Poets Corner Reading Series



FINISHED! Next Poetry Reading on Wednesday December 18

I feel for you. You missed something special if you weren’t at November’s poetry reading. Imagine someone whose left brain and right brain were equally well exercised and you’ll find Karen Shklanka. She is an M.D. who specializes in addiction medicine but she also holds an MFA in Creative Writing. The result? An alchemy of excellent poetry, infused with a cerebral insight that is truly unique.

photo of featured poets reading at poets corner on Wed Nov 20, 2019

Karen was joined last month by John Donlan whose poems combine his connection with his natural surroundings with a contemplative insight that is startling. The inspiration for much of his writing springs from his childhood home on the edge of the Canadian shield in southeastern Ontario. He still spends a big chunk of the year there and his natural surroundings provide the rich backdrop to many of his poems.

Our Next Poetry Reading

Our final reading of 2019 takes place one week before Christmas. Give yourself a break from shopping, stressing, fussing and fretting by coming out to hear two exceptional poetic voices on Wednesday, December 18. Here’s a little more about December’s featured poets…

John Lent is a professional writer, editor and singer/song-writer who lives in Vernon, BC. He has been publishing poetry, fiction and non-fiction nationally and internationally for the past thirty years. John has also taught Literature, Creative Writing and Canadian Literature courses at Okanagan College for over three decades, serving as Dean of the college for the last five years of his teaching tenure. One of the founders of Kalamalka Press, he also performs in the jazz/roots/blues group, the Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio.

photo of writer, Jay RuzeskyJay Ruzesky’s most recent book is In Antarctica, a travel memoir and historical narrative about the heroic age of Antarctic exploration. His poems and stories have been published in many magazines including The New Quarterly, Event, Saturday Night, and Poetry is Dead and have been included in anthologies and translated into several languages. His novel, The Wolsenburg Clock was shortlisted for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and he has work forthcoming in Five Dials.


Our full Open Mic segment is back for this reading! Please arrive at least 15 minutes before we get underway to ensure you land a spot on the list. We will be starting at 7pm sharp on Wednesday, December 18. Looking forward to seeing you then!


FINISHED! Next Poetry Reading on Wednesday November 20

What a fun, exciting reading we had this month! From time to time Poets Corner hosts a themed reading and that was exactly what October’s event was all about. It was our very first ekphrastic poetry reading and 12 poets read poems inspired by the visual art of Deborah DeJong.

photo of participants at Poets Corner Ekphrastic Poetry reading on Wed Oct 16.

Out of an exhibition of 14 pieces of stunning photographic art, no less than 11 pieces ‘spoke’ to our lineup of 12 poets.  Some of them presented a second poem. This is a stunningly huge compliment to the appeal and excellence of Deb’s work.

Our Next Poetry Reading

In November we return to our more traditional format of two featured poets preceded by our Open Mic segment. In keeping with our commitment to showcasing both established as well as emerging poets, we have the veteran, John Donlan paired with a very talented newcomer, Karen Shklanka.  Here is a little background on each of them.

photo of poet, john donlan

John Donlan’s collections of poetry are Domestic Economy (Brick Books, 1990), Baysville (House of Anansi, 1993), Green Man (Ronsdale Press, 1999), Spirit Engine (Brick Books, 2008) , Call Me the Breeze (Alfred Gustav Press, 2013), and Out All Day (Ronsdale Press, 2018).  He is an editor with Brick Books and was the 2012-2013 Barbara Moon Editorial Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto, the 2014-2015 Writer-in-Residence at Saskatoon Public Library, and the 2016-17 Haig-Brown Writer-in-Residence in Campbell River.


photo of poet, karen shklanka

Karen Shklanka is a Vancouver physician who works as an Addiction Medicine consultant. She also teaches clinical communication skills to resident physicians in the Department of Family Practice at UBC. Previously, she was a family physician on Salt Spring Island and in Moose Factory, ON. She also has an MFA in Creative Writing. Her first book, Sumac’s Red Arms (Coteau, 2009), was a finalist in the Foreward Review Book of the Year prize. Two long poems from her second book, Ceremony for Touching (Coteau, 2016) were longlisted for the 2012 CBC Poetry Prize.

Our full Open Mic segment is back for this reading! Please arrive at least 15 minutes before we get underway to ensure you land a spot on the list. We will be starting at 7pm sharp on Wednesday, November 20. Looking forward to seeing you!