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, and offers health care professionals, patients and visitors opportunities to articulate their experiences through reflective writing and poetry. She developed the initiative Rx for Poetry where she prescribes poems on the spot, and takes them to the hospital's waiting rooms, conferences and to independent bookstores. Bloom's most recent book, Cloudy With A Fire in the Basement, was shortlisted for The Relit Award. She edited the anthology Take As Needed: Poems and Reflections from the Halls, Coffee Shops, Board Rooms and Waiting Rooms of Mount Sinai Hospital. She presents The More.
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 a writer, visual poet, editor and publisher. She has authored three books of poetry, fiction and over a dozen chapbooks. Earl is the managing editor of Bywords.ca and the fallen angel of AngelHousePress. Electric Garden won the 2017 Tree Press Chapbook Award. She was inducted into VERSe Ottawa's Hall of Honour in 2014. Earl's poetry has been shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Innovative Poetry Award. Her writing and visual poetry have appeared in journals across North America, in Europe, the UK and Australia. She runs the AngelHousePress Close Reading Service for New Women Poets and co-hosts the Small Machine Talks, a poetry podcast, with a.m. kozak. She presents Kiki.
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. Goldstein is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award. He lives with his family in Toronto, where he is Associate Professor of English at York University. He presents his latest book Lost Originals.
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. Lady Crawford has been shortlisted for the 2017 Pat Lowther Award. 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. She divides her time between downtown Toronto and rural Ontario. She presents Beautiful Children with Pet Foxes.
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 verse, visual, and conceptual poems and poetics have appeared in a variety of print and online publications including Rampike, (parenthetical), Cordite Poetry Review, and Hamilton Arts and Letters. Originally from Toronto, he is currently completing a PhD in Theory and Criticism at Western University in London, Ontario. Players, his debut collection of poetry, has been shortlisted for the 2017 Gerald Lampert Award.
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 he has read along the Don, the Humber, lost rivers and wild places. His works include Melancholy Scientist, The Boneshaker Anthology, wells, a modest device, a wrinkle in the mind and 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, nonfiction, and fiction manuscripts. He is the winner of the 2017 Poetry NOW competition. Ross presents A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent.
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.
With a publishing history that spans four nations, the writings of Dane Swan include poetry, prose, and editorials on literature and popular culture. Bermuda-born with Jamaican heritage, Dane is based in Toronto, Canada. A former writer in residence for Open Book Toronto, he has also been shortlisted for the Monica Ladell Award. Swan’s work has been taught in schools and featured in print, online, on vinyl and CD. His first collection of poetry, Bending The Continuum, was published by Guernica Editions followed by his second collection, A Mingus Lullaby.