FINISHED! Poetry Reading on Wednesday October 17

Before telling you about next month’s poetry reading, a little more about this month’s event that took place on Wednesday, September 19 at our wonderful host venue, Massy Books.

Photo of Featured Poets William New and Onjana Yawnghwe

We had an exceptionally talented duo who once shared a life as teacher and student. Onjana Yawnghwe was a graduate student at UBC in the class of esteemed scholar, writer, and professor, William New. Poets Corner brought them together once again and they gave us a reading to remember.

Onjana read from her just-released The Small Way, a touching and at times heart-wrenching volume dealing with a life partner who is transitioning. And Bill read from his recent volume Neighbours, taking us on a journey of emotions from sombre reflection to light-hearted banter.

Our Next Poetry Reading

October’s featured poets are both out-of-towners, though one will be traveling a much further distance than the other to join us. No stranger to the West Coast poetry scene, prolific poet, playwright, performance artist, and novelist Penn Kemp will be coming in from London, ON. Joining her is Sharon Thesen from Kelowna. Together they are incendiary — in a good way. Here is a little more about each of them…

October’s First Featured Poet 

Photo of Penn Kemp

Photo credit: Molly Miksa

Penn Kemp, poet, performer and playwright, has been celebrated as a trailblazer since her first publication of poetry by Coach House Press in 1972.  A “one-woman literary industry”, she was London’s inaugural Poet Laureate and Western University’s Writer-in-Residence. The League of Canadian Poets’ 2015 Spoken Word Artist, Kemp is a keen participant in Canada’s cultural life with multimedia releases and thirty books of poetry, prose and drama to her name. New poetry books are Fox Haunts (Aeolus House) and Local Heroes (Insomniac). Find out more at Her latest collaboration is up on https:/

October’s Second Featured Poet

Photo of Sharon Thesen

Photo Credit: Silmara Emde

Sharon Thesen is a BC-based poet, editor, critic, and professor who has published nine books of poetry, most recently The Good Bacteria (2009) and Oyama Pink Shale (2011) with House of Anansi Press, and The Receiver (2017), with New Star Books.  She has also edited two editions of The New Long Poem Anthology and has been an editor of The Capilano Review and co-editor of Lake: A Journal of Arts and Environment.  A winner of the Pat Lowther Award, she has also been a three-time finalist for the Governor-General’s Award and twice a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award.  Sharon currently writes journalistic essays on poetry and poetics and teaches poetry workshops in Lake Country, where she lives in the north Okanagan.


There will be an 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 October’s Poets Corner reading on Wednesday, October 17.  We’re underway at 7:00 p.m. sharp.