Posted by: VPSN | July 13, 2011

Word! Vancouver to host giant poetry slam as part of 125 celebrations


Brad Cran, City of Vancouver Poet Laureate

Okay, we might be getting ahead of ourselves in calling it a ‘slam’ – but there seemed something decidedly unpoetic about a “poetry conference.”  How about poetry “confluence” at least? 

Anyway, given that public space used to be infused with bardic verse and all manner of public storytelling and song, we thought our readers might like to know about this upcoming event – announced by City press release earlier today.  (Note the author’s extensive use of free verse throughout the media dispatch, as well as the subtle mingling of epic imagery within its lines.)  

Vancouver’s anniversary celebrations continue with
the Vancouver 125 Poetry Conference

Vancouver’s Poet Laureate, Brad Cran, announced details today for the Vancouver 125 Poetry Conference which will be an unprecedented collaboration among Vancouver’s poetry communities to create a four-day literary event at SFU Woodward’s from October 19-22, 2011.

“This poetry conference will gather together a wide range of poets from across North America,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We are proud to support this unique artistic project during our year as Cultural Capital of Canada.”

Programming will include daytime seminars and discussions that explore the poetics of everything from the avante garde to traditional poetic forms. In the evenings the wide array of poets will perform in cabarets as part of the Vancouver International Writers Festival.

Keynote poets include Governor General’s Award and Griffin Prize winner Don McKay; the esteemed American poet Fanny Howe, winner of the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters; and, Martin Espada who has been hailed as the Latino poet of his generation and the Pablo Neruda of North American authors.

On the last day of the conference, Brad’s successor, Vancouver’s third Poet Laureate, will be introduced to the literary community.

Vancouver’s milestone birthday has been marked by two major civic events, Birthday Live on April 6th and Summer Live from July 8-10, 2011 and will continue through to December. With inspiration from local, national and international poets at the Vancouver 125 Poetry Conference, Vancouver’s 125th year will be a defining one in the history of our literature.

Visit to register as a delegate for the Vancouver 125 Poetry Conference or to view the detailed conference schedule, poet photos and bios.


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