Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Klara du Plessis
Klara du Plessis is a poet, critic, and literary curator. Winner of the 2019 Pat Lowther Memorial Award, her debut collection, Ekke, was published with Palimpsest Press. Her second book, released Fall 2020, is Hell Light Flesh. Among other projects, Klara has recently released a videopoem, Eye Rhymes, in collaboration with Qirou Yang for Le Festival de la Poésie de Montréal. She is currently completing a 6-week collaborative writing and artist’s residency at Artexte with the U.K.-based sculptor and photographer, Kadie Salmon.
Vanessa Ricketts is an aspiring author and poet of Afro-Jamaican descent from Ajax, Ontario, and a recent graduate from the Creative Writing program at York University. She is the co-poet of “To Walk in My Shoes”, a piece that explores young Black girls’ experiences with racism and prejudice. Vanessa was a guest performer at Accenture’s Black History Month Celebration in February of 2021 and at York University’s “Word, Sound, Power: Black Artistic Expression” in February 2020. Vanessa writes poetry, fiction, and spoken word, and writes in the hopes of connecting to and with other people, inspiring hearts and minds, and making meaningful change in the world.
Host: Suparna Ghosh
Garry Thomas Morse
Garry Thomas Morse is a two-time nominee for the Governor General’s Award for his poetry collections, Discovery Passages and Prairie Harbour, and a two-time nominee for the ReLit Award for his speculative fiction novels, Minor Episodes/Major Ruckus and Rogue Cells/Carbon Harbour. His most recent titles are Yams Do Not Exist and Scofflaw.
Morse has served as the 2018 Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence at the University of Toronto, and as the 2019 Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence at the University of Winnipeg.
Selina Boan is a white settler-nehiyaw writer living on the traditional, unceded territories of thexʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) peoples.
Her debut poetry collection, Undoing Hours, was released this Spring with Nightwood Editions. Her work has been published widely, including The Best Canadian Poetry 2018 and 2020. She has received several honours, including the 2017 National Magazine Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the 2020 CBC poetry award. She is currently a poetry editor for Rahila’s Ghost Press and is a member of The Growing Room Collective
Host: Allan Edwards
Allen Sutterfield is a poet, writer, visual artist, editor, and teacher. His publications include: Stone Soup, a children’s book; We missed Each Other When We Were Together, Korean poems translated with Jong Nan Kim; Children of Fire; a collection of poems.
Pascal Dennis is an entrepreneur, author and musician. He is the co-founder of Digital Pathways, a company that helps forward-looking organizations deliver sustainable innovation. He has written seven books, including his latest, Harnessing Digital Disruption. Pascal is a prolific songwriter and releases original music through Pascal Dennis Music. His latest release, Crazy Angels is available at on-line music stores including Spotify, SoundCloud and AppleMusic.
Host: Donna Langevin
Brenda Clews is an African-born Canadian multi-media poet, artist and videopoet. Poem fragments are written into paintings. Or a painting evokes a poem that accompanies it. She may dance a poem while wearing a mask that has emerged from a painting. A work can be layered and expressed in poetry, painting, musings, dance, recordings and video. Her oeuvre focuses on multiple callings, the obsessive muse. Brenda has had solo art shows at York University, Q Space and Urban Gallery and has been in many group art shows. She has been published in a number of literary journals over the years. She has a chapbook, ‘the luminist poems,’ (LyricalMyrical Press, 2013), a book of poetry, 'Tidal Fury,' (Guernica Editions, 2016), and a novella, ‘Fugue in Green’ (Quattro Books, 2017). She hosts Minstrels & Bards, a soirée at the Tranzac Club in Toronto. Her website is https://brendaclews.com.
