Page 1


6th ANNUAL FRED COGSWELL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN POETRY http://rclas.com/awards-contests/fred-cogswell-award/

"Fred Cogswell (1917-2004) was a prolific poet, editor, professor, life member of the League of Canadian Poets, and an Officer of the Order of Canada." First Prize: Second Prize: Third Prize:

$500 $250 $100

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:  Book must be bound as a book, not a chapbook.  Book length must be a minimum of 60 pages in length.  Selected poetry must be written in English by a single author.  Book must be original work by the author (translations will not be considered at this time)  Original date of publication falls between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018.  Book must be published in Canada.  Book must be written by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident alive in submission year.  Electronic books are not eligible. In case of dispute about the book’s eligibility, the Society’s decision will be final. Fred Wah is the judge for our 2019 Fred Cogswell Award For Excellence In Poetry.

Reading Fee: $25 (all funds Canadian). Payment can be made through PayPal (there is a link below) or by money order (payable to “Royal City Literary Arts Society”). If you pay with Paypal, please include a copy of your receipt with the submission package. Two copies* of the book must be submitted to the Royal City Literary Arts Society, along with the reading fee (or proof thereof), and must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2019. The society’s mailing address is: Royal City Literary Arts Society Fred Cogswell Award Box #308 - 720 6th Street New Westminster, BC V3L 3C5

Shortlist will be announced Oct 15, 2019. Winners will be announced Nov 1, 2019.

Winning authors & titles will be included in the December issue of RCLAS’s Wordplay e-zine. *Submitted books will not be returned; they become the property of the Royal City Literary Arts Society.


Write On! Contest 2019 Poetry Winners & Honourable Mentions


7th Annual RCLAS Write On! Contest 2019 Poetry First Place Winner Meg Stainsby Tillie’s Colander my daughter lifts the cheapest one, white plastic, tosses it into the cart and moves on, neglecting to conceal her zeal or slow her gait for me, still before the rows of colanders—all full of holes, I think—as she rounds a table rich in kitchen knives I see only the top of her head the next aisle over, guess she is testing the heft of can-openers, the liberty of corkscrews, and recall those same hands when small, tiny fists that clung to chocolate treasures I pried loose in grocery check-out lines where we did weekly battle I see more holes to come: for me an empty chair, morning coffees for one; I see for her the shoddy goods of first apartments, made-in-China toxins in her macaroni—she will live on macaroni, I see that— a weak white handle that will buckle when too hastily she tosses boiling noodles into the bowl, my youngest she does not see me ditch plastic for enamel (with metal base) four times the cost but free-standing, sturdy, strong enough to withstand bacteria and loss


7th Annual RCLAS Write On! Contest 2019 Poetry Second Place Winner Carlie Blume Boxing Day i told my mother

on boxing day what you did.

i wish you could have seen it words sluicing her eyes shut until the sting wore off enough for her to open them to deep sea sting but really how does a twelve-year-old find the words? to say she was oyster shucked feather plucked pulled hard like fruit from a verdant branch water spilled on the crotch of your pants how you grandfather now have me on boxing day wondering if even Father Christmas was cursed with a little child lust too how does a twelve –year- old tell her mother? that you courted my monkey bar craving with a Wendy’s frosty visits to the library watched me dance around in overalls? how I waited for the poison to enter her blood veins charged clean with a cold smack of truth a spat out tooth bitter juice. and I contemplate how abrupt it is when the radio stops playing carols on boxing day.


7th Annual RCLAS Write On! Contest 2019 Poetry Third Place Winner Chelsea Comeau Girls in Summer They close their mouths around the end of a hose that’s coiled like a hurt dog beside a house that none of them live in. Heat migrates into town with the songbirds. Warblers bloom. Their thirsts at bay, the girls sit in the middle of the sidewalk and practice spitting into the dry gutter. They tear clumps of grass from the lawn behind them, grenades to throw at one another. After the ice cream truck has come and gone, they’ll strip down to their bathing suits and study one another’s bodies with a new kind of envy. They’ll learn comparison, the pain of it, take inventory of whose breasts are better and whose hips are more an hourglass than the others’. They’ll leap, scissor-legged, through a sprinkler fan of water that holds onto the light and gleams like broken glass flung into the air by an earthquake. At night, they’ll lie together on someone’s patio on top of zippered sleeping bags. The hum of crickets will rise like a lullaby, like the roar of kerosene stars. The moon will light up the pale hairs on their arms and set their skin on fire.


