WordStorm - November 25, 2014

MUSIC by Brian Hazelbower

Featured Performers
Eve Joseph

Eve Joseph

Eve Joseph grew up in North Vancouver. As a young woman she traveled widely before moving to Victoria where she now lives with her family. Her first book, The Startled Heart, was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. The Secret Signature of Things is her second poetry collection.

Katrin Horowitz

Katrin Horowitz

Katrin Horowitz’s new novel, The Best Soldier’s Wife, chosen as a finalist in The Great BC Novel Contest, is described by the judges as ‘gripping and well-written.’ She published her first novel, Power Failures, in 2007 following two lengthy volunteer assignments with CESO in Sri Lanka. The book, a murder mystery set in a small coastal village on the south coast of Sri Lanka, focuses on the myriad levels of betrayals in a complicated world.
In 2008 Katrin attended the Victoria School of Writing summer program, where she worked with Steven Galloway. She went on to win a prize in a Victoria competition with a short story entitled ‘Blues for a Bridge’ and has contributed short pieces to an international anthology called Saying Goodbye (Dream of Things Press, 2010) and Quadra Books’ Pathways Not Posted. Katrin lives in Victoria, BC. Katrin writes a blog at Quadra Books

The Best Soldier's Wife

Kathryn Para

Kathryn Para

Kathryn Para is an award-winning, multi-genre writer with a MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in Grain, Room of One's Own, Geist, Sunstream, and Vancouver Review. She is the 2013 winner of Mother Tongue Publishing's Search for the Great BC Novel Contest. Her stage play, Honey, debuted in 2004. She has also written, directed and produced short films. She lives in Gibsons, BC. Lucky is her first novel. Visit her web site

Finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize WINNER of the 2nd Search for the Great BC Novel Contest

"Astonishing in scope and depth, Astonishing as a first novel, Para’s depictions of the war scenes in Lucky are stunning, her understanding of the political forces at play, astute; these sections ring with a profound authenticity. Yet it’s the heartbreaking, personal account of Ani that is so enlightening. We’re reading of a woman who is angry about being a “woman in a man’s mythology.”–MAC Farrant VAN SUN

"Lucky is a beautiful, harsh novel, tension-filled, its language startling and fresh. It's also funny, thanks to the unflinching perceptions of its daring and damaged protagonist, Ani, war photojournalist and surly survivor. Lucky me. I got to read this book first."– Caroline Adderson, Final Judge for the 2nd Search for the Great BC Novel Contest.

"Meet lucky photojournalist, Ani—destination Fallujah. Meet her friends, the Pams—diazepam, clonazepam, lorazepam—and her bottomless bottle of vodka. Watch all distinctions vanish in the fog of war—as the witness becomes the participant, the innocent the guilty. Nothing is neutral at the end of this road—any image can be used by anybody for any purpose—but that ultimately doesn't matter because the righteousness of any cause is erased by the logic of violence. Kathy Para's debut novel raises the ante on the word 'blistering.' Once you start down her harrowing road, you won't be able to get off."–Keith Maillard, author of Gloria and The Difficulty at the Beginning Quartet

"With Lucky, Kathy Para has written a gorgeous, lyrical and globe-spanning ode to damage and to recovery, a powerful examination of the thornily entangled ethics of photography, war, love and humanity."–Michael Christie, author of The Beggar's Garden

Luck by Kathryn Para

Lucky by Kathy Para, is an unflinching novel set in the Middle East and Canada. It tells the story of Anika Lund, a freelance war photographer with an ambition to photograph an infamous terrorist, and her best friend and translator, Viva, who seeks answers to the mystery of her husband's disappearance in Syria. In the fall of 2004, they gain access to Iraqi resistance fighters, and entrance to the broken city of Fallujah, igniting a series of terrifying events that exact a price that becomes too much to bear. Lucky explores essential questions about war photography, the price paid by journalists and the moral dilemmas of love and war.

