PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring Jennifer Houle

Poet Jennifer Houle will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, May 9th at Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St., in Charlottetown at 7pm.

Jennifer Houle’s work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, most recently The Northern Review and The Antigonish Review. Her first book,  Back Channels, was published by Signature Editions in April 2016. It won the J.M. Abraham East Coast Literary Award for best book of poetry and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert first-book award.

The title of Jennifer Houle’s second collection, Virga, refers to a cloud formation often seen on the horizon, when rain begins to fall but evaporates before reaching the ground, only to fall again when the time is right. Likewise, the poems gathered here, written over a period of roughly twenty years, between the ages of 20 and 40 – many revised with a slightly wiser eye— explore what it means to develop an identity while continuously regrouping, reformulating oneself, reacting to prevailing conditions, and retaining autonomy in a sea of “rhythmic lies and half-truths.” Through the medium of poetry, Houle converses with her younger self, performing a kind of rescue job, bridging years through poetic reflection.

Unapologetic, and shot through lore, Virga investigates the tensions, inner and outer, that work to shape identity. Sensual, driven, and pragmatic, the poems insist that we “fall to rise,” and address the desires – romantic, erotic, familial, and socio-political – that transform us. Like rain held in abeyance, these poems were waiting for their time, and gathered together create a compelling, distinctly feminine and feminist meditation on maturing womanhood. Personal lyrics are set against the stories and mythologies of female characters who fell (or dove) from their stars, into unfamiliar worlds, including meditations on the Lost Pleaid, Dorothy after her sojourn in Oz, and the Greek goddesses Asteria and Astraea.

By turns dark, and infused with longing and fruitful uncertainty, the poems persist in questioning the forces that shape who we are, and the stories, symbols, and ideas we turn to for guidance as we wilfully create ourselves.

Jennier Houlse lives in Hanwell, New Brunswick, with her family.

All are welcome to this free event. The first ten writers to sign up may read from their work— poetry or prose—for up to 5 minutes. Following a short break, Jennifer will read.

The PEI Writers’ Guild open mic series will continue to run on the second Thursday of each month.

THE CHOICE TO SEE: A POETRY WORKSHOP WITH CHAD NORMAN

April is National Poetry Month! In honour of this, the PEIWG will be hosting a full-day poetry workshop on Saturday, April 13th, with Nova Scotia poet, Chad Norman.

Cost is $50 for Guild members and $60 for non-members $30 for Guild members and $40 for non-members, and will take place at the Haviland Club in Charlottetown.

Are you 19 years old or younger? If so, contact [email protected] for a promo code to use during registration in order to get a special low price of $10!

Norman, who lives beside the high-tides of the Bay of Fundy, has given talks and readings in Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the US, and across Canada. His poems, which have been published all over the world, have been translated into Danish, Albanian, and Romanian. His latest collections are Selected & New Poems(Mosaic Press) and Waking Up On The Wrong Side Of the Sky (Grant Block Press).

For more information, check out the workshop page.

Bookmark’s Poets & Pints in Honour of Poetry Month

Charlottetown’s independent bookstore, Bookmark invites you to celebrate National Poetry Month in April by attending one of our scheduled events. The first will be held Tuesday, April 9 from 7 to 9:30 PM at The Queue, next to The Pilot House, 70 Grafton St.

This evening will feature a social hour; a ceremonial welcome from P.E.I.’s new Poet Laureate, Julie Pellissier-Lush; readings by Island poets Chris Bailey, Brent MacLaine, and Bren Simmers, as well as a Q&A moderated by John Flood; and an open mic. Refreshments will be provided along with a cash bar.

The late poet, Mary Oliver said, “Poetry is meant to be heard”. We hope you will take her advice and come out to a poetry event during Poetry Month.

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring Chad Norman

Poet Chad Norman will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, April 11th at Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St., in Charlottetown at 7pm.

Chad Norman lives beside the high-tides of the Bay of Fundy, in what is known as the hub of Nova Scotia. He has given talks and readings in Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Wales, Scotland,  U.S.A., and across Canada. His poems continue to appear in publications around the world, and have been translated into Danish, Albanian, and Romanian. His latest collections are Selected & New Poems ( Mosaic Press, Oakville, Ontario), and Waking Up On The Wrong Side of the Sky ( Grant Block Press, Truro, N.S.).

All are welcome to this free event. The first ten writers to sign up may read from their work— poetry or prose—for up to 5 minutes. Following a short break, Chad Norman will read.

The PEI Writers’ Guild open mic series will continue to run on the second Thursday of each month.

Book Launch: RETURN OF THE WILD GOOSE, a New Poetry Collection by Jane Ledwell

Come celebrate the launch of Jane Ledwell’s new poetry collection, Return of the Wild Goose at Beaconsfield Historic House, 2 Kent Street in Charlottetown, April 4, from 7pm until 8:30. Jane will be joined by Irish concertina player Gormlaith Maynes, accompanied by Jesse Périard on guitar.

