Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Poetry - a family affair

Liz Zetlin in the family bed, reading to (L to R) Philly Markowitz, Cleo Markowitz-Dyer, Nathan Markowitz-Dyer, Myke Dyer. (thanks to Sheri-d Wilson for the idea!)

Photo by Cleo and Nathan

Liz Zetlin stops traffic with Random Acts

Liz Zetlin poems Alan Desjardine, one of the road crew outside Markdale, Ontario. After receiving LIz's book, The Thing With Feathers, Alan said, "Great, now I can read poems to my wife!"

Photo by Douglas Crawford for the Owen Sound Sun Times.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Gloe Cormie

Gloe Cormie
Originally uploaded by random acts of poetry.
Gloe Cormie’s book of poetry, Sea Salt, Red Oven Mitts and the Blues, was a finalist for several awards in 2003, and her second poetry book, Under a Different Dark Sky, has recently been completed. She has published her poems in many Canadian journals including Fiddlehead and in anthologies including Listening with the Ear of the Heart—Writers at St. Peter’s, and internationally. Her poetry has won recognition in literary competitions, including locally in Prairie Fire and CV 2. The oral aspect of her poetry is as important as the written aspect, thus Cormie has given poetry readings in several Canadian, American and Asian cities, including Chicago, New York, Seoul and Tokyo, and broadcast her poems nationally on CBC radio. She gives a dynamic Poem Making Residency under the Manitoba Artists in the Schools Program, and she facilitates Creative Writing workshops for adults. Cormie’s primary focus is poetry, but she has published short stories, non-fiction and literary criticism, and she has a secondary focus as a visual artist. She is an active member of the League of Canadian Poets, where she has been re-elected as the Manitoba Representative for the 2006-07 year. See the Manitoba Writers Guild MAP Index for more detail.

Random Acts of Poetry hits the streets!

Wendy Morton commits a random act of poetry.

Monday, September 11, 2006

John B. Lee

John B. Lee
Originally uploaded by random acts of poetry.
John B. Lee's poetry has appeared internationally in over 500 publications. He is the winner of over sixty prestigious awards for poetry including being the only two time winner of the People's Poetry Award and being a recipient of the $10,000 CBC Literary Award. In 2006 he won the inaugural Orion Poetry Award (University of Windsor) and the Cranberry Tree Press Award.

His most recent books are How Beautiful We Are, Black Moss Press, 2006 and this year's R.A.P. title, Godspeed, also a Black Moss title. In 2005 he was named Poet Laureate of Brantford and he has been called, "the greatest living poet in English," (Antigonish Review, summer 2006). He lives in Brantford with his wife Cathy. They spend their summers at their lakefront cottage in Port Dover.


Originally uploaded by random acts of poetry.
This is a photo of the members of WolfTree. They are,
from left to right: Virginia Bjerkelund, Shari Andrews,
Janet Patch, Jane Tims and Mary Louise Luck. Missing:
Kathy mac and Jean Burgess.

Here're bios of the members of WolfTree:

Shari Andrews’ latest book of poetry, Crucible, ( 2004
Oberon Press); another collection will be published by
Oberon this year. Her work is inspired by nature, memories
of growing up in New Brunswick, her Danish roots, visual
art and most recently, the life of a 14th century Italian

Virginia Bliss Bjerkelund is writing a book on the life
and times of her great aunt, a pioneer nurse, feminist,
author and millionaire before 1929.

Jean Burgess writes poetry and memoir drawing on her rural
surroundings in present day New Brunswick and during her
childhood in Angola.

Mary Louise Luck is recently retired and now has time to
write poetry, learn guitar and engage in other pursuits
that catch her fancy.

Kathy Mac's first book of poems Nail Builders Plan for
Strength and Growth was a finalist for the governor
General's award, and recieved the award for best first
book of poems in Canada in 2002.

Janet Patch lives in Nasonworth and her poetry explores
themes related to home, family and nature.

