History of WordStorm's Featured Performers

 

 

Eliza Gardiner is well known as both a playwright and director having directed "The Vagina Monologues". In the summer of 2006 she toured BC with her rendition of "The Tempest". She teaches theatre history at Malaspina University, specializing in Greek tragedy and comedy. She is the artistic director of Red Room Studio and a director with Western Edge Theatre.

David Fraser lives in Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island. He is the founder and editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine, http:// www.ascentaspirations.ca, since 1997. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in over 40 journals including Three Candles, Regina Weese, Ardent, Quills and Ygdrasil. He has published a collection of his poetry, Going to the Well (2004), a collection of short fiction, The Dark Side of the Billboard (2006 ) and edited and published the print issues of Ascent Aspirations Magazine Anthology One (2005) , Anthology Two - Windfire (2006), and Anthology Three, AguaTerra (2007)  A second collection of poetry, Running Down the Wind will appear in 2007. David is currently the Federation of BC Writers Regional Director for The Islands Region. His latest passion is developing Nanaimo's newest spoken word series, WordStorm.

Cindy Shantz has been published in several newspapers including The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, and The Times Colonist. Her stories have won awards at The Santa Barbara Writer's Conference. In Switzerland her works have appeared in newspapers and magazines and in an anthology of short stories, essays and poetry. 

In 1990 Cindy moved from Nanaimo to Switzerland to marry a Swiss. She lived in the German part of Switzerland for nine years where she taught English conversation and literature classes, wrote stories, essays and poetry, and learned Swiss German which, she is convinced, is even more difficult than yodeling! She returned to Nanaimo with her husband in 2000, and In 2004 wrote and produced her first play: Cat Tales: "What's in a Name?" 

Along with David Fraser, Cindy is a co-founder of WordStorm. She loves to encourage people to display their talents and to provide a supportive venue for them to do this.

Pat Smekal is a Canadian-born teacher/educator who returned to B.C. in 1989, after twenty-nine years in Australia. Her two micro-mini books, Grief ...Feeling Your Way Through, and Some Reflections on Being There, published in 1996 and 1997, together have sold over 12,000 copies. In 2001, Pat joined two local writers’ groups and began to devote more time to poetry. She has attended three summer sessions of the Victoria School of Writing, as a student of Kate Braid, Sue Wheeler and George Bowering. Ms Smekal has won several minor prizes for poetry and prose, and was shortlisted for the Ray Burrell Award for Poetry in 2004.

 

Andrew Brown has been writing poetry since his youth and has found it to be a sustaining joy in his life. He's been published in several literary magazines over the years. In addition to poetry, Andrew has published short stories, essays and travel articles in a variety of magazines from Western Living to Travel Scoop. He looks forward to putting together a book of poems as soon as he retires from teaching high school english and drama. Andrew and his wife Lili currently reside in Qualicum Beach with their ancient cat Dr. Dre. 

February 22, 2007

January 25, 2007

Lorna McNeil is involved with theatre all around Nanaimo, most recently playing 3 minor roles for Western Edge's Night of Shooting Stars, and playing Little Sally in the Bard to Broadway/Schmooze co-production of Urinetown, the Musical. Last year, she took on Lucille Ball in Brian March's Lucy and Tarzan. She's played major roles in Accomplice, The Affections of May and Much Ado About Nothing (Nanaimo Theatre Group), in The Vagina Monologues and Titanic, the Musical (Malaspina University-College), played Clara Kinsey in PROK (Schmooze Productions). When not on stage, she likes to design and build costumes.

 

Mary Ann Moore is a poet and a writer of fiction, personal essays and book reviews. She is currently working on a non-fiction book called Writing Home. Mary Ann has taught creative writing classes; creativity and poem making workshops; and lead workshops for the mental health community, adult literacy programmes, a First Nations reserve and conferences and retreats. Mary Ann's poem "Unpacking" won third place in the Federation of B.C. Writers poetry contest in the fall and she has recently returned from a master poets retreat with acclaimed Vancouver Island poet, Patrick Lane. 

Mike Matthews in the past taught English at Malaspina University/College for a long, long time. Before that he attended several universities, flunking as often as he passed, and hung around in libraries, sneering, or in coffee houses and beer parlours, shouting. He has published a gamut of stuff-poems, articles, essays, rants disguised as fiction --in a gamut of publications - tiny ones like Tish, Delta, and Pugn, - and titanic ones like the Globe and Mail. He'd rather eat than write, but he enjoys both activities. He lives on Protection Island with his patient wife and a dog who is encouraged to chase deer.

 

Kim Goldberg is still one step ahead of the law somewhere on Vancouver Island. She is believed to be camped out along the scrubby margins of poetry and other indeterminate art forms. Do not approach without a tranquilizer dart. Innocent readers of Prism, Dalhousie Review, On Spec, The New Quarterly, Cahoots and other magazines have all been subjected to her ravings in recent months. (She has always maintained her innocence in the matter of "Spirit Mop" and the other unchained appliances that began springing up in Nanaimo's historic Old Quarter during the Spirit Bear invasion of Fall 2006.) Prior to her life of aesthetic crime she was a journalist for many years reporting on politics, media and environment. FBI profilers believe that a Chi Gong overload may have super-heated her synaptic pathways, leading to her subsequent unraveling. Despite her life on the lam, she somehow managed to organize and curate the Urban Eyes Art Exhibition in 2006, held at two Nanaimo galleries and featuring the work of 52 local artists and architects on the theme of urban development. She has reportedly launched a publishing enterprise under the baffling moniker of Pig Squash Press (suspected to be code for some future barnyard uprising) to further disseminate her brain-addled, photo-poetic manifestos. 

March 29, 2007

Linda Thompson is a Port Alberni writer who has discovered that performance is the most darned fun she's had in years! In the glare of the spotlight her alter-egos have been known to bust out and blurt a poem or warble a song. In her spare time Linda buys books and travels, not necessarily in that order. She has studied with Derek Hanebury, author, poet and writing instructor extraordinaire at North Island College & Sheri-d Wilson, "one of North America's most compelling Spoken Word...poets" at the Victoria School of Writing. 

Naomi Wakan: Born in London, England. Graduated with a degree in Social Work from Birmingham University. Emigrated to Canada and brought her family (Beverly Deutsch, a graphic artist and Adam Deutsch, a computer systems analyst) up in Toronto. Worked as a psychotherapist specializing in early childhood traumas. Remarried to the sculptor, Elias Wakan, and travelled extensively including living two years in Japan.

With Elias had a small publishing house, Pacific-Rim Publishers, that published educational books which Naomi wrote and illustrated. She and her husband moved to Gabriola in 1996 and opened a studio, Drumbeg House Studio, where Elias makes wood sculpture and Naomi paints, writes and does fabric art. During this period Naomi has moved from writing books geared to children to books for an adult market. Her essays and poetry have appeared in Resurgence, Geist, Room of One's Own, Kansai Time Out, Far East Journal and many other magazines and web-sites. She has read her writings on CBC and in poetry venues. She is also a member of Haiku Canada, The League of Canadian Poets and is on the board of Poetry Gabriola.

Recent Works

Segues, a book of poetry, Wolsak and Wynn, Spring, 2005.

Writing, a book of poetry focused on reading and writing Naomi Wakan, Spring, 2005.

Late Bloomer - on writing later in life, Wolsak and Wynn, Fall, 2006.

Ann Graham Walker is a writer and journalist who moved to Vancouver Island in the summer of 2002, after living and working in Nova Scotia for twenty-five years. She had many wonderful experiences in Nova Scotia - raising three children, working as a CBC radio producer, getting a front-row seat on the political world as speech writer to former Nova Scotia premier, Dr. John Savage, publishing a book about Halifax, and enjoying many friendships. However being a cold-weather wimp at heart, she was very happy to leave her snow shovels behind and swap them for the West Coast’s blissful gardening and majestic landscapes. She still works as a freelance journalist, hikes and gardens profusely, and lives in Nanoose Bay with her husband, a Border collie and three cats. Since coming to BC she has published a story - “Categories” in Word Works, and had a poem published on the “Monday’s Poem” segment of the Leaf Press web site. 

Tracy Myers has been performing spoken word as a soloist on Vancouver Island since 1993. She is also a studied drummer/percussionist with formal education and travel to study musical cultures in Cuba, Brazil and Ghana, West Africa. Currently, Tracy puts words to the funky rhythms of the local, political trio- Tongue and Groove. 

Tongue and Groove Music

 

Boca Duo Bonnie Stebbings (flute / piano) Karen Withers-Janssen (flute)

MUSIC WITH STYLE

Both classically trained musicians Karen and Bonnie have been entertaining groups on Vancouver Island for the past seven years. Their repertoire of over 2000 pieces covers the classics through to pop and jazz, and includes flute solos, duets and flute and piano pieces. Selections are hand picked to create a unique program for every performance to suit individual tastes whether for weddings, receptions or special events. 

April 26, 2007

Bill Perry is a British Columbia west coast writer originally from Connecticut who has spent his life in the outdoors as a ski jumper, ski instructor, mountaineer and forestry specialist. Currently he shares his time in Ucluelet, Mount Washington and Vancouver. He is the owner and operator of Green Wave Adventures that specializes in guided hikes and seaside scrambles along the Wild Pacific Trail.

Pamela Lynn: Acknowledged as an accomplished World Percussionist, composer and educator, Pamela Lynn is building a successful career in the field of World Music. Pamela's unique and captivating sound was developed by fusing the interwoven sounds of West African and Middle Eastern rhythms with her own contemporary style. Her concept of "Freestyle Drumming" evolved from a strong desire to share her passion for drumming with people of all ages. Pamela's natural sense of artistry enables her to be a dynamic entertainer and an inspirational teacher, compelled to share her gifts with an ever-growing audience.

Her mission is to make a significant contribution to society by living a life of social conscience, while following her passion for drumming.

Free Style Drumming

 

Christine Langford was born ages ago in Switzerland, daughter of an Irish father and a Swiss mother. She studied Early Music (with the recorder as her main instrument), at the Basel and Zürich conservatories. After achieving her degree she started teaching at the conservatory in Zürich, and engaged in further recorder studies in Amsterdam and courses in "Aufführungspraxis" (how to interpret and perform Early Music properly) and in Renaissance and Baroque Dancing. Ten years later she set up her little private business in Aarau, Switzerland, in a studio where she teaches the recorder and ensemble playing to people aged 5 to 80.

 

In 2001 many people's financial situation became difficult and they cut out music lessons, so she had to think about other things that she was capable of doing. Luckily she had a degree which enable her to teach French and English in schools, and privately, so that's what she did in addition to giving recorder lessons. Besides music (especially recorder playing) languages are her greatest passion.

 

May 31, 2007

Trish Shields studied creative writing at the Algonquin College in Ottawa and with Matt Hughes in BC. Her first book of poetry, Soul Speak, was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award in 2001. Her first novel, Inferno, was published in 2003 and was on the Open Book's Best Sellers List the following year. Her short stories and poetry have been published internationally. She is the past editor/co- ordinator for the CPA's 20th Anniversary Anthology, published in 2006. Her new chapbook, Coast Lines, is co-authored by Katherine Gordon, published in 2007.

 

Kim Clark most often writes from the heart of BC's Sunshine Coast. Disease and desire, mothering and the mundane propel her ongoing journey between poetry and prose. Kim's work can be found in The Malahat Review, Portal, Ascent Aspirations, as well as e-zines and other publications in Canada and the U.S. She is currently pursuing a Creative Writing degree at Malaspina University College.

 

September 27, 2007

Kim Goldberg is still one step ahead of the law somewhere on Vancouver Island. She is believed to be camped out along the scrubby margins of poetry and other indeterminate art forms. Do not approach without a tranquilizer dart. Innocent readers of Prism, Dalhousie Review, On Spec, The New Quarterly, Cahoots and other magazines have all been subjected to her ravings in recent months. (She has always maintained her innocence in the matter of "Spirit Mop" and the other unchained appliances that began springing up in Nanaimo's historic Old Quarter during the Spirit Bear invasion of Fall 2006.) Prior to her life of aesthetic crime she was a journalist for many years reporting on politics, media and environment. FBI profilers believe that a Chi Gong overload may have super-heated her synaptic pathways, leading to her subsequent unraveling. Despite her life on the lam, she somehow managed to organize and curate the Urban Eyes Art Exhibition in 2006, held at two Nanaimo galleries and featuring the work of 52 local artists and architects on the theme of urban development. She has reportedly launched a publishing enterprise under the baffling moniker of Pig Squash Press (suspected to be code for some future barnyard uprising) to further disseminate her brain-addled, photo-poetic manifestos. 

Tracy Myers has been performing spoken word as a soloist on Vancouver Island since 1993. She is also a studied drummer/percussionist with formal education and travel to study musical cultures in Cuba, Brazil and Ghana, West Africa. Currently, Tracy puts words to the funky rhythms of the local, political trio- Tongue and Groove. 

Tongue and Groove Music

Myron Makepeace, has been a professional musician since age fifteen, studying and playing jazz guitar locally and across Canada. He has studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston and Music and Ethnomusicology at York University in Toronto. Myron teaches in the Music and Anthropology departments at Malaspina University-College and performs with many local musicians. Currently, Myron plays guitar, bass and keyboard in Tongue and Groove: a Nanaimo-based, political, spoken word trio. Check out their recently released CD, Shedding on their web site. 

Lyn Hancock, the Aussie-Canadian author of 19 books, including the popular classic There’s a Seal in my Sleeping Bag, and several thousand other stories, finds incredible adventures in her day-to-day doings and lives to tell the tales. She reads today about living with a raccoon from her latest book Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon but she has also lived with eagles, sea lions, bears, cougars, and apes; in beds, in cars, in classrooms; in British Columbia and both ends of the world. Author of There's A Seal In My Sleeping Bag, Winging It In The North, Nunavut, Western Canada Travel Smart and 15 other titles, including the new Tabasco The Saucy Raccoon. Orders taken. For booking a presentation, contact Lyn directly.

Nov. 29, 2007

Steve Thompson resides in Victoria, BC, Canada. He is a founding member of Tongues of Fire, a writers collective that is active in the literary and spoken word community. Their activities include a bi-weekly Spoken Word/Poetry series at the Solstice Cafe.

Steven has studied poetry under acclaimed writers Susan Musgrave and Jay Ruzesky and studied spoken word under Sheri-d Wilson. His articles have appeared in Monday Magazine - The local arts, entertainment and news bible of Victoria, his poetry has been aired on CBC's Poetry Face-off 2007. He has made appearences at many events including Vancouver's Word on the Street Festival in 2006. He has also facilitated workshops at local secondary schools and at the University of Victoria.

Steven was also a member of the Victoria Poetry Slam team that competed at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Halifax, Nova Scotia in October 2007.

January 31, 2008

Hiede Brown  is 61 years old and has lived on Gabriola Island for the last 18 years. She claims that older is indeed better as she has never felt better than she does now. As proof she describes recently receiving her Masters degree in Liberal Studies, after starting back to school at age 50, and her full-time comittment to birthing the Gabriola Commons -- a 26 acre community property. Other committments and joys of her life are her 2 children, her granddaughter Grace, and her budding relationship. She says that each day seems to open a new door in her life, and the more she opens, the more she learns and grows and truly lives. Her most recent book is Friendly Erotica

Bonnie Edwards has worked at a variety of jobs but loves storytelling best. Raised in Toronto, Canada, she now lives on an island within view of Coastal Mountains, the ocean and the City of Vancouver. In 2006, she helped launch the Kensington Aphrodisia erotic romance line in the anthologies The Hard Stuff and Pure Sex. In 2007, readers can expect an exciting new paranormal series set in a haunted bordello with Midnight Confessions (March) and its sequel Midnight Confessions II (June). Connected novellas will follow in Built (August) and in her single author anthology, Thigh High, (February 2008). A long time member of Romance Writers of America, she can be reached through her Contact page. Web Site

 

Feb. 28, 2008

Wendy Morton: During the day, Wendy Morton is an insurance investigator. During the night, she's a poet, with two books, Private Eye and Undercover, published by Ekstasis Editions. On Friday nights she hosts Planet Earth Poetry at the Black Stilt Cafe, a weekly poetry venue in Victoria. In the past she has boarded WestJet flights, read poems to the passengers, and wrote poems as "the poet of the skies." She loves to promote poetry anywhere, will stop strangers to read them poems, and otherwise commit random acts of poetry, sometimes in a PT (poetry travels) Cruiser supplied by Chrylser. Once she got stopped by a cop for speeding, read him a poem and thus avoided a ticket." - Leaf Press. Her most recent book of poetry is Gumshoe.

