no passport required

March 12, 2021

Wax Poetic is Vancouver’s longest running poetry show. Every Wednesday at 2:00pm Pacific, hosts RC Weslowski, Lucia Misch, Kevin Spenst, Zofia Rose, and Johnny D. Trinh spend an hour visiting with poets laureate from across Canada, the latest up-and-coming poetry slammers, the most seasoned touring spoken word artists, and poets with new books hot off the presses.

Go to Canada. Tune in at Coop Radio 100.5FM or browse the archive (2017 to present).

Freedom to Read Week

February 22, 2021

It’s Freedom to Read Week in Canada, which, like Banned Books Week (September 26 – October 2, 2021) in the U.S., raises awareness about intellectual freedom and threats to free speech. Visit the Freedom to Read website to find out more about the freedom to read on the north side of the border, including Censorship at the Canadian border, 1985-2020 and Bannings and Burnings in History. What are you reading?

more from Canada

November 5, 2020

Interested in what’s up with poetry in Canada? VERSeFest, Ottawa’s International Poetry Festival, returns November 6 – 22, 2020, with an entirely virtual program featuring 60 poets in English and French through a mix of live and pre-recorded readings, lectures, poetry slams, interviews, and panels. And it’s free. Learn more on Rob McLennan’s blog and on the VERSeFest 2020 website.

Thirty-two writers from across Canada have been longlisted for the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize. The shortlist will be announced tomorrow, November 5, 2020, and the winner will be announced on November 12. Learn more about the poets and their poems on the CBC Literary Prizes page.

Congratulations, poets!

Word Vancouver

September 14, 2020

The first “Word On The Street Vancouver” festival was held in 1995. Rebranded as Word Vancouver in 2013, the festival celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. With that history, and the recent experience of scores of online readings, panel discussions, workshops, and other gatherings, Word Vancouver is ready for the 2020 all-virtual festival, Saturday, September 19, through Sunday, September 27. Word Vancouver is free, with donations gratefully accepted. See the Word Vancouver schedule here.

more to read!

June 18, 2020

June is National Indigenous History Month and CBC invites you to celebrate by reading from their list of books by First Nations, Métis and Inuit authors. Among the 35 titles, many are, or include, poetry.

listening to Canada

January 17, 2020

Since 2016, The Small Machine Talks has produced more-or-less-monthly podcasts exploring the poetry scene of Central Canada and beyond. Now in Season 4, the interviews are freewheeling conversations co-hosted by Amanda Earl and a.m. kozak. Have a listen.

over the border poetry

August 16, 2019

Wondering what’s new in Canadian poetry? CBC Books has posted their Fall Book Preview, with 23 collections of Canadian poetry to watch for this fall.

and more poetry on film

February 5, 2019

Known as “The People’s Poet,” Milton Acorn was born and died on Prince Edward Island. But in the years between, he meandered across Canada, earned the Governor General’s Literary Award, and published at least 13 books (five more collections were published posthumously).

In The Northern Red Oak, poems for and about Acorn, published a year after his death, poet Gwendolyn MacEwen wrote, “You could go for years without seeing him, and yet he’ll always be there somehow, a great craggy presence at the back of your mind, a gnarled tree in silhouette on the horizon.”

In Love and Anger,” an hour-long documentary directed and produced by Kent Martin, meanders along with Acorn as he tells his story and recites his poems.

island poetry

September 5, 2018

Nanaimo, BC

Nanaimo, BC, Poet Laureate, Tina Biello, has announced the lineup for year two of the Poet Laureate Reading Series. Held on Saturday afternoons at the Harbourfront Branch of the Nanaimo Library, this round of readings features:

  • September 15, 2018 – Leanne McIntosh and Daniel Scott
  • November 17, 2018 – Pat Smekal and Cornelia Hoogland
  • February 16, 2019 – Kim Clark and Sonnet L’Abbe
  • April 20, 2019 – The “Island Five” [ed note: sometimes called the “Bellingham Five” for their launch at SpeakEasy]: Susan Alexander, Terry Ann Carter, Linda Thompson, Barbara Pelman, and Richard Osler
  • June 15, 2019 – Kevin Paul and Kayla Czaga
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