Watch Shaw's Feature on WordStorm on You Tube
WordStorm on the News
Wordstorm Fall Newsletter
Newsletter Link

Scroll down for details about future featured readers.
Cascadia Poetry Festival 2
Cascadia Poetry Festival 3 in Nanaimo 2015
Cascadia Poetry Festival 3 Press Release
Text Magazine: A Call for Submissions, Nanaimo-based

Eve Joseph Workshop November 26th

Fanny Bay Fat Oyster Reading Series
The Living Room: Next One November 27th
A free and open democratic reading where people read their own work and listen to others in a circle format.
Open Vocabs - writing tips for college students

The Vault Cafe
499 Wallace Street, Nanaimo, BC
Phone: 250.591-0776

The Vault

The Vault

Come early for coffee and a snack, if you like.
Program starts at 7:00 with the open mic

Links to Partners and Affiliates in Advertising
Poets on Campus at VIU Nanaimo
Mulberry Books, Parksville and Qulaicum Beach
Seniors 101
Island Woman Magazine

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Future Featured Readers/Performers

January 27, 2015

Paulo Da Costa

paulo de costa

paulo da costa, born in Angola and raised in Portugal, is a writer, editor, and translator living on the West Coast of Canada. paulo’s first book of fiction, The Scent of a Lie, received the 2003 Commonwealth First Book Prize for the Canada-Caribbean region and the W.O. Mitchell City of Calgary Book Prize. His fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines around the world and have been translated to Italian, Chinese, Spanish, Serbian, Slovenian, German, and Portuguese. Web Page

paulo de costa Cover

Dennis E. Bolen

Dennis Bolen

Dennis E. Bolen Dennis E. Bolen has led the literary life since his late teens, experimenting with poetry in high school before taking two university degrees in creative writing. He published seven books of fiction with three different publishers over a career that saw him work as editor for sub-TERRAIN magazine, part-time editorial writer for the Vancouver Sun, and freelance literature critic for several publications. Over the years Mr. Bolen has sat on the executive of the Canadian Authors Association and assisted with the annual Summer Dreams literary Festival. His return to poetry, the largely autobiographical collection Black Liquor, was published by Caitlin Press in September 2013. Dennis is Vancouver Island born and raised; a Courtenay-Qualicum Beach-Port Alberny-Victoria trajectory, and WordStorm will be the first time in a thirty-odd year writing career that he's had the opportunity to read on his native ground.


Black Liquor, poems, Caitlin Press, Halfmoon Bay, 2013.
Anticipated Results, short fiction, Arsenal/Pulp, Vancouver, 2011. Arsenal Pulp
Kaspoit!, novel, Anvil Press, Vancouver, 2009.
Toy Gun, novel, Anvil Press, Vancouver, 2005. Amazon
Gas Tank and Other Stories, short fiction, Anvil Press, Vancouver, 1998. Amazon
Krekshuns, novel, Random House, Toronto, 1997. Amazon
Stand In Hell, novel, Random House, Toronto, 1995.
Stupid Crimes (revised), novel, Vintage, Toronto, 1995.
Stupid Crimes, novel, Anvil Press, Vancouver, 1992. Amazon

Renee Saklikar

Renee Saklikar

Photo by A. Tsabari

Renée Sarojini Saklikar writes thecanadaproject, a life-long poem chronicle that includes poetry, fiction, and essays. Work from thecanadaproject appears in literary journals, newspapers, and anthologies, including, ti-TCR / a web folio (The Capilano Review), Literary Review of Canada, The Vancouver Review, Geist, Poetry is Dead, SubTerrain, Arc Poetry Magazine, The Georgia Straight and Ryga, a journal of provocations. The first completed series from thecanadaproject is a book length poem, children of air india, (Nightwood Editions, 2013) about the bombing of Air India Flight 182 shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, 2014.

children of air india

February 24, 2015

Andrea Routley

Andrea Routley

Andrea Routley's work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including the Malahat Review and Room Magazine, and in 2008, she was shortlisted for the Rona Murray Prize for Literature. She is the founder and editor of Plenitude Magazine, Canada's queer literary magazine. She edited Walk Myself Home: An Anthology to End Violence Against Women (Caitlin Press, 2010), which continues to receive praise from magazines like Bitch, Herizons, Prairie Fire and the Vancouver Sun. In 2012, she completed a degree in writing from the University of Victoria. Jane and the Whales is her first book of short fiction (Caitlin Press, 2013).

Margaret Thompson

Margaret Thompson

Margaret Thompson came to Canada from England in 1967, and taught English at secondary and post-secondary institutions for many years until her retirement in 1998. She is the author of seven books, including a BC2000 Book Award winning YA novel, Eyewitness (Ronsdale, 2000), two collections of personal essays, Knocking on the Moonlit Door (NeWest, 2004) and Adrift on the Ark: Our Connection to the Natural World (Brindle & Glass, 2009) and most recently a novel, The Cuckoo’s Child (Brindle & Glass, 2014). She is a past president of the Federation of BC Writers. She now lives in Victoria, BC.