7th Annual RCLAS Write On! Contest 2019 Poetry Honourable Mention P.W. Bridgman A Family Gathers The table had been laid with fiddle-back cutlery, some of it engraved “JSO.” Hallmarks confirm plate, not sterling. Dishes, some chipped, display the family arms—flag unfurling, a red hand, words in Irish the blonde Canadian boy can’t decipher. Bowls rimmed in red and gold, chipped like the tureen. Napkins, some fraying—like the tablecloth—tolerably clean. There had been a grievous omission from the old man’s will. There was no appetite round the table to make it good. None at all. This JSO from Toronto—his first time in their midst—sits next to Ball, the solicitor. Across, half-sisters avoid eerily familiar, luminous blue eyes. There are awkward silences, little coughs, little straightenings of hair. Little point denying it: not with that cleft chin, those eyes, that skin so fair. The widow combs her memory for a trace: anything, any kind of clue. She had never questioned his fidelity, not 22 years ago, not ever. “Can you possibly understand what you’re doing to this family?” she finally exclaims. Ball touches her arm, gently. “Now, Eibhleann. The boy mustn’t be blamed.”


7th Annual RCLAS Write On! Contest 2019 Poetry Honourable Mention Fran Bourassa Birthright I am born in this month When my grandfather and his son drown While I am tumbling in my mother’s womb he is a young man in a churning sea watching the land move away from him He will never reach shore. No matter the struggle Above him, a cloudless sky, a deaf and empty dome swallows whatever he calls out to it water pulls at his tired legs, weighs down his arms On the shore, a woman covers her mouth holds in a breath she will never let go Behind her, the striped umbrella, upset, sand scattered over the tablecloth, on the white bread sandwiches Into the drinking cups Footprints dug deep into the beach, left there Evidence later, of a man bolting towards the water My grandfather running into the sea to reclaim his son. From the shore there is nothing much to see along the horizon. A few splashes atop the long line between the sea and sky, faint cries are heard but that could be seagull calls My grandmother swears she could see them as they met and held each other The innocent ocean covering them gently like a blanket before they went to heaven But their ravaged bodies reach the shore three days apart from each other I too make land shortly after When my mother’s water breaks My mother‘s grief is a tsunami It will come to devastate us all


Break apart our home Wash away our belonging all we could have loved And when she leaves us I am her brother and I am my grandmother Watching helplessly from the shore And I will become my grandfather Forever swimming out to save her


7th Annual RCLAS Write On! Contest 2019 Poetry Honourable Mention Meg Stainsby Late Comfort The old barber stands, silent she has not come to him for talk—his warm fingers linger at the nape of her neck in the oval mirror she looks away— too soon, they both know she is back too soon —she cannot say: this morning, this man in the drugstore check-out, young, hot from tennis, wrists still wrapped in sweat-soaked bands, how he caressed his girlfriend’s neck, then loosed her ponytail as she laughed, counting coin, counting on his touch —or how she, one aisle over, clutching creams and magazines, seized by memory of skin pressing skin, the arch of a back—her own dry lips parting as he kissed his lover’s ear —with sudden breath drew his gaze to where she stood exposed in the express line, and he smiled— she cannot say why she fled without change —yet the barber smiles, crosses to the sink, points to the lower chair that demands a patron curve her back surrender to his hands, and she follows grateful, closes her eyes, awaits the wetness—the heat—his touch at last— her wanton locks already aching to grow


2019 WRITE ON! CONTEST COMMENTS FROM OUR POETRY JUDGE JUDE GOODWIN 2019 Poetry Contest Winners First Place: Meg Stainsby – Tillie’s Colander Second Place: Carlie Blume – Boxing Day Third Place: Chelsea Comeau – Girls in Summer 2019 Poetry Honourable Mentions P.W. Bridgman – A Family Gathers Fran Bourassa - Birthright Meg Stainsby – Late Comfort First Place Tillie’s Colander by Meg Stainsby This is a beautiful tribute to a mother’s love for her daughter. At the same time, it is a thoughtful recognition of the confusing mix of pain and pride a mother feels when her child is grown and ready to move out into the world. The setting - a shopping trip for the daughter’s new apartment - is perfect. The daughter is excited and “neglecting to conceal her zeal / or slow her gait” while the mother lags behind, steeped in nostalgia. The fulcrum of their interplay is a colander and what a delightful metaphor! Will a cheap plastic colander be good enough to keep the daughter fed and safe? Indeed, mother thinks not and switches it for enamel which will be “strong / enough to withstand bacteria and loss.” The bacteria symbolic of all things threatening the daughter once she’s out of the safety of home. And loss, of course, symbolic of the mother’s new life which will be, like the colander, full of holes. In the final lines of the poem we come to understand that with the help of her mother’s love and support, the daughter too will be “free-standing, sturdy, strong.” The use of everyday settings and objects to show so completely these kinds of bittersweet moments in life demonstrates skillful technique. Well done. Second Place Boxing Day by Carlie Blume It’s impossible not to connect viscerally to this poem, which deals with the topic of sexual abuse. Immediately we are devastated both for the child and the mother. But the poet doesn’t languish in sentimentality. The speaker is a strong little girl who is angry but will survive and we celebrate her courage. I enjoyed the extended metaphor of water and the sea. The daughter’s revelation leads to a ‘deep sea sting,’ she is ‘oyster shucked/feather plucked’ like a sea creature. The visual layout of the work aids in the story with the horrible details