Can. Poetry

Random Acts of Poetry

Words at Large

Carol Matthews is a writer and consultant who has worked as a hospital social worker, Executive Director of a family service organization, and as an instructor and dean at Malaspina University-College. She is a frequent book reviewer for Event Magazine and the Malahat Review, and writes a quarterly column for Relational Child and Youth Care, some of which have recently been published as a book entitled The First Three Years of a Grandmother’s Life. Carol’s short stories have appeared in many literary journals, e.g. The New Quarterly, Room of One's Own, The Canadian Journal of Fiction. Her collection of short stories, Incidental Music, was published by Oolichan Books in September 2007 and her non-fiction narrative, Reflections on the C-Word: At the Centre of the Cancer Labyrinth was published in November 2007.

ABC BookWorld

Incidental Music

 

Sharron Berthchilde who refers to herself as the "Ancient Ingenue" has been passionately pursuing acting since her release from the dreary workaday world several years ago. She has since been fortunate enough to have studied with a number of excellent acting teachers. She also landed a number of roles in film, t.v. and theatre and has relished every one.

March 25, 2008

Diane Clarence has written innumerable professional newsletters and novel-length undergrad papers. Her work as a program developer, nurse and firefighter/first responder fires her writing. A founding member of the Big Picture Window Writers Group, she also joins Easy Writers to fuel her enduring quest to write. As a teen, she was recruited to publish a weekly newsletter for the Kamloops News. She has poems published in the e-zine, Fireworks III and Island Writer Magazine. Dianne's current project is a fictional novel about nurses. 

Margaret Murphy started sharing stories as a child, with puppet shows in her backyard in Ottawa. Storytelling lead to writing, in a great circle of creating, listening and sharing. Stories are her passion. Margaret especially loves coaching and teaching storytelling workshops. Celebrating stories of Canadian women who paved the way is one of her greatest joys. Around Town Tellers (Nanaimo) now gather monthly to share stories at Coyote's Cafe, Terminal Ave. 

April 29, 2008

Kendall Patrick is a singer songwriter from Ladysmith, BC. She has 7 years of classical piano training under her belt, taught herself guitar and has been writing songs since grade 7. She is currently attending The Malaspina Jazz program, majoring in voice. She released her first album, House of Ink, in 2007, which includes a beat poetry piece called "The Girl Rant" . "The Girl Rant" was written to empower young girls into awareness out of the media-driven conventions of today's popular culture, which heavily emphasizes superficiality. "The Girl Rant" has received recognition from the Oprah Winfrey Show, and has been taken to local schools. The power of this piece has inspired Kendall to continue writing for empowerment and she is currently on a mission to begin "The Girl Rant Movement". She will be performing at The Vancouver Island Music Festival in Comox in 2008. You can find her music at My Space

 

AURAL Heather is Heather Haley, Roderick Shoolbraid and "a sublime fusion of song and spoken word". Shoolbraid is a dazzling guitarist, composer, sound designer and DJ. Haley is a maverick poet, singer, author and media artist often found pushing boundaries and always on the vanguard. "A Canadian national treasure," Haley started writing verse in high school influenced by poets like bp Nichol, ee cummings and Susan Musgrave.

 

Her life as a bona fide artist began on the stage of the infamous Smilin' Buddha fronting the all-girl band the Zellots. She was a member of The 45s with Randy Rampage and Brad Kent of DOA and the Avengers. Later she formed HHZ-Heather Haley & the Zellots-praised by music critic Craig Lee as one of "Ten Great LA Bands". She has made a commitment to honesty, feeling, craft and a sense of the absurd. "Supple and unusual", her work asks all the questions a nice girl's not supposed to ask.

 

Web Site, Reverbnation, My Space

 

ON PAPER: "Sideways" and the forthcoming "Window Seat"

ON DISC: "Princess Nut " by AURAL HEATHER on RPW Records, spring 2008

ON SCREEN: videopoems "Dying for the Pleasure "and Purple Lipstick

ON STAGE: "Unique, sublime fusion of song and spoken word."-ZULA Presents 

May 27, 2008

Naomi Wakan: Born in London, England. Graduated with a degree in Social Work from Birmingham University. Emigrated to Canada and brought her family (Beverly Deutsch, a graphic artist and Adam Deutsch, a computer systems analyst) up in Toronto. Worked as a psychotherapist specializing in early childhood traumas. Remarried to the sculptor, Elias Wakan, and travelled extensively including living two years in Japan.

 

With Elias had a small publishing house, Pacific-Rim Publishers, that published educational books which Naomi wrote and illustrated. She and her husband moved to Gabriola in 1996 and opened a studio, Drumbeg House Studio, where Elias makes wood sculpture and Naomi paints, writes and does fabric art. During this period Naomi has moved from writing books geared to children to books for an adult market. Her essays and poetry have appeared in Resurgence, Geist, Room of One's Own, Kansai Time Out, Far East Journal and many other magazines and web-sites. She has read her writings on CBC and in poetry venues. She is also a member of Haiku Canada, The League of Canadian Poets and is on the board of Poetry Gabriola.

Michael Armstrong has been acting, directing and writing for the theatre in British Columbia for 35 years. He also has experience with stage management, set design, lighting and sound, and has worked with community theatre companies around the province. He has been a member of Theatre BC for most of the past 25 years. He has taught acting for teens and adults privately and in the school system for the past ten years. He is a published poet and playwright, alumnus of the Banff playRites Colony, and past president of the Federation of BC Writers. He has a BA in English Literature and BC Teaching Certificate. Recent teaching credits also include a brief stint at York University teaching Theatre History. Michael has taught workshops for community theatre and schools in acting, writing, directing, and improvisation. His play, In Their Nightgowns, Dancing, was published in 2005 by UNBC Press. Recently, he has also released a CD of spoken word and jazz, Crow Songs, with the jazz ensemble, Vinyl Groove. Professional acting credits include McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ben Weatherstaff in The Secret Garden, and Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Professional directing credits include dinner theatre, touring productions, and musicals such as Cabaret and Jesus Christ Superstar. He has extensive experience with young actors and community players and is available to work all over the province directing, teaching workshops and offering dramaturgy sessions for plays in rehearsal or production.

 

Sept. 18, 2008

Mike Matthews in the past taught English at Malaspina University/College for a long, long time. Before that he attended several universities, flunking as often as he passed, and hung around in libraries, sneering, or in coffee houses and beer parlours, shouting. He has published a gamut of stuff-poems, articles, essays, rants disguised as fiction --in a gamut of publications - tiny ones like Tish, Delta, and Pugn, - and titanic ones like the Globe and Mail. He'd rather eat than write, but he enjoys both activities. He lives on Protection Island with his patient wife and a dog who is encouraged to chase deer.

 

Bernice Lever, member and past executive on national writing organizations, has been publishing poems for decades, but she still gets high on words. From 1972-1987, she edited WAVES in Ontario; now she enjoys life on Bowen Island, BC. BLESSINGS, Black Moss Press, 2000. Find more about her on www.colourofwords.com.

 

October 16, 2008

Kim Goldberg is still one step ahead of the law somewhere on Vancouver Island. She is believed to be camped out along the scrubby margins of poetry and other indeterminate art forms. Do not approach without a tranquilizer dart. Innocent readers of Prism, Dalhousie Review, On Spec, The New Quarterly, Cahoots and other magazines have all been subjected to her ravings in recent months. (She has always maintained her innocence in the matter of "Spirit Mop" and the other unchained appliances that began springing up in Nanaimo's historic Old Quarter during the Spirit Bear invasion of Fall 2006.) Prior to her life of aesthetic crime she was a journalist for many years reporting on politics, media and environment. FBI profilers believe that a Chi Gong overload may have super-heated her synaptic pathways, leading to her subsequent unraveling. Despite her life on the lam, she somehow managed to organize and curate the Urban Eyes Art Exhibition in 2006, held at two Nanaimo galleries and featuring the work of 52 local artists and architects on the theme of urban development. She has reportedly launched a publishing enterprise under the baffling moniker of Pig Squash Press (suspected to be code for some future barnyard uprising) to further disseminate her brain-addled, photo-poetic manifestos. 

Mary Ann Moore is a poet, writer and writing teacher in Nanaimo. She offers one to one mentoring as well as workshops that rejuvenate people and their creativity. Since moving to Nanaimo three years ago, Mary Ann has facilitated community building circles for the mental health community. In the Fall of 2008, she will be teaching writing courses through Continuing Studies at Vancouver Island University. Mary Ann's book reviews have been published most recently in The Vancouver Sun; her fiction and a personal essay in Prairie Fire. Her poetry has been published in various journals and anthologies including chapbooks edited by Patrick Lane. Her poem, "Unpacking", won third prize in the Federation of BC Writers Literary Writes contest. Web Site

Marjory Dow is a cellist, living in Nanaimo, who performs with other musicians in a variety of genres from Folk to Baroque. She and guitarist Michael Waters made a collaborative CD in the spring of 2008 called Spirit Space. They often perform together on the island in various venues. On March 27, 2009 they will be performing in concert at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni.

Daeva N. Guest is a humble and dedicated student of both the Sacred and the Silly. Although her performance works emerge primarily through improvisational forms of theatre, dance and voice, Daeva has written and performed two children's plays, two performance poems and a one-woman musical theatre piece called, A Man Named Fred, based on her 2001 mystical meeting with a homeless Christian streetpoet, the late Fred Schraeder. Daeva lives in Nanaimo and offers chant nights and authentic voice classes called Singing Home the Sacred. She dearly loves collaborating with other artists to create new forms of expression and communication. 

November 20, 2008

Cindy Shantz has been published in several newspapers including The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, and The Times Colonist. Her stories have won awards at The Santa Barbara Writer's Conference. In Switzerland her works have appeared in newspapers and magazines and in an anthology of short stories, essays and poetry. 

In 1990 Cindy moved from Nanaimo to Switzerland to marry a Swiss. She lived in the German part of Switzerland for nine years where she taught English conversation and literature classes, wrote stories, essays and poetry, and learned Swiss German which, she is convinced, is even more difficult than yodeling! She returned to Nanaimo with her husband in 2000, and In 2004 wrote and produced her first play: Cat Tales: "What's in a Name?" 

Along with David Fraser, Cindy is a co-founder of WordStorm. She loves to encourage people to display their talents and to provide a supportive venue for them to do this.

Yvonne Blomer completed her MA in Creative Writing: Poetry with distinction at The University of East Anglia in 2006. She has been widely published in Canada and internationally. She has work forthcoming in The Antigonish Review and Rocksalt an anthology of contemporary B.C. poetry. Most recently she was a finalist in the CBC Literary Awards in 2007. Her first book, a broken mirror, fallen leaf, was short listed for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award in 2007. Yvonne also writes regular reviews for Arc Magazine and for The Antigonish Review. She has been teaching private courses in poetry and memoir for the past eight years. 

Pamela Richardson is finishing up her PhD in Special Education at UBC with as much poetic and creative fervor as she can pack into an academic adventure. She can often be found hanging out with child prodigies, and young people who are far far (far) more clever than she. Pamela has been in Special Education since the age of 10 and has been writing poems and stories since about that age too. Come to think of it, she hasn't changed much but her address in the past 25 years. She lives in Yellowpoint, BC.

 

January 15, 2009

Linda Thompson is a Port Alberni writer who has discovered that performance is the most darned fun she's had in years! In the glare of the spotlight her alter-egos have been known to bust out and blurt a poem or warble a song. In her spare time Linda buys books and travels, not necessarily in that order. She has studied with Derek Hanebury, author, poet and writing instructor extraordinaire at North Island College & Sheri-d Wilson, "one of North America's most compelling Spoken Word...poets" at the Victoria School of Writing. 

Barbara Pelman has taught English for many years in the Victoria School District. She has been involved in various poetry activities in the community, including Random Acts of Poetry and National Poetry Month festivities. She is a frequent participant as well as a featured reader at the Black Stilt Cafe, and this year arranged for her students to be featured readers as well. She is largely responsible for the beautiful "poetry walls" in downtown Victoria, painted by her students. Her poems have been published in various literary journals including Descant, Antigonish Review, Event, Contemporary Verse 2, Dalhousie Review, and Quills. Her glosas have won awards, including the Federation of BC Writers first prize in 2003. Her first book of poetry, One Stone was published by Ekstasis Editions in 2005, and her second book, Borrowed Rooms will be published by Ronsdale Press in the fall of 2008. 

Richard Arnold lives on a modest acreage near Errington, BC. He teaches English at Malaspina University College in Nanaimo. Besides writing and reading poetry, he likes spending time with his family, hiking, canoeing, and camping. His work has been published in many print and electronic places across North America. He has two collections of poetry to his credit: a chapbook from Leaf Press (2002) and a haiku pamphlet from Island Scholastic (2003). 

February 19, 2009

Hilary Peach: Audio poet Hilary Peach is an inter-disciplinary performer whose work marries song and poetry. For 15 years she has performed internationally at events that include the Vancouver International Folk Music Festival, Montreal’s Voix Des Ameriques, and the Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam. She has released an exquisite debut CD, Poems Only Dogs Can Hear, in which she suspends surreal vignettes inside a matrix of music. Peach was a finalist in the 2004 CBC Radio Poetry Face-Off, and has recently released a short film, Pennsylvania. She is currently working on a literary collection of poetry and a Folk Opera about her boilermaking work called Suitcase Local with musicians Andreas Kahre, Alex Varty and Leah Hokanson. Hilary Peach is Artistic Director of the Poetry Gabriola Festival. 

Judith Millar: WordStorm audiences who have wanted to hear more of Judith Millar's humorous pieces won't want to miss February 19! A writer of short stories, essays, poems and song lyrics, Judith has published over 100 pieces, and has won awards for her creative writing in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Recent awards include first prize in Hamilton's "Creative Keyboards" Short Story Contest. She recently has also published a number of children's song lyrics on children's entertainer RONNO's CDs, released by New Jersey publisher Kimbo Educational. A former corporate communications manager, Judith moved to Nanaimo, BC from Kitchener, Ontario in 2007. 

Zlatko Zvekich has performed across Europe on the keyboards prior to his settling in Ontario. After moving to Vancouver Island in 2001 Zlatko has switched from playing the Hammond Organ (B3) to playing classical, nylon string guitar. He studied all major musical styles in order to accompany his inventive tunes and story-like poems with rich harmonies and parts progressions. Arrangements of his music crisscross boundary between classical, jazz, and folk guitar playing.

Since coming to Nanaimo Zlatko completed over 100 songs and he is working presently on recording his 4th CD titled Best Nothing Vol. 4. 

March 19, 2009

Ann Graham Walker is a working journalist, a former CBC current affairs radio producer, and a former speechwriter to (now deceased) NS premier and humanitarian, Dr. John Savage. She’s had poetry published in the Rocksalt Anthology, PRISM International, the Gaspereau Review, Pitkin Review, the Windfire Anthology, Leaf Press’s Monday’s Poem series, and two chap books edited by Patrick Lane: All that Uneasy Spring (2007) and A Small Grace (Fall, 2008). She is a graduate of Goddard College’s MFA/Creative Writing program, and is currently working on her novel about growing up in 1950s Argentina: The Girl in the Garden.

