Our popular poetry competition returns in 2015 to feature readings by 20 of Canada’s upcoming and established poets. Judges Geoffrey E. Taylor (IFOA’s Director), Jen Tindall (IFOA’s Artistic Associate) and Catherine Graham (the 2014 Poetry NOW champion) will select one winner, who will receive an automatic invitation to read at the 36th edition of the International Festival of Authors AND an ad for their book in NOW Magazine!
Don’t miss this exciting evening hosted by NOW‘s Susan G. Cole.
Poetry NOW is presented in partnership with NOW Magazine.
David James Brock is a playwright, poet and librettist whose plays and operas have been performed in cities across Canada and the UK. His writing has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals, including Event, The Malahat Review, Poetry is Dead and The Puritan. He was the winner of the 2011 Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition, and he is also co-creator of Breath Cycle, an opera developed for singers with cystic fibrosis. Brock lives in Toronto and can be found on Twitter @davidjamesbrock. He presents work from Everyone is CO2.
Claire Caldwell was the 2013 winner of The Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph and a BA in English and French literature from McGill. She also edits wholesome romances and action-adventure novels at Harlequin, and on the weekends, she sometimes runs poetry workshops for kids. Caldwell lives in Toronto. She presents work from Invasive Species.
Elizabeth Greene has published two previous collections of poetry, The Iron Shoes and Moving. She edited and contributed to We Who Can Fly: Poems, Essays and Memories in Honour of Adele Wiseman, which won the Betty and Morris Aaron Prize for Best Scholarship on a Canadian Subject. Her poetry and fiction has also been published in journals and magazines across North America. She lives in Kingston with her son and three cats. Greene presents work from her latest collection, Understories.
Kate Hargreaves is a writer and roller derby skater. Her first book, Talking Derby: Stories from a Life on Eight Wheels, is a collection of short prose vignettes inspired by women’s flat-track roller derby. Her poetry has been published in literary journals across North America, including Descant, The Puritan, Drunken Boat, The Antigonish Review, Carousel and Rampike, as well as in several anthologies. Hargreaves was the recipient of a Governor General’s Gold Medal in Graduate Studies at the University of Windsor in 2012. She lives in Windsor, where she works as a publishing assistant and book designer. She presents work from her latest book, Leak.
Laurence Hutchman was born in Belfast. He has published eight books of poetry, co-edited Coastlines: The Poetry of Atlantic Canada and edited a book of interviews called In The Writers’ Words: Conversations with Eight Canadian Poets. He has received numerous grants and won awards including the WFNB’s prize for individual poems. He has served as representative for Quebec and New Brunswick/PEI for the League of Canadian Poets and as President of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick. He lives with his partner, the painter Eva Kolacz, in Oakville. Hutchman presents work from Personal Encounters.
Born in New York City, Ellen S. Jaffe came to Canada in 1979. Her published books include Writing Your Way: Creating a Personal Journal, Water Children, Feast of Lights and Syntymalauluja/Birth Songs, a selection of poems translated into Finnish. She has also written and produced plays for children and adults. She lives in Hamilton, where she is active in the city’s literary scene. Jaffe presents work from her collection Skinny-Dipping with the Muse.
Jill Jorgenson currently lives with her partner in Toronto’s old East York and can be seen daily on the job throughout the streets of her neighbourhood delivering the mail. At other times, Jorgenson draws and writes. She presents work from her first book, Looking East Over My Shoulder.
R. Kolewe was born in Montreal. Educated in physics and engineering at the University of Toronto, he pursued a successful career in the software industry for many years while living in a picturesque village in southwestern Ontario. Always a reader, he began to devote his time to writing not long after returning to Toronto in 2007. His work has appeared online at ditch, e-ratio and The Puritan, and he has been associated with the online magazine of Canadian poetics, influencysalon.ca. You can follow Kolewe on Twitter @rkolewe. He presents work from Afterletters.
Born in Montreal in 1946, Max Layton now lives in Cheltenham, Ontario. He is the singer-songwriter son of Irving Layton. Leaving home at the age of 16, he worked at jobs ranging from being a logger in British Columbia to laying track in Saskatchewan to writing for a tabloid magazine in order to put himself through university. Later, he owned a bookstore, managed a subsidiary of McClelland & Stewart and was the vice president of a bank before becoming a high school English teacher. He is the author of a novel and a book of short stories. He presents work from his second collection of poetry, In The Garden of I Am.
