On Thursday April 21, 2016 Canadian feature poet Kayla Czaga opened the presentation with a few pieces of work from her first book, For Your Safety Please Hold On. Her poetry reflected raw family and social conditions, yet had a touch of fresh humour. Kayla’s book was picked up immediately by many people following the event. Glass Buffalo Magazine editor and Festival board member Matthew Stepanic moderated a panel presentation and discussion of poets who have contributed to the magazine. Katherine Abbass, Gavin Doyle, Nisha Patel, and Megan Paranich shared their haunting and captivating work with the audience with a mix of page and spoken word poetry.

Glass Buffalo Books

All students with diverse degrees, they shared insight as to how their studies contribute and push their art. Megan, a science student specializing in geology, said she “approaches poetry with brute force”, and proves you can do both. Katherine claimed she “uses poetry to explore reality”. There was a theme of discovering: how to express and filter experiences through poetry, and develop a sense of trust through real, honest writing. The audience couldn’t help but be moved by poets with stories and struggles similar to their own. The laughs, the “mhmms”, and the snaps were echoes of people who touch, feel, and become poetry by supporting others while still taking a piece of the moment for themselves.

Glass Buffalo panel

Glass Buffalo recently released its tenth issue, and the panel was the perfect way to showcase this generation of eager, inspired poets. Matthew began his involvement with the Edmonton Poetry Festival as a book table volunteer, and he said his favourite part about it was “getting to read the books around him”. Audrey’s Books has hosted readings by many poets – over half the authors that grace their poetry section have staged events there. Audrey’s aims to connect local writers to their readers, and the store’s partnership with the Edmonton Poetry Festival is cherished. Audrey’s Books is one of the venues for the festival’s Sunday Cafe Readings, the traditional festival wind-down.