off to the right, separated from the interactions between daughter and mother. In the left aligned segments we are shown the love the girl has for her mother, and the sorrow she feels having to tell her mother what the grandfather did. There’s skill in the telling of this tale, with rhymes so unforced they seem almost accidental. It is a well-crafted poem dealing with a most difficult subject. Bravo to the poet. Third Place Girls in Summer by Chelsea Comeau “There’s such wonderful detail in this fun poem which captures a perfect summer day – the sprinkler, the ice cream truck, the sleeping bags, and of course, the girls. The story is grand. But what really makes this poem stand out is the language. “Warblers bloom.” Girls leap ‘scissor-legged’ through the sprinkler, and the “water holds onto the light and gleams like broken glass flung into the air by an earthquake.’ The imagery takes us elsewhere – into the halcyon days of our own youth when we stood on the threshold to adulthood. That the crickets could rise ‘like a lullaby’ then abruptly rise ‘like the roar of kerosene stars’ is testament to the wild contradictions of those times. I especially loved the close. A full moon rising reflects the womanhood rising in the girls, a womanhood that will certainly ‘light up the pale hairs on their arms / and set their skin on fire.’” Additonal Comments for Honourable Mentions: 1st HM A Family Gathers by P.W. Bridgman “This is a quiet poem packed with illuminating detail. A family sits around a table with their lawyer, going over a will. They are being required to accept that the deceased man (husband, father) had sired a son unknown to them. The 16 lines tell a huge story which spans history, nationhood, secrets, and family. Amazingly much of the telling is through descriptions of chipped dishes, a frayed tablecloth and the family arms. Skillfully, the poet also uses a solid rhyme scheme that does not interfere with the tale. I look forward to hearing the poet read the piece out loud.” 2nd HM Birthright by Fran Bourassa “In this riveting piece about family tragedy which comprises both a drowning and a suicide, the poet skillfully tells their tale with stark images. “Footprints dug deep into the beach” shows us a man running into the water to save his drowning son. “Striped umbrella upset, sand / scattered over the tablecloth”


speaks to the catastrophic disruption caused by the event. The language is highly restrained in contrast to what is actually going on and makes the whole scene very vivid. As well, the juxtaposition of the baby in his mother’s womb and the churning sea is very cleverly extended metaphorically throughout the poem. A truly sad story adroitly told.” 3rd HM Late Comfort by Meg Stainsby Late Comfort is a touching story of a woman who watches two young people flirting at the drugstore and remembers suddenly what that was like - “skin pressing skin / the arch of a back.” Desperately wanting to be touched, she returns to her barber – even though it’s too soon since her last visit –so she can “surrender to his hands.” where it’s not the woman but her hair that is ‘wanton’ – as soon as it is cut, it’s “aching to grow.” I enjoyed the amusing contrast between the two young people full of life and the senior woman “one aisle over, clutching/creams and magazines.” This is a fun poem with a deeper undertow that speaks to the loneliness and loss experienced by many people as they age. “ Congratulations! Thank you” - Jude Goodwin

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.


2019 RCLAS Write On! Contest BIOS: Poetry Winners & Honourable Mentions Meg Stainsby was born in North Vancouver, raised two daughters in Langley and taught English at Douglas College, New Westminster, from 1992 to 2010, when she moved into administration. Meg holds three Master’s degrees and is now working on a doctorate in Creative Writing (memoir) through the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (Lampeter, Wales). She has published scholarly work on Middle English poetry and reviews of Canadian fiction and memoir. Her creative non-fiction has been a finalist in the Durham Region Writers’ Community Creative NonFiction competition, and for the Malahat Review’s Constance Rooke Creative Non-Fiction Prize. Meg has just moved on from marina life, after ten years on a floating home in North Vancouver, and is living in Vancouver’s West End.