The Cuckoo's Child

Andrea McKenzie Raine

Andrea McKenzie Raine

Andrea McKenzie Raine earned a B.A. in English Literature at the University of Victoria. She has attended the successful Planet Earth Poetry reading series (formerly known as Mocambopo) in Victoria, BC since 1997, and participated in the Glenairley writing retreats led by Canadian poet and novelist Patrick Lane in Sooke, BC. In 2005, she published her first book of poetry, titled A Mother’s String, through Ekstasis Editions. Andrea lives in Victoria, BC with her husband and two young sons. Turnstiles is her debut novel. “A prodigious inheritance from a negligent, departed father, given away on impulse, generates a domino-effect of lives altered, one after another. A fascinating read.” — Pamela Porter, Governor General Award Winner in Children’s Literature for The Crazy Man in 2005


March 31, 2015 –Spoken Word Night

April 28, 2015

Christine Smart

Christine Smart

Christine Smart was born in Shawville, Quebec, graduated from Queen's University with a B.Sc.N. (1976) and from UVic in Fine Arts, Writing (1997). The White Crow is her latest collection of poetry published in 2013 by Hedgerow Press. Her first book, Decked and Dancing, won the Acorn-Plantos People’s Poet Award in 2007. She lived in Montreal, Edinburgh and Victoria before moving to Saltspring Island, BC where she works as a public health nurse and a writer. Please see her Web Site

White Crow

Decked and DAncing

Niki Koulouris

Niki Kourouris

Niki Koulouris was born in Melbourne, Australia. She is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and RMIT University and she has worked as a staff writer for Victoria University in Australia. Her poetry and prose has appeared in The Cortland Review, Space, Metro Magazine, Subtext Magazine and The Age. A beer enthusiast, she has been known to start spontaneous lists on napkins of her top India Pale Ales. Niki lives in Toronto. The Sea with no one in it is her first book.

The Sea

May 26, 2015

Pat Smekal

Pat Smekal

Pat Smekal lives beside the sea, at Nanoose Bay. She fills her life with family, friends, poetry, yoga, hiking, travel, and as much laughter as she can find. Pat’s poems have been dubbed “accessible”. She is happy with this description, as she wants her words to attract and captivate those who think that poetry must be dull and incomprehensible. Since 2003, Pat’s poems have been winning prizes, and have been published in more that forty Canadian anthologies, chapbooks and magazines. In 2009, her own chapbook, Praise without Morta, appeared in print. Her latest publication, Small Corners, an Album of Poetry, (Ascent Aspirations Publishing) was launched in 2012. A staunch member of the WordStorm Society of the Arts, Pat often reads her work at literary events on Vancouver Island and beyond. David Fraser

David Fraser

David Fraser lives in Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island. He is the founder and editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine, www.ascentaspirations.ca since 1997. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Rocksalt, An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry and recently in Tesseracts 18. He has published five collections of poetry; Going to the Well, 2004, Running Down the Wind, 2007, No Way Easy, 2010, Caught in My Throat, 2011 and, Paper Boats, 2012, and a collection of short fiction, Dark Side of the Billboard, 2006. In addition David has co-authored with Naomi Beth Wakan, On Poetry, an inspirational book on poetics and poetry. To keep out of trouble he helps develop Nanaimo’s spoken-word series, WordStorm. www.wordstorm.ca. In October 2009 and 2010 he participated in Random Acts of Poetry, a national poetry program that brought poetry to the streets of Canada. David is a member of the League of Canadian Poets.

September 29, 2015

Lawrence Feuchtwanger

Lawrence Feuchtwanger

Lawrence Feuchtwanger was born and grew up in South Africa. In 1976, after two years of living in England and travelling across Africa, he came to Vancouver where he has lived ever since. Now retired, he has worked as a journalist, tree-planter, baker and counsellor. His first collection of poems, Refugee Song (Signature, 2014) was long-listed for The Writer’s Studio (SFU), First Book Competition (2010).

John Beaton

John Beaton

John Beaton is a retired actuary who was raised in the Highlands of Scotland. He lives on an acreage in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, where he and his wife have raised five children.
John was a moderator of The Deep End poetry workshop at Able Muse Press’s Eratosphere website for almost four years. His poetry and prose have been widely published in literary and non-literary newspapers, journals, and websites and he performs regularly at a wide range of spoken word events.

