Poetry at the manor is just a week away and to celebrate this we have a special guest post from Marty Gervais, the man who is responsible for the whole thing. Enjoy:
Nearly five years ago, Windsor set the standard across Canada for bringing together poets laureate from various Canadian cities for a major literary event.
The idea for such a gathering of poets was born here in 2012 when with the collaborating efforts of Cultural Affairs Office of the City of Windsor, I initiated Poetry at the Manor as part of my role as Windsor’s first poet laureate.
Since then, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Sudbury, Kingston, Mississauga, and other cities have followed suit with festivals of their own.
Windsor, however, leads the pack, having brought some 16 writers from across Canada to this city for an intimate autumn evening of poetry and storytelling at Willistead Manor.
And once again, Oct. 27, the city will host the now-popular “Poetry at the Manor” where five writers hailing from as far away as Vancouver, Calgary and Regina and as close as Mississauga and Sudbury, will represent their respective cities at this literary event in the “Great Hall” at Willistead.
This annual event is proving to be the most popular and largest gathering of poets across the country.
This year I have invited five poets laureate from across Canada to travel to Windsor, and read their work to Windsor audiences. These include such award-winning poets as Yvonne Blomer (Victoria, British Columbia), Micheline Maylor (Calgary, Alberta), Anna Yin (Mississauga, Ontario), Kim Fahner (Sudbury, Ontario) and Gerry Hill (Regina, Saskatchewan).
The poets, too, will be going into Windsor high schools to conduct writing workshops and readings.
Poetry at the Manor, Vol. 4 is free, and there will also be food and song.
This year, the welcome musical guest Crissi Cochrane, a pop-soul singer-songwriter now based in Windsor, will entertain with what critics have described as “the silky vocals reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Norah Jones.”
In addition to public readings and discussion, there will be book signings and sales, literary giveaways, and Poetry-On-Demand with Windsor poet and published author Vanessa Shields.
Background on Invited Writers:
GERRY HILL: Two-time winner of the Saskatchewan Book Award for Poetry, Gerald Hill published his sixth poetry collection, Hillsdale Book, with NeWest Press, and A Round For Fifty Years: A History of Regina’s Globe Theatre with Coteau Books, both in 2015. In the fall of 2015 he was Doris McCarthy Artist-in-Residence at Fool’s Paradise in Toronto. He lives and writes in Regina.
ANNA YIN: Anna Yin was born in China and immigrated to Canada in 1999. A finalist for Canada’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award in 2011 and in 2012, Anna has authored five poetry books, including Wings Toward Sunlight (2011) and Inhaling the Silence (2013). Anna won the 2005 Ted Plantos Memorial Award, the 2010/2014 MARTY Literary Arts Awards and the 2013 Professional Achievement Award from CPAC. Her poems and translations have appeared in the New York Times, Arc Poetry, CBC Radio, Rogers TV, China Daily, World Journal, Poetry in Transit, Rice Paper, Room, and more. Anna is Mississauga’s Inaugural Poet Laureate.
YVONNE BLOMER: Writer, critic, teacher and poet, Yvonne Blomer was born in Zimbabwe, and came to Canada when she was two. With her husband she has taught in Japan, cycled through Southeast Asia, and lived in the UK, where she completed a Masters in Creative Writing with Distinction at The University of East Anglia. Yvonne is proud to be serving as the Poet Laureate for the City of Victoria, BC, and is the Artistic Director emeritus of the Planet Earth Poetry reading series.
MICHELINE MAYLOR: Micheline Maylor has been short-listed for the Robert Kroetsch award for experimental poetry, and in 2013 was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. She teaches creative writing at Mount Royal University where she won the teaching excellence award in 2015. She serves as guest editor at Frontenac Press’ renowned Quartet series for 2013-17. She serves as the Past-president and co-founder of Freefall Literary Society, and is the consulting editor of FreeFall literary magazine. Her latest works can be found in Partisan, The Literary Review of Canada, and Quill and Quire. Micheline is a member of the Alberta Magazine Publisher’s Association. Micheline was appointed Calgary’s Poet Laureate on April 25, 2016.
KIM FAHNER: Kim Fahner lives, writes and teaches English in Sudbury, Ontario. She has published her work in a number of Canadian poetry journals and anthologies over the last twenty years. She has published three volumes of poetry, including You Must Imagine The Cold Here (Your Scrivener Press, 1997), braille on water (Penumbra Press, 2001), and The Narcoleptic Madonna (Penumbra Press, 2012). Kim had the honour of studying with Timothy Findley as her mentor at the Humber School for Writers. In April 2013, Kim took part in The Battle of the Bards at Harbourfront/IFOA. Kim has been named the fourth poet laureate for the City of Greater Sudbury (for the tenure of 2016-18) and she is the first woman to be appointed to this role.
This event is traditionally standing-room-only, so mark your calendars now and plan to attend on Thursday, October 27, 2016.
For more information on Marty Gervais and the Poet Laureate Program, http://www.citywindsor.ca/residents/Culture/Pages/Poet-Laureate.aspx
CULTURAL AFFAIRS: Gatehouse at Willistead Park. 1889 Niagara Street, Windsor, Ontario N8Y 1K3 Canada
Telephone: (519) 253-2300 Fax: (519) 255-7990 General: 311