Carlie Blume is a Vancouver born writer of poetry and fiction. She is a 2017 graduate of The Writer’s Studio as well as a recent graduate from the Vancouver Manuscript Intensive and Chelene Knight’s Advanced Poetry Workshop. Her work has appeared in The Maynard, Train: a poetry journal, Pulp MAG, Loose Lips Magazine, BAD DOG Review and forthcoming in GUEST Poetry Journal.

Chelsea Comeau is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in Freefall, CV2, Room and Prairie Fire. She was awarded Honourable Mention in the 2018 CV2 2 Day Poem Contest and the 2018 CV2 Young Buck Poetry Prize.


2019 RCLAS Write On! Contest BIOS: Poetry Winners & Honourable Mentions

P.W. Bridgman is a Pushcart Prize-nominated writer of poetry and short fiction. His most recent book—a selection of poems entitled A Lamb—was published by Ekstasis Editions in 2018. It was preceded in 2013 by a selection of short fiction entitled Standing at an Angle to My Age (published by Libros Libertad). Bridgman’s poems and stories have appeared in The Moth Magazine, The Glasgow Review of Books, The Honest Ulsterman, The High Window, The Bangor Literary Journal, The Galway Review, Ars Medica, Poetry Salzburg Review and other literary periodicals, e-zines and anthologies. Learn more at www.pwbridgman.ca.

Fran Bourassa is a poet and contributing writer to numerous anthologies, including Breaking the Surface, the North Shore Writers Anthology, Alive at the Center: Contemporary Poems from the Pacific Northwest and the acclaimed Force Field – 77 Women Poets of BC edited by Susan Musgrave. Fran has won numerous writing contests, including at the Vancouver International Writers Festival, North Shore Writers Festival and Shuswap Writers Festival. She has been published in Literary Magazines including Sub- terrain. Fran gives writing workshops and hosts Word Whips, a monthly writing series for Pandora’s Collective at the Silk Purse Gallery in West Vancouver.

View the Write on! Contest poetry readings here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlK1FubxTgqqh02FlMFtBKrlc9lN-CP5B


A

Dance Lessons by Jerena Tobiasen I had been invited to a wedding and needed to learn how to dance. Mark’s dance studio offered three introductory dance lessons, for free. Surely, I thought, I can learn enough in those three days to save myself from embarrassment on the dance floor the following weekend! I signed up and was pleasantly surprised when Mark’s youngest son – truly tall, slender, dark and handsome with deep brown bedroom eyes – introduced himself as my instructor. In those first few lessons, he taught me the basic steps of waltz, foxtrot, tango and rumba. As my free lessons came to an end and the wedding day loomed, I realized how naive I had been to think that I could learn to dance in three days. I could not have been more mistaken. I went to the wedding pumped that I was going to dance, and considered myself fortunate when a kind, elderly gentleman took pity on me and danced me around the hall. As he returned me to the table where I had shared dinner with other guests, he apologized. “I haven’t danced much since my wife died last year,” he said, “I guess I’ve forgotten some of the steps.” I knew he was covering for my faux pas. Although my wedding experience was disappointing, my passion for dancing had been ignited. I needed to learn more. I needed to be better. The following week, I returned to the studio for more lessons, an action that changed my status from interested guest to new student.


I was also introduced to a new instructor: Mark’s older son – also tall, dark and handsome with a Latin flare. The more dance moves I learned, the more I craved. Dancing became my passion, my obsession. I took advantage of every class and every practice party the studio offered. I was in heaven. Over the next many months, Mark’s elder son taught me not only dance moves, but style, poise, posture, rhythm, how to slide, how to glide, how to pose, how to use my hips, knees, hands and arms to full advantage, and, most of all, how to maintain my frame. I was constantly amazed to find myself exhausted and drenched at the end of a forty-five-minute lesson. I had no idea when I first began that dancing was both a competitive sport, and a weight-loss program! If I had, I likely would have turned tail and run. An athlete, I am not. Nor, had I imagined that I would feel so exhilarated at the end of each lesson, despite the exertion. Then one day my young instructor announced that he was leaving the studio to pursue other interests. The news was, for me, devastating. I wondered what would happen next. I knew that the other instructors had full calendars and were taking no new students. I felt lost. I was unfamiliar with the rhythm of the studio. I was too new to know that instructors came and went, and that somehow dance lessons would continue. Soon, I found myself sitting in Mark’s office, discussing my dance history, my goals and what he would like to teach. Wait! What? Him? Teach me! I was both stunned and over-joyed. Mark was not my idea of a leading man, but he was, indeed, a leading man. He was average height, short greying hair, straight back. He walked from his hips, but always with a smoothness that typified his career as a ballroom dancer. When he danced, he was powerful, commanding, precise and funny. During practice parties, his eyes danced, too – with mischief.