Ann’s lived all over the world – mostly due to her father’s job in the film industry when she was growing up. She first came to North America when she travelled from her previous home in Australia to go to college in the States, at 18. She came to Canada in 1973 and lived in Nova Scotia for a very long time – raising three kids there with her husband Joseph – before the kids flew the nest and Ann and Joseph moved to Nanoose Bay, in 2002. They’re still there – in Nanoose Bay – not retired yet but hiking a lot, walking their border collie, serving as butlers to three rescue cats who’ve agreed to live with them, and reflecting on the fact that one of the big reasons they moved here was mild winters.

She’ll be reading on March 19th from The Girl in the Garden – a novel she’s currently revising for the last time before sending it out, so she’s hoping that many of you will give her feedback. 

Tricia Dower was a business executive before reinventing herself as a writer in 2002. Her short fiction has appeared in Room of One's Own, The New Quarterly, Hemispheres, Cicada, NEO, Insolent Rudder and Big Muddy. Born in New Jersey, she now lives and writes in Victoria, BC, where she served on the board of the Victoria School of Writing. Silent Girl is her first book. 

Glen Sorestad, a Life Member of the League of Canadian Poets, was born in Vancouver, but has lived in Saskatchewan most of his life. He taught school for over twenty years, founded Thistledown Press with his wife Sonia, and remained its President until he and Sonia retired from publishing in 2000. Sorestad was appointed the first Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan in November, 2000. He and Sonia have lived in Saskatoon since 1967. Sorestad has over a dozen books of poetry to his credit and his poems have appeared in over 40 anthologies and textbooks. He has given public readings of his work in every province of Canada, in 15 U.S . states,as well as in France, Norway, Finland and Slovenia. 

April 16, 2009

Joelene Heathcote writes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction essay. She has published widely and won many awards. Her work has been included in anthologies, Breaking the Surface (SonoNis Press, 2000), Mocambo Nights (Ekstasis Editions, 2001), Translit Vol. (Blitzprint, 2006), and String to Bow (Leaf Press, 2005). Her collection of poetry, What’s Between Us Can’t Be Heard (Ekstasis, 2002), was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award. Inherit the Earth (Rubicon Press, 2006),and a chapbook of poems, 2007. She is currently at work on a larger collection of poetry and a book of short stories.

Sue Wheeler was born in Texas in 1942. In 1964 she received a B.A. from Rice University in Houston. In 1972 she immigrated to Canada and has lived since on a seaside farm on Lasqueti Island, British Columbia. 

May 21, 2009

Susan Stenson's work has appeared in several literary magazines, most recently, Fiddlehead, Geist, CV2 and sub-TERRAIN and anthologies including Threshold: six women six poets, Vintage ’99 and 2000, and No Choice But to Trust. In 2004, she won first prize in the ARC Poem of the Year Contest, Lush Triumphant, sub-TERRAIN Magazine’s Annual Writing Contest and the Rona Murray Prize for Poetry, sponsored by the Victoria Arts Council. She also won first prize in the Great Canadian Literary Hunt, This Magazine’s Poetry Contest 2000, the League of Canadian Poets National Contest in 1999 and the Hawthorne Chapbook Award in 1997 for her manuscript, A Little Less Swing, A Little More Sway. Her poems have been short listed several times for the CBC literary prize and are also featured on buses throughout British Columbia in the Poetry in Transit program. As a participant in the national literacy Random Acts of Poetry Weeks, 2004 and 2006, Susan has read poems to politicians, police officers, principals and pupils. Her work has also been commissioned for CBC radio’s Out Front Program. Sono Nis Press published her first book of poems, Could Love a Man, spring 2001, to rave reviews in several magazines including Arc, Malahat Review, Boulevard, Monday, and Prairie Fire. She lives ecstatically in Victoria with her family where she co-publishes The Claremont Review, a literary magazine for writers aged 13 to 19 which was Write Magazine’s choice for magazine of the year, 2001. Susan teaches English and creative writing to high school students in Saanich School District, has taught at Kamhlaba United World College in Mbabane, Swaziland and for The Victoria School of Writing. She is a regular on the roster of literary festivals, most recently for Poetry Africa in Durban, South Africa, Words Aloud 3, in Durham, Ontario, and for Forest Fest, in Port Alberni, British Columbia. 

 

John Beaton is a retired actuary who was raised in the highlands of Scotland and has lived in Qualicum Beach since 1988. He recites humorous poetry at Celtic gatherings and performances of the musical group “Celtic Chaos”. He moderates a metrical poetry workshop on the internet and his poetry has been published in newspapers, literary and fishing magazines, and internet sites and journals. 

September 17, 2009

Isa Milman is a poet, visual artist and occupaitonal therapist who has lived in Canada for the past 30 years. Her first poetry collection, Between the Doorposts, won the 2005 Poetry Prize at the Canadian Jewish Book Awards. She has also published a chapbook, Seven Fat Years, and her work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies.

 

A daughter of Holocaust survivors, Isa Milman was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany before immigrating to Boston. She graduated from Tufts University, then lived in San Francisco and Paris, involving herself in improvisational dance and theatre activities. She obtained her masters degree in rehabilitation science, and secured a job teaching occupational therapy at McGill University. She currently works as a program coordinator at the Victoria Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Centre.

 

From the author: 

I was born into a family that lost almost everything. Our inheritance was a few photographs, an ancient tradition, and memory. My mother kept our family history and tradition alive – and though she passed this on through stories, teachings and songs, she didn't write it down. From a very early age, I felt that it was my mission to do so. How else to acknowledge my parents' and grandparents' lives? It's hard to explain how precious and deep is this impulse to insist that existence matters. It's a comfort to me to think that in my small way, during my time on earth, I can contribute to the discourse, add my few pages to the astonishing history of human letters, and hope that here and there, a spark flies, a heart opens, souls meet. We're here but for an instant, but we've left a memento of ourselves behind. That's why I write. 

Lorraine Gane was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and grew up in Toronto. In the mid '70s, she graduated from Carleton University's Honours Jouralism Program, then worked as a full-time writer and editor for major Canadian newspapers and magazines until 1989, when she began freelancing. In the early '90s, she also started teaching writing at universities and colleges such as Ryerson, McMaster and Georgian, as well as conducting her own private workshops. Selections from Lorraine's first poetry book, Even the Slightest Touch Thunders on My Skin (Black Moss Press, 2002), were shortlisted for the Canadian Literary Awards in 1997 and the League of Canadian Poets chapbook contest in 2000. Lorraine moved to Salt Spring Island, B.C. in 1998, where she lives with her partner. She is working on the next two volumes of poetry to complete a trilogy on love, loss and renewal. She is also working on a book about writing, among other projects. Lorraine gives talks on writing at universities and other locations and teaches writing through online courses and workshops to students across Canada. 

October 15, 2009

Jay Ruzesky has recently guest-edited a special issue of The Malahat Review on environmental literature called "The Green Imagination". His novel about a medieval monumental astronomical clock is called The Wolsenburg Clock and has just been published by Thistledown Press. He was born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1965 and raised in Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Calgary, and Kelowna. He studied at Okanagan College (with John Lent), the University of Victoria (with Constance Rooke), the University of Windsor (with Alistair MacLeod), and at the Banff Centre for the Arts (with Don Coles and Don McKay). His poems and stories have appeared in Canadian and American journals such as Caliban, Prism international, Canadian Literature, Event, Saturday Night, Descant, Border Crossings, and Poetry Northwest. His books include Blue Himalayan Poppies (Nightwood, 2001), Writing on the Wall (Outlaw Editions, 1996), Painting The Yellow House Blue (House of Anansi, 1994), and Am I Glad To See You (Thistledown, 1992. He is on the editorial board of the Malahat Review and teaches English, Creative Writing and Film Studies at Vancouver Island University. Essays, interviews and art criticism have appeared in Brick, Poetry Canada Review, and selected gallery publications. He is currently working on another novel, a play, and a manuscript of poems. He lives on Vancouver Island. Web Site - Recent Book 

Michael Kenyon , born in Sale, Cheshire, is the author of nine books, most recently The Beautiful Children, a novel (Thistledown Press, Spring 2009), and a collection of poems, The Last House (Brick Books, Autumn 2009). He has lived for over forty years on Canada’s West Coast and presently divides his time between Pender Island and Vancouver, having in both places a private therapeutic practice. The Beautiful Children link 

John Lent was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia in 1948; he grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. He studied at the University of Alberta from 1965-71, concentrating in his graduate studies on Modernist art movements and experiments with form. He was taught by the noted Canadian novelist, Sheila Watson, and the Canadian playwright, Wilfred Watson. Lent's thesis was on the plays of T.S. Eliot : an analysis of "the schizophrenic adjustment we all have to make to the demands of Western society--a society that imposes material, social and spiritual roles." Lent pursued Doctoral studies at York University on Malcolm Lowry and the issue of subjectivity. For the last twenty years he has taught English literature and Creative Writing at a number of universities: Alberta, Notre Dame (Nelson), Regina, and Okanagan University College. Lent currently lives and teaches in Vernon, British Columbia. Media Link 

November 26, 2009

Margaret Doyle: With her background in theatre, Margaret has an abiding love of the spoken word, having written three plays, performance pieces and monologue's including, Winter Variations, a one-act play made up of thirty-one poems that was produced by her theatre company on the Sunshine Coast. Her poetry is likewise infused with a dramatic voice and is full of tactile imagery and provocative subjects. Margaret's work has been published by Midwifery Magazine, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, online at Leaf Press, and in the Chiron Review. More recently, Margaret has been enjoying writing non-fiction and has been published in Monday Magazine, Alberta Hospitality Magazine, and various blogs including Todd Lucier's www.tourismkeys.ca. In her 'day job', Margaret writes about tourism frequently on her blog, www.fthm.wordpress.com and consults small business on how to craft their 'message'. 

Dinah D: "Dinah D is a West Coast gem, a real rarity, whose presence, style, and sound will all stick in your head from the very first time you hear her. Dinah is not only a solid upright bass player—thumping out that low register downbeat almost effortlessly—she’s also a gifted singer; a seductive contra-alto with a wry sense of humour. Dinah’s skill as a performer is backed up by strong song-writing talent with roots that go deep—far back to the days of Viper jazz—and a sound that is steeped in the blues. If you get the chance to see Dinah perform, do not hesitate to make the gig!" -James Booker, CHLY Radio Malaspina 

Kate Braid: Please visit her Web Site

January 28, 2010

Douglas Burnet Smith is the author of fifteen books of poetry. Nominated for the Governor General's Award, Canada's most prestigious literary honour, he has won many prizes for his writing, including The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize. He has represented Canada at international writers’ festivals including: the Belgrade International Writers’ Meeting, the Sarajevo International Poetry Festival , Le Scriptorium: Marseille, and Le Marché de la Poésie, Paris, the Marlborough Festival, England, the DH Lawrence Festival, Sante Fe. The National Gallery of Canada's audiotape guide to its permanent collection contains his work. He has served as the President of the League of Canadian Poets and as Chair of the Public Lending Right Commission of Canada. He teaches at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and at the American University of Paris. 

Kim Goldberg Rumblings from the RED ZONE

where poetry meets modern dance...

with Kim Goldberg, Holly Bright, Allannah Dow

 

Don't miss the world premiere of this modern dance adaptation of Kim Goldberg's latest book RED ZONE -- poems of homelessness and urban decay. Kim spent three years verse-mapping downtown Nanaimo's back alleys, graffiti galleries, underpasses and homeless camps to create RED ZONE. Holly Bright and Allanah Dow join her onstage for a risk-filled fusion of spoken word, dance and cello. Take the journey with them -- if you dare.

 

BIOS:

Kim Goldberg is an award-winning poet, journalist and author. Her work has been widely published in magazines and anthologies around the world including Macleans, Canadian Geographic, Cimarron Review, Geist, Tesseracts, The Capilano Review and elsewhere. She is the 2008 winner of the Rannu Fund Poetry Prize for Speculative Literature. Her first poetry collection, Ride Backwards on Dragon, was shortlisted for Canada's Lampert Memorial Award. Pig Squash Press

 

Holly Bright is a performer and dance educator who specializes in solo dance interpretation of works by established Canadian choreographers. She has taught and performed across Canada and the U.S. Holly choreographs for dancers and professional musical theatre. She is founder/director of The Crimson Coast Dance Society (Nanaimo), an organization that supports the creation and presentation of professional dance events in Nanaimo, B.C. www.crimsoncoastdance.org

 

Allannah Dow spent more than 30 years playing cello in a classical and orchestral environment until a spiritual quest, coupled to a desire to sing her own song, led her into a new relationship with her century-old cello, Sebastian.

 

February 25, 2010

 Paul Nelson is Father/Poet/Teacher, co-founder of SPLAB, author: Organic Poetry (Oct. 08, VDM Verlag, Germany) & A Time Before Slaughter (Oct. 09, Apprentice House,) a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA (originally called Slaughter. Worked 26 years in radio, interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Wanda Coleman, Eileen Myles, Jerome Rothenberg, George Bowering & others. He earned his M.A. from Lesley University in Organic Poetry, a study of North American poets writing (to different degrees) spontaneously, writes one American Sentence every day & lives in Seattle.

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M.C. Warrior was born in England and educated Harrow School and U.B.C. Worked as a coast logger for eight years (rigging slinger, chaser, landing bucker) and a commercial fisherman (seine crew) for 23. Also worked as Fishermen’s Union Organizer and now works as the Lead Strategic Researcher for the Labourers’ Union’s organising drives in Western Canada. He has read at City Lights Books for San Francisco’s Labor Fest and been published in various magazines and anthologies, both here and abroad– most recently in Rocksalt.

March 23, 2010

Leanne Boschman is a prairie transplant to the West Coast. Her poems have been published in Other Voices, Dandelion Magazine, Geist Magazine, Prism International, Room of One's Own, and Rhubarb. They have also been included in Creekstones: Anthology of Northern BC Poets, Half in the Sun: Anthology of Mennonite Writing, and Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry. Leanne's first collection of poems entitled Precipitous Signs: A Rain Journal was published in April 2009 by Leaf Press.

Richard Lemm: Award-winning author Richard Lemm was born in Seattle, Washington, and immigrated to Canada in 1967. He has an MA in English from Queen's University and a PhD from Dalhousie University. He has been a faculty member at the Banff School of Fine Arts, and has been writer in residence and poetry instructor for various community colleges, regional libraries, public school districts, and summer writing programs across the country.

 

An award-winning poet and past-president of the League of Canadian Poets, he is the author of four books of poetry; his most recent collection is Four Ways of Dealing with Bullies. He is the author of Milton Acorn: In Love and Anger, a biography of the "People's Poet" of Canada. In 2007, Shape of Things to Come, a collection of stories was published by Acorn Press.

 

Richard lives in Charlottetown where he is professor of Canadian and English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Prince Edward Island. 

Pam Galloway: Born in northern England, Pam Galloway now lives in Vancouver. Her poetry is published widely in literary magazines and anthologies and on the website of the Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate (www.parl.gov.ca ). In 2008/2009 one of Pam's poems travelled on the skytrain and buses as part of "Poetry In Transit".

 

She worked collaboratively with Quintet, a group of poets in Vancouver to produce their poetry collection, Quintet: Themes and Variations, (Ekstasis Editions 1998). Her first book of poetry Parallel Lines was published in 2006, (Ekstasis Editions). Recently, her poetry was included in the photographic/poetry collection A Verse Map of Vancouver. She has an MFA in creative writing from UBC. 

Winona Baker is a poet, wife, and mother of four children. She has won international awards for haiku and tanka; her poems have been translated into French, Croatian, German, Greek, Japanese, Romanian, and Yugoslavian and are published in over 80 anthologies in North America, Europe, New Zealand, and Japan. She has published five poetry books: Clouds Empty Themselves, Not So Scarlet a Woman (Red Cedar Press, 1987), Beyond the Lighthouse (Oolichan, 1992), Moss-Hung Trees (Reflections, 1992), and Even a Stone Breathes (Oolichan, 2000). 

Kirsty Elliot lives on a little island homestead and is delighted to be leaving the dirty diapers behind to join you for a night of poetry. 

