Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 7:30 PM
: Year-Round

Brigantine Room

235 Queens Quay West
Toronto M5J 2G8
Cost: $10, Free for Supporters & Students

1 stage. 20 poets. 1 winner.11 Poetry NOW logo

Our popular poetry competition returns in 2017 to feature readings by 20 of Canada’s emerging and established poets.

IFOA Director Geoffrey E. Taylor, Juno award winning recording artist and dub poet Lillian Allen and 2016 Poetry NOW winner Chris Chambers will select the night’s winner. NOW Magazine’s Susan G. Cole will host.

Winner will receive an automatic invitation to read at the 38th edition of the International Festival of Authors AND an ad for their book and IFOA event in NOW Magazine!

Poetry NOW is presented in partnership with NOW Magazine.


  • Majlinda Bashllari

    Born in Albania, Majlinda Bashllari’s first poetry collection, Një udhë për në shtëpi (A road to home), was published in Tirana, Albania. Bashllari’s work has appeared in numerous Albanian art and literature magazines and in Albanian anthologies of essays and short stories. Love is a very long word is her first English-language collection of poems. She lives with her family in Toronto.

  • Susie Berg

    Susie Berg is the former co-curator of Toronto’s Plasticine Poetry Reading Series, and the author of two poetry collections, including the just-released All This Blood, from Piquant Press, as well as two chapbooks and a Lyrical Myrical collection. Her work has appeared in such journals as carte blancheArsMedica, and Switchback, and in the anthologies The Mom Egg Review, Desperately Seeking Susans, and Body and Soul. She is the editor of the anthology Catherines, the Great, forthcoming from Oolichan Books.

  • Ronna Bloom

    Ronna Bloom is the author of five books of poems, most recently Cloudy With A Fire in the Basement (Pedlar, 2012). Her work has been translated into Spanish and Bangla, and recorded for the CNIB. She is currently Poet in Community at the University of Toronto, and Poet in Residence at Mount Sinai Hospital and in the Sinai Health System. In these roles, she offers students, health care professionals, patients, and visitors opportunities to articulate their experiences through reflective writing and poetry. She has edited the anthology Take As Needed: Poems and Reflections from the Halls, Coffee Shops, Board Rooms and Waiting Rooms of Mount Sinai Hospital. A meditator and a psychotherapist, Bloom lives in Toronto. 


  • Glen Downie

    Glen Downie was born in Winnipeg, worked in cancer care for many years in Vancouver, and now lives in Toronto. In 1999, he served as Writer-in-Residence at Dalhousie University’s Medical Humanities Program. He has published several collections of poetry including Loyalty Management, which won the 2008 Toronto Book Award. Tightrope Books published his collection, Democratic Beauties, in 2015. Downie’s previous two books are Monkey Soap and Left for Right.

  • Amanda Earl

    Amanda Earl is a writer, visual poet, editor and publisher. She has authored three books of poetry, fiction and over a dozen chapbooks. Earl is the managing editor of and the fallen angel of AngelHousePress. Electric Garden won the 2017 Tree Press Chapbook Award. She was inducted into VERSe Ottawa's Hall of Honour in 2014. Earl's poetry has been shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Innovative Poetry Award. Her writing and visual poetry have appeared in journals across North America, in Europe, the UK and Australia. She runs the AngelHousePress Close Reading Service for New Women Poets and co-hosts the Small Machine Talks, a poetry podcast, with a.m. kozak. She presents Kiki.

  • David B. Goldstein

    David B. Goldstein  is the author of a previous poetry collection, Laws of Rest, a book of criticism, Eating and Ethics in Shakespeare’s England, and two chapbooks, the most recent of which is Object Permanence. Goldstein is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award. He lives with his family in Toronto, where he is Associate Professor of English at York University. He presents his latest book Lost Originals.

  • Julie Cameron Gray

    Julie Cameron Gray is originally from Sudbury, Ontario. She is the author of Tangle, and two chapbooks: The Distance Between Two Bodies and Coordinating Geometry. Her work has been previously published in Carousel, Event, The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, PRISM International, and The Best Canadian Poetry in English. Lady Crawford has been shortlisted for the 2017 Pat Lowther Award. She currently lives in Toronto.

  • Jill Jorgenson

    Apart from the years during her teens residing in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Jill Jorgenson is a born-and-bred Torontonian. She currently lives with her partner in the city’s old East York, and can be seen on the job daily throughout the streets of her neighbourhood, delivering the mail. At other times, Jorgenson draws and writes. Looking East Over My Shoulder is her first book.

  • Patricia Keeney

    Patricia Keeney is an award-winning poet, novelist, theatre and literary critic. A graduate of McGill University, she did doctoral studies in the UK subsequently returning to Canada where she began teaching Creative Writing and English at Toronto’s York University. A well-known critic for CBC Radio, Canadian Forum, Scene Changes, Canadian Theatre Review and Canadian Literature, she continues her critical work in journals such as Arc and online, Critical Stages and Critically Speaking. The author of ten books of poetry and two novels, her poetry has been translated and published in French, Spanish, Bulgarian, Chinese and Hindi.

