February 2019 Wordplay at work, Issue 61

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2019 RCLAS Write On! Contest Judges (2018 First Place Winners)

Claire Lawrence has been published in Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and India. Her work has been performed at the National Gallery, UK, and on BBC radio. Claire’s work has appeared in numerous publications including Geist, Litro, Ravensperch, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Curating Alexandria and Bangalore Review. Her creative non-fiction appeared in Just for Canadian Doctors Lifestyle Magazine. Claire Lawrence has a number of prize winning stories, including winning RCLAS Write On Fiction Contest 2018. She was nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. Her goal is to write and publish in all genres. She lives in British Columbia, Canada.

Jude Goodwin’s poems and prose have been published in print and online by various journals and anthologies. They have won or placed well in the IBPC: New Poetry Voices competition, were twice shortlisted in the CBC Radio Literary Awards, and were recent winners in the 2018 RCLAS Write On Poetry Prize and the 2018 Jack Grapes Poetry Prize. Jude is a founding member of the Squamish Writers Group, founder and co-editor of The Waters, an online poetry workshop and founder and co-editor of the Sea to Sky Review. Jude is currently pursuing a degree in Creative Writing with Douglas College. Her first chapbook, The Night Before Snow, was published in the fall of 2018.

Jennifer M. Smith is an offshore sailor and a writer. She writes essays and memoir in short stories. Her work has been published in print in The Globe and Mail and Canadian Stories, and on line on Feminine Collective, CommuterLit, Scottish Book Trust, Quick Brown Fox and 50Word Stories. Her work won first prize for non-fiction in the 2018 Royal City Literary Arts Society Write On Contest. She currently lives a landlife in Burlington, Ontario.


Barry Plamondon

Barry Plamondon

has lived in Maple Ridge for 25 years with his wife and seven children. He attended the University of British Columbia Arts Program for three years. He is currently attending Thompson Rivers University in fourth year Arts (history). He received a certificate in Practical Horticulture from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and worked as a landscaper gardener for 20 years before suffering a stroke. He started writing poetry during his recovery and continues to this day. Barry is a member of the Holy Wow Poets in Maple Ridge. He has written seven volumes of poetry, six with Silver Bow Publishing. He has also been included in several poetry anthologies. Barry has been a guest on World Poetry Cafe radio show several times, and is an administrator of the Poet's Diary Facebook group. His many hobbies and interests include gardening, nature, music, hockey, and history.

You can find Barry on Instagram here: @ vuervo_poetry @ plainjohns_plainprose

Some of these poems have been previously published by Silver Bow Publishing.

Our Annual February Haiku Feature

Thanks to our Contributing Members

#NaHaiWriMo February is National Haiku Writing Month


Haiku: a selection Birdsong is my prayer Lifts my soul to ecstasy Glorious mornings! - Jenny Ihaksi

Country lanes, my friends Filled with welcoming snow drops Bring me home again - Jenny Ihaksi

Past old rabbit trails Trees fallen in the wind storm New places to hide! - Jenny Ihaksi ---

Opportunities forging forward towards the vast unknown. - Lisa Strong

Procrastination is like a slow moving train and down crossing arms. - Lisa Strong

Cold Breath I breathe in cold air; mist expresses winter freeze and it drifts away. - Deborah L. Kelly

Warming Winters Old man Winter sighs; not as strong as he once was. Each year winter warms. - Deborah L. Kelly --Incidental blooms Stirred by winter winds cling tight To brown woody stalks - Mary Crane Fahey

Tiny butterflies Guests in midsummer gardens Their job to delight - Mary Crane Fahey

Drink nectar, dear bee Cone flower's sweet elixir Makes your stop worthwhile - Mary Crane Fahey

women's undercut— her life on the razor's edge - Aaron Barry

the wedding band tries its hand at Chopin— power ballades - Aaron Barry

misbirth... a passion fruit withers on the vine - Aaron Barry ---

fog slides 'round the lamps cold, clammy, misty fingers grab my nose and run - Julia M. Schoennagel

rain on the roof drums a rhythmic descant of nature's soft heartbeats - Julia M. Schoennagel

spider's web clever hungry spider awaits a meal - Stephen Karr

tall Douglas fir complex vibrant ecosystem sustains life - Stephen Karr


Elusive bouquet’s miniscule white sweetness is Sarcoccoca’s smile. - Joanne E. Betzler

Upcoming Events ~ Feb-March 2019 Info: secretary@rclas.com

Please watch for event updates and news via our website, and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) RCLAS Writing Workshop: “Exploring the Poetry of Place” Facilitator: Alan Hill Date: Saturday Feb 23, 2019 Time: 1:30pm – 3:30pm Location: Anvil Centre, Rm #417 Close to New West Skytrain Station. Wheelchair Accessible. Workshop Fees: RCLAS Members $15/Non-members $25 (Payment available online starting January 26. https://rclas.com/workshops/ ) Pre-register at secretary@rclas.com Description: Come and explore and experience the power of writing about the significant places in your life. Create poetry that explores significant locations that are important to you and your life in our community. Improve your poetry writing skills and find out more about your City and the places that are important to the people that live here. Maybe that important place is your local park, store, café or historic site, or maybe it is a place that is much more personal to you? Come and share, create and learn. Poetry of place is poetry which values locales, which sees and lets the reader experience what makes a place unique amongst places. Much contemporary poetry focuses on psychological states, feelings, intellectual concepts, or language play totally devoid of reference to the real, lived, sensually experienced and infinitely varied physical world. Poetry of place may focus on such interior subjects, but it lets us experience them more profoundly and more authentically because they’re rooted in a specific time and place. Bio: Alan Hill is the Poet Laureate of the City of New Westminster and RCLAS President. Alan is the author of The Narrow Road to the Far West: Travelling New Westminster by Postcard (Silver Bow Publishing 2018). He has published three collections of poetry in addition to being published in over forty literary magazines and periodicals across Europe and North America.

