I was happy to learn March 31 that my entry in the Malahat Review’s 2021 Long Poem Prize, judged anonymously, was shortlisted.
I had sent along a selection of poems from a series I wrote about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the countryside. Entries were to be between 10 and 20 pages of 36 lines per page. Out of 238 entries this year, eight were named as finalists, including mine. Two of the finalists, to be announced April 6, will be published in the magazine’s summer issue.
The March 31 reading I gave, with Vernon BC poet and musician John Lent, kicked off National Poetry Month at Oxygen Art Centre in Nelson BC. The recording of the event is now here on YouTube, thanks to Oxygen.
During the reading, John performs two songs as well as reads new work. I read mostly from my latest collection, Watching a Man Break a Dog’s Back: Poems For a Dark Time.
This is a pen&ink interpretation of my poetry reading, drawn by my web designer, Heather, who sat in the virtual audience.
On Wednesday, March 31 at 7 pm, I’ll be taking part in an online evening of poetry and music with Vernon BC musician and author John Lent to kick off National Poetry Month for Oxygen Art Centre, Nelson BC’s only artist-run centre.
This event revives a launch planned for last April for my 2020 poetry collection from Harbour Publishing, Watching a Man Break a Dog’s Back: Poems For a Dark Time.
Those interested in attending can email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Zoom link and accompanying event information. The reading and musical performance is free and everyone is welcome to attend.(more…)
The Slocan Lake Arts Council has asked me to repeat the writing workshop I put on in August focused on people writing about community. This one will be held Sat., Nov. 28 and Sun., Nov. 29, also at the Slocan Lake Arts Centre (formerly the Silverton Gallery) at 421 Lake Ave. (Highway 6 and 4th St.), Silverton BC.
The workshop, entitled “What is Happening Here? Writing About Community,” will run from 9 a.m. to noon both days. We’ll be looking at how best to capture in words the people around us, whether in the form of fiction, memoir, family history, or poems. Due to pandemic health guidelines, workshop attendance will again be limited to six people, and social distancing will be observed.
Pre-registration is required.(more…)
For Thin Air 2020 (The Winnipeg International Writers Festival), I’ll present a 90-minute Writing Craft Session entitled “A Taboo Is For Breaking: Writing About Daily Work.” The event will run Sat. Oct. 10, 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm Central Time, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm Pacific Time.
The Zoom session will consist of examples of contemporary job-based writing in several genres: poetry, fiction, non-fiction (memoir), and graphic novels. A writing exercise or two will hopefully also serve as a prompt to encourage people to add employment (including our work’s effects on us, both on and off the job) to literature’s traditional themes of love, death, and nature.
I was flattered to be invited in August to participate in this fall’s 24th annual Winnipeg International Writers Festival, known as Thin Air 2020. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the festival this year will consist of a website accessible from September 20 to October 12.
I’ll be contributing an audio reading from Watching a Man Break a Dog’s Back: Poems for a Dark Time, and possibly taking part in a pre-recorded Zoom book chat with a moderator. The festival’s interactive component includes plans for some authors to engage with readers in a scheduled virtual Q & A.(more…)
Wednesday, September 16 at 7:30 pm, I’ll be taking part in a “virtual live reading” online hosted by the Vancouver monthly reading series “POETS CORNER”. The Zoom reading will begin with an online open mike segment, and then myself and Gabriola Island poet Mark Warrior will each read for about 20 minutes.
Theme of the event is “poetry and work”. Mark is an old friend and former fellow member of the Vancouver Industrial Writers’ Union (1979-1993). His new book is a selected poems, Disappearing Minglewood Blues, published Spring 2020 by Salt Spring Island’s Mother Tongue Publishing.
You can hear my reading HERE.
I’ve been asked by the Slocan Lake Arts Council to convene a workshop on Writing About Community, on Sat. Aug. 15 and Sun. Aug. 16 at the Slocan Lake Arts Centre, 421 Lake Ave. (Highway 6 and 4th St.), Silverton BC.
The workshop will be limited to 6 people, due to pandemic health guidelines, as social distancing will be observed. Our focus will be on the people around us, in fiction, memoir, family history, or poems. The workshop will run from 9 am to 12 noon each day. (more…)
CBC Vancouver’s “North by Northwest”, the province-wide weekend morning radio arts show, ran an interview with me on Aug. 1. The interview, about Watching a Man Break a Dog’s Back: Poems For a Dark Time, includes me reading such poems from the collection as “Leaflets”.
North by Northwest with Sheryl MacKay – Saturday August 1 episode – 1:18:25 (after the 7:30 am news)
Talking with host Sheryl MacKay is always a delight, partly because of her boundless enthusiasm for what’s happening in the BC arts world, and partly because she’s such a fan of the West Kootenay. Long ago, the show was even broadcast live a few times from venues in Nelson, including the Capitol Theatre.
University of Toronto professor Robert McGill has developed an online anthology of Canadian poems, short fiction, and essays, published in English between 1964 and 1975, that respond to the Vietnam War. Canadian Literature of the Vietnam War went live in late April and includes four of my poems from that era.
Dr. McGill, a novelist and former Rhodes Scholar, is the author of War Is Here: The Vietnam War and Canadian Literature (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2017), which considers Canadian writers’ literary engagement with the war.