In September, I was pleased to be asked to help celebrate Winnipeg’s Turnstone Press’ 45th anniversary by participating in an online reading series.
In the video, I read brief excerpts from my two books published by Turnstone.(more…)
I was pleased to learn in late August that a suite of my poems was one of five finalists for ELQ/Exile Literary Quarterly’s annual Gwendolyn MacEwan Poetry Prize. My entry, titled “Papyrus Requiem” consisted of a series of elegies for my long-time close friend and fellow writer, the California poet Dennis Saleh, who died in November 2020.
Winner this year was Yvonne Blomer, the fourth Victoria BC poet laureate, 2015-2018.
I had won the Prize in 2015 with a long poem on some aspects of the Grail myth, “The Question.” The following year my entry was shortlisted in the competition’s Best Poem category.
On May 30 at 1 pm PDT, I’ll be one of five readers presenting our work on Sheri-D Wilson’s Dogwood Rose Reading Series. Sheri-D started the series to encourage literary connections between BC and Alberta.
Reading with me also representing BC will be Joseph Dandurand, who was the 2019 Vancouver Public Library Indigenous storyteller-in-residence. Representing Alberta will be 2016-2018 Calgary poet laureate Micheline Maylor, current Calgary poet laureate Natalie Meisner, and Lethbridge editor and author Yvonne Trainer.
After the May 30 reading, the event will be archived on the Dogwood Rose Reading Series YouTube channel.
On May 13, I was interviewed by Calgary author and professor Aaron Giovannone for his podcast “Sweater Weather”. The interview covered material arising from my 2018 essay collection, If You’re Not Free at Work, Where Are You Free: Literature and Social Change (Guernica Editions). Aaron had me read two poems: “The Country of Everyday: Literary Criticism” from my 1974 poetry collection, For and Against the Moon (Macmillan of Canada), and “O Calgary” from my latest collection, Watching a Man Break a Dog’s Back: Poems for a Dark Time (Harbour, 2020).
Video and audio of the interview is available here. (The interview is available on many platforms.)(more…)
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…)