I knew Mark as the owner of the studio. He oversaw the studio’s business, and, of course, danced at the practice parties. What I did not know was that he had a history as a dance instructor. As owner of the business, he was alert, always ensuring the satisfaction, if not happiness, of the students. I presumed his dancing at the practice parties an extension of his obligation to the students. Mark sat behind his desk, steepling his fingers under his chin. “I started my working life as a welder,” he said. “One day, when faced with the thought of going to a wedding where I’d be expected to dance with women, I decided to take dance lessons. After a few lessons, I realized that I simply could not learn to dance overnight. I signed up for more lessons, time passed and now I own this studio!” I gawked at him, awed by his story. It mirrored my own. “What drove you to abandon welding for a dance studio?” I asked. “That was a significant change.” “Yes, it was,” he replied. “It didn’t take long for me to figure out that I didn’t want to be a welder. One Friday afternoon, at the end of the day, my co-workers announced they were meeting at a nearby pub for beers while they watched a hockey game. Of course, I was expected to go with them. Instead, I politely declined.” His smile was genuine as he recalled the conversation that followed. “I told them that I had been taking ballroom dancing for months. They were shocked. I’d never said anything. Then, they started teasing that dancing was not manly. I let them have their fun. When their jibes finally stopped, I said ‘Look, you guys go and have a good time. It’s just not for me anymore. I would rather spend an evening dancing with beautiful women in my arms, than spend the time drinking with you, and wake up tomorrow morning with a hangover.’ They were stunned at first, but eventually some of them understood my argument. Not long after that, I hung up my welding tools and turned to dancing full time. As soon as the opportunity arose, I bought this studio.”


Dancing was a life-changing experience for Mark, and for me. I was flattered to have him was my instructor. I found myself marveling that I had worked my way up from second son, to elder son, to father. This was boding very well. The first time I stepped into Mark’s upheld arms, I was very nervous. I knew how well he danced. I hoped I would not disappoint him. My expectations made me quiver. I looked into his eyes with apprehension. He fastened his right hand in the centre of my back and the left comfortably around my right hand, raised his eyebrow, cocked his head, and bent his knees, sliding his left foot toward me. I had no choice. I bent my knees and slid my right foot back. His power moved us forward. Strength, fluidity, smoothness and flexibility: we glided around the room over the beautiful oak floors. Then, just as smoothly as the dance began, it elegantly ended with him slowly dipping me backward. I wanted it to go on. I wanted to dance with him all night, but I had a dance lesson to complete. That was just a warm-up. During the many lessons that followed, Mark taught me elegant waltzes, tantalizing tangos and fanciful foxtrots. Although he was serious, he was also entertaining. His playfulness manifested in our Latin lessons, including jive, salsa, mambo and samba. And, when he led a rumba, whew, he was hot! As time passed, I did learn to dance, not as a professional, but, because of Mark’s remarkable instruction and discipline, reasonably well. After a few years, I even entered a competition in New Orleans – with him as my partner, of course - and won some gold and silver medals. From Mark and his sons, I learned that dancing can be fun and exciting, taxing and exhilarating. It is life-changing and bodysculpting. It builds confidence and requires commitment. It also


embraces patience, kindness, understanding, encouragement and support toward others. The dance community is quite social, meaning that both verbal and physical communication is required. (It also nurtures a degree of familiarity and perhaps affection. I met my husband on that beautiful oak floor . . . but that is a story for another time.) Dance instills many positive life-disciplines that can be transferred to any skill, career, hobby, task or relationship. If I could, I would insist that everyone learn to dance, and the sooner, the better - definitely not a week before a wedding!

Jerena and her husband on the dance floor!