October 27, 2015

November 24, 2015

Susan McCaslin

Susan McCaslin

Susan McCaslin is the author of thirteen volumes of poetry, including The Disarmed Heart (The St. Thomas Poetry Series, 2014), a volume of poems on the roots of war-making and peace-making. Her previous volume, Demeter Goes Skydiving, was short-listed for the BC Book Prize and the first-place winner of the Alberta Book Publishing Award in 2012. Susan lives in Fort Langley, British Columbia where she organized the Han Shan Poetry Initiative to help save a rainforest in Langley. Her memoir, Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga, is forthcoming through Inanna Press in the Fall of 2014. Web Site

The Disarmed Heart

WordStorm Society of the Arts

Your Current Executive for 2013 - 2014

President: David Fraser
Vice President: Judy Mayhew
Treasurer: Harvey Jenkins
Secretary: Ursula Vaira
Members at Large: Mary Ann Moore, Andrew Brown, Patricia Smekal, Madeleine Nattrass, and Ann Graham Walker

Hazelwood Writers' Festival August 11th

See Poster for Details

See Photos by Kim Goldberg

The Winners
The Winners of the March 2013 Open Mic
Kim Goldberg (second), Winona Baker (third), and Mary Ann Moore (first)

Performers of the Past

Lorna Crozier

Lorna Crozier

Missy Peters

Missy Peters

Reservations can be made via email to WordStorm! So far the trend has been for each WordStorm to almost reach capacity by reservations alone. If you can't reserve, come early and take your chances at the door. Reserved seating will take place before 6:30. Walk-in seats will be available after 6:30. Music starts at 6:30 and the program begins at 7:00.


WordStorm is an on-going reading series that focuses on all types of the spoken word: poetry, short fiction, storytelling, improv, music, song. There are two components of WordStorm - a prearranged reading series, and an open mic. (Reserve by telling us you are coming and ask to be an open mike reader or sign up at the door.) The readings will always be a mix of genres, and the sign-up for WordStorm can be either poetry or prose or song. The key elements will be quality writing and entertainment. Material read must be the reader's own work, and be read without props. The sign-up for WordStorm Open Mike will be at the door between 6:30 and 7:00. Admission is $5.00 at the door. The money collected will go entirely towards mimimal operating costs and to the costs for apllications fees for funding and honorariums to featured readers. Demeter's Coffee Vault has a capacity of about 50 people, so don't be disappointed, reserve ahead by email, or take your chances at the door. Come out to just listen and be entertained, or sign up to be part of the entertainment. Everyone is welcome!

From its beginning WordStorm has played to packed houses with a full slate of readers-some coming from as far away as Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, Courtenay, Comox, Bowen Island, Saltspring Island, Qualicum Beach, Duncan, Ladysmith, Prince Rupert (via Shawnigan Lake), Protection Island, Gabriola Island, Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Lasqueti Island, Saskatoon, Errington, Yellow Point, Sooke, P.E.I., Penticton, The Yukon, and Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.


Blaine Marchaud


Kendall Patrick

Blaine Marhaud

Kendal Patrick


Linda Crosfield


Liz McNally


Linda Crosfield


LIz McNally

Come on out to WordStorm and set the writing/performing world of Vancouver Island on FIRE!

Everyone is welcome to get involved and participate.

Sheri-d Performance Photos

Open Mike Sign-up
(Guidelines: You have three minutes to read one poem, or sing one song or five minutes for a prose piece. It is all in good fun, so bring out your new or old stuff and try it out on our audience. You must sign-up before the program begins or you will not be on the sheet.)

We are always looking for local talent to read/perform as lightning readers for 5 minutes maximum, unless you are featuring a recent publication of a book. In that case you will have a double lightning spot of 10 minutes.

The WordStorm Society of the Arts is grateful for the sponsorship funding from the City of Nanaimo. The grant for 2014/2015 will be used to create an intern postion and to fund applications for funding from the League of Canadian Poets and The Writers' Union of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as to subsidize the costs of workshops for everyone and pay honorariums for writers for whom funding is not available.

City of Nanaimo Logo

Canada Council for the Arts Logo

League of Canadian Poets Logo


Ascent Aspirations Magazine original Logo

Email Ascent Aspirations Magazine

Ascent Aspirations Magazine