FINISHED! Poetry Reading on Wed Sep 19 at 7:00 p.m. (note new time)

Fall is on its way, or so it seems. And up until now we’ve handled it all: searing heat, threatening wildfires and smoke-filled skies. Surely we can handle some sizzling poetry too.

This Month’s Poetry Reading

Our readers this month are contrasts in age and experience, but the one thing they have in common is that both are incredibly talented poets. Onjana Yawnghwe and William H. New share another connection, but you’ll have to come to their reading this month to find out what the other mysterious connection is. Here’s a short bio on each of them…

September’s First Featured Poet

photo of onjana yawnghweOnjana Yawnghwe is Shan-Canadian and was born in Thailand but grew up in B.C. She is the author of the poetry books Fragments, Desire (Oolichan, 2017), and the forthcoming The Small Way (Caitlin Press, Fall 2018). She was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and longlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award in 2018. She has an  MA in English and currently works as a nurse in Vancouver.

September’s Second Featured Poet

W.H. (Bill) New, a native of Vancouver, is the author and editor of over 50 books, including Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada, A History of Canadian Literature, and Grandchild of Empire, as well as five books for children and a dozen collections of poetry.  For his creative and critical writing, he was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006. The Year I Was Grounded was named a Lion & Unicorn Honour Book (for North American children’s poetry), Underwood Log was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, and YVR won the City of Vancouver Award.  His most recent book, Neighbours, asks what it means to live near and what it means if a neighbourhood dies—

Note! New Start Time

Starting this month, our reading series kicks off at 7:00 p.m., a half-hour earlier than before. Yes, we will have the Open Mic segment for this reading, so if you want a chance to deliver one of your best poems, get there early. Doors open at 6:40pm. See you all at this month’s Poets Corner reading on Wednesday, September 19.  We’re underway at 7:00 p.m. sharp.

 

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FINISHED! Next Poetry Reading is Wednesday September 19

Before sharing about this month’s fabulous reading, this is a reminder we are taking a summer break, so there will not be a reading in August.

Photo of Heather Spears who read at Poets Corner in July, 2018

Simply put, July’s reading was mesmerizing. One poet held us captive for the entire time we were together. After a lengthy absence from Vancouver (after all, she lives in Denmark!), Heather Spears charmed, joked and left us reeling with emotional upheaval. This is someone who will always have a reserved spot at the mic every time she’s in town.

There Won’t Be a Poetry Reading in August

With our recent hot weather, it’s the perfect reminder that some of us may be lying in a hammock somewhere, slowly sipping a refreshing Moscow Mule, instead of our usual monthly gathering at Massy Books.  Please don’t show up on the third Wednesday of August as Poets Corner won’t be there.

We will reconvene on the third Wednesday of September — that’s Wednesday September 19 at 7:30pm.

We’re holding back for now on who will be reading in September. But hone a good poem or two of your own, as there will be an Open Mic segment at this reading.

Enjoy the summer!

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FINISHED! Poetry Reading on Wednesday July 18 at 7:30 p.m.

June’s reading brought us two very different yet very powerful readings. Daniela Elza (accompanied by her bassist friend, Clyde Reed) and Jami Macarty served up a compelling evening of crisp, well-wrought poems.

Photo of poets Daniela Elza and Jami Macarty

This is the first time in a long time that we have had a musical accompaniment to a poetry reading. The verdict? It was the perfect dance of words and strings.

This Month’s Poetry Reading

Between them, our next two featured poets have published over 30(!) volumes of poetry. Both are out-of-towners (though one’s coming a considerably longer distance than the other). Heather Spears, a Canadian poet who has been living in Denmark since 1962 and Stephen Scobie, a Scottish-born poet who now lives in Victoria, are coming to town to share a drop or two of their massive poetic output. They belong to each other’s mutual admiration society and you’re in for an evening of rich, well-crafted writing. Here’s a short bio on each of them…

July’s First Featured Poet

Stephen Scobie was born in Scotland, but has lived in Canada since 1965, and most recently in Victoria since 1981. He is now happily retired after teaching stints at the University of Alberta in Edmonton as well as at the University of Victoria.  He has published over 20 volumes of poetry, including McAlmon’s Chinese Opera (Quadrant Editions, 1980) which won the Governor-General’s Award that year.  He has also had critical studies published of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, bpNichol, and the Scottish poet and artist, Ian Hamilton Finlay. In 1995, Stephen was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

July’s Second Featured Poet

Photo of poet, Heather SpearsHeather Spears, Vancouver-born writer and artist, has lived in Denmark since 1962. Among her published work are 14 collections of poetry, five novels, four books of drawings, and a non-fiction work. She has been the recipient of several literary awards not the least of which are a Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, three Pat Lowther Memorial Awards, and a CBC Literary Prize.  A book of translations of her poems into Danish is forthcoming this year. As an artist she teaches drawing and writes about drawing and the brain (The Creative Eye: Drawing, Vision and the Brain (2012). Heather specializes in drawing premature infants and has drawn in theatres, concert halls, courtrooms, hospitals, and war zones. She has held close to 100 solo exhibitions of her work in Europe and America.