------------------------------------------------------- Dance Lessons copyright Jerena Tobiasen


Poetry in the Park Wed evenings in July 3 – August 28, 6:30 to 8:30pm Queen’s Park Band Shell, New Westminster

July 3rd – Hasan Namir and Susan Alexander July 10th – Kirsten Pendreigh and Idrian Burgos July 17th – Winston Le, Jessica Johns and Malcolm van Delst July 24th – "PIP PIP Hooray, Open Mic Contest Day!" with prizes!!! July 31st – Natasha Saje and Barry Plamondon Aug 7th - Andrew French & Angelica Poversky Aug 14th Tolu Oloruntoba & Kyle Hawke Aug 21th – Elaine Woo and Kyle McKillop Aug 28th – Carlie Blume and Robert Martens


Can you believe it, our ninth annual Poetry in the Park reading series is over. We had yet another convivial summer of poetry in the beautiful outdoor setting of Queen’s Park. I for one won’t soon forget a PIP first, when a feisty squirrel tossed acorns at me from its branch at an event in July. Thanks to the Royal City Literary Arts Society, especially VicePresident Janet Kvammen, the most dedicated attendee, and President Alan Hill, who did an exemplary job of covering me as host for an evening. Shout outs go to the Arts Council of New Westminster and the City of New Westminster for giving us access to the gallery and bandshell respectively. Also without the monetary help of the City of New Westminster through grants we would not be able to support our feature writers the way we do. Highlights from this year’s PIP: Our cast of friendly faces that enjoyed a debut, or return feature on the bandshell stage including Kirsten Pendreigh, Idrian Burgos, Malcolm van Delst, Barry Plamondon, Elaine Woo, Kyle McKillop, Susan Alexander, Kyle Hawke and Robert Martens. The breathtaking poems read from the array of young and talented writers: Hasan Namir, Jessica Johns, Andrew French, Tolu Oloruntoba, Carlie Blume and Angelica Poversky.


Our first every PIP PIP Hooray! Poetry Open Mic Contest. We had a large number of attendees and participants for the event and it will surely be a mainstay for us in the future. We were treated to extraordinarily talented Natasha Saje who came all the way from Salt Lake City to read us her poetry. Finally, I would like to address and thank our regular attendees and open mic’ers---so many lovely new faces this year---for without whom the PIP experience would not be the same. Keep reading, writing and sharing poetry with friends and loved ones. We’ll see you next summer.

Let’s make 2020, our 10 year anniversary, the best PIP yet! Best Regards, Aidan Aidan Chafe Director of Poetry in the Park


Opening Night 2019 Featuring Hasan Namir and Susan Alexander


July 10th Featuring Kirsten Pendreigh and Idrian Burgos


July 17th Featuring Winston Le, Jessica Johns and Malcolm Van Delst


July 31st Featuring Natasha Saje and Barry Plamondon


Aug 7th Featuring Andrew French & Angelica Poversky


Aug 14th Featuring Tolu Olurontoba & Kyle Hawke Hosted by RCLAS President Alan Hill


Aug 21th Featuring Elaine Woo and Kyle McKillop


THANK YOU to Aidan Chafe for an outstanding summer of poetry!

Thanks to everyone who read at PIP this year! Thanks to all of the amazing features and to each and every one of the open mic readers who shared their words with us. Our first ever PIP Open Mic Contest brought out a good crowd, too. I certainly can’t forget to thank everyone who came out to listen and support the literary arts in New West. A HUGE Thank you to the City of New Westminster for their continued support, providing us with grant money, and also to the Arts Council of New Westminster who made it possible for the show to go on, rain or shine! I am looking forward to Poetry in the Park Summer 2020. It will be a big one for us as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary! Cheers! PIP PIP HOORAY


Poetry in the Park: the nature of verse As summer comes to a close at the dusking of shallow August light word magic echoes from cedar to crow The nature of verse alive among the trees, sheltered for another year — Leaving behind community inspiration fellowship To gild the October fallen: a sparkle on January's snow embraced limbs. Silently, she awaits her return to season when spring will bloom in the midst of a slumbering stanza. To witness Queen's Park in metamorphosis, for a time when her words will blossom once more heralding summer in New West

Best, Janet Kvammen RCLAS Vice President


Upcoming Events Fall 2019 Info: secretary@rclas.com Please watch for event updates and news via our website www.rclas.com and our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @royalcitylit

RCLAS presents “Tellers of Short Tales” Feature Author: Lydia Kwa Date: Thursday Sept 12, 2019 Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Free admission. Location: Anvil Centre, 4th Floor Room 413A 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 Lydia Kwa has published two books of poetry, The Colours of Heroines (Toronto: Women’s Press, 1994) and sinuous (Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2013). Kwa’s first novel This Place Called Absence (Winnipeg: Turnstone, 2000) was nominated for several awards. Her next novel The Walking Boy was nominated for the Ethel Wilson prize. Pulse was re-issued in 2014 (Singapore: Ethos Books). Her fourth novel Oracle Bone was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2017. A new version of The Walking Boy has just been released in Spring 2019 (Arsenal Pulp) as the second novel in the chuanqi 傳奇 trilogy.


