Events Schedule

HomeFront, The Saturday Poetry Party

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

This event is sponsored by Robert Less-Miller. The Edmonton Poetry Festival is throwing it’s annual poetry party and volunteer appreciation night, with internationally acclaimed poets and local superstars to show what the power of poetic performance is all about. This exciting event brings in some of the most powerful voices active in poetry today. Join us as we welcome the renowned Buddy Wakefield as well as Lady Vanessa, Nasra Adem, Ahmed Knowmadic, and musician Selassie Drah to celebrate poetry at its most vivid form.

The Alongside: Poetry & The Architecture of Home with Canisia Lubrin

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

The River City Lecture, Sponsored by Alice Major. Poetry translates experience into writing that often helps us navigate compromised categories of belonging and home. As poets, our perceptions of the world departs from and involves our use of language—and depends on the social for meanings to cohere. Poetry offers many reminders to ourselves, that to use language to create is always an act of transgression—less about a strict crossing of decided borders than an act that puts us imminently always in relation to someone else, in their own place, with their own ways of seeing and being and moving through the world. We are as poets always in search of marking our encounters by shaping language towards making something concrete of the mysteries that surround us. Poetry is a means of entering abstract categories in order to turn out forms and shapes for our lives beyond the mere immediacy of […]

Alive! & Open

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

Alive! Is a heavy-hitting, multidisciplinary poetry experience curated and performed by nationally-celebrated poet Brandon Wint as well as an accompaniment of dancers and musicians who have created a one-of-a-kind showcase. Brandon will be accompanied by Justin Khuong, Rebecca Parsons, Mpoe Mogale, Jane Berry, Bhuyash Neupane, Jeannie Vandekerkhove and Amy Voyer. Following Alive! will be award-winning poet Titilope Sonuga’s internationally-acclaimed poetry and musical showcase, Open, which recently hit the world stage on tour before being brought back home for new enthusiasts and old friends alike to take in and enjoy. Open is backed by local favourites MelAfrique.

Homebody

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

Homebody invites prominent queer poets from across Canada to showcase their work in an exploration of the way home, and their place in it, manifests in themselves. Bringing in Victoria poet Arleen Paré, queer Peranakan poet Natalie Wee, editor of Glass Buffalo Matthew Stepanic, and local author Jason Purcell, this event will hopes to highlight the cross-section of poetry and queerness in today’s world and what it means for these authors.

Music in Poetry with Arleen Paré

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

Presented in partnership with the Canadian Authors Association. Arleen Paré will explore rhyme, rhythm and repetition in poetry through this extended workshop, presented in part with the Canadian Authors Association. This intensive workshop will guide participants through an understanding of musicality and how it affects the word, shaping the form and cadence of our writing and how it meets the open air when spoken out loud.

Wine and Wild Women Wordsmiths

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

The ever-popular Wine and Wild Women Wordsmiths is back! And this year’s readers amplify the power of the female voice. Like poetry, there is a sea of wine styles and types to choose from. Just like Women, the anthocyanins in wine have great heart-health benefits. It’s Friday night and we invite you to enjoy distilled words, quality grapes, and the company of women who speak up, and make their voice heard. This event is hosted by S.G. Wong. And the price of admission includes a sample of four wines to match our distinct female poets. Thank you to our friends at Prestige for sponsoring our wine samples tonight.

The Story of Home with Arleen Paré

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

Presented in partnership with the Canadian Authors Association. The Story of Home will be a shifting talk about the term and concept of home – the complexity of it and the confusions – with exhortations for listeners to write about home. Listeners will be invited to ruminate on their own understanding of the home as a more than just a physical place as Arleen explores the vast surroundings that couch the idea of what a home is, what it means, and how it comes to show in our writing.

Editing on Eggshells: Leadership, Vulnerability and the Editorial Process

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

An editing masterclass with Peter Midgley. After Peter won the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence, he remarked in an interview that editing is like carving a delicate relief on an eggshell, that he is terrified each time he starts to edit a book. Many seasoned editors chastised him for that remark: you should have confidence, they told him. You should think like a winner, for that is what you are. Be bold and confident. Those are fine traits to aspire to, but what gets pushed aside brashly as a result of such thinking is that the craft of editing needs vulnerability. Boldness and confidence in writing and editing emerge from embracing fear and vulnerability. This is a workshop about embracing the hidden potential of vulnerability in your editing practice. This is a workshop event. Admission to this event is not included in a festival pass.