May 31, 2010

Frank Moher's plays have been seen internationally, at theatres including South Coast Rep (Costa Mesa, Calif.), the Canadian Stage Company (Toronto), Workshop West Theatre (Edmonton), the Asolo Theater (Sarasota, Fla.), Alberta Theatre Projects (Calgary), The Bunkaza Theatre (Tokyo), and Dodona Theatre (Prishtina, Kosova). They include Pause, The Broken Globe, Down for the Weekend, Odd Jobs, Sliding for Home (with Gerald Reid), The Third Ascent, Prairie Report, Kidnapping the Bride, Farewell, McLuhan: The Musical (with Gerald Reid), Supreme Dream (with Rhonda Trodd), All I Ever Wanted, Tolstoy's Wife, Weather, and Big Baby. He is currently at work on Moonbound!, a musical adaptation of H.G. Wells' First Men in the Moon. His plays are published online by ProPlay and by the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

 

Also a journalist, Frank edits the online magazine http://backofthebook.ca. He has taught at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta (where he was a Distinguished Visiting Artist), and is currently Chair of the Department of Creative Writing and Journalism at Vancouver Island University. He lives on Gabriola Island. 

Wendy Morton receives the Spirit Bear Award from Patrick Lane

 

Wendy Morton has 5 books of poetry in the world, and a memoir. Her lastest book, What Were Their Dreams is a book of photo-poems, about Canada's history; the poems are on archival photos. Some of the poems are stories of First Nations residents of the Alberni Valley that have been turned into poems. She is the recent recipient of The Spirit Bear Award, instituted by Patrick Lane and Lorna Crozier and The Golden Beret Award from the Calgary Spoken Word Society both honouring her enduring contributions to the poetic community in Canada. She lives in west of Sooke, in the same old house for 37 years. She is a raven watcher. 

Rhonda Ganz poses with Wendy Morton.

Rhonda Ganz is delighted to have a poem in Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry. A stanza from that poem showed up on Vancouver buses as part of the 2010 Poetry in Transit project. At the end of 2009, the Times Colonist newspaper commissioned her as one of five poets to write a poem to celebrate solstice. Previously published in Ascent Aspirations and several chapbooks edited by Patrick Lane, Rhonda is pleased to be a featured reader at Wordstorm, where she has often been an appreciative member of the audience. When not writing poetry, Rhonda works as a graphic designer and editor and dotes on her husband and three cats. She reads entirely too much crime fiction, if such a thing is even possible. 

September 27, 2010

Naomi Beth Wakan has written/compiled over thirty-five books, including Haiku – one breath poetry, (Heian International), an American Library Association selection. Recent titles are Segues, Late Bloomer – on writing later in life, Compositions: notes on the written word, and Book Ends: a year between the covers, all from Wolsak and Wynn, Double take – response tanka from The Modern English Tanka Press, and Sex After 70 and other poems from Bevalia Press. Her writing workshops inspire and empower the novice writer. Naomi is a member of Haiku Canada, Tanka Canada, The League of Canadian Poets, and Poetry Gabriola. Her poetry and essays have been printed in numerous magazines including Geist, Room of One’s Own, Moonset and Red Light and been read on CBC. She lives on Gabriola Island with her husband, the sculptor, Elias Wakan. 

Clea Roberts lives in Whitehorse, Yukon on the Takhini River. Her poems have appeared in The Antigonish Review, CV2, The Dalhousie Review, The International Feminist Journal of Politics, Lake: A Journal of Arts and the Environment, The Malahat Review, Prism International, and Room. Roberts has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Centre, the Atlantic Centre for the Arts, and is a three-time recipient of the Yukon Government Advanced Artist Award. Her work has been nominated for a National Magazine Award and her poem, “When We Begin to Grow Old,” won the After Al Purdy Poetry Contest. Clea is the former co-organizer of the Whitehorse Poetry Festival. 

Susan McCaslin is a poet, educator, scholar, workshop facilitator, and author of fourteen volumes of poetry, including her most recent, Lifting the Stone (Seraphim Editions, 2007). She has edited two anthologies of poetry Poetry and Spiritual Practice and A Matter of Spirit and is on the editorial board of Event: the Douglas College Review. Susan lives in Fort Langley, British Columbia. After twenty-three years as a professor of English and Creative Writing at Douglas College in New Westminster, B.C., Susan is now a full-time writer, giving poetry workshops, talks, and readings. She has a new volume of poetry called Demeter Goes Skydiving forthcoming from the University of Alberta Press in the spring of 2011. 

Web Site 

Elizabeth Rhett Woods’ professional writing debut was “A Way of Loving”, broadcast on CBC Radio’s Introducing in 1968. Her 90-minute verse drama, Maya was featured on CBC Radio’s Tuesday Night, in 1974), and a verse vignette, “Life and Death Along The Gorge”, was on Out Front, in 2000.

 

Her first novel, The Yellow Volkswagen, was published by Simon & Schuster, Canada, in 1971, followed by The Amateur (PaperJacks, 1980), Double Entry Death (serialized in the short-lived tabloid, The Victoria Literary Times, 2004), and Beyond the Pale, about temptation and consequences (Ekstasis Editions, 2006).

 

After a chapbook, Gone, was published by Ladysmith Press in 1971, her first book-length collection, Men, was published by Fiddlehead Poetry Books, in 1979, followed by Bird Salad (Moonstone Press, 1990), Family Fictions (Wolsak& Wynn, 2002), The Absinthe of Desire (Ekstasis Editions, 2004), and 1970: A Novel Poem (Ekstasis Editions, 2007). Woman Walking: Selected Poems, was published by Ekstasis Editions in 2009. 

Web Site 

October 25, 2010

D.C. Reid walked out onto the Alberta prairie west of Calgary when he was three years old (1955) and never came back. When he was five he reached his hand into a stream and pulled out a trout. His life has been about water since that day. He was published in MacLeans when he was ten and thought the writing life would be easy. What an innocent.

Since that time he has been published in more than 50 literary magazines in Canada, the United States, the U.K., India and Mexico, with his work having been translated into Spanish and Hindi. On the literary side of his writing life, he has published four books of poetry and one novel.

Along the way, and much to his surprise, he took a B.Sc. in biochemistry and zoology, then started over again, instead of going on to a PHD in cancer research; going to England and taking a B.A. in English and Philosophy – both honours degrees. Arriving back in Canada in 1976 unable to find a job, Dennis was told by Eli Mandel at the then Banff School of Fine Arts he could write poetry, something he would never have guessed, nor ever do on his own.

Reid went on to do an M.P.A. to get a job to feed his new family. After going crazy with that and then spending the best decade of his life bringing his daughters up at home, he lost them through divorce, a sadness that continues.

In 1996, Patrick Lane told him at the now Banff Centre that his instincts were good and so was his work. He then jumped off the cliff and has lived in the fire of poetry since then. Now, he calls it: a necessary love. His fifth and sixth books of poetry will come soon: What It Means To Be Human, and You Shall Have No Other.

On another side of his life, Reid has gone on to write for more than 50 magazines/newspapers/websites across North America on fishing – gear, fly and Spey – in salt- and fresh-water. His fourth fishing book will be released in 2008. When not at his computer, he will just as frequently be found in his Vancouver Island wilderness with the fish he likes to check on from time to time just to make sure they are okay. Once secure in that knowledge, he lets them go, sometimes seeing in his rounds as many as 500 in a year. His largest spring is 60 pounds – on his 8 weight.

Reid has a canyon river he strays into more than he should, in his mid-fifties, for wild summer steelhead on the fly, climbing down cliffs with his fly rod between his teeth. And this has segued into another side of his writing life: he is delving into the hardcore science to write a book he has wanted for more than a decade: The Brains of Poets. Still out there in his future is the fourth room of his mind. He will learn to play the piano and write an album of music. He is too embarrassed to sing in front of others, at the moment, but there is time to get over that. Having played clarinet and sax in jazz, Dixie and symphony, he can get his right hand to work on the black and white keys, but not his left. There is time for that, too. 

Barbara Pelman was born in Vancouver BC and received her BA from the University of British Columbia and her MA from the University of Toronto. She worked in England for a few years as a Canadian Immigration officer before returning to BC. She has recently retired from a career of teaching English, mainly at the high school level, but also at colleges and universities. Now she writes, offers poetry workshops to teachers and students, and participates in the busy Victoria writing community. Her poems have been published in Event, CV2, Quills, Descant, Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review, and in the Leaf Press "Glenairley" series. They have also appeared on the Leaf Press website as the "Monday Poem". Her second book of poetry, Borrowed Rooms was published by Ronsdale Press (2008). 

November 29, 2010

Kim Clark lives on Vancouver Island. Disease and desire, mothering and the mundane propel her ongoing journey between poetry and prose. Kim's work can be found in Body Breakdowns (Anvil Press), The Malahat Review, All Rights Reserved, Ascent Aspirations, as well as e-zines and other publications in Canada and the U.S. 

Kim has just completed a short story collection and two full length poetry manuscripts. She has been a 2010 winner in both the SCRATCH poetry and fiction contests and been short-listed in the Malahat Review's Novella Contest. 

Daniela Elza is a free-range poet, and a non-medicated scholar of the poetic consciousness. She has rel.eased more than a 140 poems into the wor(l)d in over 42 publications. Her inte.rests lie in the gaps, rubs, and b.ridges between poetry, language, and philosophy. She just finished compiling her second full-length manuscript, while also working on her doctorate thesis in Philosophy of Education at SFU. Daniela is the recipient of this year's Pandora's Collective Citizenship Award. 

January 31, 2011

Joe Rosenblatt was born in Toronto in 1933. He dropped out of trade school as a young adult and worked at a series of low-paying jobs until he started working as a laborer for the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1956. He became interested in writing through his association with the worker poet Milton Acorn in the early sixties and the metaphysical poetry of Gwendolyn MacEwen. By 1966 he had his first book of poetry published and he also received a Canada Council grant which allowed him to leave his job as a freight handler of the old Canadian Pacific Railway and devote the next year to writing and traveling.

 

Over the years, Rosenblatt has written more than 20 books of poetry, several autobiographical works and his poems have appeared in over thirty anthologies of Canadian poetry over his forty year career as a poet. His poetry books have received major awards, such as the Governor General's award for poetry in 1976 and the BC Book Prize in 1986. He has traveled widely giving readings of his poems in Europe, Canada and the United States. Several bilingual volumes of his poetry have been published in Italian with translations by the late Prof. Alfredo Rizzardi of the University of Bologna, and Ada Donati of Rome. His most recent poetry volume, Parrot Fever was published by Toronto publisher, Exile Editions, 2002. His poems have also been also translated into French, Dutch, Swedish and Spanish. For the past 30 years he has been living in a beach resort community of Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island with his wife Faye and their three cats. 

Kevin Roberts: Born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1940, Kevin Roberts went on to Adelaide University, where a tutor, Geoff Dutton, an ex RAAF Spitfire pilot in WW II, encouraged his writing. After graduating from Adelaide Teachers College with a B.A. Dip T., Roberts traveled to Canada, teaching high school in Dawson Creek. He completed a M.A. from Simon Fraser University in 1968, and was hired as one of the three original faculty members in English at Malaspina College in Nanaimo, BC. In the 70's, Roberts lived for a year in Ikaria, Greece, under the Colonels' Regime, then pursued graduate studies at University of Exeter, published his first book -- of poetry and prose -- Cariboo Fishing Notes (Beau Geste Press, 1973), chaired Malaspina's English Department for one year, and ran a 32-foot salmon troller, the Miriama, off the coast of Vancouver Island for several years. In 1980, a book of poetry, s’ney’mos (Oolichan) appeared that later was broadcast by the CBC. His first book of stories, Flash Harry and the Daughters of Divine Light, was published in 1982 (by Harbour), along with a book of poems, Stonefish (Oolichan). The next year he became writer-in-residence at Wattle Park College, Adelaide.

 

In the mid-80’s, Roberts went on disability leave due to non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, an experience he later wrote about in Cobalt 3, a Finalist for the Milton Acorn Poetry Prize. His first novel, Tears in a Glass Eye came out in 1989. For Roberts, 1992 saw both the publication of a book of poems drawn from Australia’s continental core, Red Centre Journal, and the production by Nanaimo Festival Theatre of a play about that city’s coal-mining history, Black Apples. After retiring from Malaspina University-College – where he was named an Honorary Research Associate – Roberts completed a Ph.D at Griffith University in Queensland (2003). Following a teaching stint in Shanghai, he published his eleventh book of poetry, Writing the Tides (2006), and a novel, She’ll Be Right (2007). Of his work, Kate Braid observes that Roberts is “like the fisherman, hauling beauty in out of the darkness.” His literary papers are held at Simon Fraser University and the National Library Archives in Ottawa.

Kendall Patrick is a singer songwriter from Ladysmith, BC. She has 7 years of classical piano training under her belt, taught herself guitar and has been writing songs since grade 7. She is currently attending The Malaspina Jazz program, majoring in voice. She released her first album, House of Ink, in 2007, which includes a beat poetry piece called "The Girl Rant" . "The Girl Rant" was written to empower young girls into awareness out of the media-driven conventions of today's popular culture, which heavily emphasizes superficiality. "The Girl Rant" has received recognition from the Oprah Winfrey Show, and has been taken to local schools. The power of this piece has inspired Kendall to continue writing for empowerment and she is currently on a mission to begin "The Girl Rant Movement". She will be performing at The Vancouver Island Music Festival in Comox in 2008. You can find her music at My Space 

February 28, 2011

Blaine Marchand is an Ottawa writer who has published five books of poetry, a young adult novel and a work of non-fiction. His books include After the Fact, Open Fires, A Garden Enclosed, Bodily Presence, African Journey and Aperture. His work has appeared in magazines and anthlogies in Canada and the US. He has won several literary awards including the Archibald Lampman Award (for A Garden Enclosed), and his poem "The Craving of Knives," took second place in the National Poetry Contest in 1990. He was President of the League of Canadian Poets from 1992-94 and was a co-founder of Sparks Magazine and Ottawa Independent Writers. Both Aperature and The Craving of Knives were shortlisted for the Archibald Lampman Award in 2009 and 2010. 

Gabriola Goliger’s first book, Song of Ascent, won the 2001 Upper Canada Writer's Craft Award. She was co-winner of the 1997 Journey Prize for short fiction, was a finalist for this prize in 1995 and won the Prism International award in 1993. She has also been published in a number of journals and anthologies including Best New American Voices 2000 and Contemporary Jewish Writing in Canada.

 

Her educational credentials include a B.A. from McGill University and an M.A. in English literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Born in Italy, Gabriella grew up in Montreal and has also lived in Israel, the Eastern Arctic, and Ottawa. For the past few years she has been spending her winters in Victoria, B.C. 

Jenny Fjellgaard's fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry have been included in the anthologies Islands West: Stories From the Coast, The Fish Come in Dancing, Netherwords: fictions poems rants from British Columbia, Portal Magazine, Chameleon and most recently in Crow Toes Quarterly: A Magazine for Hyper-literate Children. In 2010, Jenny was awarded Ascent Aspiration's first prize for poetry for "Three More Payments and It's All Ours!" and honourable mention for her flash fiction piece "Jonesing," both of which were published in Ascent Aspirations Magazine: 2010 Winter Edition, "Issues for a New World Century." Jenny currently resides in Nanaimo, BC, with her dog, Scarlett and-frankly my dears-they do give a damn…which may not be apparent to the un-brained ear. 

March 28, 2011

Christopher Levenson, who came to Canada from the U.K. in 1968 to teach English and Creative Writing at Carleton University in Ottawa, has published ten books of poetry and two chapbooks, most recently Local Time, 2006, from Ottawa’s Stone Flower Press, and edited three poetry anthologies. He was co-founder in 1978 of Arc poetry magazine and its first editor; co-founder and Series Editor of Carleton University Press’s Harbinger Poetry series, specifically for first books of poetry; and served for a year as Poetry Editor for the Literary Review of Canada. In addition to the twenty five full year credit Poetry Workshops he conducted for Carleton, he also started and ran the Ottawa Poetry Group, whose anthology Soundings he co-edited in 2005. He moved to Vancouver in the Fall of 2007. 

