Poets Corner Reading Series



Our Next Poetry Reading (15 July 2020)

Kim Trainor posting on behalf of Evelyn Schofield

Our Next Poetry Reading

Well, we’re on a roll now! Next month’s virtual poetry reading will feature a fabulous triple-bill: Francine Cunningham, Joanna Lilley and Kevin Spenst. Please join us on Wednesday July 15 at 7:30pm (West Coast time) to listen as they share a selection of their fine poetry with us. Here is some more information to whet your poetic appetite:

Francine Cunningham is a Canadian Indigenous writer, artist and educator. Her creative non-fiction has appeared in The Malahat Review, the anthologies Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts (Caitlin Press) and Best Canadian Essays 2017 (Tightrope Books), and was longlisted for the 2018 Edna Staebler Personal Essay. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Grain as the winner of the Short Grain Writing Contest in 2018, The Puritan, Joyland, Echolocation, The Maynard and more. She is a graduate of the UBC Creative Writing MFA program, winner of the 2019 Indigenous Voices Award for unpublished prose, winner of The Hnatyshyn Foundation’s REVEAL Indigenous Art Award, and a recipient of Telus’ 2017 STORYHIVE web series grant. On/Me is her first book and has been shortlisted for the inaugural Jim Deva Prize for Writing that Provokes (BC & Yukon Book Prizes) and the 2020 Indigenous Voices Award for published poetry. www.francinecunningham.ca

Joanna Lilley is the author of three poetry collections:  Endlings (Turnstone Press), If There Were Roads (Turnstone Press) and The Fleece Era (Brick Books), which was nominated for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Her novel, Worry Stones (Ronsdale Press), was longlisted for the Caledonia Novel Award and she’s also the author of a short story collection, The Birthday Books (Hagios Press). Joanna has given readings and workshops as far afield as Alaska and Iceland. Originally from Britain, Joanna now lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, on the Traditional Territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council. www.joannalilley.com



Kevin Spenst is the author of the poetry collections Ignite, Jabbering with Bing Bong, and Hearts Amok: a Memoir in Verse(all with Anvil Press), and over a dozen chapbooks including Pray Goodbye (the Alfred Gustav Press), Ward Notes (serif of nottingham editions), Surrey Sonnets (JackPine Press), and most recently Upend (Frog Hollow Press: Dis/Ability Series). He sometimes co-hosts interviews on Wax Poetic on Co-op Radio with RC Weslowski, Lucia Misch and Zofia Rose. He lives in Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish territory with the love of his life Shauna Kaendo.  www.kevinspenst.com


Please join us for these 3 poets at our 3rd Virtual Live Reading at Poets Corner!

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

The reading will be delivered via the Zoom video conferencing platform, but you must register to attend!

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, 15 July 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.

There will be a somewhat shorter open mic this time due to our 3 readers this month. To sign up for the open mic for July (limit of 5 readers; 3 minutes per reader!) please REGISTER first and then contact us at socialmedia@poetscorner.caPlease note: we will not be video-recording the open mic readers this month due to technical challenges!!

Looking forward to seeing you online at our next reading on Wednesday July 15 at 7:30pm.

FINISHED! Poetry Reading on June 17

Wow! We had another great virtual live reading and proved that our success the first time around was not just beginner’s luck. For those of you who couldn’t make it, we have some video clips posted here from our YouTube channel Poets Corner Reading Series.

Our two featured poets have both written brilliantly about their personal experiences of racism. Joseph Dandurand is a prolific writer of poetry and plays rooted in his experience as an indigenous person. The poems he read were strong stuff indeed, and yet his reading was graced with humble humour.  Sonnet L’Abbé joined us from Nanaimo to read several poems in which she has interspersed her own words within the original text of Shakespeare’s sonnets, to arrive at new poems which turn the bard’s poetry on its side and challenge us to think in new ways.




The evening began with our usual Open Mic, which featured 9 poets from near and far!


Open Mic 1, Poets Corner Reading Series, 17 June 2020. Featuring: Sharon Berg, Herb Bryce, Kieran Egan, Bryan Franco.

Open Mic 2, 17 June 2020, Poets Corner Reading Series. Open Mic: Nefertiti Morrison, Angus Pratt, Murray Reiss, Evelyn Schofield, Angelica Beissel.

