Poets Corner Reading Series



Finished! Reading for 16th October 2020

bumblebee in a hibiscus blossom, photo by k. trainor 2020

Posted on behalf of Jillian Macguire.

Our October virtual reading was another resounding success.  We started the evening with Dee Allen from

Oakland, California, reading a poem called “Conundrum” that lamented the disappearance of the hovering, stinging bumblebees from his grandma’s flowers.  Dee’s theme of nature’s fragility in the face of human “progress” kept resurfacing throughout the night. The open-mic portion continued and featured Halloween dates, the search for milk and honey, a large rose-giving uniformed man on the skytrain, ominous rolls of breaking waves, a love poem found on a park bench and a trip to the place where men go to get the taste of pork buns. The future of poetry is in good hands if our open-mic performers are any indication.

Our first feature reader was Toronto’s Maureen Hynes, treating us to her quiet deliberate utterances of Truth from her book Sotto Voce. Maureen introduced us to a form, Sonnenizio, a sonnet which starts with a stolen line, and took us on a trip to Neruda’s house.  We also met a serious young seaman, heard about her dead uncle’s parking ticket and a lovely six-petaled blue flower.  The reading was equal parts education and delight.

Our second feature reader, Allan Briesmaster, also joined us from Ontario.  He read from his book The Long Bond, after a little lesson on light-bending gravity and Deepak Chopra’s theory that everything that exists is just energy and information.  Allan praised the oft-ignored goddess of home and hearth, Hestia, and returned us the theme of man’s destruction of nature, as he lamented reign of man’s potential to kill what are left of the dolphins and the eagles.

Fiona Tinwei Lam rounded out the evening by reading from her book Odes and Laments.  Fiona expressed her gratitude to Pablo Neruda (it was a very Neruda evening) for introducing her to odes about ordinary things. Neruda’s influence resonated throughout the poems, which began with a full description of a healthy drusen-free human eye, and continued on to a trip from the rice fields to the ancient rice cooker of Fiona’s childhood kitchen counter.  Then we were treated to a series of poems based on images, the first a stolen Vermeer painting, “The Concert”, and concrete poetry about the scattered attention our various technological devices have created in us as we torture ourselves wondering who loves/unloves us. We were left satiated from our guilt-free, MSG-free, cage-free and lactose-free evening of poetry.

Thank you to all of our open-mic poets, our feature readers and, most importantly, our audience.

Next Month’s Reading: Wednesday 18th November @ 7:30pm PDT

Please join us for our 7th Virtual Live Reading at Poets Corner, this upcoming Wednesday 18th November @ 7:30pm PDT!!


Michael Prior is a writer and a teacher. His poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies across North America and the U.K., including PoetryThe New RepublicNarrativeAmbitPoetry NorthwestThe MarginsPN ReviewResisting CanadaThe Next Wave, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series. He is a past winner of Magma Poetry‘s Editors’ Prize, The Walrus‘s Poetry Prize, and Matrix Magazine‘s Lit POP Award for Poetry. His first full-length collection, Model Disciple (Véhicule Press, 2016), was named one of the best books of the year by the CBC. His second collection, Burning Province (McClelland & Stewart), was published in 2020.  www.michaelpriorwriter.com


Kate Marshall Flaherty was shortlisted for Tifferet’s Poetry Prize 2020, Arc’s Poem of the Year 2019, Exile’s Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Prize 2018,Descant’s Best Canadian Poem, the Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Prize, the Robert Frost Poetry Award and others. She has been published in Vallum, Malahat Review, CV2, Grain, Room, Saranac Review and others. She was Toronto Representative for the League of Canadian Poets from 2012 to 2018, inaugurating Toronto’s Poetry in Unionin 2018, and Poetry and Healing for Sick Kids Hospital in 2019. She guides StillPoint Writing & Editing Workshops. See her performance poetry and books at https://katemarshallflaherty.ca/.


If you want to hear these great poets, you need to register ahead of time. YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO JOIN UNLESS YOU REGISTER.

To attend this month’s virtual live reading, here’s what you need to know…

Venue:                 Zoom platform online (click the link below to register)
Date:                    Wednesday, 18 November 2020, from 7:30 to 9:30pm, PDT

Register in advance by clicking this link:



After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the meeting. If you have any questions contact us in advance at:  socialmedia@poetscorner.ca.

Sign up for the open mic!!

A regular feature of our poetry readings is the Open Mic segment, which is an enduring favourite with both the readers and the audience. To sign up for the Open Mic for September (limit of 10 readers; 3 minutes per reader!) please REGISTER first for the event and then contact us at socialmedia@poetscorner.ca. First time readers adored and welcome!!

Looking forward to seeing you online at our next reading on Wednesday November. 18th at 7:30 pm.