Jimmy McInnes was born and raised on Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula. His first chapbook, Begin Speech With, was released by Ferno House in the fall of 2013. His poetry has appeared in various journals, including This Magazine, ditch, The Puritan, Descant and The Capilano Review Web Folio. His work has been shortlisted for the Great Canadian Literary Hunt and the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. He lives in Toronto, where he completed his MFA in creative writing at the University of Guelph, and is currently employed as a political hack. Connect with McInnes on Facebook or Twitter @JimmyMcInnes. He presents his first book-length work of poetry, A More Perfect [.
Bruce Meyer is author of over 40 books of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, pedagogy and literary journalism. He is the inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Barrie, where he teaches college and university, and lives with his wife and daughter. His broadcasts on literature, including those on the Great Books, have been heard on the CBC and are the network’s bestselling spoken word series. Meyer presents work from The Obsession Book of Timbuktu.
Sarah Pinder was born in Sault Ste Marie. Her poetry has appeared in various literary journals and small magazines, as well as in the anthology She’s Shameless. She lives in Toronto. Pinder presents work from the collection Cutting Room.
Pearl Pirie is the author of been shed bore and Thirsts, which won the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Her poetry has been published in numerous literary journals, including filling Station, BafterC, Arc Poetry Magazine, Gusts, PRECIPICe, Dandelion and This Magazine. Pirie’s work has been included in several anthologies focused on innovative poets, haiku and other genres of writing. She has several chapbooks produced in Canada, France and Japan. A host of Literary Landscape on CKCUfm.com, she organized Ottawa’s Tree Seed Workshops from 2009-2014. Connect with Pirie on her poetry and poetics blog or on Twitter @pesbo. She presents work from the pet radish, shrunken.
Poet, playwright and theatre creator/performer, Talya Rubin’s poetry has garnered the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. In 2011 she was shortlisted for the Winston Collins/Descant Prize for Best Canadian Poem and was a finalist for the Montreal International Poetry Prize. She lives in Montreal with her husband and son. Rubin presents work from Leaving the Island.
Vanessa Shields lives in Windsor. Her first book, Laughing Through A Second Pregnancy – A Memoir, was published by Black Moss Press in 2011 to rave reviews. Her poetry, short stories and photography have been published in various literary magazines. She mentors, guest speaks and teaches creative writing. Shields also does Poetry On Demand, on-the-spot poetry that helps make poetry fun and accessible for all. She presents work from I Am That Woman, her first collection.
Peter Unwin was born in Sheffield, England, and raised in Southern Ontario. His previous fiction includes the short story collection The Rock Farmers, which was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and the novel Nine Bells for a Man. His non-fiction includes The Wolf’s Head: Writing Lake Superior and Hard Surface: In Search of the Canadian Road. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two daughters. Unwin presents work from When We Were Old.
Zachariah Wells is the author of two previous poetry collections, Track & Trace and Unsettled, a book of criticism, Career Limiting Moves, and co-author of the children’s book Anything But Hank! His work has been nominated for the Atlantic Book Prize, and his poems have been sung at the Opera National in Paris. Wells presents work from his latest collection, Sum.
Shoshanna Wingate’s poetry and fiction have been published in The New Quarterly, The Fiddlehead and Arc Poetry Magazine. A poetry chapbook, Homing Instinct, appeared from Frog Hollow Press in 2012. Founding editor of the arts and culture journal Riddle Fence, she lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Wingate presents work from Radio Weather.
Liz Worth is a Toronto-based writer. She is the author of Treat Me Like Dirt: An Oral History of Punk in Toronto and Beyond and a piece of surreal punk fiction called Eleven: Eleven. She presents work from her first poetry collection, Amphetamine Heart.
Deanna Young is the author of three books of poetry. She has won several awards, including first prize in the Atlantic Writing Competition, second prize in the League of Canadian Poets’ National Poetry Contest and the Grand Prize in the Prism international Poetry Contest. Originally from southwestern Ontario, she lives in Ottawa, where she is artistic co-director of the Tree Reading Series. She presents work from her most recent collection, House Dreams, from which two poems were longlisted for the CBC Poetry Contest, while another poem was a finalist for The Malahat Review’s Open Season Awards in 2014.
Susan G. Cole is the books and entertainment editor at NOW Magazine and a much sought-after onstage interviewer. She is the author of two books about violence against women, Pornography and the Sex Crisis and Power Surge, and the editor of Outspoken, a collection of scenes and monologues from Canadian lesbian plays. Her play, A Fertile Imagination, was one of the first stage works about a lesbian couple wanting to become parents. Read her writing in the Canadian feminist quarterly Herizons, in print and online at herizons.ca. Follow her on Twitter @susangcole.