Judy Mayhew lives in Qualicum Beach, where she writes short stories and novels. Her short stories have been published in literary journals and commercial magazines. She is working on her third novel. 

April 25, 2011

Anny Scoones grew up in the Maritimes with her war-artist (WWII) parents and her old horse Missy who she would ride while her parents painted the New Brunswick countryside. Anny spent many summers with her Gran on Galiano Island where she grew to love the west coast and eventually settled in North Saanich on historic Glamorgan Farm, one of the oldest farms on the Island and still retains eleven original log barns and structures.

 

Anny is a three time municipal councillor who fights for the preservation of agriculture and hertage, "green" architecture, bicycle lanes and an anti-pesticide by-law.

 

Glamorgan Farm is home to many heirloom gardens and heritage breeds of livestock, including the Gloucester Old Spot Pig and the Naked Neck Hen and the Russian Woolly Horse. Glamorgan Farm also is home to the Healthy Harvest Co-op, a group of (adult) disabled gardeners. The themes of Anny's three books are home, our relationships with each other and nature, and the joys and heart breaks of rural life.

 

May 30, 2011

Bren Simmers: Born in Vancouver, Bren Simmers studied writing at the University of Victoria and has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The University of British Columbia. Winner of the Arc Poem of the Year Award and shortlisted for the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award, her poetry has been published in The Antigonish Review, CV2, Event, The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, and Prism International. Her first book of poems, (2010), is published by Wolsak and Wynn.

Di Brandt grew up in Reinland, a Mennonite farming village in south central Manitoba and was one of the first women writers to break the public silence of Mennonite women in Canada. She taught English and Creative Writing at the University of Winnipeg from 1986-1995, and currently teaches English at the University of Alberta. She is a former poetry editor of Prairie Fire and a founding member of the feminist editorial collective of Contemporary Verse II

Margaret Thompson was born November 5, 1940 in Surbiton, England. That is Guy Fawkes Day, but the only fireworks that year came from the Blitz. She started school just a few weeks after the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, when she was not quite five years old. She could already read.

 

Later she attended a Church of England elementary school, and after passing the dreaded 11+ exam that all children took before going on to a secondary school at that time, went to Wimbledon County School for Girls (a Grammar school, an academic high school.) In 1959, she went to Westfield College at London University to read English, and graduated in 1962 with a BA (Hons) degree. This was followed by a year at Exeter University for a Dip.Ed. and then a first teaching job at her old school. Much later, she earned her M.A. from San Diego State University.

 

In 1963 she married Alan Thompson, a Physics lecturer at Chiswick Polytechnic. She left teaching temporarily with the arrival of her sons Jeremy and Simon, and the family emigrated to Canada in 1967, when Simon was five weeks old. Their first home in Canada was in Merritt, B.C. where her daughter, Joanna, was born. After three years there, they moved to Madeira Park. Margaret subsequently taught English in Sechelt and then spent 20 years in Fort St. James, where she was the senior English teacher in the high school and also taught university transfer courses for the College of New Caledonia.

 

Margaret Thompson has taught other people how to write for years, and frequently wrote plays for her students. She began to take her own writing seriously in the early 1990s and self-published a collection of prose and poetry about the early days of Fort St. James in 1992, specifically for the Gift Shop at the National Historic Site in the town. The information acquired in her research for that project gave her the material for her first children’s book, the YA historical novel, Eyewitness (Ronsdale, 2000) which won a BC2000 Book Award. Earlier, in 1996, her collection of short stories, Hide and Seek (1996) was published by Caitlin Press.

 

On retirement from teaching in 1996, Margaret Thompson left the north for Victoria and year-round gardens. She lives in a house that overlooks the farms that sweep down to the sea, with a great view of Mt. Baker and Haro Strait. She has one Siamese cat, two Basset hounds, and is visited every day by the peacocks that live in the neighbourhood. She also has four grandchildren, two of whom also live in Victoria.

 

She wrote another children’s book, Fox Winter, (Hodgepog Books, 2003) which is based on a real encounter with an injured fox in her own backyard. This was followed by a collection of travel essays, Knocking on the Moonlit Door (NeWest, 2004) and a further essay collection, Adrift on the Ark: Our Connection to the Natural World (Brindle & Glass) in 2009.

 

Her other great interest is the Federation of BC Writers, which she first joined in 1992. She was their president for two years and is still an active member of the editorial committee for their quarterly journal, WordWorks. She is also a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada.

 

Web Site 

The McCartie Group is a vocal jazz trio composed of award winning senior high school music students from the Nanaimo area. Led by the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival two-time award winner vocalist Amy McCartie, the McCartie Group strives to keep the spirit of traditional jazz alive, while giving the music their own unique modern edge. Amy McCartie is backed by virtuoso saxophone and bass player Josh Rey and drummer Jesse McNeill. Josh and Jesse have won solo and top musician awards at both Envisions Jazz Festival in Vancouver and the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho. 

There really isn’t a life outside of music for anyone in the McCartie group, and that is the way they would like it to stay. Every member plans on making a career of music, be it as a full time player or as an educator. Each musician comes from a different musical background, but all come together for a common love of jazz. Music dominates their worlds. They look forward to sharing their music with WordStorm!

 

September 26, 2011

Linda Lee Crosfield was born in 1948 in Nelson, BC. She lived there until she went off to join the circus (thinly disguised as Air Canada). She worked in Ottawa, Windsor, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver before moving back to the Kootenays in 1988.

 

From 1991 to 1996 she studied creative writing at the Kootenay School of Arts in Nelson.

 

She is one of four writers who collaborated on The Noslen Enigma, a serialized satirical sci-fi soap opera that was online from September 1998 to September 1999. The writers recorded it for broadcast on Kootenay Co-op Radio in 2004.

 

A member of the Federation of BC Writers since 1993, Linda has served as regional representative, on the board, and as a member of the editorial committee for Word Works, the Fed’s quarterly journal. She has participated in Off the Page, a program that puts writers into classrooms around the province.

 

Her writing has been published in the U.S.A., New Zealand and Canada, including Room of One’s Own, Horsefly, The New Orphic Review, Ascent Aspirations, The Minnesota Review, Labor, and in several chapbooks and anthologies, including between sleeps: the 3:15 experiment 1993–2005 (en theos press 2006), Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined (Seal Press 2006), and The Fed Anthology—brand new fiction and poetry from the Federation of BC Writers (Anvil Press 2003). One of her poems has been accepted for a forthcoming issue of The Antigonish Review. She has published three chapbooks: Ways to Get to Here (2004), Generation Dance (2008), and Etiquette (2011).

 

In 2007 her poem Could Be A Bigger One came first in the Canadian Poetry Association’s annual contest. 

 

Linda lives in Ootischenia (which means “valley of consolation” in Russian) at the confluence of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers in South East BC where she blogs sporadically at www.purplemountainpoems.blogspot.com and makes handmade and limited edition books through her imprint, NIB Publishing. NIB stands for nose-in-book, where hers can usually be found. 

David Fraser lives in Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island. He is the founder and editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine, since 1997. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Rocksalt, An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry and Walk Myself Home. He has published four collections of poetry, Going to the Well (2004), Running Down the Wind (2007), No Way Easy, 2010, and Caught in My Throat, 2011. Home Site:  He will be performing new work and work from his latest collection. 

Ursula Vaira - Book Launch And See What Happens

 

Ursula Vaira was born in Germany ... grew up in northern B.C. in a tiny place called Little Prairie, later renamed Chetwynd, 200 miles north of Prince George. After studying Education at UBC, she taught school on the north coast and in the Arctic, then moved to Vancouver Island in the early eighties. She studied creative writing at Malaspina University-College (now Vancouver Island University). She worked at Oolichan Books for ten years; then founded her own publishing house, Leaf Press, in 2001.

 

She loves wilderness camping and kayaking, has a passion for the west coast — the summer of 2005 she kayaked with a group from Port Hardy to Zeballos, including the dreaded Capes Cook and Scott. In 1997 she paddled by Coast Salish canoe from Hazelton to Victoria as part of Roy Henry Vickers' Vision Quest to raise addictions awareness and funds to build an all-nations recovery centre. Through these and other experiences she has learned the power of the arduous journey as a metaphor for self-growth. In truth, all journeys do lead to the interior. 

Lisa Shatzky's poetry has been published in The Vancouver Review, Room Magazine, Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, The Nashwaak Review, The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, Canadian Literature, Canadian Woman's Studies, The Prairie Journal, Jones Ave., The New Quarterly, and five chapbooks by Leaf Press (edited by Patrick Lane) along with anthologies across Canada. Her poetry book Do Not Call Me By My Name was published by Black Moss Press in August 2011. She lives on Bowen Island B.C. where she works as a therapist when not writing. 

November 28, 2011

Richard Osler writes poetry when he isn’t watching the poetics of the stock market’s rise and fall as a specialty money manager. His poems have been accepted in numerous journals including the Malahat review, Prarie Fire, Antigonish Review and CV2 which published a feature interview with him in its Winter 2011 issue. He also leads weekend writing retreats for poets and conducts poetry workshops in drug and alcohol recovery centres. The Cowichan Valley in B.C. has claimed him as one of its own since 2010. 

Joy Huebert is a Victoria writer and winner of the 2008 Short Grain Postcard Story Competition. She has been published in several literary magazines and three chapbooks produced by the Root Cellar Press. She is an editor of the short story collection, Magic Night, and placed second in the Vancouver Story Slam.

 

Gisela Ruebsaat is a Victoria poet who has been published in Island Writer. Her work explores the intersection of music, spoken word and song. She has worked as a speechwriter for governments in Ontario and BC and currently acts as Legal Analyst for the Ending Violence Association.

 

Katrin Horowitz published her first novel, Power Failures, in 2007. Last year she was a winner in Victoria's Night on the Town prose competition for her story, "Blues for a Bridge". She is finalizing a new novel, Convenient Lies, and is also working on more short stories.

 

Kim Clark lives on Vancouver Island. Disease and desire, mothering and the mundane propel her ongoing journey between poetry and prose. Her work can be found in e-zines and other publications in Canada and the U.S.. Kim holds a BA in Creative Writing from VIU. She won the 2005 Cecilia Lamont prize for fiction and her story “Solitaire” was shortlisted in the Malahat Review’s 2010 Novella Contest.

Kim’s first book, Attemptations, published by Caitlin Press, is a collection of short, long and longer fiction. 

January 30, 2012

Cathy Ford was born in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, and grew up in northern British Columbia. She has a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. from the University of British Columbia (1978). She now lives on Mayne Island, and in Sidney, B.C., working as poet and fictioniste, publisher, editor, and teacher. She was President of the League of Canadian Poets in 1985/86, and one of the founding members of the League's Feminist Caucus in 1982. From 1984 to 1986 she was a member of a national task force of Women and Words, working to create a draft constitution for a national association of PanCanadian Women and Words. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Literary Storefront from 1980 to 1982, and is also a member of the Federation of British Columbia Writers and PEN.

Jude Neale was born three months premature in Northern British Columbia. She is a twin and shared the early white cold memories of childhood with her beloved brother. Jude has had a life-long struggle with bipolar illness, and in her second book, Only The Fallen Can See, she writes of despair or longing like a lover, a dangerous friend. She has taken the journals she kept during her long battle and whittled them down to their essence, bringing a rare and moving glimpse into the emotional ravages of mental illness.

Jude has had strong support from journal, anthology and internet publishers, including The Antigonish Review, Leaf Press, and Ascent Aspirations, and has released one volume of poetry, The Perfect Word Collapses. A trained Mezzo-Soprano, her passion is making music, so she likes to write the song of a poem, exploring rhythm and colour in verse. Her unique voice can be heard in the textured beat of each carefully crafted poem, provoking both thought and the deep insight of a survivor. 

Judy Millar is a writer of humorous and serious short stories, essays, poems and song lyrics. She has won numerous awards for her writing including the 2009 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award, and the 2009 and 2010 Nanaimo Short Fiction contests.

She is currently readying a collection of her short stories for publication. She also enjoys performing her work solo—and as part of the writing/performing duo WordChickz. She moved to Nanaimo from Kitchener, Ontario in 2007. 

February 27, 2012

Karen Enns is from southern Ontario, where she was born and raised in a Mennonite farm community. Her poetry has appeared in The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, Grain Magazine, PRISM international and The Malahat Review. She lives in Victoria, B.C. That Other Beauty is her first poetry collection. 

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.

Patrick Friesen, formerly of Winnipeg, now lives on Vancouver Island, writing and teaching part-time at the University of Victoria. He writes poetry, essays, drama, scripts, songs, and text for dance and music. Friesen has collaborated with various musicians including Big Dave McLean, Cate Friesen and Marilyn Lerner, and with choreographer/dancers Margie Gillis and Stephanie Ballard. Friesen has recorded two CDs of text and improv music with Marilyn Lerner, and with Lerner, cellist Peggy Lee and percussionist Niko Friesen. His most recent poetry book is Jumping in the Asylum (Quattro Press, 2011).

March 26, 2012

Bill Levity is the genial host of, 'For The love of Words'; a monthly spoken word night at the Duncan Garage Showroom that is in its fifth year and going strong. He has also parlayed his particular form of word Schtick at the Islands Folk Festival and Poetry Festival Gabriola. Bill's other artistic loves are MCing, songwriting and acting. He's been active with the Shawnigan Players for over twenty years in such groundbreaking roles as Jim Keegstra in 'Ilsa, Queen of the Nazi Love Camp', and David in 'Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love'. A good panto is never far away; his favourite roles being , Griselda, The Ugly Stepsister, and The Evil Queen in Snow White. Bill's poetry usually trends towards sex, wit and beer; tho nature is usually tightly woven through all three. 

Missie Peters is a spoken word artist from Victoria, B.C. She is the inagrual recipient of the M Award for Favourite Spoken Word Artist and a two-time Victoria Slam Champion. She is the director of Not Your Grandma's Poetry and the Victoria Spoken Word Festival. When not improvising with the spoken word duo SpeakEasy she is preparing for her new solo show The Secret Lives of Scientists. 

April 16, 2012

Cynthia Woodman Kerkham was born in Toronto and raised in Hong Kong and Vancouver. She has a degree in Asian Studies and English literature from UBC and has worked as an au pair in France, a potter, a journalist and a teacher. Her poems have appeared in many literary journals including The Antigonish Review, Room, CV2, The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, Passages North, Grain and Prairie Fire. In 2009 she won the Federation of BC Writers Literary Writes Competition, and in 2011 she won the Malahat Review's Open Season Award for poetry. Good Holding Ground, her debut collection of poems, was published in spring 2011 by Palimpsest Press. When not sailing the Westcoast, she lives with her family in Victoria in a constant state of renovation. 

Lorna Crozier was born in 1948 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. As a child growing up in a prairie community where the local heroes were hockey players and curlers, she “never once thought of being a writer.” After university, Lorna went on to teach high school English and work as a guidance counsellor. During these years, Lorna published her first poem in Grain magazine, a publication that turned her life toward writing. Her first collection Inside in the Sky was published in 1976. Since then, she has authored 14 books of poetry, including The Garden Going on Without Us, Angels of Flesh, Angels of Silence, Inventing the Hawk, winner of the 1992 Governor-General’s Award, Everything Arrives at the Light, Apocrypha of Light, What the Living Won’t Let Go, and most recently Whetstone. Whether Lorna is writing about angels, aging, or Louis Armstrong’s trout sandwich, she continues to engage readers and writers across Canada and the world with her grace, wisdom and wit. She is, as Margaret Laurence wrote, “a poet to be grateful for.”

 

Since the beginning of her writing career, Lorna has been known for her inspired teaching and mentoring of other poets. In 1980 Lorna was the writer-in-residence at the Cypress Hills Community College in Swift Current; in 1983, at the Regina Public Library; and in 1989 at the University of Toronto. She has held short-term residencies at the Universities of Toronto and Lethbridge and at Douglas College. Presently she lives near Victoria, where she teaches and serves as Chair in the Writing Department at the University.