Jane Tims is a biologist, naturalist and history
enthusiast and includes these themes in her poetry. Her
current work is a collection of poems about writings on
stone in North America and Scandinavia.

Kathleen McConnell
Department of English
St. Thomas University

Kathy Mac

Kathy Mac
Originally uploaded by random acts of poetry.
Kathy Mac's first book of poems Nail Builders Plan for Strength and Growth was a finalist for the governor General's award, and recieved the award for best first book of poems in Canada in 2002.

Carla Funk, Victoria, BC

Carla Funk was born and raised in the village of Vanderhoof, the geographical centre of B.C. Having grown up in a world of logging trucks, Mennonites, storytellers and rural realism, she turned to poetry as a place to set down the images of her upbringing. Since studying writing and English literature at the University of Victoria, her work has been featured in the anthologies Breathing Fire: Canada’s Young Poets (Harbour, 1995), Hammer & Tongs (Smoking Lung, 1999), Introductions: Poets Present Poets (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2001), in various literary journals, and as part of the Poetry in Transit series. Her first collection of poems, Blessing the Bones into Light came out with Coteau Books in 1999. Nightwood Editions published Head Full of Sun in 2002. Another poetry collection, The Sewing Room, is due out in Fall 2006 with Turnstone Press. She currently lives in View Royal, B.C. with her husband and daughter, and teaches in UVic’s Department of Writing.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Louise Halfe, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Louise Halfe, also known as Sky Dancer, has lived in Saskatoon for 18 years. She has written two acclaimed books of poetry and her work has appeared widely in anthologies and periodicals.

Halfe has had a distinguished career as a poet. She made her writing debut as a poet writing in Writing the Circle: Native Women of Western Canada, an anthology of life-writings by Native women.

Bear Bones & Feathers, her first book of poetry, was short-listed for the Spirit of Saskatchewan Award, the Saskatchewan First Book Award, the Gerald Lambert Award, and the Pat Lowther First Book Award. In 1996 it won the Milton Acorn Award. Her second book, Blue Marrow, was short-listed for the 1998 Governor General's Award and in three categories in the Saskatchewan Book Awards: the Saskatchewan Book of the Year, the Saskatoon Book Award, and the Saskatchewan Poetry Award.

Halfe has traveled extensively across Canada and abroad giving readings and presentations of her work andconducting writing workshops. She has also served as writer-in-residence at the Markin-Flanagan Distinguished Writer program in Calgary, the Native Earth Performing Arts Weesageechak Festival in Toronto, and at the University of Windsor.

Born in Two Hills, Alberta, Louise Halfe was raised on the Saddle Lake First Nation and attended Blue Quills Residential School. She has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina and certificates in Addictions from the Nechi Institute.

Halfe is married, the mother of two adult children and the proud grandmother of two. She is a Board member of the Saskatchewan Arts Board. In recent years she has also served as the President for the Sage Hill Writing Experience.

She is also the Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Mulhern, Mary Ann, Windsor, ON

Mary Ann Mulhern is a Windsor, Ontario poet who has been published in numerous literary journals and broadcast on CBC radio. The Red Dress, published by Black Moss Press, went into second printing within four months of the sell-out launch at the University of Windsor, Oct. 2003. The Red Dress is narrative poetry that “tells the story” of convent life in the fascinating decade of the sixties. Mary Ann Mulhern was interviewed by Mary Hynes of Tapestry,a national CBC radio program. More recently, The Red Dress has been introduced in the U.S. where it is being received with keen interest.

Holmes, Nancy, Summerland/Kelowna, BC

Nancy Holmes has published four collections of poetry, Valancy and the New World (Kalamalka Press), Down to the Golden Chersonese: Victorian Lady Travellers (Sono Nis) and The Adultery Poems (Ronsdale) and most recently, Mandorla from Ronsdale Press (2005). She is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna BC.

