Our popular poetry competition returns in 2017 to feature readings by 20 of Canada’s emerging and established poets.
IFOA Director Geoffrey E. Taylor, Juno award winning recording artist and dub poet Lillian Allen and 2016 Poetry NOW winner Chris Chambers will select the night’s winner. NOW Magazine’s Susan G. Cole will host.
Winner will receive an automatic invitation to read at the 38th edition of the International Festival of Authors AND an ad for their book and IFOA event in NOW Magazine!
Poetry NOW is presented in partnership with NOW Magazine.
Born in Albania, Majlinda Bashllari’s first poetry collection, Një udhë për në shtëpi (A road to home), was published in Tirana, Albania. Bashllari’s work has appeared in numerous Albanian art and literature magazines and in Albanian anthologies of essays and short stories. Love is a very long word is her first English-language collection of poems. She lives with her family in Toronto.
Susie Berg is the former co-curator of Toronto’s Plasticine Poetry Reading Series, and the author of two poetry collections, including the just-released All This Blood, from Piquant Press, as well as two chapbooks and a Lyrical Myrical collection. Her work has appeared in such journals as carte blanche, ArsMedica, and Switchback, and in the anthologies The Mom Egg Review, Desperately Seeking Susans, and Body and Soul. She is the editor of the anthology Catherines, the Great, forthcoming from Oolichan Books.
Ronna Bloom is currently the Poet in Residence at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, where she offers health care professionals, patients, and visitors opportunities to articulate their experiences through reflective writing and poetry. She developed Rx for Poetry, in which she prescribes poems on the spot, and takes them to hospital waiting rooms, conferences, and independent bookstores. Bloom's most recent book, Cloudy With A Fire in the Basement, was shortlisted for The Relit Award. Her sixth collection, Salve, will be published by Pedlar Press this fall.
Susan G. Cole is an author, playwright and activist. She is the author of two books on violence against women, the author of A Fertile Imagination, a groundbreaking play about two lesbians trying to have a baby and has been a contributor to the Authors Festival for over 15 years. She is currently Senior Entertainment and Books Editor at NOW Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @susangcole
Glen Downie was born in Winnipeg, worked in cancer care for many years in Vancouver, and now lives in Toronto. In 1999, he served as Writer-in-Residence at Dalhousie University’s Medical Humanities Program. He has published several collections of poetry including Loyalty Management, which won the 2008 Toronto Book Award. Tightrope Books published his collection, Democratic Beauties, in 2015. Downie’s previous two books are Monkey Soap and Left for Right.
Amanda Earl is an Ottawa mayhem maker, libertine, bon vivant, writer, visual poet and publisher. Her books include "A World of Yes", "Kiki" and "Coming Together Presents Amanda Earl". Her most recent chapbooks are "I Owe Saint Hildegard The Light", "Queen Christina" and "firstwalks of the year". Amanda is the managing editor of Bywords.ca and the fallen angel of AngelHousePress. She co-hosts the poetry podcast, "The Small Machine Talks" with a.m. kozak. Two of her manuscripts have been shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Innovative Poetry Award. In 2014 Amanda was inducted into the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour. For more information, please visit AmandaEarl.com or connect with Amanda on Twitter @KikiFolle.
David B. Goldstein is the author of a previous poetry collection, Laws of Rest, a book of criticism, Eating and Ethics in Shakespeare’s England , and two chapbooks, the most recent of which is Object Permanence. The recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award. Goldstein lives with his family in Toronto, where he is Associate Professor of English at York University.
Julie Cameron Gray is originally from Sudbury, Ontario. She is the author of Tangle, and two chapbooks: The Distance Between Two Bodies and Coordinating Geometry. Her work has been previously published in Carousel, Event, The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, PRISM International, and The Best Canadian Poetry in English. She currently lives in Toronto.
Apart from the years during her teens residing in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Jill Jorgenson is a born-and-bred Torontonian. She currently lives with her partner in the city’s old East York, and can be seen on the job daily throughout the streets of her neighbourhood, delivering the mail. At other times, Jorgenson draws and writes. Looking East Over My Shoulder is her first book.
