2017 Lineup

July 5

Catherine Owen


Catherine Owen lives in New Westminster, BC. She is the author of ten collections of poetry, among them Dear Ghost, (Wolsak & Wynn, 2017), Designated Mourner (ECW, 2014), Trobairitz (Anvil Press 2012), Seeing Lessons (Wolsak & Wynn 2010) and Frenzy (Anvil Press 2009). Her poems are included in several recent anthologies such as Forcefield: 77 Women Poets of BC (Mothertongue Press, 2013) and This Place a Stranger: Canadian Women Travelling Alone (Caitlin Press, 2014). Stories have appeared in Urban GraffitiMemwear MagazineLit N Image (US) and Toronto Quarterly. Her collection of memoirs and essays is called Catalysts: Confrontations with the Muse (W & W, 2012). Frenzy won the Alberta Book Prize and other collections have been nominated for the BC Book Prize, ReLit, the CBC Prize, and the George Ryga Award. In 2015, Wolsak & Wynn published her compendium on the practices of writing called The Other 23 and a Half Hours or Everything You Wanted to Know That Your MFA Didn’t Teach You. She works in TV, plays metal bass and blogs at Marrow Reviews


Cassandra Metcalfe


Cassandra Metcalfe is an editor and marketing consultant for authors, currently completing her Masters of Publishing from SFU. She is publisher of Repurposed, a digital publication dedicated to acts of making from repurposed materials, and even dabbles in upcycling herself, making planters from used books and lonely crockery. Her creative writing has been focused on poetics, particularly the ‘collection poetics’ of the 21st century, for over a decade. Diagnosed bipolar at age 23, and recently with fibromyalgia, poetry has been a way to come to grips with the reality of catastrophic illness. Her next project is a memoir entitled, “Living Invisible Illness.”


Mohamad Kebbewar


Mohamad Kebbewar was born and raised in Aleppo. Since moving to Canada in 2012 he found peace in writing. His writing appeared in The Nashwaak Review, Sinker Cypress Review, and The Lake UK. His poetry deals with the destruction of his ancient hometown Aleppo.


July 12

Jennifer Zilm


Jennifer Zilm is the author of the collection Waiting Room (BookThug, 2016) and the forthcoming The Missing Field (Guernica Editions, 2018) as well as two chapbooks. She works in libraries, social housing and other harm reduction settings. She also spent a lot of time studying the Bible. Her favorite words tend to be Anglo-Saxon rather than Latinate.


July 19

Alan Girling

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Alan Girling writes poetry, etc. His writing could well appear at a live reading, in print or online, on the radio, or in a shop window somewhere. He’s won a couple of prizes, too, and he works with the Royal City Literary Arts Society in New Westminster to promote the written word. He has a poetry chapbook available to anyone who asks.

Franci Louann


Franci Louann was Fran Workman when well-published in Dorothy Livesay’s last anthology in the 70s. Her poems have won awards from Pandora’s Collective, Burnaby Writers’ Society, the Surrey Writers International Conference and T.O.P.S. (The Ontario Poetry Society). Her volunteer work for poets has been honoured by World Poetry, RCLAS (PiP’s sponsor), and WIN (Writers International Network). Lipstick Press published Franci’s Beach Cardiology in 2010. Franci’s “second home” over the last 45 years has been Argentina. She has near 200 poems about this country and is fashioning them into a manuscript based on locations. Franci is also the co-founder of the Poetic Justice reading series.

July 26

Shazia Hafiz Ramji

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Shazia Hafiz Ramji is the recipient of the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry and was a finalist for the 2016 National Magazine Award for poetry. Her writing has recently appeared in The Puritan, Canadian Literature, and filling Station. Her first chapbook is Prosopopoeia (Anstruther Press, 2017). She lives on unceded Coast Salish land where she works as the poetry editor for Prism international magazine and guides an Infinite Jest reading group @infinitejestyvr.

Lara Varesi


Lara Varesi began writing poetry in 2010 with Pandora’s Collective. Since then she has read for and hosted at many reading series such as Twisted Poets and Poetry New West. Lara is president of Burnaby Writers’ Society, and runs and hosts their reading series Spoken INK. She has been published in the Royal City Poets Anthology 2014 and is currently working on her own book of poetry as well as exploring non-fiction.


August 2

Alan Hill


Alan Hill is the Poet Laureate of the City of New Westminster BC. He has been previously published in Canada, UK and the USA in over forty publications, including EVENT, Canadian Literature, CV2, SubTerrain, Poetry is Dead and The Cascadia Review. He is the author of two full length books of poetry, The Upstairs Country (2012) and The Broken Word (2013). He began writing in 2001 whilst spending two years living and working in Botswana.


Janet Kvammen

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Janet Kvammen is a poet, photographer, and visual artist. Busy on the literary and arts scene of the New Westminster uniVerse, she is Vice-President of the Royal City Literary Arts Society and New West Artists. Published in numerous anthologies, Janet hasbeen a featured poet, host, and organizer of many local events. In November 2016 she received a Nehru Humanitarian Award from UBC and Goel Family Charitable Foundation. Janet’s photography, art, poetry and various imaginings can befound on her Facebook page, PlanetJanet Creations.


August 9

Chelsea Comeau

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Chelsea Comeau is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in The Claremont Review, Quills, CV2, and The Maynard. In 2016, she was the second prize winner in the poetry category of the Vancouver Writers Fest contest. She is currently the poetry editor of WordWorks magazine.


August 16

Mallory Tater


Mallory Tater is a writer from the traditional, unceded territories of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg Nation (Ottawa). Her first book of poetry This Will Be Good is forthcoming with BookThug Press in 2018. Mallory’s poetry & fiction have been published in literary magazines across Canada such as Room, CV2, The Malahat Review, Fiddlehead and Arc. In 2016, she graduated from The University of British Columbia with an MFA in creative writing. She was shortlisted for Arc Magazine‘s 2015 Poem of The Year Contest, The Malahat Review‘s 2016 Far Horizon’s Contest and Room Magazine‘s 2016 Fiction and Poetry Prizes. She was the recipient of CV2’s 2016 Young Buck Poetry Prize.

Lindsay Kwan


Lindsay Kwan attended the Writer’s Studio at SFU in 2013, focusing on narrative non-fiction. She is a former editorial board member for Room Magazine (2014 – 2017) and she has also facilitated numerous poetry workshops for Pandora’s Collective around Vancouver. She is currently working on a memoir, Blue’s Harps, and a poetry manuscript.


August 23

Benjamin Hertwig

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August 30

Curtis LeBlanc

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Curtis LeBlanc’s poetry has won the Reader’s Choice Award in Arc’s Poem of the Year Competition and been shortlisted for The Walrus Poetry Prize as well as CV2’s Young Buck Poetry Prize. More of his work has appeared in Geist, Prairie Fire, Eighteen Bridges, The Literary Review of Canada, EVENT, The Malahat Review and others. Good for Nothing (Anstruther Press, 2017) is his first chapbook. His first book-length collection, Little Wild, is forthcoming from Nightwood Editions (2018).


Blair Trewartha

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Blair Trewartha is the author of two chapbooks: Break In (Cactus Press, 2010) and Porcupine Burning (Baseline Press, 2012). His poetry has appeared in Carousel, Prism, Event, Existere, and Contemporary Verse 2. Currently residing in London, Ontario, Blair is an active member of Poetry London and an editor for Anstruther Press.  His debut full-length collection of poetry, Easy Fix (Palimpsest Press, 2014), was shortlisted for the 2015 ReLit award.