“Cat Musings Reading Series” Variety Open Mic Host: Janene White. Featuring Richard Kelly Kemick and Enrico Renz. Date: Wednesday Sept 18, 2019 Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Doors open at 6:30 Free admission Donations kindly accepted. Location: New West Artists Gallery (beside Renaissance Books) 712C - 12th Street, New Westminster Richard Kelly Kemick is an award-winning Canadian poet, journalist, and fiction writer. Having published widely in all three genres, Richard’s work has been included in anthologies in Canada and the United Kingdom. He is the recipient of multiple awards including two National Magazine Awards and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s 2019 Howard O’Hagan Award for Best Short Story. His new nonfiction book, I Am Herod, takes readers backstage and undercover at one of the world’s largest religious events. Enrico Renz is a delightful one-man band singing songs to interact with the audience. He plays guitar, bass, keyboards and drums, and he has performed at various literary and music events in Metro Vancouver. He has released a cd titled Skytrain as part of Secret Messengers. In his journey into music, he experienced a long period where he chose to withhold writing, composing and singing. Meanwhile, everything else was on the go including playing improvised music and chess(!) both entwined into the process of creating songs. Newly retired, we look forward to more of his music. In Partnership with Renaissance Books, New West Artists and Royal City Literary Arts Society.


RCLAS presents “In Their Words: a Royal City Reading Series” Date: Thursday, Sept 19, 2019 Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Free admission Location: Anvil Centre, 4th Floor Host: Una Bruhns Three Feature Presenters Carol Johnson reads D.H. Lawrence "Sons and Lovers" (English novelist, poet) Malcolm Van Delst reads Karl Ove Knausgård, (Norwegian author) Glenn Wootton presents Gordon Lightfoot (singer-songwriter) 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.

Interested in being a reader at “In Their Words” in 2020? Email a note to Ruth Kozak at wynnbexton2@gmail.com to find out more.


RCLAS Writing Workshop: “Exploring Truth in Creative Non-Fiction” Facilitator: Christina Myers Date: Saturday Sept 21, 2019 Time: 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm Location: Anvil Centre, 4th Floor. Rm 417 Close to New West Skytrain Station. Wheelchair Accessible. Workshop Fees: RCLAS Members $15/Non-members $25 Payment available online https://rclas.com/workshops/ Pre-register at secretary@rclas.com WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION: What is CNF as a genre? What kinds of sub-categories fall under it? What kinds of responsibilities does the writer have, and what does the reader expect? What are the constraints and challenges of CNF writing and how do we tackle those? What happens when a writer claims to be telling the truth but it’s discovered they haven’t? This workshop will provide a framework for CNF as a genre, and invite participants to discuss their concerns, questions and ideas. The objective of this workshop is to help clarify the nature of creative non-fiction writing in all its forms, tackle some of the misconceptions about non-fiction categories, and encourage participants to consider the challenges that nonfiction writing can present for both themselves as writers and for readers. The workshop is more thought/group discussion based versus skills/tools based. BIO: Christina Myers is a freelance writer/editor, a former journalist, and a creative writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Her work has been published in newspapers, magazines, anthologies and online, and she has won or been shortlisted for a number of literary and journalism awards. She is an alumnus of the Writer’s Studio (2015), holds a journalism degree from Thompson Rivers University and a BA from the University of British Columbia. Her first novel is forthcoming next year from Caitlin Press and she is currently editing an anthology of creative non-fiction. She co-hosts the new reading series Words in the Burbs with fellow writer Lynn Easton. She has previously presented workshops for RCLAS and Southbank SFU Surrey.


Creative Wellness Challenge – A Poem a Day Keeps The Doctor Away with Alan Hill Location: New Westminster Public Library 716 6th Ave, New Westminster, BC V3M 2B3 FREE ADMISSION FRI SEP 27 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM SAT SEP 28 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM

New Westminster Public Library: "A Poem a Day Keeps the Doctor Away" by Alan Hill. A poem is the most bite-sized literary form, which makes it perfect for a regular creative wellness practice - anyone can write a complete poem in a short time, allowing them to benefit not only from the act of writing, but from the emotional boost of completing something. Join New Westminster Poet Laureate Alan Hill for a fun and easy workshop that will allow you to unlock your inner poet. There's a growing body of research proving that arts and creativity are good for us. But just like we don't all have the time (or inclination) to start running marathons, we can't all become guitar masters or prima ballerinas. So just like the 30 minute jog or bike ride we can take, we can all find Creative Wellness in our lives in smaller ways. The Creative Wellness Challenge encourages you to commit to 15 minutes of creative activity a day for 10 days (Oct 1-10), and hopefully beyond. Throughout the Culture Days weekend, you can attend free drop-in sessions with a variety of artists and learn fun, free, easy creative activities to keep you Creatively Active!