Kim Fahner lives and writes in Sudbury, Ontario. She was the city's fourth poet laureate, and the first woman appointed to the role. Her latest book of poems is These Wings (Pedlar Press, 2019). Kim is currently working on completing a novel and a new play. She is a member of the League of Canadian Poets, is the Ontario Representative of The Writers' Union of Canada (2020-22), and is a supporting member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. Kim may be reached via her author website at www.kimfahner.com
Host: Philip Cairns
His poems have appeared for nearly 40 years in literary publications
across Canada, as well as a number of other countries around the
world. And have been translated into Albanian, Spanish, Polish,
Chinese, Turkish, and Italian.
He hosts and organizes RiverWords: Poetry & Music Festival each
year in Truro, NS., held at Riverfront Park, the 2nd Saturday of each
In October 2016 he was invited by the Nordic Assn. for Canadian
Studies to give talks on Canadian Poetry and read from his books at
Borupgaard Gym in Copenhagen, and Risskov Gym in Aarhus, as well
as other readings in both cities, and Malmo, Sweden. Because of that
tour Norman has started the manuscript, Counting Coins In
Denmark And Sweden.
In October of 2017 he read at various Eastern Canada venues in
Kingston, Ottawa, and Montreal. And in the Fall of 2018 Norman
gave a speaking/reading tour of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, as a
celebration of literacy and Canadian.
His most recent books are Simona: A Celebration Of The S.P.C.A., out
2021 from Cyberwit. Net Press (India), and Squall: Poems In The
Voice of Mary Shelley, out 2020 from Guernica Editions (Toronto).
He is currently a member of The League Of Canadian Poets.
His love of walks is endless.
Shannon Quinn’s poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in literary journals in Canada, the US, and the UK including Room, subTerrain, THIS, Maisonneuve, ARC, Grain, The Malahat Review, CV2 and Prairie Fire. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Radio and Television Production from Ryerson University.
Shannon has had the privilege of working with Don Domanski twice while at the Banff Centre for Creativity along with the opportunity to work in the Leighton Artists Colony. She recently finished a residencies at Hospitalfield House in Scotland and the Westfjords in Iceland.
Shannon lives in Toronto, Dish With One Spoon Territory, where she is proud to provide and use mental health and addiction services.
Host: Mike Lipsius
Kathy Figueroa is a Canadian poet, photographer, freelance writer, and occasional indie publisher who resides in the beautiful town of Bancroft, in the northern part of Hastings County, Ontario, Canada.
The Internet reaches all parts of the globe and, as a result, so do Kathy’s often funny and irreverent poems - though some do have a more serious tone. Her versified views of the world can also be found in numerous hard-copy publications, such as newspapers, magazines, over three dozen anthologies, and her five published collections: Paudash Poems, Flowertopia, The Cathedral of the Eternal Blue Sky, The Ballad of the PoeTrain Poeteer: Winnipeg to Vancouver, and The Renaissance of Rhyme. (These books include her poems that have been published on well over a hundred occasions in the Bancroft newspapers, primarily The Bancroft Times.) In addition, Kathy’s short play, Conflicted About The Wolf, was staged in Bancroft, in 2012.
To date, Kathy has created six literary events, including four The Word Is Wild Literary Festivals, and many open mic evenings. She founded the Poets’ Society of Hastings County North in 2010, which met regularly prior to the pandemic, and continues to share poetry-related information via Facebook. For many years, Kathy was also involved with various aspects of film production, and, for two years, was Poetry Editor of the Quinte Arts Council publication, Umbrella. In 2018, she registered a small press, Flowertopia Studio, which publishes the work of Canadian poets. Kathy also enjoys working in her extensive flower gardens and credits that outdoor environment for inspiring her to write many of her popular poems.
Laura Furster is an author, journalist, and painter based in Hamilton, Ontario. She is the author of poetry collection The Absence of Thirteen, published in 2019 by Mosaic Press. Furster wrote an arts-focused column for The Hamilton Spectator from 2017-2021, and remains an occasional contributor. Her current projects include a novel and her second poetry collection.”