Pilling, Marilyn Gear, Hamilton, ON

Marilyn Gear Pilling is the author of two collections of stories: My Nose Is A Gherkin Pickle Gone Wrong (Cormorant, 96) and The Roseate Spoonbill Of Happiness (Boheme, 02), and one book of poetry, The Field Next To Love (Black Moss, 02). Pilling’s stories and her poetry have won several national awards. She lives in Hamilton.

Kemp, Penn, London, ON

Enthusiastic sound poet Penn Kemp performs and publishes everywhere: online and in Brazil! Penn’s publications include twenty-five books of poetry and drama, eight CDs of Sound Opera and Sound Poetry as well as Canada's first CD-ROM. Since Coach House published her first book in 1972, Penn has been pushing text and aural boundaries, often in participatory performance. She presents her Sound Operas in happy collaboration with actors, poets and musicians. Her videopoem won for best performance (Voice Award), Vancouver Videopoem Festival. Through Pendas Productions, Penn edits and publishes poetry book/cds, The League of Poets proclaimed her one of the foremothers of Canadian poetry.

Carter, Terry Ann, Ottawa ON

Terry Ann Carter is a teacher and poet working in Ottawa. Her first book, Waiting for Julia, was published by Third Eye Press in London, Ontario, 1999. An accomplished haikuist, Carter has won several international awards and has participated in the Basho Festival in Ueno, Japan. Her second book, Transplanted, is forthcoming from Borealis Press and a haiku collection celebrating the life of Emily Carr, such green, is forthcoming from Pendas Poets.

Dalton, Mary, St. John's NFLD

Mary Dalton has published three volumes of poetry, The Time of Icicles ( Breakwater, 1989 and 1991) , Allowing the Light (Breakwater, 1993) and Merrybegot ( Véhicule Press, 2003). Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies in Canada, the U.S. and Ireland, most recently in Open Field: 30 Contemporary Canadian Poets, just released by Persea Books of New York. Merrybegot was shortlisted for the 2004 all-genre Winterset Award, the 2004 Pat Lowther Memorial Poetry Award, and is the winner of the 2005 E.J. Pratt Poetry Award. Merrybegot is being released as a CD by Rattling Books in November of 2005. Dalton lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Glenn, Lorri Neilsen, Halifax, NS

Lorri Neilsen Glenn’s first book of poetry, All the Perfect Disguises (Broken Jaw Press), is now in its second printing. Lorri is the Halifax Regional Municipality’s Poet Laureate for 2005-2009. Last year, her random acts took place on construction sites, streetcorners, and the waterfront, at bus shelters, in seniors’ homes and restaurants, with bikers, rail workers, antique dealers, florists, ferry travelers, and crosswalk guards.

Hyland, Gary, Moose Jaw, SK

Gary Hyland is a Moose Jaw poet and arts activist. He has been short-listed for the National Magazine Award for Poetry and has won three manuscript awards. A founder of Sage Hill Writing Experience and the Saskatchewan Festival of Words, he is a member of the Order of Canada. The most recent of five books of poetry are White Crane Spreads Wings (Coteau, 1996) and The Work of Snow (Thistledown Press (2003).

Morton, Wendy, Victoria, BC

When Wendy Morton's first book of poetry, Private Eye, was published in 2001, she knew she had to find some way to turn her poetry into currency. One day she called up WestJet airlines, suggested she read poems for the passengers, write them poems in exchange for flights. And so she became WestJet's Poet of the Skies. She has turned her poems into the currency that has provided her with a PT Cruiser from DaimlerChrylser, luxurious hotel rooms from The Fairmont Hotels, vitamins from Prairie Naturals, a digital camera from Fuji. She has two latest books of poetry from Ekstasis Editions; Undercover and Shadowcatcher. She is currently at work on a memoir, 6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast. In her day job, she's an insurance investigator.

