Strangers! Trains!

The great reading series at the Railway Club resumes tonight with a stellar lineup:

strangersStrangers on a Train is a monthly reading series, hosted by the Langara College English department, devoted to creating dialogue between writers and writing groups that would not typically interact with one another. Each event features writers from a variety of genres and backgrounds: from spoken word to highbrow prose – the up-and-coming, the student, and the venerable. The goal of the series is to encourage discussion and promote collaboration within Vancouver’s diverse literary community (or with members of other Canadian literary communities).

Join us on Tuesday, July 21 for the next installment of Strangers on a Train. All events are free to attend and are open to the public (19+ years).

Readers include:
Clint Burnham (Smoke Show; The Benjamin Sonnets)
Stephen Collis (The Red Album; To The Barricades)
Steve Noyes (November Radio; It Is Just That Your House Is So Far Away)
Jocelyn Parr (Dawson College; Brick Magazine)
Laura Birtwhistle (Langara Student Writer)

Stan Douglas talk at VAG

stanVancouver artist Stan Douglas, 2013 recipient of the Scotiabank Photography Award, speaks about his new work and critically renowned practice. After this illustrated artist talk, Douglas is joined by Residue curator Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art, to talk about the film Luanda-Kinshas and this work’s relationship to the exhibition theme. Audience questions will follow.

This event is held in association with the exhibition Residue: The Persistence of the Real, opening at the Vancouver Art Gallery on June 12.

There will be a private reception following the talk for the Young Associates of the Vancouver Art Gallery. For more information on the Young Associates:

Free for Members or with Gallery admission

Seating & Tickets: Tickets available from 5pm in the Gallery Lobby from the Admissions and Membership desks.

Doors open at 5:30pm. Seating is limited and first come, first served. In the Gallery, Room 4East

Two Spring Launches not to miss! At the same time!


Both Anvil and Talonbooks are having a spring launch – ON THE SAME NIGHT.

Not sure how that got planned, but please be at both.  Amazing writers reading and socializing and selling copies of their fine, fine work.

Upcoming Reading at Canadian Author’s Association

This coming Wednesday, April 8th, I’ll be doing a reading alongside the talented Kevin Spenst and the legendary Christopher Levenson and Bernice Lever.  Really looking forward to this – I’ve yet to meet Christopher or Bernice, and this will be a event to remember.  Hosted by the brilliant Dennis E. Bolen!  Public is welcome.

Place: Alliance for Arts and Culture, 938 Howe Street, Suite 100, Vancouver BC V6Z 1N9

Time: 7-9 p.m., (doors open at 6:45 p.m.)

Cost: Members no charge; Guests $10; Students (with ID) $5. Pay at the door.


Wed Apr 8: Poetry Night, hosted by Dennis E. Bolen
Featuring Mariner Janes, Christopher Levenson, Bernice Lever, and
Kevin Spenst

Four BC poets read from their latest work and discuss their craft with host Dennis E. Bolen.

Mariner Janes was born in Victoria, BC, and raised in East Vancouver. His books include The Monument Cycles (Talonbooks 2013), and blueprint, a chapbook. He has also been published in West Coast Line. While studying at SFU, he co-edited iamb magazine, a venue for new and emerging writers. He lives and works in Vancouver’s Eastside. His first book, The Monument Cycles, has been called “a new urban vernacular” and part of a “growing tradition of contemporary urban poetry notable for its polyvocality”. In 2014, CBC put him on a list of “11 Canadian Writers to Watch”. He likes badly illustrated classics, llamas, and his kids. He is currently at work on a second collection of poetry and short

Christopher Levenson, who taught English and Creative Writing for 31 years at Carleton University, Ottawa, was co-founder and first editor of Arc magazine. The first recipient in 1960 of the Eric Gregory Award, he has published eleven books of poetry, most recently Night Vision (Quattro Press, Toronto) which was a finalist last year for the Governor General’s Award for poetry. He has also translated contemporary German and Dutch poetry.

Bernice Lever has an MA English, York University. She is the long-time Writer-in-Residence for Canadian Authors Vancouver and has taught English and Creative Writing at Toronto area colleges for decades. Her prose books include a textbook for Seneca College. She is well known for editing WAVES, a literary magazine, 1972-1987. Now back in her home province and living on Bowen Island, The winner of many awards, she has thirteen poetry books published, including her latest, Red Letter Day: four are joint books, plus a book of prose, The Waiting Room.

Kevin Spenst is the author of Jabbering with Bing Bong (Anvil Press), a coming of age narrative of growing up “post-Mennonite” in Vancouver’s suburb of Surrey. He’s also the author of the chapbooks Pray Goodbye (the Alfred Gustav Press), Retractable (the serif of nottingham), Happy Hollow and the Surrey Suite (self-published), What the Frag Meant (100 tetes press) snap (Pooka Press), and Surrey Sonnets(JackPine press). In April and May of 2014 Kevin Spenst did a 100-venue reading tour of Canada in support of chapbooks and poetry presses. His work has recently appeared in BafterC, Poetry is Dead, and the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2014.

The evening’s host Dennis E. Bolen has led the literary life since his late teens, experimenting with poetry in high school before taking two university degrees in creative writing. He published seven books of fiction with three different publishers over a career that saw him work as editor for sub-TERRAIN magazine, part-time editorial writer for the Vancouver Sun, and freelance literature critic for several publications. Over the years, Mr. Bolen has sat on the executive of the Canadian Authors Association and assisted with the annual Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival. His return to poetry, the largely autobiographical collection Black Liquor, was published by Caitlin Press in September 2013.

Deep coving!

Thanks to Fran, the gallery and those who helped organize today’s reading.  Was lovely to be surrounded by art for a reading – the photographs of the tattoo art on display were quite phenomenal.  Brilliant work from Nomi Chi, Joel Rich and others.  Great to read alongside JD Morden and Timothy Shay – and I appreciated the chance to write towards the art.  A task, to be sure, but good to be challenged and dragged out of the comfort zone.  Whatever that is.