Yes, we will have the Open Mic segment for this reading, so if you want a chance to deliver one of your best poems, get there early. Doors open at 7:10pm. See you all at this month’s Poets Corner reading on Wednesday, July 18.  We’re underway at 7:30 p.m.

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FINISHED!! Poetry Reading on Wednesday June 20 at 7:30 p.m.

What a blockbuster evening we had last month. With just over 50 in attendance, we had our biggest crowd yet at Massy Books, our fabulous new ‘home’. It was a special celebration for a special duo. Richard Olafson and Carol Ann Sokoloff were honoured as Ekstasis Editions turned 35 years old.

Photo of Richard Olafson and Carol Sokoloff receiving a framed tribute from some of the writers they have published over the years.

Ekstasis Editions’ Carol Ann Sokoloff and Richard Olafson were presented with a commemorative poster signed by all the Ekstasis writers who came to honour them. Doing the presenting are Franci Louann (left) and James Felton (right) of Poets Corner.

Tributes poured in from many who attended (including those who couldn’t make it) and short readings were offered up from even more. It proved to be a memorable evening and a deserving tribute.

This Month’s Poetry Reading

This month we are back to our regular format of two featured poets along with an Open Mic segment. Mark your calendars now, before you forget: it’s on Wednesday June 20, again at 7:30pm.

June’s First Featured Poet

Photograph of poet, Daniela ElzaDaniela Elza has lived on three continents and crossed numerous geographic, cultural and semantic borders. Her poetry collections are the weight of dew, the book of It, and milk tooth bane bone, of which David Abram says: “Out of the ache of the present moment, Daniela Elza has crafted something spare and irresistible, an open armature for wonder.” Daniela earned her doctorate in Philosophy of Education from Simon Fraser University. Her next book will be published the Spring of 2020 by Mother Tongue Publishing. She has two more manuscripts looking for homes amidst the growing housing crises and skyrocketing rents of Vancouver.

June’s Second Featured Poet

Photograph of poet, Jami Macarty

Jami Macarty is the author of Instinctive Acts, forthcoming from Nomados Literary Publishers in 2018, Mind of Spring, which won the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award (Vallum, 2017) and Landscape of The Wait (Finishing Line Press, 2017), a series of poems focusing on her nephew William’s car accident and year-long coma. She teaches contemporary poetry and creative writing at Simon Fraser University, edits the online poetry journal The Maynard, and writes Peerings & Hearings–Occasional Musings on Arts in the City of Glass, a blog series for Anomaly/Anomalous Press. She is the recipient of grants from Banff Center and B.C. Arts Council, among others; several times a Pushcart Prize nominee; and a finalist for the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Award. Her poems have appeared in over 50 American and Canadian journals.

Remember, the Open Mic segment is back on at this reading, so if you want a chance to deliver one of your best poems, get there early. See you all at this month’s Poets Corner reading on Wednesday, June 20.  We’re underway at 7:30 p.m.

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FINISHED! Poetry Reading on Wednesday May 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Before telling you about May’s exceptional (and very unusual) poetry reading, let me briefly tell you about our last reading on Wednesday, April 18.

Group Photo of Featured Poets at Poets Corner

What a trio of talent! E.D. Blodgett, Terry Ann Carter, and Rhonda Ganz delivered readings that spanned the spectrum of poetic styles and subjects.  The audience topped out at 40 and the comments I received from many of you told me you were blown away.

Our Next Poetry Reading

Our standard format at Poets Corner is to have two featured poets preceded by an open mic segment. However, this month will be different. Very different. In fact, it’s so different we’re calling it a celebration.

In May we are going to celebrate and honour a B.C. publishing house that has nurtured and lauded many creative writers over its long history. Ekstasis Editions is an independent literary press that has steadfastly supported not only British Columbian but many other Canadian writers for over 35 years.

It is time to say thank you.

May’s Guests of Honour

Photo of Richard Olafson

Richard Olafson

It is time to celebrate a literary press that Richard Olafson started in 1982 and continues to run today. Owned and operated by Richard and his partner, Carol Ann Sokoloff, the two continue to support literary writers, especially those in this province.