  • Jennifer LoveGrove

    Jennifer LoveGrove is the author of the Giller Prize longlisted novel Watch How We Walk, as well as two poetry collections: I Should Never Have Fired the Sentinel and The Dagger Between Her Teeth. In 2010, LoveGrove was nominated for the K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Literature and in 2015 her poetry was shortlisted for the Lit POP Awards. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications across North America. She divides her time between downtown Toronto and rural Ontario. She presents Beautiful Children with Pet Foxes.

  • Owain Nicholson

    Owain Nicholson grew up in Winnipeg and studied both creative writing and archaeology at the University of Victoria. A working archaeologist, Nicholson sees history, ancestry, nature and people at the centre of both practices, and his poems often use the digsite as a source of image and metaphor. Digsite is Nicholson's debut collection of poetry. He currently lives in Toronto.

  • John Nyman

    John Nyman’s verse, visual, and conceptual poems and poetics have appeared in a variety of print and online publications including Rampike, (parenthetical), Cordite Poetry Review, and Hamilton Arts and Letters. Originally from Toronto, he is currently completing a PhD in Theory and Criticism at Western University in London, Ontario. Players, his debut collection of poetry, has been shortlisted for the 2017 Gerald Lampert Award.

  • Chris Pannell

    Chris Pannell’s A Nervous City  won the Kerry Schooley Book Award from the Hamilton Arts Council. In 2010, his book Drive won the Acorn-Plantos Award for Peoples Poetry and the Hamilton Literary Award for Poetry. From 1993 to 2005 he ran the new writing workshop and published two anthologies of work by that group. He is a former board member of the gritLIT Literary Festival and a former DARTS bus driver. He hosts and helps organize the monthly Hamilton reading series Lit Live.

  • Marilyn Potter

    Marilyn Potter is an award-winning poet and writer living in Toronto. Her poems have appeared in both Canadian and international literary journals and anthologies, been translated into Japanese, and carved into stone in Vancouver’s Van Dusen Garden. Leave-Taking is her first poetry collection.

  • Nicholas Power

    Nicholas Power is a founding member of the Meet the Presses literary collective, and has performed with the storytelling duo The Wordweavers and the sound poetry ensemble Alexander’s Dark Band. As part of the River Poets he has read along the Don, the Humber, lost rivers and wild places. His works include Melancholy Scientist, The Boneshaker Anthology, wells, a modest device, a wrinkle in the mind and No Poems. He has been editing and publishing with his own Gesture Press for 30 years.

  • Concetta Principe

    Concetta Principe’s most recent prose poem project, Hiroshima: A Love War Story, came out in fall of 2016 with Pedlar Press. Earlier projects include “walking”, Interference and Stained Glass. She currently teaches literature and creative writing at York and Trent Universities. Her latest collection of poetry, This Real, is coming out with Pedlar Press in fall of 2017.

  • Lisa Richter

    Lisa Richter’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming in The PuritanMinola Review, The Malahat ReviewCanthius, and lichen, amongst others, and has been longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize. Closer to Where We Began is her first full-length collection of poetry. Lisa lives and teaches English in Toronto.

  • Stuart Ross

    Stuart Ross is a writer, editor, writing teacher, and small press activist living in Cobourg, Ontario. He is the author of 20 books of poetry, fiction, and essays, most recently the poetry collection Motel of the Opposable Thumbs and the novel in prose poems Pockets. Stuart is a founding member of the Meet The Presses collective, has taught writing workshops across the country, and was the 2010 Writer-in-Residence at Queen’s University. He is the winner of, among others, the 2017 Poetry NOW competition, the 2017 Jewish Literary Award for Poetry, the 2010 ReLit Award for Short Fiction. Stuart’s micro-press, Proper Tales, is in its 40th year.

  • Kilby Smith-McGregor

    Kilby Smith-McGregor spent her early professional life making theatre. Her writing across genres has appeared in BrickConjunctions, and the Kenyon Review—among other publications—and been anthologized in Best Canadian Essays, and Best Canadian Poetry. She was recognized with the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s 2010 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award and holds an MFA from the University of Guelph. Her first collection of poetry, Kids in Triage, was published by Wolsak & Wynn’s Buckrider Books imprint in 2016.  

  • Dane Swan

    With a publishing history that spans four nations, the writings of Dane Swan include poetry, prose, and editorials on literature and popular culture. Bermuda-born with Jamaican heritage, Dane is based in Toronto, Canada. A former writer in residence for Open Book Toronto, he's been shortlisted for the Monica Ladell Award and his second poetry collection, A Mingus Lullaby, was a finalist for the Trillium Book Prize for Poetry. Swan’s work has been taught in schools and featured in print, online, on vinyl and CD. His first collection of poetry, Bending The Continuum, was published by Guernica Editions followed by A Mingus Lullaby.