished poet, Franci has also been honoured for her volunteer work by several writing groups and is thrilled to be reading at Poetic Justice’s new venue.


Brandon Pitts

Brandon Pitts


Seattle area-based Canadian poet Brandon Pitts is the author of the poetry collection, Tender in the Age of Fury (Mosaic Press. 2015). Pitts first came onto the Toronto lit scene in 2010 with the short story, “The BC Crib,” published in the anthology, Canadian Voices Volume II and the “Son In Law” in the anthology, TOK 7 – Reading the New Toronto. In 2011, he was inducted into the prestigious Diaspora Dialogues as an “Emerging Voice” for fiction. He followed this with his novel Puzzle of Murders (Bookland Press, 2011) and then a poetry collection Pressure to Sing (IOWI, 2012) and the production of three plays.


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FINISHED! Next Poetic Justice: Sun Dec 06 at 3:00 p.m.

The inaugural PJ reading at our new venue, ORIGINAL’S Restaurante Mexicano, went very well. With 20 in attendance, the mic levels were a bit low but the interest was high.

This coming Sunday brings THREE Featured Poets, so come on out and support them!

Featured Poets:  Aidan Chafe, Ruth Hill and Deborah Kelly

Host:                     James Felton

Aidan Chafe

Aidan Chafe



Aidan Chafe is a poet and public educator currently living in New Westminster. His poetry has appeared in CV2 magazine. When enough journals are convinced his word constructions are worthy of publication, he’ll bring out his first  book. In the meantime, he’s working like a dog on his craft.



Ruth Hill

Ruth Hill


Ruth Hill was born and educated in upstate NewYork, and has travelled North America extensively. She is a Certified Design Engineer, lifelong dedicated tutor, and enjoys spoken word. She has won 1st prizes in Gulf Coast Ethnic & Jazz Poetry, Heart Poetry, Lucidity, Poets for Human Rights and Writers Rising Up! Ruth put off writing until age 60. Since then, over 250 of her poems have won awards or publication in the US, Canada, the UK and Israel. Ruth now lives in Chetwynd, BC, and welcomes email at this address.


Deborah Kelly

Deborah Kelly


Deborah Kelly has had her works published in numerous anthologies, books, and literary magazines in Canada, the USA and in India. She currently hosts and features at Poetic Justice in New Westminster. Deborah has also been a featured presenter at Poetry in the Park, Holy Wow Poets, Surrey Muse, World Poetry and Edge of the Page Poetry. She has also appeared on three occasions on World Poetry Co-Op Radio. Deborah’s debut poetry collection, Through My Eyes, was published in 2015 by Silver Bow Publishing. She also placed an impressive fourth at the Rabindranath Tagore Awards in 2015. Deborah believes in giving back. For two years she volunteered as a Director with New Westminster’s Royal City Literary Arts Society, and today continues with them as a Board Assistant.

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FINISHED! Next Poetic Justice: Sun Nov 29 at 3:00 p.m.

Well, it was a beautiful but bittersweet send-off in the Back Room at the Heritage Grill on Sunday.  Poetic Justice has to move on to new pastures.  So why not join us at our brand new venue, starting this coming Sunday?

Next up at the microphone are two more fine poets.  Come out and support them while enjoying our usual Open Mic session.

Featured Poets:  Candice James and Kyle Hawke

Host:                     Alan Girling

Kyle Hawke

Kyle Hawke

When KYLE HAWKE was five years old visiting India for the first time, his grandfather’s circle of activist and theologian friends told him he should be a writer. That became the one expectation of him he hasn’t yet rebelled against. Refusing to be bound by the limitations of form, he has since written poetry, prose, radio drama, comics, articles, editorials, advice columns, and even ghost-written non-fiction. Of late, he has been working at screenwriting and shopping an animated series pilot. Kyle founded the Bohemian Caress interdisciplinary series, which features spoken word with improvised music and live painting concurrently.



Candice James

Candice James

CANDICE JAMES is New Westminster’s Poet Laureate, serving her second three-year term.
Her first publication was A Split in the Water (Fiddlehead: 1979) and her most recent is Merging Dimensions (Ekstasis Editions: 2015). She is Founder, Treasurer and Past President of Royal City Literary Arts Society; Past President of the Federation of BC Writers; Founder of Poetry In the Park, and Co-founder of Poetic Justice. She is the recipient of the Bernie Legge Artist/Cultural Award 2015 and the recipient of Pandora’s Collective 2015 Citizenship Award. Candice is also a visual artist and a singer/songwriter/musician. Further info can be found on Wikipedia.


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