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Best Canadian Poetry in English 2019 features the 50 finest Canadian poems published annually in periodicals, ushering readers into the heart of Canada’s vibrant poetry scene. This launch celebrates the latest edition, published by Biblioasis, and will feature a rich gathering of poets—including Gary Barwin, Sue Chenette, Adebe Derango-Adem, D.A. Lockhart, Katie McGarry, Jimmy McInnes, A.F. Moritz, Alexandra Oliver, Souvankham Thammavongsa and guest editors Rob Taylor and Amanda Jernigan.
Hosted by Anita Lahey. Refreshments will be served. Cash bar.
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Gary Barwin lives in Hamilton. His nationally bestselling novel Yiddish for Pirates won the Leacock Medal for Humour and the Canadian Jewish Literary Award, and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His poetry includes No TV for Woodpeckers and, forthcoming, A Cemetery for Holes (with Tom Prime), Muttertongue (a book/CD with Gregory Betts and Lillian Allen), and For It Is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe: New and Selected Poems, ed. Alessandro Porco.
Sue Chenette lives in Toronto. She has published two collections with Guernica Editions, Slender Human Weight and The Bones of His Being, and three chapbooks, the first of which, The Time Between Us, won the Shaunt Basmajian Award in 2001. Her documentary poem What We Said, based on her time as a social worker during Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, is forthcoming from Motes Books in fall 2019.
Adebe DeRango-Adem lives in Toronto. She is a former attendee of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (Naropa University), where she mentored with poets Anne Waldman and Amiri Baraka. She is the author of three fulllength poetry collections: Ex Nihilo (Frontenac House, 2010), which became a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize, Terra Incognita (Inanna Publications, 2015), which was nominated for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and The Unmooring, published in 2018 by Mansfield Press.
Amanda Jernigan is the author of three collections of poetry—Groundwork, All the Daylight Hours, and Years, Months, and Days—and of the chapbook The Temple. Her poems have appeared in journals in Canada and abroad, including Poetry, PN Review, The Walrus, and The Nation; they have also been set to music, most recently by American composer Zachary Wadsworth. She is an essayist and editor as well as a poet, and has written for the stage. She teaches English and creative writing at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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.
D.A. Lockhart resides at Waawiiyaataanong, Three-Fires Territory. He is the author of five poetry collections including Devil in the Woods (Brick Books, 2019) and The Gravel Lot that was Montana (Mansfield Press, 2018). His work has received generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council. Lockhart is a turtle clan member of the Moravian of the Thames First Nation. He is the publisher at Urban Farmhouse Press.
Katie McGarry lives in Waterloo, ON. She was a first-place winner in Room’s Winter 2017–18 Short Forms Contest and won Editor’s Choice in CV2’s 2018 2-Day Poem Contest. Her writing has appeared in The Humber Literary Review, The Malahat Review, filling Station, Funicular, and the anthology GUSH: Menstrual Manifestos for Our Times (Frontenac House, 2018). She holds an MSc in mathematics and a certificate from The Writer’s Studio Online at Simon Fraser University.
Jimmy McInnes lives in Toronto, was born and raised on Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula, and is the author of A More Perfect (Book*hug, 2015). His work has appeared in This Magazine, The Puritan, Poetry is Dead, the Wesleyan University Press anthology BAX 2016: Best American Experimental Writing, and has been shortlisted for the Great Canadian Literary Hunt and the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph.
A.F. Moritz lives in Toronto. His most recent books are The Sparrow: Selected Poems (2018) and Art of Surgery(2019), a chapbook in the Vallum Chapbook Series. He has published twenty books of poetry, which have received honours including the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Guggenheim Fellowship, Poetry magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize, and selection to the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets; three of his books have been finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Award. He is poet laureate of Toronto, the sixth poet to hold this office.
Alexandra Oliver was born in Vancouver and lives in Burlington, ON. She is the author of Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway (Biblioasis, 2013; winner of the 2014 Pat Lowther Memorial Award) and Let the Empire Down(Biblioasis, 2016). A past co-editor of Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters (Everyman’s Library, 2015) and the Canadian formalist journal The Rotary Dial, she is currently enrolled as a PhD student in English at McMaster University.
Rob Taylor is the author of three poetry collections, including The News (Gaspereau Press, 2016), which was a finalist for the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. His poems, short stories, and essays have appeared in more than fifty journals and anthologies. Rob is the editor of What the Poets are Doing: Canadian Poets in Conversation (Nightwood Editions, 2018) and a former poetry editor at PRISM international. In 2015 Rob received a City of Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for the Literary Arts. He lives in Port Moody, BC, with his wife and children.
Souvankham Thammavongsa is the author of four poetry books: Light, winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Found; Small Arguments, winner of the ReLit Award; and most recently, Cluster. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s, Granta, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best American Non-Required Reading, The Journey Prize Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut collection of fiction, How to Pronounce Knife, will be published by McClelland & Stewart in the spring of 2020. She was born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand and was raised and educated in Toronto.