Return of the Wild Goose explores the life of writer and activist Katherine Hughes. Set against the intimate relief of a PEI landscape, these poems are inspired by what is known—and unknown—about her contradictory life as a Catholic teacher in Mohawk territory; a journalist working alongside Canada’s first-wave feminists and suffragettes; the first public archivist of Alberta; and finally, as a zealous propagandist for the Irish cause. This (auto)biographical dialogue between Jane Ledwell and Katherine Hughes offers the reader a fierce remembrance of a PEI radical.

Enjoy a short poetry reading, some Irish music, and catch up with new and old friends. Books will be available for sale, but if you can’t wait until the launch, the lovely folks at the Bookmark can hook you up. Hope to see you there!

Announcing the Winner of Battle Tales IV: We Battle On!

The PEI Writers’ Guild is pleased to announce that this year, Battle Tales IV: We Battle On! received so many excellent submissions that we broke with tradition and named two runners up and four honourable mentions in addition to naming a winner.

Honourable Mentions

  • Rite by Ryan Gallant
  • In a Strange Room You Must Empty Yourself For Sleep by Michelle Barton
  • Chicken or Go by Kevin Yarr
  • Nameless Neighbours by Sharon Lucy Robson

Runners Up

  • Foursight by Daniel Brown
  • A Murder Most Foal by John Robertson

Runners up receive judge’s notes and gift certificates to Bookmark.

Runners up Daniel Brown and John Robertson receive prizes from PEIWG president Mo Duffy Cobb and Battle Tales coordinator Keith Burgoyne.

Winner of Battle Tales IV: We Battle On!

The winner of Battle Tales IV: We Battle On!  is Matthew MacKay for his outstanding battle tale Paradise Found.

Paradise Found, the story of Orson Welles holed up in a swanky Parisian hotel room, ordering copious amounts of food and drink as the hotel manager pesters him to pay his bill, is both witty and delightful.

The pop culture references fly thick and fast as Orson watches, via theAmerican TV feed, William F. Buckley debate a drunken Jack Kerouac on Firing Line and then a terrible Elvis movie, Harum Scarum, with Mary Anne Mobley, all the while searching for an idea for his next project.

It was striking how much enjoyment was taken in rendering Welles’ larger than life personality and old Hollywood excess. The embedding of the prompts into the story was also seamless and used great humour.

The winner of Battle Tales IV: We Battle On!  receives one year free membership with the PEI Writers’ Guild, a gift certificate to Bookmark, judge’s notes, and the highly-coveted Battle Tales trophy.

We here at the PEIWG wish to thank everyone who took part in Battle Tales this year. We hope you enjoyed the contest, and most importantly, that you had fun putting words to page. Thank you all for making it a huge success!

The PEI Writers’ Guild thanks the many generous sponsors of Battle Tales IV: We Battle On!, including Upstreet Craft Brewing, Bookmark, Manley Mann Media, and GIFt Horse.

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring the Writers of Deep Water Pearls

Writers from Deep Water Pearls, a newly published collection, will be the featured readers at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, March 14th at Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St., in Charlottetown at 7pm.

Guided by memoir coach and editor Kathleen Hamilton, these women writers have revealed the most intimate turning points in their lives, memories deeply charged with meaning, moments after which their lives were never the same.

What unites these intimate stories (and a few poems) is the shared commitment of the writers to explore their deeper truths. Their courage to write through barriers of silence, secrets and shame will connect powerfully with the audience.

All are welcome to this free event. The first ten writers to sign up may read from their work— poetry or prose—for up to 5 minutes. Following a short break, the featured women from Deep Water Pearls will begin their readings.

The PEI Writers’ Guild open mic series will continue to run on the second Thursday of each month.

Battle Tales Winter Sociable!

The PEI Writers’ Guild will host its Battle Tales Winter Sociable at Upstreet Craft Brewing in Charlottetown on Friday, March 15th, at 7pm. The evening will include literary trivia with PEIWG past president Keith Burgoyne, contests, giveaways, and the chance to chat with others in the writing community. During the sociable, we’ll announce the winner of Battle Tales, so contestants won’t want to miss out.

Everyone is welcome–you do not have to be a guild member to join. (We sure would love to have you, though!) Admission is free, though donations will be accepted toward the work of the guild, which promotes the growth and quality of literary arts in PEI.

For more information, email [email protected]!

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring Nils Ling

Nils Ling will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic on Thursday, February 21st at 7pm at the Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St. in Charlottetown.

Nils Ling is an author, playwright, actor, filmmaker and a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist who lives in Breadalbane, Prince Edward Island. In the early 90’s Nils moved to Prince Edward Island to host CBC’s Mainstreet, and in 1999, began touring with a one man show entitled The Truth About Daughters. In the years since, The Truth About Daughters has become one of Canada’s most successful one-man shows with over 1500 performances worldwide. Two other shows, The Truth About Love and/or Marriage and The Truth About Christmas followed, with similar success.

Nils continues to live and create on PEI, working in the written and spoken word, in music and in film. His most recent film, a music video for singer/songwriter Ashley Condon, earned him a nomination for a PEI Music Award. He is currently researching and writing a self-help book about grief and the loss of an infant, entitled The Stolen Child.

All are welcome to this free event. The first ten writers to sign up may read from their work—poetry or prose—for up to 5 minutes. Following a short break, Nils will read. The PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series will continue to run on the second Thursday of each month.