Zetlin, Elizabeth, Owen Sound, ON

Liz Zetlin is a visual artist and nature poet with a twist. She plants words with garlic cloves, grassy punctuation marks on rocky pastures and creates poetry videos about limestone. Zetlin's publications include The Thing With Feathers, Taking Root, and Said the River. Her poetry has won a Stephen Leacock Award, the Canadian Poetry Association's Shaunt Basmajian Award, and has been featured on CBC radio. Zetlin is also a teacher, editor and member of the poetry collective Words Aloud and the Advisory Board for Ginger Press’ poetry imprint, Wild Ginger. Last year she co-directed the Words Aloud Spoken Word Festival in Durham. Zetlin’s poetry videos, The Limestone Ghazals, were exhibited in Canada and Ireland as part of the Limestone Barrens Project. She lives in Markdale, Ontario.

MacDonald, Hugh, Charlottetown, PEI

Born 24 July, 1945, Hugh MacDonald retired after 31 years of teaching high school and now writes full time. He has a B.A. from Saint Dunstan’s University in Charlottetown. He lives with his wife Sandra, and two of six children, in the community of Brudenell in eastern PEI on the bank of the beautiful Montague River. He has nine books to his credit: Chung Lee Loves Lobsters (Annick Press, 1992), Looking for Mother (Black Moss Press, 1995), The Digging of Deep Wells (Black Moss Press, 1997), and Tossed Like Weeds from the Garden (Black Moss Press, 1999) and Cold Against the Heart (Black Moss Press) 2003. He also co-edited with Brent MacLaine: Landmarks:An Anthology of New Atlantic Poetry of the Land (The Acorn Press, 2001), and with Alice Reese A Bountiful Harvest: Fifteen Years of the Island Literary Awards (The Acorn Press, 2002). His new novel, Murder at Mussel Cove will be released in September of 2005 along with a third anthology, Letting Go: An Anthology of Loss and Survival. Chung Lee Loves Lobsters won the LM Montgomery PEI Literature for Children Competition in 1990. He was the recipient of the Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Literary Awards on PEI in 2004.

Souaid, Carolyn Marie, Montreal, QC

Carolyn Marie Souaid is a teacher, book reviewer, and the author of four collections of poetry. Her work has been produced for CBC-Radio, and has been published both nationally and internationally. She has appeared at many literary festivals across Canada. More recently, she has become involved in projects aimed at moving poetry off the page and into public spaces. She is the co-producer of two major Montreal events: Poésie en mouvement / Poetry in Motion (the poetry-on-the-buses project, 2004) and Cirque des mots / Circus of Words, a multilingual cabaret of performance poetry (2005). Carolyn Marie has been a guest on Global TV, CBC Radio (This Morning, Arttalks, Home Run, All in a Weekend) and on TVO’s More To Life. A French translation of Snow Formations, her meditation on the intersecting worlds of natives and non-natives in Arctic Quebec, is forthcoming from Les Éditions Triptyque in 2006.

Gill, Kuldip, Mission, BC

Kuldip Gill is a social anthropologist and poet. She graduated in 2005 with an MFA in Theatre, Film and Creative Writing from The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Kuldip Gill's recent books are Dharma Rasa, (Nightwood Editions,1999), winner of a BC2000 book award ; and two limited edition small books: Cornelian, Turquoise and Gold, (Colophon Books, 2003), and Ghazals: Rai and Sohni, (Frog Hollow Press, 2003). Her book, Valley Sutra is forthcoming (Beach Holme,2005). She is working on a novel, Santi. She is published in many anthologies such as Down in the Valley (Ekstasis,2004), and Red Silk (Mansfield Press, 2005); and journals (Event, CV2, BC Studies). Kuldip received an honorary doctor of letters (D.Litt) from the University College of the Fraser Valley in 2005.