Patricia Keeney is an award-winning poet, novelist, theatre and literary critic. A graduate of McGill University, she did doctoral studies in the UK subsequently returning to Canada where she began teaching Creative Writing and English at Toronto’s York University. A well-known critic for CBC Radio, Canadian Forum, Scene Changes, Canadian Theatre Review and Canadian Literature, she continues her critical work in journals such as Arc and online, Critical Stages and Critically Speaking. The author of ten books of poetry and two novels, her poetry has been translated and published in French, Spanish, Bulgarian, Chinese and Hindi.
Jennifer LoveGrove is the author of the Giller Prize–longlisted novel Watch How We Walk, as well as two poetry collections: I Should Never Have Fired the Sentinel and The Dagger Between Her Teeth. In 2010, LoveGrove was nominated for the K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Literature and in 2015, her poetry was shortlisted for the Lit POP Awards. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications across North America. Her latest book is Beautiful Children with Pet Foxes (BookThug, 2016). She divides her time between downtown Toronto and rural Ontario.
Owain Nicholson grew up in Winnipeg and studied both creative writing and archaeology at the University of Victoria. A working archaeologist, Nicholson sees history, ancestry, nature and people at the centre of both practices, and his poems often use the digsite as a source of image and metaphor. Digsite is Nicholson's debut collection of poetry. He currently lives in Toronto.
John Nyman’s first book of poetry, Players, was published with Palimpsest Press in spring 2016. Originally from Toronto, John writes and workshops with the &, poetry collective in Guelph, Ontario and is currently completing a PhD in Theory and Criticism at Western University.
Chris Pannell’s A Nervous City won the Kerry Schooley Book Award from the Hamilton Arts Council. In 2010, his book Drive won the Acorn-Plantos Award for Peoples Poetry and the Hamilton Literary Award for Poetry. From 1993 to 2005 he ran the new writing workshop and published two anthologies of work by that group. He is a former board member of the gritLIT Literary Festival and a former DARTS bus driver. He hosts and helps organize the monthly Hamilton reading series Lit Live.
Marilyn Potter is an award-winning poet and writer living in Toronto. Her poems have appeared in both Canadian and international literary journals and anthologies, been translated into Japanese, and carved into stone in Vancouver’s Van Dusen Garden. Leave-Taking is her first poetry collection.
Nicholas Power is a founding member of the Meet the Presses literary collective, and has performed with the storytelling duo The Wordweavers and the sound poetry ensemble Alexander’s Dark Band. As part of the River Poets (Maureen Harris, Maureen Hynes and more) he has read along the Don, the Humber and other public places. He has been published by Teksteditions (Melancholy Scientist and The Boneshaker Anthology), Underwhich Editions (wells), The Writing Space (a modest device), FindorCreate (a wrinkle in the mind) and Battered Press (No Poems). He has been editing and publishing with his own Gesture Press for 30 years.
Concetta Principe’s most recent prose poem project, Hiroshima: A Love War Story, came out in fall of 2016 with Pedlar Press. Earlier projects include “walking”, Interference and Stained Glass. She currently teaches literature and creative writing at York and Trent Universities. Her latest collection of poetry, This Real, is coming out with Pedlar Press in fall of 2017.
Lisa Richter’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming in The Puritan, Minola Review, The Malahat Review, Canthius, and lichen, amongst others, and has been longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize. Closer to Where We Began is her first full-length collection of poetry. Lisa lives and teaches English in Toronto.
Stuart Ross is a writer, editor, writing teacher, and small press activist living in Cobourg, Ontario. He is the prize-winning author of 20 books of poetry, fiction, and essays, most recently the poetry collection A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent. His novel in prose poems, Pockets, is due out from ECW Press this fall. Stuart has taught writing workshops across the country, and was the 2010 Writer-in-Residence at Queen’s University. He is currently working on about a dozen different poetry, non-fiction, and fiction manuscripts. He blogs at bloggamooga.blogspot.ca.
Kilby Smith-McGregor spent her early professional life making theatre. Her writing across genres has appeared in Brick, Conjunctions, and the Kenyon Review—among other publications—and been anthologized in Best Canadian Essays, and Best Canadian Poetry. She was recognized with the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s 2010 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award and holds an MFA from the University of Guelph. Her first collection of poetry, Kids in Triage, was published by Wolsak & Wynn’s Buckrider Books imprint in 2016.
Born in Bermuda, Dane Swan's poetry can be found in anthologies and poetry reviews in the UK, France, Bahamas, and Canada. His first collection, Bending the Continuum, was published in 2011 by Guernica Editions. A Mingus Lullaby marks his second collection with Guernica Editions.