 

Beyond making poems, Lorna has also edited two non-fiction collections – Desire in Seven Voices and Addiction: Notes from the Belly of the Beast. Together with her husband and fellow poet Patrick Lane, she edited the 1994 landmark collection Breathing Fire: Canada’s New Poets; in 2004, they co-edited Breathing Fire 2, once again introducing over thirty new writers to the Canadian literary world.

 

Her poems continue to be widely anthologized, appearing in 15 Canadian Poets X 3, 20th Century Poetry and Poetics, Poetry International and most recently in Open Field: An Anthology of Contemporary Canadian Poets, a collection designed for American readers.

 

Her reputation as a generous and inspiring artist extends from her passion for the craft of poetry to her teaching and through to her involvement in various social causes. In addition to leading poetry workshops across the globe, Lorna has given benefit readings for numerous organizations such as the SPCA, the BC Land Conservancy, the Victoria READ Society, and PEERS, a group committed to helping prostitutes get off the street. She has been a frequent guest on CBC radio where she once worked as a reviewer and arts show host. Wherever she reads she raises the profile and reputation of poetry. Web Site

 

WordStorm would like to thank the Inn on Long Lake, 4700 North Island Highway, V9T 1W6 Nanaimo for providing the accommodation for Lorna Crozier while she is in Nanaimo for her reading and for her workshop.

 

 

The Inn on Long Lake is the Jewel of Nanaimo hotels on Vancouver Island. Located on picturesque Long Lake, travelers are drawn to its doors with the promise of beautiful sunrises and the feel of having nature at their own front door. 

 

Please visit the Inn on Long Lake Web Site

May 28, 2012

Martha Royea lives in Gibsons, BC. Poetry is a major passion – reading, writing, hearing, speaking it and translating poems from the Spanish. Her poems appear intermittently in chapbooks and anthologies, including several Leaf Press publications edited by Patrick Lane. Her own chapbook, If I Could Pray, was published by "26 Leaves" in 2007 and reissued by request in 2011. Love Songs for Dead Mothers is still developing. 

Liz McNally is an émigré; part of a large, now distant, Irish family. True to her heritage, she is prone to melancholy and humour in equal measure and feels there’s nothing a great poem or a good song won’t fix.

 

Liz is an observer. She takes her notebook everywhere to capture the extraordinary poetry of people’s lives in ordinary moments. She has enjoyed the company of other poets in a handful of Chapbooks and dreams of a time when she can say the words “my recently published book of poems”. 

Savannah Featherstone is not running the contracting business that she and her husband own, you can find her upholstering old chairs or in her art studio combining paper, glue, and paint on different types of canvas. Although she has written poetry off and on since an early age, it has only been in the last few years that poetry has taken a significant and defined place in her creative practice. Savannah lives in North Saanich with her husband, a loyal and neurotic Border Collie and two extremely spoiled felines. 

Dan Lundine was born and raised on Vancouver Island. When high schools had tired of him, he joined the RCMP in January of 1962 and was immediately sent to Regina, Saskatchewan to train. After seven years of service, Dan left the force and obtained a teaching degree at the University of Regina. He then taught school for thirty years in Regina, West Germany, and Langley, BC. Upon leaving the classroom, Dan and his wife, Carol, moved to French Creek on Vancouver Island and operated a bed and breakfast for a number of years. They are now retired and living in Qualicum Beach, BC. 

September 25, 2012

Yvonne Blomer lives in Victoria, BC where she works as a poet, memoirist, writing teacher, event organizer and mom. She was born in Zimbabwe and came to Canada when she was two years old. With her husband she has taught in Japan, cycled in Southeast Asia and lived in the UK where she completed an MA in Creative Writing: Poetry. Her poems have twice been shortlisted for the CBC Literary awards and have appeared in literary journals in Canada, the US, Japan and the UK. Her first collection of poetry, a broken mirror, fallen leaf (Ekstasis Editions), was shortlisted for The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award in 2007. She is the host/organizer of the Planet Earth Poetry Reading Series in Victoria, B.C. In 2012 Yvonne’s illustrated series of poems Bicycle Brand Journey will launch with Jack Pine Press.

Please see the poster for her most recent book, The Book of Places

Naomi Beth Wakan has published over forty books including Sex After 70 and other poems and the ALA selection, Haiku – one breath poetry. Her books of essays from Wolsak and Wynn, are Late Bloomer-on writing later in life, Compositions – notes on the written word, Bookends – a year between the covers, and A Roller-coaster ride – thoughts on aging. Her poetry and essays have appeared in many magazines including Geist, Resurgence, Senior Living, Still Point Quarterly and Room. She is a member of The League of Canadian Poets, Haiku Canada and Tanka Canada. She lives on Gabriola Island with her husband, the sculptor, Elias Wakan. Web Site

October 30, 2012

Judy Millar is a writer of humorous and serious short stories. She has won numerous awards for her writing, including the 2009 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award. She was a finalist in the 2011 and 2009 Writers’ Union of Canada Short Prose Competitions. She is in demand as a spoken word performer of her original material, and is excited to be launching her first humorous short story collection, entitled Beaver Bluff: The Librarian Stories. 

Richard Osler, poet and money manager, lives in Duncan, B.C. His chapbook of small poems Where the Water Lives was published by Leaf Press in 2012. His poems have appeared also in journals including CV2, Malahat Review, IslandWriter, Antigonish Review, Prairie Fire and Ruminate Magazine. In 2011 he was shortlisted for the Malahat Open Season Awards in poetry. He also leads poetry workshops in drug and alcohol recovery centres. 

Pat Smekal lives by the sea, at Nanoose Bay. She loves words, pebbles, avocados and Australian pelicans, but dislikes lumpy porridge and anything that has a lot of buttons.

Pat’s poems have been dubbed “accessible”. She is happy with this description, as she always hopes her words will appeal to people who tend to head for the hills whenever poetry is around.

Her poetry has been winning prizes since 2003, and has been published in many Canadian anthologies, chapbooks and periodicals. In 2009, her own chapbook, Praise without Mortar, appeared in print. Her latest work, entitled Small Corners, was published this year by Ascent Aspirations Publishing. 

November 27, 2012

Joe Rosenblatt was born in Toronto in 1933. Over the years, Rosenblatt has written more than 20 books of poetry, several autobiographical works and his poems have appeared in over thirty anthologies of Canadian poetry over his forty year career as a poet. His poetry books have received major awards, such as the Governor General's award for poetry in 1976 and the BC Book Prize in 1986. His most recent book, published fall, 2011 is a collaborative work, a savagely satirical epistolary exchange with Vancouver poet Catherine Owen. Dark Fish & Other Demons, publisher, Black Moss Press, Windsor. For the past 33 years Rosenblatt has been living in a beach resort community of Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island with his wife Faye and their generational cats. 

Catherine Owen is a Vancouver poet and writer, the author of nine collections of poetry. A book of essays and memoirs called Catalysts is due out in 2012 through Wolsak & Wynn. Her work has won and been nominated for awards including the AB Poetry Prize, been translated into three languages and been toured across North America. You can find more information about her at her website: Catherine Owen 

Kim Clark’s debut fiction collection, Attemptations (Caitlin Press), was launched in 2011 and one of its novellas has been optioned for a 90 minute feature film. Her chapbook, Dis ease ad De sire, the M anu S cript (Lipstick Press), came out in April, 2012 and her new poetry collection, Sit You Waiting, hit bookshelves in August, 2012 via Caitlin Press. She lives in Cedar on Vancouver Island. 

January 29, 2013

Gary Geddes has written and edited more than forty-five books of poetry, non-fiction, drama, fiction, translation, criticism and anthologies and won a dozen national and international literary awards, including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Americas Region), the Lt.-Governor's Award for Literary Excellence, and the Gabriella Mistral Prize from the government of Chile. His two most recent books are Swimming Ginger (poetry) and Drink the Bitter Root: A writer's search for justice and redemption in Africa (non-fiction). He lives on Thetis Island. 

Bernice Lever: A poet, freelance editor and workshop leader, Bernice Lever, enjoys Bowen Island life. Her 10th poetry book is Imagining Lives, Black Moss Press, 2012. She edited WAVES magazine, 1972-1987. Bernice’s travels let her to read poems on 5 continents. Her grammar & composition CD is “The Colour of Words” . Active in many writing organizations, she is delighted to hear and help other writers. Bernice gets “high” on words. Colour of Words Web Site 

Diana Hayes studied at the University British Columbia and Victoria, receiving a B.A. and M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Her published books include Moving Inland, The Classical Torso In 1980, The Choreography of Desire, and Coming Home (anthology). Her play, Islomania: Saga of the Settlers, was produced by Salt of the Earth Productions. She is currently Production Manager for Salt Spring’s Theatre Alive, a member of Photosynthesis and started the Salt Spring Seal Swim Team in 2002. Over the past decade, Diana Hayes has expanded her poetic vision into the realm of photographic dreamscapes and narratives. She divides her time between writing, photography, producing literary events and working as a professional fundraiser. 

February 26, 2013

Heidi Greco lives about an hour south of Vancouver, in Surrey, where she works as a writer and editor. During National Poetry Month, as part of the LCP’s cross-Canada Mayor’s Challenge she was commissioned to write a poem about Surrey, which she presented to Council as part of one of their meetings.

Heidi often leads creative writing workshops. Summer of 2012 saw her employed as an instructor in SFU Southbank’s outreach program in Surrey.

Her poems, fiction and book reviews have been published in many formats, both print and online. Her poetry collections include Siren Tattoo, Rattlesnake Plantain, A: the Amelia Poems and a novella, Shrinking Violets. In addition to poetry and fiction, she writes book reviews and keeps a somewhat irregular and irreverent blog at Out on the Big Limb 

Emily McGiffin’s poetry has received awards from the Writer’s Trust of Canada, the Canadian Authors Association and has twice been a finalist for the CBC Literary Awards. She was born and raised on Vancouver Island and currently makes her home in northwest BC where she works for Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition. Between Dusk and Night is her first poetry collection. 

Nora Gould writes from east central Alberta where she ranches with her family and volunteers in wildlife rehabilitation with the Medicine River Wildlife Centre. She graduated from the University of Guelph with a degree in veterinary medicine. I see my love more clearly from a distance is her first poetry collection. In 2009 Nora Gould won the Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award. 

March 26, 2013

Jocelyn Shipley: Born and raised in London, Ontario, Jocelyn graduated from York University and has attended the Humber School for Writers. She writes fiction for both adults and teens. She is the winner of the 2011 Surrey International Writers’ Conference Writing for Young People Award, and her adult stories have been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards, the John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award, and have twice won second place in the Nanaimo Arts Council Short Fiction Contest. Her books for teens include Getting a Life and Seraphina’s Circle, which have been translated into Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish and German for Stabenfeldt’s tween girl book club GIRL:IT. She is also co-editor of the story collection Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls. Her most recent book is a YA novel, How to Tend a Grave. Jocelyn lives in Toronto and on Vancouver Island. For more info, please visit her website and blog at: Jocelyn Shipley

 

Wendy Donawa enjoys an academic and writing life from base camp in Victoria. Her poems have appeared English Quarterly, Prairie Fire, Room, Island Writer, and Arc, and in several chapbooks edited by Patrick Lane. Others are anthologized in Walk Myself Home (Caitlin Press, 2010), Open Heart 5 (Ontario Poetry Society, 2011), and The Wild Weathers (Leaf Press, 2012). Her two chapbooks include Sliding Towards Equinox (Rubicon Press, 2009) and Those Astonishments of Sorrow, of Joy (Leaf Press, 2012). Reading Canada, co-authored with Leah Fowler, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press early 2013.

David Fraser lives in Nanoose Bay. His poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Rocksalt, An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry. He has published five collections of poetry, most recently Paper Boats, and a book of poetry and poetics titled On Poetry, with Naomi Beth Wakan. He is a member of the Canadian League of Poets and is currently the Regional Rep for the Islands for the Federation of BC Writers. Web Site

Harvey Jenkins – Book Launch Haiku Moments on the Camino: France to Finisterre -  Harvey is a Vancouver Island writer of haiku, poetry and prose. In the summer of 2010, he walked the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage; an 800 km journey across northwestern Spain and has captured that journey in both haiku and prose.

Harvey is a member of Haiku Canada and a regular contributor to their various reviews and anthologies. He has received a Sakura Award from the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in both 2012 and 2011. Harvey is also a member of the BC Federation of Writers and a board member of WordStorm Society of the Arts. 

April 30, 2013

Lois Peterson: Lois Peterson's short stories, essays, articles and personal narrative were published internationally for 20 years before she started writing for children. She 2008 she has since published six novels - for readers aged six to 14 - and her book 101-and more-Writing Exercises to Get You Started & Keep You Going is used by individual writers, high schools, colleges and writing groups. Lois is also a popular speaker, workshop presenter and storyteller, and works for Surrey Libraries. Blog 

Janet Marie Rogers: Janet is a Mohawk/Tuscarora writer from the Six Nations band in southern Ontario. She was born in Vancouver British Columbia and has been living on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people (Victoria, British Columbia) since 1994. Janet works in the genres of poetry, short fiction, spoken word performance poetry, video poetry and recorded poems with music and script writing.

 

Janet has three published poetry collections to date; Splitting the Heart, Ekstasis Editions 2007, Red Erotic, Ojistah Publishing 2010, Unearthed, Leaf Press 2011. Her 2nd poetry CD titled Firewater 2009, gained nominations for best spoken word recording at the both the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards and the Native American Music Awards. You can hear Janet on the radio as she hosts Native Waves Radio on CFUV fm and Tribal Clefs on CBC fm in Victoria BC. Her radio documentary “Bring Your Drum” (50 years of indigenous protest music) won Best Radio at the imagaineNATIVE Film and Media festival 2011. She was also commissioned to create a radio art piece by the same company that same year. 

 

Ojistah Publishing (Mohawk word for star) is Janet’s publishing label. ikkwenyes or Dare to Do is the name of the collective both Alex Jacobs and Janet started in 2011. Through the collective they produced a poetry CD titled “Got Your Back” a collection of live and studio recordings. ikkwenyes invites artists into their collaborations to create projects that promote the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) culture. 

Betsey Struthers: Betsy Struthers has published nine books of poetry – most recently All That Desire: New and Selected Poems  (Black Moss Press, 2012) -- three novels, and a book of short fiction. She also co-edited and contributed to a book of essays about teaching poetry. She is a past president of the League of Canadian Poets. Winner of the 2010 GritLit Poetry Award, the 2004 Lowther Award for the best book of poetry by a Canadian woman, and silver medallist for the 1994 Milton Acorn Award, her poems and fiction have been published in many literary journals and anthologies. Struthers lives in Peterborough, Ontario, where she works as a freelance editor. 

May 28, 2013

Chris Donaldson Hancock has been writing for years as a reporter, newsletter editor for non-profits and as a technical writer. She started writing poetry in 2004 and has been published in anthologies, most recently in I am the Angel of Old Grey Horses published by Leaf Press. She has attended Sage Hill in Saskatchewan and retreats at Honeymoon Bay with Patrick Lane. She draws inspiration mostly from childhood experiences. She believes poetry should be read aloud and has read at Words on Fire in Port Alberni and at various open mics. 

John Gould is the author of two books of very short stories – including Kilter, a finalist for the Giller prize – and the novel Seven Good Reasons Not to Be Good, described by the Vancouver Sun as “a marvel of delicacy, depth and insight… a damn-near perfect book.” His fiction has appeared in literary periodicals across the country, and has been adapted for short films. Gould has worked as an environmental researcher, tree planter, carpenter, and arts administrator. He teaches writing workshops at UVic and elsewhere, and serves on the editorial board of the Malahat Review. 

