EventsWriting the City: Launch of Poet Laureate’s City Poems Contest

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Writing the City: Launch of Poet Laureate’s City Poems Contest

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM


Join us for Writing the City, where five local poets will read their city-themed poems and discuss the process of writing site-based poems. Moderated by Vancouver’s 6th Poet Laureate, Fiona Tinwei Lam.  This event also marks the launch of the Poet Laureate's City Poems Contest.

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Fiona will be joined by a diverse group of local poets who will read their own work:

Joanne Arnott is a writer, editor, arts activist, originally from Manitoba, at home on the West Coast. She received the Gerald Lampert Award (LCP 1992) and the Vancouver Mayor’s Art Award for Literary Arts (2017). She published six poetry books, a collection of short nonfiction and a children’s illustrated. Recent publications include her third poetry chapbook, Pensive & beyond (Nomados Press 2019) and the co-edited volume, Honouring the Strength of Indian Women by Vera Manuel (U of Manitoba Press 2019). She is Poetry Mentor for The Writers Studio, SFU, and Poetry Editor for EVENT Magazine.

Junie Désil was born of immigrant (Haitian) parents on the Traditional Territories of the Kanien’kehá:ka in the island known as Tiohtià:ke (Montréal), raised in Treaty 1 Territory (Winnipeg). Junie’s debut poetry collection Eat Salt / Gaze at the Ocean (TalonBooks, 2020) was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.

Evelyn Lau has authored thirteen books, including eight volumes of poetry and her memoir Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid published when she was eighteen.  Evelyn’s prose books have been translated into a dozen languages. Her poetry has received the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Award, the Pat Lowther Award, and a National Magazine Award, as well as nominations for a BC Book Prize and a Governor-General’s Award. Her poems have been chosen numerous times for inclusion in the Best Canadian Poetry series. Evelyn's newest book Pineapple Express has been met with acclaim. From 2011-2014, Evelyn served as Poet Laureate for the City of Vancouver.

Alex Leslie has published two books of poetry and two books of short stories, most recently Vancouver for Beginners which was shortlisted for the City of Vancouver Book Prize and won the Western Canada Jewish Book Prize for Poetry from the Lohn Foundation.

Kevin Spenst is the author of the poetry collections Ignite, Jabbering With Bing Bong, and Hearts Amok (all with Anvil Press), and over a dozen chapbooks including Pray Goodbye (the Alfred Gustav Press), Ward Notes (the serif of nottingham), Surrey Sonnets (JackPine Press), and most recently Upend (Frog Hollow Press: Dis/Ability series). He occasionally co-hosts Wax Poetic with RC Weslowski, Lucia Misch and Zofia Rose on Co-op Radio. He lives in Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish territory.

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