Launched in 2008 by Tightrope Books, the Best Canadian Poetry Series features 50 Canadian poets annually, drawn from literary journals and magazines (printed and online), ushering readers into the heart of Canada’s diverse poetry scene. This tribute celebrates the release of the latest edition, a must-read for anyone with an interest in contemporary literature. A number of poets will be in attendance, including Nancy Jo Cullen, Michael Fraser, Michael Chaulk, Liz Howard, Yusuf Saadi, Faith Arkorful, Doyali Islam, Sachiko Murakami, Robin Richardson, Daniel Scott Tysdal, Catriona Wright and guest editor Hoa Nguyen. This event is hosted by Anita Lahey.
Faith Arkorful has had her work published in Hobart, Arc Poetry Magazine, Canthius, and The Puritan, amongst other places. She was born in Toronto, where she still resides.
Mike Chaulk lives on the Speed River in Guelph, ON where he drives trucks full of beer for a living. His work has appeared in The Malahat Review, PRISM: international, filling Station, among other places. He has worked as a seaman in Labrador, Sweden, and Wales, and previously lived in Montreal for five years where he punched time as the Associate Poetry Editor of The Incongruous Quarterly as well as the Editor-in-Chief of The Void Magazine at Concordia University.
Nancy Jo Cullen is the 4th recipient of the Writers’ Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging WriterHer fiction and poems have appeared in The Journey Prize, The Puritan, Grain, filling Station, Plenitude, Prairie Fire, This Magazine, Room and Arc Poetry Magazine. Her short story collection, Canary, was the winner of the 2012 Metcalf Rooke Award. Her novel, The Western Alienation Merit Badge is forthcoming in 2019 with Wolsak and Wynn. She is mid-way through her fourth collection of poetry.
Michael Fraser is a Toronto high school teacher, poet, and writer. He has been published in various national and international journals and anthologies, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2013. His manuscript, The Serenity of Stone, won the 2007 Canadian Aid Literary Award Contest and was published in 2008 by Bookland Press. Tightrope Books released his second poetry collection, To Greet Yourself Arriving, in 2016. He won the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize and was also the winner of FreeFall‘s 2014 and 2015 poetry contests. Michael is the creator and former director of the Plasticine Poetry Series.
Liz Howard’s debut collection Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent won the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the 2015 Governor General’s Award for poetry. Her recent work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, Camera Austria, and The Fiddlehead. Howard received an Honours Bachelor of Science with High Distinction from the University of Toronto, and an MFA in Creative Writing through the University of Guelph. She is of mixed European and Anishinaabe descent. Born and raised on Treaty 9 territory in northern Ontario, she is currently the Canadian Writer in Residence at the University of Calgary.
Doyali Islam’s second poetry book is heft (McClelland & Stewart, 2019). Poems from this collection can be accessed through Kenyon Review Online and CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition. Doyali serves as the poetry editor for Arc Poetry Magazine. An award-winning poet and 2017 National Magazine Award finalist, she lives in Toronto. Find her on Twitter: @doyali_is
Anita Lahey is a poet, journalist, essayist and the series editor of the Best Canadian Poetry in English anthology. Her most recent book is The Mystery Shopping Cart: Essays on Poetry and Culture (Palimpsest Press, 2013). She’s the author of two Véhicule Press poetry collections: Out to Dry in Cape Breton (2006) and Spinning Side Kick (2011). The former was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the Ottawa Book Award. A past editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, Anita lives in Victoria.
Sachiko Murakami is the author of three collections of poetry: The Invisibility Exhibit (Talonbooks 2008), Rebuild (Talonbooks 2011), and Get Me Out of Here (Talonbooks 2015). She has been a literary worker for numerous presses, journals, and organizations, and most recently was the 2017 Writer in Residence at the University of Toronto. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies.
Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Hoa Nguyen is the author of five books of poetry, including As Long As Trees Last and Red Juice. Her book Violet Energy Ingots, also from Wave Books, received a 2017 Griffin Prize for poetry nomination. She teaches poetics at Ryerson University, for Miami University’s low residency MFA program, for the Milton Avery School for Fine Arts at Bard College, and in a long-running, private workshop.
Robin Richardson is Editor-in-Chief at Minola Review, and is founder of the School of Creative Integration. Her work has appeared in Salon, Poetry Magazine, The Walrus, Hazlitt, and Tin House, among others. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, has won the Fortnight Poetry Prize in the U.K., The John B. Santorini Award, The Joan T. Baldwin Award, and has been shortlisted for the CBC, Walrus, and ARC Poetry Prizes, among others. Richardson’s latest collection, Sit How You Want, is out now with Véhicule Press. www.sithowyouwant.org
Yusuf Saadi's debut chapbook won the 2016 Vallum Chapbook Award. At other times, his writing has appeared in journals including Hamilton Arts & Letters, Brick, The Malahat Review, Vallum,, Grain, and CV2. He holds an MA in English from the University of Victoria.
Daniel Scott Tysdal is the ReLit Award winning author of three books of poetry and the poetry textbook The Writing Moment: A Practical Guide to Creating Poems (Oxford University Press). Tysdal’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Poetry, Best Canadian Poetry, Best Canadian Essays, and The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry, and has earned him a number of honours, including the Anne Szumigalski Poetry Award and honourable mention at the National Magazine Awards. He is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
Catriona Wright is a writer, editor and teacher. Her work has appeared in PRISM international, Prairie Fire, The Rusty Toque, Lemon Hound, The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2015 (Tightrope Books) and elsewhere. She’s been a finalist for The Walrus’ Poetry Prize, Arc’s Poem of the Year Contest, a National Magazine Award and is the author of the poetry collection, Table Manners (Véhicule Press, 2017). Wright currently lives in Toronto where she is poetry editor of The Puritan and co-founder of Desert Pets Press.