Susan McCaslin, Faculty Emerita, Douglas College and Ph.D. English, is a prizewinning Canadian poet and educator who taught English and Creative Writing at Douglas College in New Westminster, B.C. from 1984-2007. Her work has appeared in literary journals across Canada and the States. She has published eleven volumes of poetry, eight poetry chapbooks, academic articles, essays, and a children's book. Her most recent volume of poetry is Demeter Goes Skydiving (University of Alberta Press, April 2011). Her other poetry books include Lifting the Stone (Seraphim Editions, 2007) A Plot of Light (Oolichan Press, 2004), and At the Mercy Seat (Ronsdale Press, 2003). Susan has edited two anthologies on sacred poetry, A Matter of Spirit and Poetry (Ekstasis Editions) and Poetry and Spiritual Practice (The St. Thomas Poetry Series), and is on the editorial board of Event: the Douglas College Review. She is an editorial consultant for The Journal of Feminist Studies in Reli!gion (Harvard Divinity School). She was the first-place winner of the Mother Tongue Chapbook competition for Letters to William Blake, judged by P.K. Page in 1997; the first-place winner of The Federation of B.C. Writers' Literary Writes in 2006; and the grand prize winner in Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction's annual poetry contest in 2006. Susan lives in Fort Langley, British Columbia with her husband. She has a book of essays, Arousing the Spirit: Provocative Writings, forthcoming from Wood Lake Books in 2011. Web Site 

Dhanook Singh was born in Georgetown, Guyana. His family moved to Toronto when he was ten. He went from a wealthy prominent family to an inner-city Toronto neighborhood. He attended the University of Western Ontario where he blossomed and began writing poetry. He earned several science related degrees studying biology, physics, teaching, and some philosophy, ending up in Vancouver, B.C. as a secondary science and biology teacher.

Growing up in colonial British Guyana with deep Indian roots and then settling in Canada, he has both eastern spiritual and a western scientific perspective. He is an avid outdoorsman and naturalist with a deep connection to wilderness.

Dhanook is a lover of life and enjoys observing people and nature. Married recently, he is passionate about teaching young people. 

September 24, 2013

Caroline Adderson is the author of three novels A History of Forgetting, Sitting Practice, The Sky Is Falling, two collections of short stories Bad Imaginings, Pleased To Meet You as well as eight books for young readers. Her work has received numerous prize nominations including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, two Commonwealth Writers’ Prizes, the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist, the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Rogers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Winner of two Ethel Wilson Fiction Prizes and three CBC Literary Awards, Caroline was also the recipient of the 2006 Marian Engel Award for mid-career achievement. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and son. 

Dawn Marie Kresan’s poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals, including The Dalhousie Review, Carousel, Vallum, Lichen, The Windsor Review, Prairie Journal, CV2, The Antigonish Review and Event. Her first full-length poetry collection will be published by Tightrope in 2013. She lives in Kingsville, Ontario, with her husband and their daughter. 

October 29, 2013

Jim Friesen was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1953 and studied Creative Writing at Red River Community College in the mid 1970's. He came to the west coast in 1979 and has worked for over thirty years in health care, specifically in long-term care in Vancouver's down-town east side. 

Jim's poetry has been published in The West Coast Review and Minus Tides and he has done a number of readings in Vancouver over the years, often collaborating with musicians. He has created one book of poems, The Paradise Theatre, published by Gravity Press.

Besides writing and publishing his own poetry, Jim is very proud to have worked with Andrew Brown, as both an editor and designer, on Andrew's first book of poetry, Crow's First Word. In recent years Jim's focus has moved primarily to photography as his means of expression. His photos can be seen at Little Eye Studio

. "I have always loved poetry, even when I have not always understood it. The poets colored my view of the world in a way I will always be grateful for. Although I have no illusions regarding the importance of my own work, I am proud to feel that I am a part of a fabric of people that stretches across Canada, and around the world, for whom poetry is an important, if not essential, part of life." 

Paul Headrick lives in Vancouver, where he was born and raised. His novel That Tune Clutches My Heart (Gaspereau Press) was shortlisted for the BC Book Prize for Fiction. The Doctrine of Affections (Freehand Books), a collection of short stories about music, was a finalist for the Alberta Fiction Award. 

Andrew Brown was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He received his bachelor of art's degree in 1977 from U.B.C. and his professional teaching certificate from Simon Fraser University in 1978. He taught high school English and drama for thirty three years in Vanderhoof, Parksville and Nanaimo. He has two daughters, Corrina and Meredith. He lives with his wife Lili in Qualicum Beach and is a frequent reader at WordStorm in Nanaimo and the Qualicum Acoustic Cafe in his home town. He also acts in Echo Productions whenever possible. Andrew's debut book of poetry, Crow's First Word, was published by Gravity Press in 2008. His second book is expected to be published in the fall of 2013. Andrew Brown enjoys his retirement very much and hopes to continue to be creative and active for many years to come. 

Arleen Paré is a Victoria writer and poet. Originally from Montreal, she spent two decades working in Vancouver mental health services. Leaving Now (Caitlin Press, 2012) is a mixed-genre novel and her second book.Paper Trail, her first book (NeWest Press, 2007) was also mixed-genre and won the Victoria Butler Book Prize in 2008. It was also short-listed for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, BC Book Awards. She has been published in several literary journals and in a number of anthologies. In 2012, she graduated from UVic’s Creative Writing Program with an MFA in poetry. 

November 26, 2013

Madeleine Nattrass is retired from teaching in French Immersion programs in both Alberta and BC and lives on Vancouver Island. Her work has been published in Quills, Tower Poetry, Other Voices, filling station, Freefall Magazine, Women and Environments Magazine, the new quarterly, CV2 , online in Branch Magazine and Leaf Press Monday Poem and in several anthologies including Walk Myself Home, an anthology to end violence against women. 

Cornelia Hoogland is a Canadian poet. She is currently a professor at the University of Western Ontario and lives in London, Ontario. However, she attributes her childhood on densely wooded Vancouver Island, B.C., with inspiration for her writing. Hoogland has performed and worked internationally in the areas of drama and poetry. “The land inside Coyote: Reconceptualizing human relationships to place through drama” (In D. Booth & K. Gallagher (Eds.), How Theatre Educates: Convergences & Counterpoints, 2003) marked Hoogland’s research into place-based education.

Woods Wolf Girl (Wolsak and Wynn, 2011) is Hoogland’s 5th book of poetry, and is based on the fairy tale, Red Riding Hood. Crow (Black Moss Press, 2011), released a month after Woods Wolf Girl, is Hoogland’s 6th book. Her newest selection, a chapbook titled Gravelly Bay (Alfred Gustav Press, 2012), is forthcoming. Hoogland’s poetry has been shortlisted for the CBC literary awards; the nominations include selections from her books Cuba Journal as well as her second and third books of poetry You Are Home and Marrying the Animals. Her recent awards include finalist placements for the Stephen Dunn Poetry Award, The Broome Review (USA); the Malahat Review Long Poem Competition; and Descant’s Winston Collins Best Canadian Poem. Her writing in the area of Aboriginal, place-based education was recently featured in the Huffington Post.

Hoogland is the founder and the co-artistic director of Poetry London (www.poetrylondon.ca), an organization that brings prominent writers into lively discussion with London writers and readers. She can be reached at chooglan@uwo.ca. Hoogland divides her time between London, ON., and Hornby Island, B.C. 

Leanne McIntosh was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. She has published two books of poetry: The Sound the Sun Makes and Liminal Space. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, anthologies and a series of chapbooks edited by Patrick Lane. She is a regular participant in local reading events and she volunteers poetry sessions at the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society. She has lived in Nanaimo, British Columbia for 43 years.

January 28, 2014

Daniela Elza’s work has appeared nationally and internationally in over 80 publications. the weight of dew (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2012) is her debut poetry collection. In 2011 she received her doctorate from SFU and self-published the book of it (Ebook and print). Daniela's poetry book milk tooth bane bone was published by Leaf Press in 2013. In the poetry community Daniela has contributed in the capacities of a contest judge, guest-editor for journals/anthologies, organizer and promoter of events, workshop facilitator, coordinator and host of Twisted Poets Literary Salon etc.. She currently serves on the Board of the Capilano Review and is editor at Cascadia Review.

 

Jan DeGrass writes in Gibsons, British Columbia, where she is Arts and Entertainment columnist for the Coast Reporter newspaper, and contributes a regular arts feature to Coast Life magazine.

She leads a writing critique group and assists other authors with editing their manuscripts (www.edityourwords.ca). She has received a national award for a business article that contributed to Canadian co-operative literature and was a winner for Best Coverage of the Arts by a national newspaper association. She is the author of a corporate history book and a cookbook, Take Potluck! 101 Tasty, Simple Dishes for Your Potluck Party.

Her award-winning article, "Loving in Leningrad", based on a true experience in the Soviet Union, drew on her university background in Russian language and literature and became the genesis of Jazz with Ella.

More about Jazz with Ella can be found on her website: Jan DeGrass

About Jazz with Ella:

While on a study tour of the Soviet Union during the austere Brezhnev years, Jennifer, a Canadian student, is swept off her feet by a handsome Soviet man, Volodya. He is a discontented jazz pianist whose idol is singer Ella Fitzgerald—for him the symbol of everything mysterious and musical that can happen only in the west. Jennifer visits his haunts—and his bedroom—in Leningrad, and learns that he is under surveillance for consorting with foreigners.

Jennifer refuses Volodya's desperate pleas to help him defect, and she leaves for the last leg of her trip, a Volga River cruise. But the romance is not over. Despite interference from her fussy professor, Chopyk, and a fierce tour guide, Natasha, Jennifer decides to risk it all.

"A richly layered, complex story of love and opportunism." –Betty Keller, author, A Thoroughly Wicked Woman and Better the Devil You Know "Jazz with Ella by Jan DeGrass is an absorbing tale of intrigue, containing many moments of passionate lovemaking and spine-tingling suspense. –Ben Nuttall-Smith, author, Blood, Feathers & Holy Men.

 

Mary Ann Moore’s latest chapbook of poetry is You Are Here (Leaf Press, 2012). Her personal essay, “Who I Am, Here,” is included in Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast (The Key Publishing House, 2012). One of her poems is included in Poems from Planet Earth (Leaf Press, 2013). Mary Ann’s book of poetry, Fishing for Mermaids, Mining for Light, will be published by Leaf Press in 2014. She leads Writing Life women’s writing circles in Nanaimo and offers a mentoring program called Writing Home: A Whole Life Practice. Web Site

March 25, 2014

Spoken Word Night

Missie Peters is an award-wining spoken word performer from Victoria, BC. She is a two-time Victoria Slam Champion, the former slam master, one half of the improvised spoken word duo SpeakEasy and the director of Not Your Grandma’s Poetry. She currently produces the annual Victoria Spoken Word Festival. Her poetry finds the personal in the political and finds the metaphor in the mundane. She is also a huge science fiction geek.

"intelligent and whimsical” – Times Colonist

"has the inherently sassy smarts and sensual irony" – Monday Magazine

 

Web Site

Not Your Grandmother's Poetry

 

Kendall Patrick: In a sea of singer/songwriters Kendall Patrick stands apart with a firm belief in the power of her voice to help others find strength in themselves. This 25 year old Ladysmith-born artist is an accomplished vocalist, writer, guitarist, and pianist who works to touch other people, relate to them and have them identify with her experience. On stage, Kendall brings intimacy and humour to a performance where nothing’s sacred. Audiences call her live performance “fabulous”, “inspiring”, and “captivating”; she regularly packs coffee houses and other intimate venues and her fan base keeps growing.

Kendall has been writing songs since elementary school. As her technique and content has evolved she has met much success which has taken her around North America, weaving through coffee houses, bars, conferences, schools, and music festivals. With daring personal honesty and empowering political commentary, Kendall brings people together.

Career highlights include her first self-booked tour, touring with a favourite artist and spoken-word giant Shane Koyczan, performing at the International Media Literacy Conference in Detroit, and recording her latest album with “Summer of ‘69”’s Pat Steward and Doug Elliot. She is currently recording with Juno-award nominated producer/engineer Rick Salt, who introduced her to Steward and Elliot, and has taken her under his wing to help get her music out there.

She believes whole-heartedly in the power of her music to make a positive impact on the world. Her Operation Empowerment Interactive Youth Assembly combines music, visuals, and beat poetry, which she uses to help teenagers look honestly at their choices around media influence. She has a unique ability to connect with youth on their own level. Her project has caught attention from the Oprah Winfrey Show. Although it didn’t make it on the air, it fuelled her fire to continue the cause.

Web Site

Sebastien Wen is a poet, playwright and spoken word artist based out of Calgary and Vancouver.

His poetry has been featured in the spoken word DVD Poets Asking For Exile (2011) and magazines such as Cicada (2012), The Claremont Review (2012) and Ascent Aspirations (coming 2013). Excerpts from his play The Backseat have been featured in Alberta Theatre Projects' Fresh Prints (2011). 

He has featured as a performer in the Calgary Spoken Word Festival (2012) and The People's Poetry Festival (2012). Sebastien is studying English, History and Philosophy in his first year at the University of British Columbia. He strives to do things to your brain with his tongue. 

April 29, 2014

Emilia Nielsen: In 2013-2014, Emilia Nielsen is a Teaching Fellow at Quest University in Squamish, BC. She holds a BFA from the University of Victoria, a MA from the University of New Brunswick and a PhD from the University of British Columbia. During her studies, she was the recipient of several British Columbia Arts Council Senior Scholarships and two Canada Graduate Scholarships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for Masters and Doctoral research and writing. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals across Canada including The Antigonish Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Event, Descant, The Fiddlehead, Grain, Prairie Fire, Room Magazine, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry by Prism International. Surge Narrows, published by Leaf Press in 2013, is her debut collection of poetry.

May 27, 2014

Derek Hanebury is a poet who also writes fiction and creative non-fiction. His first book of poetry Nocturnal Tonglen was released in 2006. His poems and stories have been published in many magazines and broadcasted on CBC radio; and his first novel, Ginger Goodwin: Beyond the Forbidden Plateau, went to a second printing. He has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from UBC and has been instructing at North Island College in Port Alberni since 1988 where he currently teaches English and creative writing. 

Peter Such was born in England and came as a youngster to Canada in 1953. He worked loading freightcars for the Canadian National Railways and in uranium mines, Elliot Lake. He graduated from Victoria College, University of Toronto and was a working class member of "the group that revitalized Canadian Literature in the '70s...no one in Canadian Literature is as eclectic as Peter Such." (Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature) He has written tv series, film documentary, drama, opera librettos, academic works, poetry, short stories, nonfiction and novels. He is a founding member of The Writers' Union of Canada and founding vice-president of CMPA. He is also a founder/publisher of Impulse magazine and a former editor of Books in Canada. He has been a writer-in-residence at U. of T. (Erindale) and instituted the first Can. Lit. courses offered at Ryerson, U. of T., and York University, where he founded the Centre for Distance Learning and Teaching Technology. He is an international lecturer and consultant on Canadian Studies and Internet Learning. He is married to artist Joyce Kline. After many years of working in other genres he is currently completing a new novel, Forevering, while living in Finland, courtesy award from Finnish Academy. 

June 17, 2014

Jude Neale was born three months premature in Northern British Columbia. She is a twin and shared the early white cold memories of childhood with her beloved brother. Jude has had a life-long struggle with bipolar illness, and in her second book,Only The Fallen Can See, she writes of despair or longing like a lover, a dangerous friend. She has taken the journals she kept during her long battle and whittled them down to their essence, bringing a rare and moving glimpse into the emotional ravages of mental illness.

Jude has had strong support from journal, anthology and internet publishers, including The Antigonish Review, Leaf Press, and Ascent Aspirations, and has released one volume of poetry, The Perfect Word Collapses. A trained Mezzo-Soprano, her passion is making music, so she likes to write the song of a poem, exploring rhythm and colour in verse. Her unique voice can be heard in the textured beat of each carefully crafted poem, provoking both thought and the deep insight of a survivor. 

