Wednesday, 31 October 2012

December 7


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.

Bill Gaston is a Canadian novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. His short-story collection Gargoyles was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and won the ReLit Award and the City of Victoria Butler Prize. In 2002, Gaston was a finalist for the Giller Prize with Mount Appetite, and the inaugural recipient of the Timothy Findley Prize, awarded by the Writers' Trust of Canada. He teaches at the University of Victoria.


November 30

(With support from the Writers Union of Canada and The Council Council for the Arts)

In her second volume of poetry, Madeline Sonik creates poetry through the contemplation and inspiration of the abstruse symbols encountered in the ancient oracular Chinese text, the I Ching (The Book of Changes). The interplay of concept and image that the I Ching offers, as well as the non-causal worldview it implicates, presents a unique place of poetic inquiry. Carl Jung used the I Ching as a method of exploring the unconscious, and pointed out how it worked by allowing chance details to “enter into the picture of the moment of observation and form a part of it.” This is what Sonik has attempted to do in each of the 64 poems that correspond to the I Ching’s hexagrams. She also uses the I Ching as a feminist writer, for although it gives credence to intuitive and synchronistic ways of knowing which, in Western cultures, are associated with the feminine—the work is predominantly masculinist in that it foregrounds issues of male power, as well as occupations and concerns that have traditionally excluded women. Sonik compensates for the lack of feminine presence in the I Ching by projecting into the hexagrams a personal experience of womanhood, where autobiographical elements are at liberty to dialogue with proverbial wisdom. Through this conversation, readers will discover a deeper understanding of what it means to be both human and female.

Garth Martens has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Victoria (Canada). He is a former member of the poetry editorial board at The Malahat Review. His poems have appeared in The Fiddlehead, Grain Magazine, The Times Colonist, and the anthology, Leonard Cohen: You're Our Man. In April of 2011, he won The Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, an award for the best Canadian writer under 35 who has not yet published a book. Two of his entries in the poetry category were shortlisted for this year's Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Literary Awards.

November 23


(With support from the Council Council for the Arts)

*** Wendy's Birthday! ***



Wendy Morton believes that poetry is the shortest distance between hearts. She has five books of poetry, and a memoir, Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast, in which her adventures as a corporate sponsored poet are revealed. Her latest book of poetry, What Were Their Dreams, is a book of photo-poems of Canada’s history.She is the founder of Canada’s Random Acts of Poetry, now in its 7th year, and is the recipient of the 2010 Spirit Bear Award and the Golden Beret Award. For her day job, she has been an insurance investigator for the last 28 years. She lives in Sooke, B.C. and is a raven watcher.

Jenna Butler was born in Norwich, England in 1980, but has spent most of her life on the prairies of Western Canada. The varied landscapes of the prairies and mountains - their intense harshness and incredible richness - feature prominently in her poetry and fiction. Her work has garnered a number of awards, including the Canadian Authors Association Exporting Alberta Award and the James Patrick Folinsbee Prize, and has been featured by the CBC. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies across Canada and abroad, and she is the author of eight short collections of poetry, in addition to the trade books Aphelion (NeWest Press, 2010) and Wells (University of Alberta Press, 2012). See the Books section for details. A third trade book, Seldom Seen Road, is forthcoming in 2013.
November 16


(With support from the Council Council for the Arts)

Tim Lilburn is a Canadian poet and essayist. He is the author of several critically acclaimed collections of poetry, including Kill-site, To the River, Moosewood Sandhills and his latest work Going Home.
Maleea Acker is the author of The Reflecting Pool, with Pedlar Press (poetry), and Gardens Aflame: Garry Oak Meadows of BC’s South Coast, with New Star Books (non-fiction). Her second book of poetry, The Almond in the Earth, will appear with Pedlar in 2013. Her poetry and interviews have also been published in journals such as Fiddlehead,The Malahat Review,Prism International,Descant,Event, and the anthologies Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2008andRocksalt. She is forthcoming in the anthologies Planet Earth Poetry (2012) and the BC Women writer’s anthology (2013).

November 9  

(With support from the Council Council for the Arts)

John Barton has published nine books of poetry and five chapbooks, including Hypothesis (Anansi, 2001), West of Darkness: Emily Carr, a self-portrait (third edition, BushcekBooks, 2006), and Hymn (Brick, 2009). For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin, a selected poems, and Balletomane: The Program Notes of Lincoln Kirstein are forthcoming respectively from Nightwood and Jack Pine Press in 2012. Co-editor of Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay-Male Poets (Arsenal Pulp, 2007), he has won three Archibald Lampman Awards, an Ottawa Book Award, a CBC Literary Award, and a National Magazine Award. Since 1980, his poems have appeared in anthologies and magazines across Canada and in the United States, Australia, India, and the U.K. He was writer in residence at the Saskatoon Public Library and the University of New Brunswick, and has taught at the Sage Hill Writing Experience and the Banff Centre. He has worked as a librarian and editor for five national museums in Ottawa from 1985 to 2003, where he co-edited Arc Poetry Magazineand Vernissage: The Magazine of the National Gallery of Canada. He lives in Victoria, where he edits The Malahat Review.
Isa Milman is a poet and visual artist who lives in Victoria, BC. Born a displaced person in Germany in 1949, she grew up in the United States and came to Canada in 1975. She’s a graduate of Tufts University, and holds a Masters of Rehabilitation Science from McGill, where she taught for a decade. She is the author of Between the Doorposts(Ekstasis Editions, 2004) and Prairie Kaddish(Coteau Books, 2008), both of which won the Canadian >Jewish Book Award for poetry.>  



November 2

Launch of Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast (Key Publishing).