Richard’s years at the helm of Ekstasis can be summed up as a stellar example of a creative, prolific, and dedicated career.

Photo of Carol Ann Sokoloff

Carol Ann Sokoloff

There were many boulder-sized roadblocks that seemed determined to thwart these two from reaching the 30-year mark.  But here they are today, proudly standing next to the 35-year milestone marker along the long and winding (and enduring) road.

Originally, Ekstasis published poetry almost exclusively, but it has since diversified and branched out into related forms such as literary fiction, metaphysics, theatre and, most recently, Children’s and Young Adult books under the Cherubim Books imprint.

How Will We Celebrate Ekstasis’ 35 years?

Aside from the obvious camaraderie that will be aided by all sorts of libations, a special evening of readings and tributes is planned. Invitations are being sent to every writer ever published by Ekstasis.  And that’s quite a few!

We realize not everyone is close enough to our host venue in Vancouver’s Chinatown to be there in person, but all Ekstasis writers will be invited no matter where they live. Who knows? You may want to make a point of being in town around May 16 to honour and celebrate this special indie press and the people that helped put many of you on the literary map.logo for ekstasis editions

In a perfect world, we would love each and every Ekstasis writer who is there the evening of the 16th to read a poem or a short excerpt from their published work. Obviously that’s not possible. Instead you are being asked to bring your Ekstasis publication in case your your name is drawn from the hat; those selected will then deliver a short reading.

No Open Mic at the Next Reading

Because of this special celebration to honour Ekstasis Editions, there won’t be our usual Open Mic segment on May 16th. But there will be a helluva lot of published Ekstasis writers at the mic!

Make sure you’ve signed up to receive our twice-monthly newsletter (the form’s to the right) for more details of this very special themed reading.

See you on May 16th!

 

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FINISHED! Poetry Reading on Wednesday April 18 at 7:30 p.m.

It’s April already and it’s STILL winter outside. What’s with that?! I think it’s best to have some fine poetry to warm up our souls. Before I share what’s happening for April’s reading, I want to let all of you who couldn’t make our inaugural reading know what a wonderful evening we had. And what a lovely venue! Massy Books went all out to make us feel welcome, especially with the cash bar!

Photo of Featured Poets and Poets Corner members at our inaugural reading

Carl Hare and Marguerite Pigeon will now go down in history as our very first readers at Poets Corner (formerly Poetic Justice). Some fine voices were also heard during the Open Mic segment, too.

Our Next Poetry Reading

Our normal format is to have two featured poets preceded by an open mic segment. This month, however, we’re having three talented poets. We’ll still have open mic, but it will be shorter than normal. Mark the date before you forget: Wed Apr 18 at 7:30pm. Here’s a little more about our April featured poets.

April’s First Featured Poet

E.D. Blodgett, poetE.D. Blodgett is a literary historian, translator, and poet. He has published 28 books of poetry, of which 2 were awarded the Governor General’s Award. His most recent book is Songs for Dead Children (University of Alberta Press). Translations of his poetry have appeared in French, Serbian, and Hebrew, among other languages. He was Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta, a former Writer-in-Residence at Grant MacEwan University (2004), and past poet laureate of Edmonton (2007-09). He is currently involved in writing a bilingual renga with a Francophone poet from Winnipeg.

April’s Second Featured Poet

Photo of Terry Ann Carter, poetTerry Ann Carter is the author of On the Road to Naropa: My Love Affair with Jack Kerouac (Inkling Press) and TOKAIDO (Red Moon Press). She is also co-editor (with George Swede) of Erotic Haiku: Of Skin on Skin, (Black Moss Press), president of Haiku Canada, and founder of Haiku Arbutus in Victoria. As a “community fellow” at the University of Victoria (2017), Terry Ann had an opportunity to examine the Buddhist influence on classical Japanese haiku.

April’s Third Featured Poet

Photo of Rhonda Ganz, poetRhonda Ganz is a Victoria poet who used to call Vancouver home. Her debut collection, Frequent, small loads of laundry (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2017) was just shortlisted for the 2018 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. A devotee of crime fiction and Judge Judy, she mines nightmare and reality TV for material. Her work has appeared the The Malahat Review, Rattle, Room, Harvard Design Magazine and in the anthologies Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry (Mother Tongue Publishing), Poems from Planet Earth (Leaf Press), Poet to Poet (Guernica Editions) and Force Field:  77 Women Poets of BC (Mother Tongue Publishing).