Linda K. Thompson is writing from the damp edge of the continent. She has been slogging away for the past decade, one line at a time. Linda was short listed for the Malahat Review Far Horizons Prize for her poem “Botany for Beginners” and recently received an honourable mention in the Troubadour International Poetry Prize out of London, England for her poem “Gloria”. Linda's first chapbook, Four Small People in Sturdy Shoes, is finally out there in the world Web Site 

Murray Reiss was born in Sarnia, Ontario, and lives on Salt Spring Island, BC, with his wife Karen, a ceramic sculptor. Since moving to Salt Spring in 1979 he's been a pizza maker and ice cream scooper, special education teacher and child care worker, and coordinator of the Salt Spring Water Council. For four years in Vancouver he was B.C. coordinator of Tools for Peace, doing solidarity work to support Nicaragua's revolution. He currently works as a freelance editor and environmental writer. His poetry and prose have been published in literary magazines and anthologies in Canada and the United States, including Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry and Poems from Planet Earth, and short-listed for a number of prizes and awards. His chapbook, Distance from the Locus, was published in 2005 by Mothertongue Press. He also performs with singer-songwriter Phil Vernon as the "folken-word" duo Midnight Bridge, with one CD out so far. The Survival Rate of Butterflies in the Wild is his first full-length collection. The Survival Rate of Butterflies in the Wild has won the League of Canadian Poets' Gerald Lampert Award for the best first book of poetry published in Canada in 2013. 

Sept. 30, 2014

Naomi Beth Wakan is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Nanaimo (2013). She has published over 50 books. Her essays are in Late Bloomer-on writing later in life; Composition: notes on the written word; Bookends – a year between the covers; and A Roller-coaster ride – Thoughts on aging (all from Wolsak and Wynn). Her poetry books include Sex after 70 and other poems and And After 80… (both from Bevalia Press). Some Sort of Life, is her recent book of memoirs (2014). Naomi is a member of The League of Canadian Poets, Haiku Canada and Tanka Canada. She lives on Gabriola Island with her husband, the sculptor, Elias Wakan. Naomi's Web Site 

Kate Braid has published five books of non-fiction and five of poetry, including co-editing with Sandy Shreve the ground-breaking book of Canadian form poetry, In Fine Form. Her work has won or been short-listed for a number of awards and is widely anthologized. She has recently begun collaborating with musicians in her work. She has written extensively about her fifteen years as a carpenter including two books of poetry and her most recent work, a memoir, Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man's World. Her Web Site

Photos by Barry Peterson

 

John Terpstra has published nine books of poetry and three of creative non-fiction. Brilliant Falls, his most recent poetry book, was short-listed for the Raymond Souster Award. A new work of non-fiction, The House with the Parapet Wall, is appearing this Fall 2014 from Gaspereau Press. One of his poems, entitled "Giants", was installed on plaque on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment overlooking Hamilton, where he lives and works as a carpenter and cabinetmaker. 

Oct. 28, 2014

Yvonne Blomer was born in Zimbabwe and came to Canada when she was two years old. Her first collection a broken mirror, fallen leaf was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Yvonne has also published two chap books Landscapes and Home: Ghazals (Leaf Press, 2011) and Bicycle Brand Journey (JackPine Press, 2012), and is the co-editor of Poems from Planet Earth (Leaf Press, 2013) out of the Planet Earth Poetry reading series, of which she is the Artistic Director. In 2014 her third collection of poems As if a Raven was released with Palimpsest Press. She’s currently working on a cycling memoir called Sugar Ride. 

November 25, 2014 

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’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 

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

January 27, 2015

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.

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. 

 

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

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

Lorne Daniel is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Drawing Back to Take a Running Jump (Weedmark, 2012). In the years since he was featured in Al Purdy’s Storm Warning 2: The New Canadian Poets he has served as writer-in-residence at the University of Lethbridge, published extensively and edited literary periodicals and anthologies. He has also written for newspapers across Canada and won the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize. Lorne lives in Victoria BC.

February 24, 2015

AltogetherLisa – aka Lisa Webster-Gibson 

altogetherlisa@yahoo.ca, 250-247-0117

Spoken word artist Altogetherlisa is a wonderful mix of Mohawk / Deleware and Scottish Canadian (fierce and frugal).  Lisa’s identity allows her spoken word performances to delve into a range of topics from her native heritage to life on a Gulf Island.  She employs a range of emotions and techniques to provide a bit of something to everyone.  Her debut show at the 2010 National Campus and Community Radio Conference was a resounding success and left listeners wanting more.  Her current project is an examination of the role that swearing has had on her life… but, without the naughty words in her show.  When she isn’t performing, she is busy as artistic chair for the Poetry Gabriola Society.

She will be performing at Wordstorm with Andreas Kahre (percussion), Mark Parlett (fretless bass, percussion, suling), and Alex Varty (acoustic and electric guitars).  Individually, they’ve created award-winning theatrical soundscapes, led Vancouver’s longest-running gamelan ensemble, and played with artists ranging from John Oswald to RandyBachman; together they whip all those experiences together into a sound that defies genre categories, and that’s ideally suited to poetic collaboration.

March 31, 2015

 

In the early ‘90s Tracy Myers was inspired to write and perform spoken word as a soloist influenced by Ani Difranco, Lillian Allen and The Last Poets.  Desiring to play with texture, mood, and rhythm and increase audience accessibility Tracy’s spoken word project began to include collaborations with other musicians. 

Tongue and Groove- initially a trio- has since expanded to include a variety of local artists and musicians.   Their second CD, Stories That Live in Bones, was recorded in Nanaimo last year.   Check out their ‘work-in-progress’ website at:www.tongueandgroovemusic.ca


       trace
to change everything
   start anywhere

Myron Makepeace has been performing and teaching music for over forty years.  A Nanaimo native, he currently plays in many local projects, including Tongue and Groove, and teaches in the faculty of music at VIU.

 

Sweet Potato Brown is the "blues" name of singer songwriter Shelley Brown.  Although she has been seen most recently playing solo with her guitar, she started her musical life on the island as a much sought after roots upright bass player.

 

In her 10 years living on Vancouver Island, Shelley has lent her bass playing skills and sweet harmony vocals to numerous acts in many genres, including:  Bluegrass with Wiseacre, Blues-folk with David Essig and Rick Scott,  Hip Hop Funk with Tuber, Folk-noir with Puzzleroot, Party-folk with the Flying Accusations, Swing Jazz with Over Worked and Underplayed, and  Celtic Rock with Skellig. 

 

 Shelley is ecstatically pleased to embark on the mission of providing  the "groove" for  Tongue and Groove.

April 28, 2015

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.

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

Alannah Zeebeck is an alternative-folk singer-songwriter. They write & perform inventive, rhythmic songs that are often moody, and always honest. At the beginning of 2014 they recorded their first solo EP, entitled Am I Wasting, and toured Western Canada. They are currently in the beginning of a "52 Song Challenge", in which they will be writing & releasing one song per week for the entirety of 2015, and will be touring Western Canada once again in April 2015.

Pardon Mein French is a music project from singer-songwriter Tannis Kelm. She offers a look forward while remembering the past, an encouragement and hope, something to think about while working through the various obstacles we come across along our paths.  With a sound that is soothing, playful, honest, and unwilling to stay silent she blends music with poetry that touches on social topics, personal struggles and triumphs.  She heads out on tour of Western Canada in April 2015 with fresh demos in hand, hints of a sound to come.

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 Mortar, 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 is a poet, spoken-word performer, publisher and editor. He lives in Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island. He is the founder and editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine. His poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Rocksalt, An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry (Mother Tongue Press), Poems from Planet Earth (Leaf Press), Walk Myself Home (Caitlin Press) and recently Wrestling with the Gods 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. In addition David has co-authored with Naomi Beth Wakan, On Poetry, an inspirational book on poetics and poetry and has recently completed a response poem collection, Maybe We Could Dance, with poet Pat Smekal. His forthcoming collection of poetry, After All the Scissor Work is Done will be published by Leaf Press in the fall of 2015. He is the artistic director of Nanaimo's spoken-word series, WordStorm www.wordstorm.ca. 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. 

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 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.

May 26,  2015

September 29, 2015

October 27, 2015

 

Judy Millar is a Nanaimo-based humorous writer and comedic storyteller. She has entertained readers and audiences around the Island, in Vancouver, in Ontario and as far afield as Switzerland with her funny personal essays, witty short stories and comic “in persona” characters.

 

A winner of the John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award, and two-time winner of the Islands Short Fiction contest, Judy has been published in magazines like Reader’s Digest and Senior Living, and in journals and anthologies. She is the author of Beaver Bluff: The Librarian Stories. Visit her online at www.judymillar.ca.

 Lisa Shatzky's   poetry has been published widely across Canada and parts of the U.S.,  including  in The Vancouver Review,  Room Magazine, Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, The Nashwaak Review, Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, Canadian Literature, Canadian Woman's Studies, The Prairie Journal, Jones Av., Grain, The New Quarterly, Monday's Poem, and six chapbooks by Leaf Press (edited by Patrick Lane) along with anthologies across Canada and the US.  Her poetry book Blame it on the Moon was published by Black Moss Press in 2013 and was short listed for the 2014  Acorn Plantos Award for People's Poetry.   Her poetry book Do Not Call Me By My Name, also published by Black Moss Press, (2011) was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Poetry Award in 2012.    Shatzky has also had prose published in Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast(  Key Publishing, 2012) as well as poetry in This Island We Celebrate, published by the Bowen Island Arts Council in 2013.  When not writing Lisa Shatzky works as a psychotherapist on Bowen Island BC where she lives. 

November 24, 2015

Pam Galloway’s upcoming book, Passing Stranger is a memoir in poetry covering the years of her long marriage, the desire for children, issues of fertility and infertility, pregnancy and loss, motherhood ultimately achieved and eventually a divorce.Its themes will speak to all women who have experienced the joys and the tribulations of married life and motherhood in all their complexities. The interweaving of its story of divorce after many years of marriage reflects a new reality for many women of middle and past middle-age.Pam’s first book of poetry Parallel Lines was published in 2006. She collaborated with four other poets on the book Quintet: Themes and Variations (Ekstasis Editions, 1998). Her poems have also been published widely in literary magazines and anthologies and twice on the website of the Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate.Pam lives in Vancouver. She recently participated in the successful Han Shan Poetry Project (initiated by her Inanna partner, author Susan McCaslin) to save an endangered rainforest in Langley, BC.

Susan McCaslin is a Canadian poet who has published thirteen volumes of poetry, including The Disarmed Heart (The St. Thomas Poetry Series, 2014), and Demeter Goes Skydiving (University of Alberta Press, 2011), which was short-listed for the BC Book Prize and the first-place winner of the Alberta Book Publishing Award (Robert Kroetsch Poetry Award).  She has recently published a memoir, Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga (Inanna Publications, 2014). Susan lives in Fort Langley, British Columbia where she initiated the Han Shan Poetry Project as part of a successful campaign to save a local rainforest. She is Faculty Emeritus of Douglas College in New Westminster, B.C.

Bren Simmers is the author of two collections of poetry, Hastings-Sunrise (Nightwood Editions, 2015) and Night Gears (Wolsak and Wynn, 2010). She is the winner of an Arc Poetry Magazine Poem of the Year Award, was a finalist for The Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize and has been twice longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize. Her work has been anthologized in Alive at the Center: Contemporary Poems from the Pacific Northwest (Ooligan, 2013). She currently lives in Squamish, BC.

Patrick Friesen is an award-winning author, formerly from Winnipeg, now living in Victoria. He adapted his book The Shunning for stage; it premiered at the Prairie Theatre Exchange in 1985 and was performed in 2011 at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. He has also collaborated with various musicians, choreographers and dancers and recorded two CD’s of text and improv music. Friesen was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for poetry and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 1998 and 2003 and won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award in Manitoba in 1996 and the ReLit Award for Poetry in 2012.  “Crazy Bone’s solitary life on the margins is at once a performance of the archetypal feminine forever at odds with patriarchal order and a libretto for the wayward, solitary, and vulnerable spirit of art, passion, and expression.”–Sharon Thesen, author of Oyama Pink Shale"This poem is a single penetrating take into the mind of the deeply disenfranchised. It seizes the margin as its centre and looks out from there, seeking the whole amid the broken. Always, Patrick Friesen is a poet who understands the necessity of, and insists upon, compassion."–Anne Michaels, author of CorrespondencesIn her archetypal journey, Crazy Bone lives on the edge of the world, at the edge of time, wandering the mid-path of her life, on the outskirts of a small town. She is caught in her own monologue, soul-talking, listening to herself, to the river. Crazy Bone is an eccentric, a trickster, a fool, a wild woman laughing, a campesino, who through loss is slowly finding her way back to herself by remembering, wandering the night, hearing her own wild thinking. She says ‘who if I look can see me’ and ‘there’s always a door in the rubble’.  In the forest she has her own rituals to place her feet on the earth again, though sometimes she floats or spins on her toes, blurts a curse or licks blood. Society has not valued her and has dismissed her presence as irrelevant but Crazy is cleverly sure of herself, and she tests the reader as her path flows through a world of the sleeping. In her rambling she references writers, singers, artists, theologians, tight-rope walkers, philosophers, not as experts but as guides along the way. You won’t forget her voice once she has passed you on her way to the river.

Jane Munro’s sixth poetry book, Blue Sonoma (Brick Books), won the 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize. Her previous books include Active Pass (Pedlar Press), Point No Point (McClelland & Stewart) and Grief Notes & Animal Dreams (Brick Books). Her work has also received the Bliss Carman Poetry Award, the Macmillan Prize for Poetry, been nominated for the Pat Lowther Award, and is included in The Best Canadian Poetry 2013. She is a member of the collaborative poetry group Yoko’s Dogs (http://yokosdogs.com/) whose first book, Whisk, was published by Pedlar Press. (http://janemunro.com/)

January 26, 2016

February 23, 2016

Raoul Fernandes lives and writes in Vancouver, BC.  He completed the Writer’s Studio at SFU in 2009 and was a finalist for the 2010 Bronwen Wallace Award for emerging writers and a runner up in subTerrain’s Lush Triumphant Awards in 2013.  He has been published in numerous literary journals and is an editor for the online poetry magazine The Maynard. His first collection of poems, Transmitter and Receiver is out this Spring from Nightwood Editions.

March 29, 2016

Tina Biello grew up in a small logging town, Lake Cowichan, B.C. She studied Theatre at UBC and now finds herself writing. Her poems have appeared in chapbook anthologies edited by Patrick Lane since 2008. Her solo chapbook, ‘Momenti’, published by Leaf Press was shortlisted for the Bressani Prize and was part of a multi-disciplinary art exhibition of poetry and watercolour in Montreal and Vancouver. These poems have also been composed into a CD of music called ‘Dolci Momenti’. Her first full length book, ‘In the Bone Cracks of the Walls’ was published by Leaf Press in 2014 and was translated into Italian in 2015. She presented it in Italy at Molise Cinema in Aug of 2015. Her second full length book, ‘A Housecoat Remains’ has just been released by Guernica Editions.

Patricia Young, born in Victoria, BC where she still lives, is the author of nine collections of poetry and one of short fiction. She has two grown children and is married to the writer, Terence Young.

She has taught at the University of Victoria, served as Editorial Assistant of the Malahat Review, on the board of the Victoria School of Writing, and also as writer in residence at various universities, most recently in 2008 where she was the WIR at the University of New Brunswick. She received the Arc Poem of the Year Award in 2009 and 2010. Selections of her poetry were also short-listed for the CBC Literary Competition in 2009 and 2010.

Terence Young lives in Victoria, B.C., where he teaches English and creative writing at St. Michaels University School.  He is co-founder of The Claremont Review, an international literary journal for young writers.  His first book of poetry, The Island in Winter (Signal Editions, 1999), was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and the Gerald Lampert Award.  Since then, he has published a collection of stories, Rhymes With Useless (Raincoast, 2000), which was one of two runners-up for the annual Danuta Gleed award, a novel, After Goodlake’s, which received the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize in 2005, and a second collection of poetry, Moving Day (Signature Editions, 2006), which was nominated for both the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and The City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for 2006.  In 2008, he was awarded the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence, an honour shared with fifteen other teachers from across Canada that year.  A second collection of fiction, The End of the Ice Age, was released from Biblioasis Press in the spring of 2010. A story from that collection, "That Time of Year," was included in Oberon Press's recent edition of Best Canadian Stories 11 (2012).

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