Host: Rosa Arlotto
The Jamaican poet Christena Williams, better known by her stage name of Antonia Valaire is a Host of Personal face book live show of The Verandah Conversations, A youth Volunteer and follower of Christ. She is Nominee in the 39 th International Reggae and World Music Awards in the Category of Mutabaruka Best Poet/Spoken word. She is a Native from Portmore, St. Catherine, A graduate of Spanish Town High school. She has won a Certificate of Excellence Sarabita Masters Award for 2020. Prior to this award, Valaire had already been named the International Spoken Word Artist of the Year for 2020 by the People of Extraordinary Talent (P.O.E.T) organization and Blaq Ice Productions.
Valaire has a BA degree with honors in History and Philosophy from the University of the West Indies. She is a member of Life Circle Poets and 876 Poetry Platform and is a contributor to One wakand in the United States and the Literary Editor for Pearls Magazine in Nigeria. Her book “Pearls among Stones” received the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award for Excellence in Arts and Culture. She received a major art award from the Jamaican Youth Empowerment through Culture, Arts and Nationalism (JAYECAN) organization. She is also the author of “Black Gold” and “Out from Babylon System: Liberation of Mind.” According to Glenville Ashby, PhD, Book Reviewer and Gleaner Columnist, he states,” No doubt, … Williams has sealed her place as one of the region’s most compelling artistic voices”.
Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The Conjoined, nominated for International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of East, The Shadow List, and Finding Home. Jen acquires and edits for ECW Press and co-hosts the literary podcast, Can’t Lit
Host: Margaret Code
Currently residing in Montreal, best selling Canadian poet Brandon Pitts has built a cult following with his electrifying recitals in Canada, the United States, and Europe.
His books, Pressure to Sing, Tender in Age of Fury, and In the Company of Crows have gone into multiple printings.
His forthcoming novel, The Gospel of Now is being published by Mosaic Press.
Tonight, Brandon is debuting a new artistic persona, Simon Occulis, to serve as a vessel for artistic expression, much the way David Bowie used Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke.
“I’ve always felt I didn’t write my best work,” says Brandon, “that I was a vessel for a higher power. These poems came to me, fully formed, and memorized. Occulis is a tool to expedite this, to permanently remove my ego and self identification from the artistic process.”
Andrea Thompson is a poet, novelist, editor and educator. In 2005 her spoken word album, One, was nominated for a Canadian Urban Music Award and in 2019 her album, Soulorations helped earn her a Golden-Beret Award for Excellence. Thompson is the co-author of Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out, author of the novel, Over Our Heads, and the 2021 recipient of the Pavlick Poetry Prize. Thompson currently teaches through CAMH and the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. She is a member of the Brick Books editorial collective and Artistic Director of Brickyard online spoken word showcase. Her upcoming collection, A Selected History of Soul Speak, will be published by Frontenac House as a part of their Quartet series this fall.
Host: Donna Langevin
Greer Roberts was born and raised in Toronto. He attended a Canadian Junior College in Switzerland for one year before doing his BA in English and Philosophy at U of T. He has two poetry chapbooks: Tell It (2014) and The Slaughters (2018). On November 11, 2018 he participated in The War Poetry of Parkwood readings in Oshawa. He now lives in Ajax.
Rita Bouvier is a Metis writer from Saskatchewan. Her third book of poetry, nakamowin’sa forthe seasons (Thistledown Press, 2015) was the 2016 Sask Book Awards winner of the Rasmussen, Rasmussen & Charowsky Aboriginal Peoples’ Writing Award. Rita’s poetry has appeared in literary anthologies, musicals and television productions, and has been translated into Spanish, German and Cree-Michif of her home community of sakitawak - Île-à-la-Crosse situated on the historic trading and meeting grounds of Cree and Dene people.
Host: Brenda Clews
Alice Major's poetry and essays reflect her lifelong interest in science and math. Her 11th collection of poetry, Welcome to the Anthropocene, has been called “expansive, coherent and provocative” and “poetry with a brain as well as a heart.” Her collection of essays, Intersecting Sets: A Poet Looks at Science, was praised in American Scientist: "Major is an original thinker about poetics, curious and widely read, highly skilled in focusing her readers on one interesting idea after another, full of wonder and humor, and down-to-earth in her weaving of story and example."