Let Us Compare Mythologies: Digital Tools for Poets

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

How do you harness the power of social media and other digital tools to reach a wider audience? What platforms should you invest your time in to engage with your audience? How can your digital presence help you make a good impression on publishers, producers and potential collaborators? How long does it take to make those efforts pay off? And how do you make sure all of this doesn’t suck your time away and drain you of the creativity that feeds your art? We will explore all of this and more with four digitally savvy creators whose experience is applicable to a poet’s work. Presented in partnership with the Writer’s Guild of Alberta.

YouTube, On the Other Hand

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

Alexis Hillyard is a content creator. And she breaks a lot of the typical content creator rules. In this workshop, she will take participants on a journey through her YouTube Creator life, from start to present, and share best practices for content creation – based on what has worked for her Channel, Stump Kitchen. This will include the hows and whys for starting a YouTube Channel or other Internet Content; the glamorous grunt work behind the scenes of a DIY YouTube Channel including materials needed and growing your editing chops; when and how often creators can produce content; marketing your amazing creations; and most importantly, how to stay true to your purpose throughout the entire process.

Alchemy: Our Annual Poetry Party

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

Alchemy is the name of the expansive, diverse and dynamic poetry party being curated by local spoken word artist Brandon Wint as part of this year’s festival. The event will welcome the remarkable talents and perspectives of internationally-acclaimed poets Alessandra Naccarato, Shauntay Grant, and Ahmed Knowmadic. Alchemy will be a show that embraces the daring, magical potential that is revealed whenever poetry and music collide. Beyond this, the show will revel in the strength, authenticity, candour and emotional poignancy each of these poets brings to the stage. Alchemy is an event that will showcase and celebrate the social, spiritual and emotional potency of poetics, by inviting this group of accomplished writers to take what they do best and push it into new territory. This event is generously sponsored by Dr. Kim Solez.

Poetry & Philosophy with Jan Zwicky

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

One of Canada’s most celebrated and innovative poets, Jan Zwicky blends together poetry and philosophy in her work that focuses on ecological thinking. At her only performance for this year’s festival, Jan will share poetry that explores the philosophical roots of her work. She will be joined by Benjamin Hertwig, who was a finalist for the 2017 Governor General’s Award for Poetry for his collection Slow War. Jan Zwicky has published eleven collections of poetry, most recently The Long Walk. Her books of philosophy include Wisdom & Metaphor, Lyric Philosophy, and Alkibiades’ Love. Her collection, Songs for Relinquishing the Earth, won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry.

Queer Expressions

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

For those who identify on the LGBTQ spectrum, the words and terms we use to label ourselves are central to how we shape our identities. As times change, so do the queer expressions we reclaim and use to understand ourselves. Explore the diversity and complexities of queer lives through the incredible work of this eclectic group of poets. Kai Cheng Thom, winner of the 2017 Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging LGBT Writers, and Ali Blythe, author of Twoism and finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, headline this celebration of strong and resistant queer voices, including Edmonton Youth Poet Laureate Grayson Thate and Laurie MacFayden.

Wine and Wild Women Wordsmiths

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

Our popular event Wine and Wild Women Wordsmiths is back! Just like poetry, there is a sea of wine styles and varietals to choose from, and just like women, the anthocyanins in wine have great heart-health benefits. It’s Friday night and we invite you to enjoy distilled words, quality grapes, and the company of women who make a habit of pushing boundaries! This year’s event will be hosted by Gurvinder Bhatia and S.G. Wong. The price of admission includes a sample of four wines to match our distinct female poets. Thank you to our friends at Vino Mania for sponsoring our wine samples tonight. Medgine Mathurin: A Haitian-born poet, psalmist, and spoken word artist, Medgine is the current artist-in-residence at the McLuhan House with the Black Girl Magic artist collective Alice Major: The first Poet Laureate of Edmonton, Alice received a 2017 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguised Artist Award and […]

Lunch with the GGs

The Matrix Hotel 10640 100 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

Get up close and personal with two nominees for this year’s Governor General’s Award for Poetry, Lorna Crozier (see update below) and Benjamin Hertwig, at this VIP lunch catered by the Matrix Hotel. Both will share their experiences of being nominated for this prestigious award. Only twenty-five seats are available for this special event. Update, April 25, 2018: Due to a family health crisis, Lorna Crozier will not be appearing at this event. Poet Lisa Martin will appear in Lorna’s stead.