RCLAS presents “Tellers of Short Tales” Feature Author: Aislinn Hunter Date: Thursday March 14, 2019. Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Free admission. Location: Anvil Centre, Rm #417 Close to Skytrain. Wheelchair accessible. Come to listen! Bring a friend! Bring a short story to share on Open Mic. Description: A program of monthly readings designed to engage fans of the short story genre with emerging and published short story writers. Bio Aislinn Hunter is a poet, essayist, and novelist. She is the author of seven books: three books of poetry, three books of fiction and a book of lyric essays. Her novel The World Before Us won the Ethel Wilson Prize. She is a contributing editor at Arc Magazine and has contributed to numerous anthologies. She has a BFA in The History of Art and in Creative Writing from the UVIC, an MFA from UBC, an MSc in Writing and Cultural Politics from The University of Edinburgh where she has completed a PhD in English Literature. Aislinn’s poetry book, Linger, Still was the First Place Winner of our 2018 Fred Cogswell Award.

RCLAS presents “In Their Words: A Royal City Reading Series” Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019 Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Free admission Location: Anvil Centre, Rm 411A Host: Ruth Kozak Three Featured Presenters Description: In Their Words happens on the 3rd Thursday of every other month. Feature speakers present their favourite author from any genre in poetry, fiction, non-fiction or drama. Presentations include a brief commentary about the author and a reading of selections that exemplify what the presenter loves about the author’s work. A short Q&A follows each presenter. Are you interested in being a reader at “In Their Words”? Would you like to find out more? Email a quick note to Ruth Kozak at wynnbexton2@gmail.com

RCLAS presents: “Fit to Print and Fold: a Chapbook Workshop” Facilitator: Kevin Spenst Date: Saturday March 23, 2019 Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Location: Anvil Centre, 4th Floor Close to New West Skytrain Station. Wheelchair Accessible. Workshop Fees: RCLAS Members $15/Non-members $25 plus an additional $12 cash for chapbook supplies payable at workshop. Pre-register at secretary@rclas.com Workshop Payment available online starting Feb 24: https://rclas.com/workshops/

Description: A chapbook can be an important stage as you move towards the publication of a larger manuscript or it can constitute an end unto itself as a unique process and vehicle of expression. In this three-hour workshop, participants will explore a variety of individual and group writing exercises designed to create new poetry and prose. After experimenting with prompts along with a variety of writing materials, participants will explore some of the diverse forms that chapbooks can take. In the last part of the class, we’ll cut, paste, fold and collage uniquely conceived chapbooks that give full expression to the heart of your writing. Bring your favourite pen or pencil, a playful spirit, and get ready to witness your words transformed into books. Bio: Kevin Spenst is the author of Ignite, Jabbering with Bing Bong, (both with Anvil Press), and over a dozen chapbooks including Pray Goodbye (the Alfred Gustav Press), Ward Notes (the serif of nottingham) and most recently Upend (Frog Hollow Press). His work has won the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry, been nominated for both the Alfred G. Bailey Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and has appeared in dozens of publications including, the Malahat Review, Prairie Fire, CV2, the Rusty Toque, BafterC, Lemon Hound, and the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2014. In 2020, a third full-length book of poetry will be coming out with Anvil Press.

...and a reminder for all the poets and lovers of poetry: “Poetic Justice/Poetry New West” Sunday Afternoons (except Holiday Weekends) Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm, Free admission. Location: The Heritage Grill, Backstage Room, 447 Columbia St, New West Description: Two Featured poets and Open Mic. For information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/poeticjusticepnw/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/215251815176114/ Email poeticjusticepnw@gmail.com


Open For Submissions Jan 15 – April 1

Save The Date

LITFEST NEW WEST April 26/27, 2019 litfestnewwest.com

Thanks to Cassandra Metcalfe for starting off our year with an awesome Wordpress workshop.


RCLAS Members Open Call for Submissions No theme required to submit. Submit Word documents WITH YOUR NAME and Title on document to Janet Kvammen, RCLAS Vice-President/E-zine Email janetkvammen@rclas.com

Poetry, Short Stories, Book excerpts, articles & lyrics are all welcome for submission.

General Inquiries: secretary@rclas.com

Tellers of Short Tales – Feb 7, 2019

Evelyn Benson


Thank you to our Sponsors & Venues 

City of New Westminster

Anvil Centre

Arts Council of New Westminster

New Westminster Public Library

The Network Hub

The Heritage Grill

See upcoming events at www.rclas.com

FEBRUARY 2019 Wordplay at work ISSN 2291- 4269 Contact: janetkvammen@rclas.com RCLAS Vice-President

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