Her many awards include the Pat Lowther Award and a National Magazine Award Gold Medal. As well as reading her work across Canada and in the U.S. and Britain, she has been an invited speaker at science and math gatherings. Alice founded the Edmonton Poetry Festival while serving as Edmonton’s first poet laureate. She received the 2017 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Award, as wells as an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta in 2019. Most recently, she was interviewed on Ben Folds' podcast series about creativity, Lightning Bugs. Her website is: http://www.alicemajor.com/
Rescheduled for October 19, 2021
Host: Philip Cairns
Richard-Yves Sitoski (he/him) is a songwriter, performance poet, and the 2019-2022 Poet Laureate of Owen Sound, on the territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. He is also Acting Artistic Director of the Words Aloud Festival and curator of the monthly Oh!Sound Reading Series and Open Mic. His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in many journals, including The Fiddlehead, The Maynard, Barren Magazine, Bywords.ca, in the League of Canadian Poets; Poetry Pause, and as part of Brick Books; Brickyard video series. His latest book is No Sleep ‘til Eden, an augmented reality multimedia collection of poems on the environment. He has given performances in industrial ruins, read poems to earth worms, written verse on snow with biodegradable food dye, and is in the process of composing a garbage opera -- a series of songs, poems and noise collages on the topic of trash and pollution. When not chasing his impossible cat, he uses guitars to make sounds not heard since the Cretaceous as part of an indie folk duo with his wife Mary.
John Oughton is the author of five books of poetry (most recently, Time Slip), the mystery novel Death by Triangulation, and the nonfiction book HIgher Teaching: A Handbook for New Postsecondary Faculty. He often hosts for the Art Bar. John lives in Toronto, and retired a few years ago as Professor of Teaching and Learning at Centennial College. For entertainment he likes to perambulate the boardwalk in the Beaches, take out his kayak, play guitar and take strange photographs.
My new book Higher Teaching is now available from bookstores and online sellers. My online course "Organizational Writing" can be taken through udemy.com. Visit my website: writing/editing at joughton.wixsite.com/author.
Host: Kate Rogers
Irene Marques is a bilingual writer (English and Portuguese) and Lecturer at Ryerson University where she teaches literature and creative writing. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature, Masters in French Literature and Comparative Literature and a BA in French Literature from the University of Toronto—as well as a Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University. Her literary publications include the poetry collections Wearing Glasses of Water, The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit and The Circular Incantation: An Exercise in Loss and Findings (2013), the Portuguese language short-story collection Habitando na Metáfora do Tempo, and the novel My House is a Mansion. Her Portuguese language novel won the Imprensa Nacional/Ferreira de Castro Prize in 2019 and was recently published in Portugal. Daria, her second novel in English, came out this past June in Canada by Inanna Publications. She also authored Transnational Discourses on Class, Gender and Cultural Identity (Purdue University Press, 2011) and numerous articles in scholarly international journals.
Chris Pannell has published six books of poetry. His collection A Nervous City (released in 2013) won the Kerry Schooley Book Award the following year. His latest book of poetry, Love, Despite the Ache, won Poetry Book of the Year from the Hamilton Arts Council. He is a former treasurer and board member for the gritLIT Writers Festival and a former DARTS bus driver. He has hosted and helped the Lit Live reading series in Hamilton for more than ten years. His three most recent collections of poetry are available at https://www.wolsakandwynn.ca/authors-all/chris-pannell
Host: Donna Langevin
John Wall Barger John Wall Barger’s poems and critical writing have appeared in American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review Online, The Cincinnati Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and Best of the Best Canadian Poetry. His poem “Smog Mother” was co-winner of The Malahat Review’s 2017 Long Poem Prize. He is the author of four books of poetry: Pain-proof Men (2009); Hummingbird (2012), finalist for the Raymond Souster Award; The Book of Festus (2015), finalist for the J.M. Abraham Award; and The Mean Game (2019), finalist for The Phillip H. McMath Book Award. His fifth book, Resurrection Fail, comes out with Spuyten Duyvil Press in fall 2021 (http://www.spuytenduyvil.net/resurrection-fail.html). He is a contract editor for Frontenac House, and teaches in the BFA Program for Creative Writing at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. (johnwallbarger.com) Ben Gallagher
Ben Gallagher is a poet and essayist currently living in Mi'kma'ki (in so-called West Dublin, NS). He is in the middle of a PhD at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, researching non-linear pedagogy and poetic practices in community poetry workshops. His work can be found in Leaping Clear, Long Con, untethered, Sewer Lid, and The Puritan, among other places.