Poetry Reading Announcement for Wednesday June 17

Well, that was something. Our very first virtual reading and it was live!  Talk about being courageous and bold! I think it’s safe to say that in spite of very minor tech issues, our fears were unfounded. It turned out to be a resounding success. We attempted to record the reading so that those who couldn’t make it to the live event were still be able to enjoy it. We’re still wrestling with the actual full version, but in the interim here are three video clips from the evening’s reading.

First up, our featured poet, Frances Boyle, who was joining us from Ottawa, reading mainly from her most recent volume, This White Nest. What a terrific reading!

Also on this first video clip and joining Frances, our surprise guest was none other than Emily Dickinson herself. Channelled by the talented Renée Bucciarelli, Miss Dickinson delivered three of her memorable poems. You can view her here on her YouTube channel:


We decided we would also try our first first virtual Open Mic, live.  This too went beautifully. With ten open mic’ers signing up, we had participants from as far east as Ontario and as far north as the Yukon. You’ll get a taste of their talents in the next two video clips…

Our Next Poetry Reading

If it works once, why not do it again, right? Next month’s poetry reading (remember, we’re every third Wednesday of the month) is going to feature two exceptional talents and it too will be virtual. Please join us on Wednesday June 17 at 7:30pm (West Coast time) to hear these two powerful poetic voices. Here is a bio on each…

photo of poet Joseph DandurandJoseph A. Dandurand is a member of Kwantlen First Nation, located on the Fraser River about 20 minutes east of Vancouver, where he resides with his 3 children:  Danessa, Marlysse, and Jace. Joseph is the Director of the Kwantlen Cultural Center and has received a Diploma in Performing Arts from Algonquin College and studied Theatre and Direction at the University of Ottawa. He sits on an advisory committee for the Canadian Museum of History and is tasked with consulting on the redesign of the new Children’s Museum. He has published many books of poetry and plays, of which the latest are: I Want (Leaf Press, 2015), Hear and Foretell (BookLand Press, 2015), The Rumour (BookLand Press, 2018), SH:LAM (The Doctor) (Mawenzi House, 2019), I Will Be Corrupted (Guernica Editions, 2020), and his children’s play Th’owxiya:  The Hungry Feast Dish (Playwrights Canada Press, 2019). His book of short stories and short plays for children The Sasquatch, the Fire, and the Cedar Baskets will soon be published by Nightwood Editions along with his poetry manuscript Here we come.  He has just completed a residency as the Indigenous Storyteller in Residence at the Vancouver Public Library and he continues to be very busy storytelling at many events and schools.

photo of poet sonnet l'abbeSonnet L’Abbé is the author of three collections of poetry, A Strange Relief  and Killarnoe, and Sonnet’s Shakespeare, which was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the Raymond Souster Award, and longlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial AwardTheir chapbook, Anima Canadensis, won the 2017 bpNichol Chapbook Award. In 2000, they won the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award for most promising writer under 35. In 2014, they were the guest editor of Best Canadian Poetry in English.  L’Abbé lives on Vancouver Island and is a professor of Creative Writing and English at Vancouver Island University.

Please join us for our Second Virtual Live Reading at Poets Corner!

If you want to hear these two wonderful poets, you will have to register ahead of time.  YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO JOIN UNLESS YOU REGISTER.

The reading will be delivered via the Zoom video conferencing platform, but in order to try and minimize interruptions from nefarious types, we have opted to make the live reading a registration-only event. And in keeping with our tradition of having an Open Mic segment to complement our featured poet readings, we are extending an invitation for you to read one of your poems. It’s first come, first served, and you’ll be restricted to just one poem, or three minutes, whichever is the lesser of the two.

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

Venue:                 Zoom platform online (click the link below to register)
Date:                    Wednesday, 17 June 2020, from 7:30 to 9:30pm, PT

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 or if you would like to sign up for the live open mic, contact us in advance at:

Open mic’ers, remember you will still have to register for the reading first. Also, you’ll need a smartphone or computer with audio and video capabilities to participate in the open mic segment. Remember, it’s first come, first served.

‘See’ you all on Wednesday June 17 at 7:30pm.