CULTURE DAYS: POETRY AND ART EVENT "Bringing Art to Life Through Verse: An Ekphrastic Experience" A BC Culture Days event In Partnership with New West Artists and Royal City Literary Arts Society Date: Saturday, Sept 28, 2019 Time: 7:00pm – 9:30pm, doors open at 6:30 Free admission Location: NWA Gallery on 12th Street, 712C Twelfth Street New Westminster The gallery will be open both Sat/Sun Noon-6, and will include artist demos. Hosts: Janet Kvammen, Julia Schoennagel Featured poets are members of RCLAS and include: Alan Hill, Poet Laureate, City of New Westminster Candice James, Poet Laureate Emerita, City of New Westminster Alan Girling Lozan Yamolky Aidan Chafe

Poets will be asked to visit the NWA Gallery on 12th prior to the event (pop by for a visit Thurs-Sun 12pm-6pm). They can spend time viewing the art at their leisure and write poetry in response to the art works of their choice. Each of the Featured Poets will be given a 10-15 minute reading slot to share their new works. There will be an open mic time including poets Stephen Karr, Sherry Duggal. Members of the audience will have a chance to read a poem relating to the exhibit. The art can be viewed at the poets convenience during opening hours. There will also be a short break between the readings that could be used for writing. The program will include a musical interlude with feature musician Enrico Renz. Welcome to the Gallery on 12th at: 712C Twelfth Street New Westminster, BC V3M 4J6 (next to Renaissance Books). Open Thursdays to Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Over 20 local artists showcase their work. Space is available for rental for members and community workshops and meetings.


Word Vancouver 2019: A Free Festival of Reading & Writing Find out more here: https://www.wordvancouver.ca/

SUNDAY SEPT 29, 2019

Downtown Vancouver Library, 350 W GEORGIA STREET, VANCOUVER Watch for our table at Word Vancouver. Alan Hill and Carol Johnson will be reading 12:40 - 1:10PM at COMMUNITY STAGE, 9TH FLOOR, ROOM #916

Watch for upcoming news and announcements www.rclas.com


....and a reminder to all 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, 447 Columbia St, New Westminster

Open Mic. Prizes, trivia, writing prompt, fun! Host: Warren Dean Fulton. https://www.facebook.com/groups/poeticjusticepnw/

COMING THIS FALL Book Launch OCT 5, 2019 Sat Aft 1:30-3:30pm Anvil Centre Rod Deakin-Drown will be launching his new collection of poetry in this book BETWEEN THE EMPTY AND THE ALL. Including poetry readings by host Candice James, Janet Kvammen, music by Enrico Renz and more. Writing Workshop OCT 19, 2019 Sat Aft 1:30pm Anvil Centre “Writing About Trauma, Taboos, Secrets & Other Scary Stuff” with Heather Conn Tellers of Short Tales - Thursday eve 6-8pm Anvil Centre Oct 10 featuring author John Mavin Nov 14 featuring author Bill Arnott


WORDPLAY AT WORK FEEDBACK & E-ZINE SUBMISSIONS

Janet Kvammen, RCLAS Vice-President/E-zine janetkvammen@rclas.com

RCLAS Members Open Call for Submissions No theme required to submit. Submit Word documents WITH YOUR NAME and Title on file name to Janet Kvammen, RCLAS Vice-President/E-zine Email janetkvammen@rclas.com Send by SEPT 25 for the OCTOBER 2019 ISSUE

Poetry, Short Stories, Book excerpts, articles & lyrics are all welcome for submission to future issues of Wordplay at work.


Thank you to our Sponsors & Venues      

City of New Westminster Anvil Centre Arts Council of New Westminster New Westminster Public Library The Heritage Grill New West Artists Gallery on 12th

SEPTEMBER IS LITERACY MONTH in British Columbia! The 2019 theme for Literacy Month is #PutOnYourPurple.

See upcoming events at www.rclas.com

Follow us on Instagram @royalcitylit

SEPT 2019 Wordplay at work ISSN 2291- 4269 Contact: janetkvammen@rclas.com RCLAS Vice-President/ E-zine


Profile for RCLAS

September 2019 RCLAS Ezine Wordplay at work, Issue 66  

Advertisement