Host: Margaret Code
Ellen S. Jaffe
Ellen S. Jaffe grew up in New York City and emigrated to Canada in 1979; she now lives in Toronto. Her three collections of poetry are: Water Children, Skinny-Dipping With the Muse, and The Day I Saw Willie Mays; she also published a young-adult novel, Feast of Lights and the non-fiction Writing Your Way. Her poems appear in several anthologies, including Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came to Canada in the Vietnam War Era; Poet to Poet; Jack Layton: Art in Action; The Beauty of Being Elsewhere; and Letters & Pictures from the Old Suitcase, co-edited with Lil Blume to accompany their Festival of Canadian Jewish Writers. Her work has also been translated into Finnish. Ellen received grants for writing and artists-in-education from the Ontario Arts Council and other literary awards, and has taught writing in schools and community organizations. Her poem “Hiroshima Day: James Street North, Hamilton” provides narration for the film “The Shadow Project” by Teresa D’Elia, showing at the Helsinki Education Film Festival International, 2021.
RC Weslowski is the 2021 Zaccheus Jackson Nyce Memorial Award Winner, The 2016 Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award Winner and a Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and Victoria Spoken Word Festival Poet of Honour. RC is a Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Champion, an Underground Indies Champion, A CFSW Team Champion, a Haiku Death Match and Nerd Poetry Slam Champion. RC co hosts and produces Wax Poetic and Oh No Not Another Podcast podcasts. RC is the Artistic Director for Hullabaloo: The BC Youth Spoken Word Festival and curator for Mashed Poetics, a quarterly spoken word and music mash up event that has been running for over a decade. RC’s first book of poetry, “My Soft Response to the Wars” is out on Write Bloody North Publishing. www.writebloodynorth.ca
Host: Vanessa Ricketts
Michelle Poirier Brown
Michelle Poirier Brown is an internationally published poet and performer, currently living in Lək̓ʷəŋən territory (Victoria, BC). She is nêhiýaw-iskwêw and a citizen of the Métis Nation. Her poem “Wake” won PRISM international’s 2019 Earle Birney Prize. Other poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Arc, CV2, Grain, The Greensboro Review, Emrys Journal, Plenitude, The Puritan, untethered, and Vallum; several chapbooks and anthologies; and the 2021 song cycle, “The Length of a Day” (Jeffrey Ryan, composer). Her debut book You Might Be Sorry You Read This is forthcoming from the University of Alberta Press in the Robert Kroetsch Series in 2022.
My name is Aurore Gatwenzi. I was born and raised in Northern Ontario, Sudbury and I am a Poet. I studied languages at Laurentian University double majoring in Francais and Espanol and am currently working as a language and cultural instructor. I love language and poetry is another way of exploring my love of language.My first poetry collection is called Gold Pours and will be coming out on October 16th 2021. I muse on about my experience growing up in Sudbury, God, heartbreak and love. It is called Gold Pours in relations to the traditional Japanese art form of repairing ceramics, called Kintsugi. Which poetically translates to “golden joinery”. This technique employs a special tree sap lacquer dusted with powdered gold to rejoin the ceramic pieces. These poems were at a certain time in my life the parts of me that were most broken and needing repairing. Gold Pours from the cracks these cracks represent vulnerability which allows us to be loved where we are most broken. I personally believe that when we dont allow God to repair the damage that was made we tend to make the same mistakes. And so Gold also represents the process of repenting and removing sin from our lives. Like gold being refined and purified.