 

Yes, we will have our Open Mic segment at this reading, but because we have three featured poets we will have to shorten Open Mic.  So if you want a chance to deliver one of your best poems, get there early. See as many of you as possible at Poets Corner on Wednesday, March 21.  We’re underway at 7:30 p.m.

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FINISHED! Poetry Reading on Wednesday March 21 at 7:30 p.m.

If you are not on our newsletter subscribers’ list, you missed an important update on what’s been happening with our poetry reading series. Poetic Justice has morphed into Poets Corner and LOTS has happened.  If you’re not already on our mailing list, subscribe to the newsletter through the box on the right, and we’ll send you the most recent issue.

Before we share more about this month’s featured poets, a quick word about the hugely successful themed reading that took place last October.  That 70s Show featured five very talented poets who all turned 70 in 2017. Each was asked to read one poem from each of their five decades of writing. Wow, what a spectrum of work! Sixty-five poetry fans got to enjoy the depth and breadth of a combined 250 years of writing.

Five B.C. poets who turned 70 in 2017.

That 70s Show: Five Poets Turning 70 in 2017. Left-Right: Hannah Main-van der Kamp, Heidi Greco, Susan McCaslin, Kate Braid, and Tom Konyves. (October 22, 2017)

Our Next Poetry Reading

Now that we’re back on track, the very first reading under our new name and equally new host venue is only days away. And we’re delighted to have two very interesting and talented writers joining us. Here’s a little more about each of them.

March’s First Featured Poet

Photo of Carl Hare, author of the trilogy, On the River of Time.

Carl Hare

In his long career, Carl Hare  has been a professor, actor, director, playwright, and poet.  Apart from Odysseus, the first in his trilogy, published in 2017, his most recent work includes performances of his play, The Eagle and the Tiger and his adaptation of Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman, the setting of six of his children’s poems to music by Canadian composer Malcolm Forsyth; a commissioned poem for Forsyth’s A Ballad of Canada, performed by the National Arts Centre orchestra; and A Weathering of Years, a collection of poetry published in 2015.  Spenser, Book Two of On the River of Time, is now being launched and copies will be available at the reading.

March’s Second Featured Poet

Photograph of poet, Marguerite Pigeon.

Marguerite Pigeon

Marguerite Pigeon is the author of three books. Her first poetry collection, Inventory, was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award, and her short story collection, Some Extremely Boring Drives, was nominated for a ReLit Award. Marguerite is currently at work completing a book-length poem about fashion, called The Endless Garment: A pocket epic, from which she has recently published three chapbooks. These include My Model Poem, from Nomados Press, and What I’m Wearing Now, from the Alfred Gustav Press. Originally from Blind River, Ontario, Marguerite currently lives in Vancouver.

 

 

Oh, there will be an Open Mic segment at this reading, so if you want a chance to deliver one of your best poems, get there early. And thank you for bearing with us through this big change-over!  See you all at the Poets Corner inaugural reading on Wednesday, March 21.  We’re underway at 7:30 p.m.

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FINISHED! Breaking News…Our Reading Series is Relocating!

Before we share more about the exciting news, let us not forget what a fine reading we enjoyed at this month’s reading.  Husband and wife duo, John Pass and Theresa Kishkan, both delivered emotionally charged and thought-provoking readings.  What has turned out to be our last reading in New Westminster was a fitting tribute by two talented writers.

Breaking Bad — or Breaking Good — News?

After seven years in the Royal City, the Poetic Justice poetry reading series is relocating to the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library.  The news is exciting, but it is also tinged with the ‘eternal note of sadness’ (thanks, Matthew Arnold).

No poetry reading series in Metro Vancouver brings more poets to the microphone than Poetic Justice. Since 2010, emerging and established poets from as far east as the Maritimes and as far south as California have appeared at our reading series.  Venues have changed over the years but the series remains vibrant.  And now the tradition of showcasing the best poets moves to our newest and most prestigious venue.  For more details on the relocation, check out our press release.

October’s Upcoming Reading

The VPL would like to see some themed readings mixed in with the series’ regular format.  Normally two featured poets are preceded by an open mic segment .  But the timing of the request is perfect.  Poetic Justice had been planning to host a few themed readings in the next few months.

So to kick off our inaugural reading at the Central Branch, Poetic Justice is presenting That 70s Show.  This will be a themed reading where five much-loved B.C. poets celebrate turning 70 this year.  Here’s the very first poster of what we hope will be many more that publicize our readings at the VPL.Please do your best to spread the news about our inaugural reading in downtown Vancouver!  And don’t forget to circle the date on your calendar.  We’d love to see you there on Sunday, October 22.