Csamer, Mary Ellen, Kingston ON

Since 1984, M. E. Csamer has been widely published in Canadian literary magazines from coast to coast. Her first collection Paper Moon appeared from watershedBooks in 1998. Her latest work is Light is What We Live In, an exploration of light not only as a physical presence but as a metaphor for the forces which clarify our emotional landscapes. A former board member of The ArtBar reading series in Toronto, she currently serves as President of the League of Canadian Poets. The mother of two grown daughters, Csamer lives in Kingston, Ontario with her husband Steve.

White, Marian Frances, St. John's NFLD

Marian Frances White is a writer who has published in many different genres. Her published works include ten editions of A Woman’s Almanac, (1987-1996), Voices of Atlantic Canadian Women (1987-1996). In 1997 a collection of Almanac interviews was published in The Finest Kind, a compendium of Almanac stories. In 1994 White published the biographical book Not A Still Life, the art and writings of artist Rae Perlin. In 1995 she published a History of Newfoundland and Labrador with Grolier Ltd., as part of their Canadian series on the provinces. In 1996 it was translated into French. In 2000, White was named Artist of the Year by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. In 2002 she wrote and directed the documentary Fool Proof, a film which takes a light-hearted look at the art and craft of clown and circus life. White’s second book of poetry, Mind Your Eyes, was released by Killick Press in 2003. In June 2004 White did a reading tour in Montreal with the League of Canadian Poets and at the Toronto Poetry Art Bar. She is currently working on a sensual feast of a novel called Ah Paris! set in the 1960's and based in Newfoundland and Paris, France.

Pelman, Barbara, Victoria, BC

Barbara Pelman teaches at Reynolds School in Victoria B.C. where she tells her students (only partly tongue-in-cheek) that they can’t graduate until they love poetry. Born in Vancouver, she has lived in several small towns in B.C., as well as two rich years in London England and two years in Toronto, studying for her MA in English. She won first prize in the BC Federation of Writers Literary Writes contest and has been published in several literary journals. Mocambo Café is where she hangs out on Friday nights, when she’s not otherwise marking papers. Her first book, One Stone, is published by Ekstasis Editions. She has a daughter who has been teaching in Japan; plays flute (badly), and longs to return to her first love, dancing.

Thompson, Andrea, Toronto, ON

Andrea Thompson has performed her poetry at festivals and events across North America for over a decade. She has been featured on CBC radio, on Daniel Richlers' Book Television, Carolyn Weaver's Fine Print, and in the feature film Slam Nation. Andrea has hosted CITR radio's spoken word show Hearsay and has conducted writing workshops with youth across Canada. Eating the Seed (Ekstasis Editions, 2000) is her first collection, One her debut CD. She is currently working on her follow-up collection, and a performance poetry-based one woman show.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Penn Kemp and Charlie Mountford

RAPpers Penn Kemp and Charlie Mountford.

Pauline Michel

Pauline Michel
Originally uploaded by random acts of poetry.
Pauline Michel has taught at the secondary school, college and university level. She has published fiction, poetry, children's books, songbooks and textbooks. She has also written for theatre (Au fil de l'autre, Duchesne éditeur, 2006) and for several television shows.

She has brought her poems and songs into schools and universities in Canada, Europe and Africa, and has performed in galas and festivals throughout France and Québec. As a singer-songwriter, she has produced five albums, two for adults and three for children. Pauline Michel won "Québec en chanson" competition in 1980 and received a grant from the Canadian Embassy in Paris to tour southern France.

Among her book publications are L'oeil sauvage (poetry) and works of fiction: Mirage (novel), Frissons d'enfants / Haunted childhoods (short stories translated by Nigel Spencer), Les yeux d'eau (novel translated by Jonathan Kaplansky), Le papillon de Vénus (novel translated by Jonathan Kaplansky; to be published by Broken Jaw Press in 2007).

Pauline Michel was appointed for a two-year term to the position of Parliamentary Poet Laureate in November 2004 following a Canada-wide search. A few of the poems she has written during her term have been published in a collection by Broken Jaw Press this year: Funambule / Tightrope.