Host: Brenda Clews
Oct 26 Andreas Gripp
Andreas Gripp (they/them) was born and raised in London, Ontario and now lives
in Stratford where they reside with their wife Carrie, and their two cats Mabel
and Mila. They are the author of various poetry and art publications including
Selected Poems 2000-2020 and still and unstill, both with Beliveau Books. Poems
by Andreas Gripp have also recently appeared in a number of anthologies
including Hearthbeat: Poems of Family and Hometown (Hidden Brook Press) and
Tamaracks: Canadian Poetry for the 21st-Century (Lummox Press). Original
photography and artwork often accompany their poems. Andreas also takes
photos highlighting architecture, nature, everyday objects, as well as self-portraits
touching upon perspective, symmetry, and queerness. They presently serve as the
editor for The Stratford Quarterly.
Blaine Marchand's award-winning poetry and prose has appeared in magazines across Canada, the US, New Zealand, India and Pakistan. He has six books of poetry, a young adult novel and a work of non-fiction published. His seventh collection of poems, Becoming History, was published by Aeolus House Press in 2021. Active in the literary scene in Ottawa for over 50 years, he co-founded literary magazines and a writers’ association. He was on the National Council of the League of Canadian Poets for a number of years and was its President from 1991-93.
Host: Philip Cairns
Mike Lipsius has a day job writing copy and doing other things in the FinTech industry. He ran the Rochdale Rhymes and Readings poetry series from 2008 to 2013. His last chapbook was Lessons in Gravity (Stone's Throw Publications). He occasionally hosts the Art Bar, virtually and sometimes physically, but that's going back awhile..
Richard Osler is a 70 year-old Canadian poet and long-term poetry blogger who has led generative poetry writing workshops and retreats in Canada, the U.S. and Italy, and now on Zoom, as well as twice-weekly generative poetry therapy workshops at a major mental health facility on southern Vancouver Island, B.C. Nothing in his previous life as a national business print journalist with the Financial Post, national business columnist on Canada’s CBC radio network and self-employed money manager would have suggested his current occupations. Richard was a finalist for the Malahat Journal Open Season poetry prize in 2011 and 2017 and was a 2021 finalist in the U.S. based Ruminate Magazine’s Broadside Prize. His poems have been published in U.S. and Canadian literary journals and poetry anthologies. In 2016 Quattro Books of Toronto published his first full-length collection, Hyaena Season and in 2012 Leaf Press published his chapbook Where the Water Lives. Richard’s blog and website: recoveringwords.com.
Host: Kate Rogers
Nov 9 Anna Yin
Anna Yin, an IT professional, immigrated to Canada in 1999, authored five poetry collections and “Mirrors and Windows” (Guernica Editions) in 2021. Anna won the 2005 Ted Plantos Memorial Award, two MARTYs, two scholarships from USA and three grants from Ontario Arts Council. Anna was appointed to be Mississauga’s Inaugural Poet Laureate in 2015. Her poems/translations have appeared at Queen’s Quarterly, ARC Poetry, New York Times, China Daily, CBC Radio, World Journal. She performed on Parliament Hill, at Austin International Poetry Festival, Edmonton Poetry Festival and universities in China, USA and Bangladesh. She also teaches Poetry Alive. Her website: annapoetry.com
Kristen Smith is a maritimer currently ashore in Toronto. She is pursuing doctoral studies at York University, concentrating on the intersections of poetry and sound. A Narrative Poetry Prize winner (2020), Fineline Competition finalist (2021), and Pushcart Prize nominee (2022), Kristen’s creative work has appeared in Canthius, Mid-Atlantic Review, Naugatuck River Review, and SewerLid Magazine. Kristen was selected as one of six poets internationally to participate in the Writing with Style program at the Banff Centre. Kristen is interested in creating art in community, connection, and collaboration.
Host: Donna Langevin
Nov 16 Roger Greenwald