Authors reading will include Victoria's Poet Laureate Janet Rogers, Bill Zuk, Avis Rasmussen, Roland Rasmussen, Kim Goldberg, Mary Ann Moore, and Sandy Martin.

Living Artfully offers unique perspectives and insights to the interrelationship of creativity and geography through intimate portrayals about the lives of artists. Writers, painters, carvers, and performers reflect on the private spaces of the arts – inner worlds and natural environments – and the public spaces for exhibiting, performing and sharing. Artists delve into their life journeys, the struggles and challenges as well as the joys and rewards of pursuing expression out here.

Forty-two painters, writers, carvers and performers have contributed to this collection, including award-winning First Nations playwright and poet Janet Rogers; painter, writer, and arts advocate Robert Amos; internationally noted artists Avis Rasmussen and Mark Hobson; renowned author Susan Musgrave; award-winning filmmaker Velcrow Ripper; and from the academy, dancer and educator Celeste Snowber, professor emeritus Bill Zuk and many more voices that shape what it means to live artfully on the far west coast.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


Award-winning Poet
Poetry Editor
Founder of Rubicon Press
Date: Saturday, November 24, 2012

Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Jenna’s Course Description:

The course will explore a variety of unique forms, ranging from the more well-recognized anti ghazal to project-based forms such as plunderverse, anagram poetry, and flarf. We will look at sample poems in each of these forms and then try our own hands at them to see where imagination takes us. Handouts will be included for all participants.
Fee: $65All poets welcome -- only 10 spaces available!

To enroll:

Send your name, e-mail address, and cheque (made out to Planet Earth Poetry) as soon as possible to the address below. Your cheque will hold your place in the workshop. Questions? Write Susan at

Susan Braley/PEP Workshop
3515 Upper Terrace Road
Victoria, BC
V8R 6E8

P.S. Save this date: Saturday, January 19! Cornelia Hoogland will offer an intriguing three-hour poetry-fiction workshop called Red meets her wolf, or, is that a gun in her basket? More info on this workshop soon.

October 5

(With support of The League of Canadian Poets and The Canada Council for the Arts)

Ronna Bloom and Steve Noyes

Ronna Bloom launches Cloud with a Fire in the Basement.

She is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, Permiso (Pedlar Press, 2009), shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award.  Her poems have been translated into Spanish and Bengali and broadcast on cbc Radio. Her work appeared in “Poetry is Public is Poetry,” an initiative of Toronto Poet Laureate Dionne Brand, which showcases and celebrates the work of Canadian poets to help transform Toronto’s public realm into a forum for the written word. Bloom works as a writing teacher and
psychotherapist. She has led workshops across Canada and abroad, and currently is Poet in
Community at the University of Toronto.


Steve Noyes is a Victoria writer whose first novel, It is just that your house is so far away, was published in 2010 by Signature Editions. Rainbow Stage Manchuria is his seventh book. Al Moritz said, "Noyes is one of our best poets."

October 12

PEP Cancelled in support of Victoria’s Writer’s Festival

Step Into the Ring Write-Off: Sharpen your pencils for an on-the-spot writing slam. Win prizes! Sponsored by Planet Earth Poetry. $3 for a night of hijinx. 7:30 p.m.

All events take place on the grounds of Camosun College. $10 per event ($8 for students). Festival Pass $30 ($20 for students).


October 19

Sally Ito and Sarah Tsiang

(With support of The Canada Council for the Arts)

Sally Ito is a writer living in Winnipeg. She has published four books -- most recently, Alert to Glory (Turnstone Press, 2011) a poetry collection -- as well as having published articles and reviews in various Canadian newspapers and journals. She also is a regular blog contributor to the multicultural children's literature blog, PaperTigers.

Yi-Mei (Sarah) Tsiang is the author of Flock of Shoes (Annick Press, 2010) and The Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales (Leaf Press, 2010). She has two forthcoming books for children and her work has been sold and translated internationally. She has published poetry extensively in Canadian journals, and has appeared in several anthologies. She is currently completing UBC’s MFA program, and works as a mentor to aspiring writers through UBC’s Booming Ground and Queen’s University’s Enrichment Studies Department. Yi-Mei lives in Kingston with her husband and young daughter. She drew from her own experiences as a mother in the creation of the poems in Sweet Devilry.

October 26

Sandy Pool and Ann Graham Walker

Sandy Pool is a poet and multi-disciplinary artist who lives in Toronto. Sandy holds a degree in Theatre Performance and English from the University of Toronto, as well as a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University Guelph. Currently, she is a holder of the prestigious Killam scholarship in poetics at the University of Calgary, where she is completing her Phd. Sandy has been published in various literary journals and was most recently anthologized in The Best Canadian Poems in 2011,published by Tightrope Books. Her first book, Exploding Into Night,published by Guernica Editions, was long-listed for the 2010 re-lit award and short-listed for the 2010 Governor General’s Award for poetry.

Ann Graham Walker is a writer and journalist. She was a finalist in the 2010 Malahat Open Season Awards and the 2010 Prism International Poetry Contest. She has had poems published in the Rocksalt Anthology, The Wild Weathers love poem anthology, PRISM International, the Gaspereau Review, Pitkin Review, the Windfire Anthology, Leaf Press’s Monday’s Poem series, and six chap books edited by Patrick Lane. Her first chap book, The Puzzle at the End of Love, will be published by Leaf Press in the summer of 2012. Ann is an Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets.