Tag Archives: Bluewater Reading Series

October’s Bluewater Reading Series Event Spotlights Nova Scotia, Toronto and Lambton County Writers

“One thing I understood quickly was the poems would be shorter, and seemed to be arriving in a plain kind of language I figured could be read by anyone.” –Chad Norman*

Award-winning Canadian poet Chad Norman may have settled in Truro, Nova Scotia but he’s back on the road with a stop in Sarnia, Ontario in early October as part of his 2015 multi-city book tour. He’ll be sharing work from his sixteenth book of poetry, Learning to Settle Down, a collection of short “laid-backness” themed poems recently published by well-known Windsor publisher Black Moss Press.

Canadian poet Chad Norman is on a multi-city tour with his 16th book of poetry Learning to Settle Down.

Canadian poet Chad Norman is on a multi-city tour with his 16th book of poetry Learning to Settle Down.

Norman’s “impressive writing career spans the last thirty years,” stated his press kit. “He has won the BC Writers’ Poetry Contest as well as the Gwendolyn MacEwen Memorial Award as well as several other prestigious places, honourable mentions and runner-up awards.” His work has appeared in numerous publications across the globe including The Antigonish Review and Fiddlehead.

The League of Canadian Poets new_logo_2

His travel to Sarnia is made possible by The League of Canadian Poets and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Saturday, October 3, 2015 in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

The 7th reading in the Bluewater Reading Series spotlights both poetry and pose Saturday, October 3, 2015 in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

During the October 3rd Bluewater Reading Series event, he will share the spotlight with three other guests: Patrick Connors, manager for the Toronto chapter of 100, 000 Poets for Change, historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy, and retired Lambton College Literature Professor Patrick Sheridan.

Sarnia’s award-winning poet Lynn Tait will emcee. Both prose and poetry will be featured.

This community event, open to the general public, starts at 2:30 p.m. at John’s Restaurant on the outskirts of Sarnia, Ontario. Admission is free.

To date, the Bluewater Reading Series committee has organized six other successful readings. Previous out-town guest readers (in alphabetical order) included: Becky Alexander, Clara Blackwood, Allan Briesmaster, Ronnie R. Brown, Barb Day, Andreas Gripp, David Haskins, Laurence Hutchman, John B. Lee, Carol Malyon, Antonino Mazza, Elizabeth McCallister, Michael Mirolla, Kathy Robertson, Denis Robillard, Vanessa Shields, and John Wing Jr.

OCTOBER’S BLUEWATER READING SERIES FEATURED READERS (in alphabetical order):

Toronto poet Pat Connors will read in Sarnia for the first time.

Toronto poet Pat Connors will read in Sarnia for the first time.

Patrick Connors has been published in Zouch Magazine & Miscellany, This Place Anthology, Northern Voices Journal, Poetry’Z Own Magazine, Chrysalis Zine, and was nominated for the 2011 Best of the Net contest. He was Lead Artist in the pilot of Making a Living; Making Art, a project of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts at the University of Toronto. He was literary juror of Big Art Book 2013, a digital project of Scarborough Arts. In celebration of National Poetry Month, he was featured on the blogs of The Toronto Quarterly and the League of Canadian Poets. His first chapbook, Scarborough Songs, was released by Lyricalmyrical Press in 2013. He has also had work published in Belgium, India, and Timmins. He has recently been posted on the Toronto Poetry Map. He is part of an anthology coming out next February in Cuba, and is also working on a full manuscript. He is a manager for the Toronto chapter of 100,000 Poets for Change.

Local historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy is touring the Lambton County area with his commemorative edition of his historical novel Early Days in Oil Springs.

Local historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy is touring the Lambton County area with his commemorative edition of his historical novel Early Days in Oil Springs.

Bob McCarthy: a Sarnia author, historian and photographer, has written three fictionalized accounts based on the lives of his ancestors, two children’s history books presenting Stories of Lambton, five books based on local history in the form of historical fiction and one murder mystery. A member of Lambton Writers Association and Writers Helping Writers, Bob is currently working on GENERATIONS, a follow-up to CASE 666 – the Story of Elizabeth Workman.

Chad Norman’s writing career spans over 30 years. His poetry has appeared in numerous publications across the globe including The Antigonish Review, Fiddlehead, Bogg, Inkshed, Capman, Edge Magazine, The New Criterion, and Voices Israel (Anthology). He has won the B.C. Writers’ Poetry Contest as well as the Gwendolyn MacEwen Memorial Award as well as several other prestigious places, honourable mentions, and runner-up awards. He is also a member of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia and a full member of The League of Canadian Poets. He organizes and hosts River Words: Poetry & Music festival in Truro, Nova Scotia, each year in July. Learning to Settle Down (Black Moss Press, 2015) is his 16th published poetry book.

Bright’s Grove poet Pat Sheridan is a retired Lambton College Literature Professor.

Bright’s Grove poet Pat Sheridan is a retired Lambton College Literature Professor.

Patrick Sheriden: started writing when he was in first year university. He studied poetry with Robin Skelton and prose with Bill Valgardson. He was a Literature professor at Lambton College for 29 years and helped edit and was published in Rose and Gasoline, a literary journal for teachers and students at the college. He is a former member of Writers in Transition (WIT) and a current member of the Sarnia poetry critique group: ‘After Hours Poets”.

OCTOBER’S BLUEWATER READING SERIES FEATURED BOOKS (in alphabetical order):

Early Days in Oil Springs by Sarnia’s historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy

Early Days in Oil Springs by Sarnia’s historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy

Early Days in Oil Springs- A Historical Novel About Lambton County (Quinn Riley Press, 2015) is a ‘novelized’ re-telling of the first days of oil (1858 to 1863) and the lives of real people who were a part of the oil heritage of Lambton County. It was first published in 2008 and recently reprinted with the book Black Springs Abbey by Gloria Pearson-Vasey. This double-book commemorative edition was issued to celebrate the sesquicentennial of The Village of Oil Springs. It was published with the assistance of a grant from the Creative County Fund of Lambton County.

Learning to Settle Down by Nova Scotia poet Chad Norman

Learning to Settle Down by Nova Scotia poet Chad Norman

Learning to Settle Down (Black Moss Press, 2015) is Chad Norman’s sixteenth poetry book. According to Norman’s press kit, Norman is inspired by the “laid-backness” of the growing town and inhabitants of Truro, Nova Scotia. “Part of his writing process includes taking long walks to ‘stir up the words when a poem is being stubborn.’ Learning to Settle Down is the result of learning to follow his Muse and let the poetry flow.”

Scarborough Songs (LyricalMyrical, 2013) is Patrick Connors’s first collection of poetry. This limited edition handmade book features 20 poems including previously published work in Poetry’Z Own issue, the J Peachy Gallery blog, The Toronto Quarterly, unFold mag, and John Oughton’s blog. Several of the poems have won and/or been shortlisted or nominated for prizes.

Scarborough Songs by Toronto poet Patrick Connors

Scarborough Songs by Toronto poet Patrick Connors


*quote from “An Interview with Chad Norman” originally published in his press kit.

Follow this blog for future literary events, reviews and profiles.

The Bluewater Readings Series’ September 12th event spotlighted four out-of-town and two local writers: (back row) Elizabeth McCallister, Becky Alexander, Barb Day, and Kathy Robertson plus (front row) Debbie Okun Hill and Phyllis Humby.

The Bluewater Readings Series’ September 12th event spotlighted four out-of-town and two local writers: (back row) Elizabeth McCallister, Becky Alexander, Barb Day, and Kathy Robertson plus (front row) Debbie Okun Hill and Phyllis Humby.

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New Fall Season for Sarnia’s Bluewater Reading Series

“I believe that most poets have a moon poem tucked away in a file somewhere”.–Becky Alexander*

If you’re in or within travelling distance to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada mark your literary calendars with two more Bluewater Reading Series offerings planned for September 12 and October 3, 2015. Expect to hear new poetry, prose, and non-fiction by both local and out-of-town writers.

This September 12th reading by local and out-of-town writers represents the 6th event in Sarnia's Bluewater Reading Series.

This September 12th reading by local and out-of-town writers represents the 6th event in Sarnia’s Bluewater Reading Series.

The Saturday, September 12 event showcases an all-female lineup with four out-of-town readers sharing lunar themed work from the recently released anthology Moon Shine: A Canadian Collection (Craigleigh Press). Presenters include the Cambridge, Ontario publisher/editor Becky Alexander plus three other contributors: Barb Day (Paris, Ontario), Elizabeth McCallister (Brantford) and Kathy Robertson (Kitchener).

Moon Shine was edited by Becky Alexander, publisher of Craighleigh Press in Cambridge, Ontario.

Moon Shine was edited by Becky Alexander, publisher of Craigleigh Press in Cambridge, Ontario.

Local readers include Debbie Okun Hill who is back home following a multi-city-multi-province tour of her first book Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press) and Phyllis Humby, a First Monday columnist and a crime fiction writer. Both local writers have previously read on the Fringe Stage of the Eden Mills Writers Festival: Okun Hill in 2011 and Humby in 2013.

On Saturday, October 3, Canadian poet Chad Norman will travel from Truro, Nova Scotia to read from his latest book Learning to Settle Down (Black Moss Press). Pat Connors, manager for the Toronto chapter of 100,000 Poets for Change will share poetry from Scarborough Songs (Lyricalmyrical). An additional out-of-town guest is pending confirmation. Local readers include historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy and retired Lambton College Literature Professor Pat Sheridan.

“All of the out-of-town writers have never visited or read in this area of Ontario before,” said Bluewater Reading Series committee member and prolific Canadian poet James Deahl. “This is a great opportunity for guest readers to network with other writers. Local writers, in turn, will hear different voices which can often stimulate ideas and future growth for their own writing.”

Barb Day

Barb Day

Both readings are free, open to the general public, and will start at 2:30 p.m.at John’s Restaurant on the outskirts of Sarnia, Ontario.

To date, the Bluewater Reading Series committee (consisting of emcees Deahl and award-winning poet Lynn Tait) has already organized five other successful readings. Previous out-town guest readers (in alphabetical order) included: Clara Blackwood, Allan Briesmaster, Ronnie R. Brown, Andreas Gripp, David Haskins, Laurence Hutchman, John B. Lee, Carol Malyon, Antonino Mazza, Michael Mirolla, Denis Robillard, Vanessa Shields, and John Wing Jr.

Elizabeth McCallilster

Elizabeth McCallilster

Below is additional information about the anthology Moon Shine and the September featured readers:

Moon Shine: A Canadian Collection: features moon-themed poems by 21 writers including Sarnia’s award-winning poets James Deahl and Norma West Linder. Published by Craigleigh Press, the book was officially launched May 31, 2015 in Cambridge, Ontario. Additional information about the book and a list of contributors can be found on the publisher’s website.

Featured Moon Shine Contributors:

Becky Alexander (Cambridge) is the author of Growing Up in Hespler, a memoir. With her husband Dave Allen she runs Craigleigh Press. Becky is active in the Cambridge Writers Collective.

Kathy Robertson

Kathy Robertson

Barb Day (Paris) is the author of Zanzibar, a children’s book. She is a spoken word performer and the host of The Brant Rant Poetry Slam.

Elizabeth McCallister (Brantford) is the author of Notes from Suburbia. She is active in the Cambridge Writers Collective and the Brant Poetry Group.

Kathy Robertson (Kitchener) has had work in The Cambridge Citizen and other places. She is active in the Cambridge Writers Collective.

Local Writers:

Debbie Okun Hill (Photo: Melissa Upfold for Calculated Coloured Co.)

Debbie Okun Hill (Photo: Melissa Upfold for Calculated Coloured Co.)

Debbie Okun Hill (Lambton County) recently completed a multi-city-multi-province book tour with her first poetry collection Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press). She also edited/compiled the recently released MINDSHADOWS (Beret Days Press), a membership anthology for The Ontario Poetry Society. She is a member of numerous local and Canadian writing groups.

Phyllis Humby

Phyllis Humby

Phyllis Humby (Lambton County) Although her passion is writing novels, her short stories, often scheming, twisted, or spooky, appear in anthologies and journals in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. In addition, she writes a monthly column, “Up Close and Personal” for First Monday magazine. She blogs at her websiteThe Write Break.

Additional information about the October 3rd event will be posted soon.

Follow this blog for future updates on the Bluewater Reading Series and other literary events, reviews and profiles.

*Becky Alexander’s quote first appeared on the Craigleigh Press website.

                   

In Sarnia – Feast on Two National Poetry Month Events – April 11 and 25

The Bluewater Reading Series presents a National Poetry Month Celebration of Food and Poetry.

The Bluewater Reading Series presents a National Poetry Month Celebration of Food and Poetry.

Poetry fans can feast on an eclectic mix of poetic voices by twelve local and award-winning out-of-town talent as well as the Canadian launch of a California-based anthology during Sarnia’s National Poetry Month Celebration, Saturday, April 11 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at John’s Restaurant “Famous Room”, 1643 London Line on the outskirts of the city.

Each Canadian poet will share his/her “desire or road kill” themed work featured in LUMMOX #3, a 215-page international anthology published by LUMMOX Press in San Pedro, California. In addition to launching the book, all poets will share “food-themed” verse in keeping with the League of Canadian Poets’ 2015 poetry month initiatives. Four out-of-town readers will also introduce poems from new books.

CCFA_RGB_colour_eThe League of Canadian Poets new_logo_2

Travelling to and reading in Sarnia for the first times are: Ronnie R. Brown (Ottawa), winner of The Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Award (2006) and David Haskins (Grimsby), winner of a CBC literary prize (1977). Returning guests include John B. Lee (Port Dover), two-time recipient of the CBC Literary Award for Poetry (1995 and 1991)  and Michael Mirolla (Toronto), two-time recipient of the Bressani Prize (2010 and 2014). The Bluewater Reading Series Committee acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and The League of Canadian Poets for this event.

Published by Lummox Press, California

Launching in Canada on Saturday, April 11 as part of Sarnia’s National Poetry Month Celebrations.

                 The eight spotlighted local and regional poets include: James Deahl, Joseph A. Farnia, Debbie Okun Hill, Norma West Linder, Lois Nantais, Denis Robillard, Lynn Tait, and Grace Vermeer.

“It’s not usual to have many Canadian poets showcased in the annual LUMMOX anthology, but this time there are seventeen,”  said James Deahl, committee spokesperson and emcee for the April event.  “The fact that seven of these contributors are from Sarnia’s After Hours Poets illustrates the depth of our local literary talent. And adding in Windsor’s Denis Robillard means that half of the Canadian writers in Lummox are from Southwestern Ontario. Our region has quietly become a hotbed of creativity.”

The Bluewater Reading Series is a free literary event that aims to introduce professional local and out-of-town authors and their work to the general public. Additional events featuring a mixture of prose and poetry have been planned for future Saturday afternoons: May 9, September 12 and October 3.

This year’s organizing committee includes Deahl as well as Lambton County writers Venera Fazio and Lynn Tait.

Sarnia’s National Poetry Month Celebration – April 11, 2015

OUT-OF-TOWN SPOTLIGHT READERS/PERFORMERS

IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

Ronnie R. Brown - Photo Courtesy: Norma West Linder

Ronnie R. Brown – Photo Courtesy: Norma West Linder

Ottawa author of six books of poetry and one chapbook, RONNIE R. BROWN has been published in hundreds of magazines and anthologies in Canada, the U.S. and abroad.  As well, a staged adaptation of her work On Falling Bodies, was presented at the Atelier of Ottawa’s National Arts Center. Short-listed three times for the CBC Literary Awards, Brown’s work has been recognized by numerous literary competitions including:  The Leacock Poetry Competition and The Sandburg-Livesay Anthology (1st place, judge Al Purdy.) Thrice short-listed for The Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Award, Brown’s fourth collection, States of Matter, (Black Moss Press) was named the winner in 2006.  In late 2013, Brown’s long narrative poem, UN-Deferred was the winner of The Golden Grassroots Chapbook Contest.

David Haskins - Photo Courtesy: Jason Haskins

David Haskins – Photo Courtesy: Jason Haskins

DAVID HASKINS is published in over thirty literary journals, anthologies, and books, and has collected his earlier poems in the book Reclamation (Borealis Press, 1980).  He has won first prizes from the CBC Literary Competition, the Canadian Authors Association, the Hamilton Literary Arts Council, and The Ontario Poetry Society. His most recent book This House is Condemned (Wolsak and Wynn, 2013) is a narrative collection of essays, stories, poems and anecdotes. He lives in Grimsby, Ontario.

John B. Lee

John B. Lee

JOHN B. LEE, Poet Laureate of the city of Brantford and Poet Laureate of Norfolk County is the author of seventy plus published books.  His work has appeared internationally in over 500 magazines, literary journals and anthologies.  Two time recipient of the CBC Literary Award for poetry, he has won over eighty prestigious literary awards for his work. The most recent of his titles include Burning My Father, (Black Moss Press, 2014); In This We Hear the Light (poems by John B. Lee with photographs of Cuba by Tai Grove) (Hidden Brook Press, 2014); the anthology Window Fishing: the night we caught Beatlemania, (Hidden Brook Press, 2014), and Alice Munro a Souwesto Celebration (a special issue of Windsor Review dedicated to Nobel Laureate Alice Munro co-edited by J.R. (Tim) Struthers and John B. Lee); The Beauty of Being Elsewhere (the travel poems of John B. Lee) (Hidden Brook Press, 2015); and The Full Measure (Black Moss Press, 2016).  He lives in a lake house in Port Dover overlooking Longpoint Bay on the south coast of Lake Erie where he works full time as an author.

Michael Mirolla - Photo Courtesy: Salvatore Mirolla

Michael Mirolla – Photo Courtesy: Salvatore Mirolla

The author of a clutch of novels, and short story and poetry collections, MICHAEL MIROLLA describes his writing as a mix of magic realism, surrealism, speculative fiction and meta-fiction. Publications include a punk-inspired novella, The Ballad of Martin B.; three novels: Berlin (a 2010 Bressani Prize winner); The Facility, which features among other things a string of cloned Mussolinis; and The Giulio Metaphysics III, a novel/linked short story collection wherein a character named “Giulio” battles for freedom from his own creator; two short story collections: The Formal Logic of Emotion and Hothouse Loves & Other Tales; and three collections of poetry: Light and Time, the English-Italian bilingual Interstellar Distances – Distanze Interstellari, and The House on 14th Avenue (2014 Bressani Prize). His short story, “A Theory of Discontinuous Existence,” was selected for The Journey Prize Anthology, featuring the year’s 10 best Canadian short stories, while another short story, “The Sand Flea,” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. A new collection of short stories, Lessons in Relationship Dyads, is scheduled for publication this coming Fall from Red Hed Press in the U.S. Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now makes his home in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Featured books at Sarnia's National Poetry Month event - April 11. 2015

Featured books at Sarnia’s National Poetry Month event – April 11. 2015

ANOTHER National Poetry Month Celebration – April 25, 2015 in Sarnia

                A second national poetry month reading (not affiliated with the Bluewater Reading Series) will be a reunion presentation with James Deahl and four literary colleagues from his days in Toronto, over 35 years ago. Readers include: Deahl (Sarnia), Bruce Meyer (the inaugural Poet Laureate of Barrie), Jeffery Donaldson (Hamilton), and from Toronto: Larry Hopperton and Andrew Brooks. This free public event will be held Saturday, April 25 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at John’s Restaurant’s “Famous Room” in Sarnia.

**NEWS FLASH: (ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ADDED MARCH 26, 2015) To read about the April 19, 2015 Lummox #3 reading in Hamilton and to submit your work to Lummox #4, check this blog post here.

 

Bluewater Reading Series Moves Forward With Events in April and May

Sarnia’s Bluewater Reading Series is gearing up for another great year.  As temperatures dip and nip fingertips, howling winds play havoc on icy and snow covered roads. Venturing outdoors can be a challenge; travelling great distances to participate in an out-of-town reading seems like such a gamble.

Speaking in front of a full audience: emcee Lynn Tait (Sarnia), fiction writer Diana Koch (Sarnia), Poet Laureate of Brantford John B. Lee (Port Dover), author of Laughing Through a Second Pregnancy Vanessa Shields (Windsor) and poet Grace Vermeer (Sarnia

Last November, speaking in front of a full audience: emcee Lynn Tait (Sarnia), fiction writer Diana Koch (Sarnia), Poet Laureate of Brantford John B. Lee (Port Dover), author of Laughing Through a Second Pregnancy Vanessa Shields (Windsor) and poet Grace Vermeer (Sarnia

However, despite the temptation to escape to a warmer climate or to hibernate in a snowbank, plans are indeed moving forward for the committee’s next two offerings: a special April is National Poetry Month event scheduled for Saturday, April 11, 2015 and a fiction/poetry reading set for Saturday, May 9, 2015. Both literary events will be held during the afternoon at John’s Restaurant on the outskirts of Sarnia, Ontario.

According to committee member and prolific Canadian poet James Deahl, “seven out of town guests have already agreed to participate in this spring’s program; five of whom have never visited or read in this area of Ontario before. We are working on posters and media releases. A formal announcement will be made soon.”

To date, the Bluewater Reading Series committee has already organized three successful readings. Previous out-town guest readers (in alphabetical order) included: Allan Briesmaster, Clara Blackwood, Andreas Gripp, John B. Lee, Carol Malyon, Vanessa Shields, and John Wing Jr.

Selected work by Port Dover poet/editor John B. Lee

Selected work by Port Dover poet/editor John B. Lee

If you missed the November 2014 event, below are some of the highlights. Photos courtesy: Lorraine Kraayenbrink Photography. Additional details about the autumn event can be found here.

Prolific award-winning poet John B. Lee reads his poem “Jimi Hendrix in the Company of Cows”.

Prolific award-winning poet John B. Lee reads his poem “Jimi Hendrix in the Company of Cows”.

Award-winning fiction writer Diana Koch reads from her new manuscript

Award-winning fiction writer Diana Koch reads from her new manuscript

Vanessa Shields shares a story from her book Laughing Through a Second Pregnancy (Black Moss Press)

Vanessa Shields shares a story from her book Laughing Through a Second Pregnancy (Black Moss Press)

Sarnia poet Grace Vermeer shares some of her award-winning poems.

Sarnia poet Grace Vermeer shares some of her award-winning poems.

Selected work by Windsor writer/editor Vanessa Shields

Selected work by Windsor writer/editor Vanessa Shields

Follow this blog for future updates on the Bluewater Reading Series and other literary events, reviews and profiles.

For upcoming January, February, and March activities in southwestern Ontario, Canada, check out the events  page on this blog.

 

JOHN B. LEE AND VANESSA SHIELDS! COMING TO SARNIA THIS WEEKEND!

Window Fishing…Burning my Father….Laughing Through a Second Pregnancy…I Am That Woman. The poster says it all…If you’re in the Sarnia area this Saturday, November 8, check out the next offering in the Bluewater Reading Series. Admission is free. Open to the Public! More info here.

Saturday, November 8 in Sarnia

Saturday, November 8 in Sarnia

What Do The Words ‘Beatlemania’ and ‘Second Pregnancy’ Have In Common?

 If you guessed that ‘Beatlemania’ and ‘Second Pregnancy’ will be spotlighted in an upcoming literary event in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, then you are absolutely right!!!  Check out the media release that just crossed  my desk….

AWARD-WINNING POET JOHN B. LEE TO PRESENT NEW BOOK ON BEATLEMANIA

Window Fishing: the night we caught Beatlemania (Hidden Brook Press) selected and compiled by John B. Lee.

Window Fishing: the night we caught Beatlemania (Hidden Brook Press) selected and edited by John B. Lee.

John B. Lee, the Poet Laureate of Brantford and one of Canada’s most prolific poets will travel to Sarnia to join three other award-winning writers for this fall’s Bluewater Reading Series event Saturday, November 8 from 3 to 5 p.m. at John’s Restaurant “Famous Room”, 1643 London Line. His reading will focus on two new books Window Fishing: the night we caught Beatlemania (Hidden Brook Press), a commemorative anthology on this British rock band’s invasion into North America and Burning My Father (Black Moss Press), a poetic reflection on Lee’s life as a farmer’s son.

Burning My Father (Black Moss Press, 2014) by John B. Lee

Burning My Father (Black Moss Press, 2014), a poetic reflection on John B. Lee’s life as a farmer’s son.

Lee will be joined by three other readers: League of Canadian Poets member and former Black Moss Press editor Vanessa Shields (Windsor, Ontario), and local award-winning writers Diana Koch and Grace Vermeer. Shields and Vermeer will be reading in Sarnia for the first time.

“We are excited about the calibre of authors reading for this free public event,” said Venera Fazio, committee spokesperson for the Series. “Not only will we be featuring professional out-of-town writers with emerging local talent but the afternoon will offer a varied program of fiction, poetry, memoir and humour.”

Lee, who is also the Poet Laureate of Norfolk County, is the author of seventy plus published books.  His work has appeared internationally in over 500 magazines, literary journals and anthologies.  A two-time recipient of the CBC Literary Award for poetry, he has won over eighty prestigious literary awards for his work.

Laughing Through a Second Pregnancy: a memoir (Black Moss Press, 2011) by Vanessa Shields

Laughing Through a Second Pregnancy: a memoir (Black Moss Press, 2011) by Vanessa Shields

Shields is a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada and will be reading from her humourous memoir Laughing Through a Second Pregnancy as well as her new poetry collection I Am That Woman. Both books were published by Black Moss Press. She is also the anthology editor of Whisky Sour City, a Windsor-themed anthology. She has received two Judge’s Choice Awards for her poetry from The Ontario Poetry Society (of which she is also a member). Her most recent interviews with writer/astronaut Chris Hadfield have her feeling out-of-this-world in her writing life!

“Local writers Koch and Vermeer may be fresh new voices,” said Fazio, “but they are already being recognized by various literary organizations.”

Koch won first place in the Ten Stories High Short Story Contest (Niagara Branch of the Canadian Authors Association). She will be reading from her recently completed manuscript The Button Girl: a historical fiction/coming of age story that is set in World War II, Germany.

I Am That Woman (Black Moss Press, 2013) a collection of poems by Vanessa Shields

I Am That Woman (Black Moss Press, 2013) a collection of poems by Vanessa Shields

Vermeer is the winner of numerous Ontario Poetry Society awards plus the Monica Ladell & Juror’s Choice Awards from the Scarborough Arts Big Art Book 2014. She will read a selection of new and previously published work.

The Bluewater Reading Series is a new literary offering organized by Sarnia writers: James Deahl, Venero Fazio, Debbie Okun Hill, Norma West Linder, and Lynn Tait. The organizers acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and The League of Canadian Poets. The emcee for the November 8 event will be Sarnia’s award-winning poet/photographer Lynn Tait.

CCFA_RGB_colour_fThe League of Canadian Poets new_logo_2

SPOTLIGHT READERS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

Diana Koch

Diana Koch

Diana Koch is a retired educator who lives on the beautiful shore of Lake Huron. She graduated from the University of Western Ontario and also holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Windsor. Since childhood she has dreamed of becoming a writer and now spends many pleasurable hours writing short stories, essays and poetry. Her efforts have been rewarded with the winning of a first prize for one of her stories and by the publication of some of her work. She has recently completed her first novel, a historical fiction/coming of age story set in WWII, Germany.

 

John B. Lee

John B. Lee

John B. Lee, Poet Laureate of the city of Brantford and Poet Laureate of Norfolk County is the author of seventy plus published books. His work has appeared internationally in over 500 magazines, literary journals and anthologies.  Two time recipient of the CBC Literary Award for poetry, he has won over eighty prestigious literary awards for his work. The most recent of his titles include Burning My Father, (Black Moss Press, 2014); In This We Hear the Light (poems by John B. Lee with photographs of Cuba by Tai Grove) (Hidden Brook Press, 2014); the anthology Window Fishing: the night we caught Beatlemania, (Hidden Brook Press, 2014), and forthcoming in 2015/2016 Alice Munro a Souwesto Celebration (a special issue of Windsor Review dedicated to Nobel Laureate Alice Munro co-edited by J.R. (Tim) Struthers and John B. Lee); The Beauty of Being Elsewhere (the travel poems of John B. Lee) (Hidden Brook Press, 2015); and The Full Measure (Black Moss Press, 2016).  He lives in a lake house in Port Dover overlooking Longpoint Bay on the south coast of Lake Erie where he works full time as an author.

 

Vanessa Shields (Photo Credit: Katie Hawkins)

Vanessa Shields (Photo Credit: Katie Hawkins)

Vanessa Shields has made her home, her family and her work life flourish in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She discovered her passion for writing at a very young age by keeping a journal. Her first book, Laughing Through A Second Pregnancy – A Memoir, was published by Black Moss Press in 2011 to rave reviews. In April 2013, Shields edited a poetry anthology entitled, Whisky Sour City (Black Moss Press). I Am That Woman, her first book of poetry, was published in January 2014, also by Black Moss Press. Her poetry, short stories and photography have been published in various literary magazines. She mentors other writers, guest speaks and teaches creative writing. She also does Poetry On Demand, on-the-spot poetry that helps make poetry fun and accessible for all.

 

Grace Vermeer

Grace Vermeer

Eleven years ago, Grace Vermeer crossed the Bluewater Bridge to take a Creative Writing class at St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron, Michigan.  She hadn’t planned on writing poetry and credits Professor Cliff Johnson for fostering her love of poetry and encouraging her early efforts which won the Eleanor B. Mathews Award.  She attended Western where her poetry won the Lillian Kroll Prize in Creative Writing.  Recently her poems appeared in Scarborough Arts Big Art Book 2014 where she was awarded the Monica Ladell Prize.  She lives in Sarnia with her husband Peter and feels lucky to be part of Sarnia’s After Hours Poets.