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FINISHED! Poetry Reading on Sunday September 17 at 11:30 a.m.

You missed a damn fine poetry reading last month — except of course those who were at our fabulous August reading. Featured poets Aislinn Hunter and Geoffrey Nilson served up humour, stuffed animals (the taxidermist’s), and poetry that moved one to an ever deeper reflection. And the Open Mic readers were exceptional, too.

Featured Poets Aislinn Hunter and Geoffrey Nilson at the August poetry reading for Poetic Justice.

Our Next Poetry Reading

Geoffrey Chaucer once said, ‘The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne’. He certainly wasn’t talking about next month’s featured poets, John Pass and Theresa Kishkan. It isn’t often you find two talented and prolific writers under the same roof. They will soon be celebrating 38 years of marriage, and have published almost as many volumes of literature between them.  They have certainly mastered their writing craft and published much in their long time together.

September’s First Featured Poet, Novelist and Essayist

Theresa Kishkan

Theresa Kishkan is the author of 12 books of poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction, most recently the essay collection, Euclid’s Orchard (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2017), and the novellas Patrin (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2015) and Winter Wren (Fish Gotta Swim Editions, 2016). Her books have been nominated for many prizes, including the Pushcart Prize (twice), the Ethel Wilson Prize, the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize (twice), several National Magazine awards, and the ReLit Award. Phantom Limb (Thistledown, 2007) received the Canadian Creative Non-Fiction Collective’s inaugural Readers’ Choice Award and “Arbutus menziesii: Makeup Secrets of the Byzantine Madonnas” won the Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest in 2010. The French translation of Patrin, titled Courtepointe, will be released by Marchand des feuilles in 2018. She lives with her husband John Pass on the Sechelt Peninsula.

September’s Second Featured Poet

Poet John Pass

John Pass

John Pass’s poems have appeared in 19 books and chapbooks in Canada, and in magazines in the US, the UK, Ireland and the Czech Republic. He won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2006 for Stumbling in the Bloom and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (BC Book Award) in 2012 for crawlspace. His latest book is Forecast: Selected Early Poems 1970 – 1990 (Harbour 2015). Last year ‘Margined Burying Beetle’ from a new sequence, “Creation of the Animals” won the Malaspina Review’s Open Season Award.

 

If you want a spot on the Open Mic list, get there early. See you all at the Poetic Justice poetry reading on Sunday, September 17.  We’re underway at 11:30 a.m.

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FINISHED! Poetry Reading on Sunday August 20 at 11:30 a.m.

Well, that was something!  July’s poetry reading was a significant moment in West Coast CanLit history.  Reuniting Brian Brett and Allan Safarik after more than twenty years was special. Poetic Justice was honoured to be the host venue that brought them together.

Brian Brett and Allan Safarik, featured poets at Poetic Justice July 2017 poety reading

Our Next Poetry Reading

Writing talent isn’t the private preserve of authors who have been at it for some time. Good writing (and good poetry in particular) can also be the product of the younger crowd.  August’s poetry reading is just such an example when Aislinn Hunter and Geoffrey Nilson step up to the microphone at Poetic Justice.

New Westminster’s own Geoffrey Nilson is a high-risk wordsmith, much like his predecessor, bpNichol. Geoff will be joined by his good friend, multi-award-winning poet and novelist, Aislinn Hunter.

August’s First Feature Poet

Aislinn Hunter, featured poet at Poetic Justice August 2017 poety reading

Aislinn Hunter

AISLINN HUNTER is an award-winning poet and novelist and the author of seven highly acclaimed books. Her most recent novel, The World Before Us, won the 2015 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice Book. Her third book of poetry Linger, Still was published this spring with Gaspereau Press. She teaches creative writing part-time at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and has held writer-in-residence positions in the UK, Australia and in Canada. She lives in North Vancouver, BC.

August’s Second Feature Poet

Geoffrey Nilson, featured poet at Poetic Justice August 2017 poety reading

Geoffrey Nilson

GEOFFREY NILSON is the author of four chapbooks, the most recent, In my ear continuously like a stream, forthcoming in Fall 2017 from above/ground press. Nilson’s poems and essays have appeared widely in Canada and internationally including in Poetry is Dead, Event, Lemon Hound, The Rusty Toque and CV2. Nilson is a contributing editor for Arc Poetry and holds a BA in Creative Writing from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He lives in New Westminster with his daughter on the unceded territories of the Qayqayt and Musqueam First Nations.

 

 

If you want a spot on the Open Mic list, get there early. See you all at the Poetic Justice poetry reading on Sunday, August 20.  We’re underway at 11:30 a.m.

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