2024 Festival:
October 21–27
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Incite: Poetry for This World

Presented in partnership with Vancouver Public Library. 

Though T.S. Eliot called April the “cruelest month”, at least we have the indomitable power of poetry to carry us through. Celebrate National Poetry Month with readings and musings from poets whose new collections will provoke, console, and reveal other ways of seeing.

Trinity Street is the much-anticipated fifth collection from poet Jen Currin, winner of the Audre Lorde Award and a Lambda finalist. Weaving together the meditative and the disruptive, the queer and quotidian, and the worlds of the dead and the living, Currin’s poems vibrate with unexpected shifts and precise, startling imagery.

Métis Ukrainian, ReLit Award-winning writer Conor Kerr’s sharp and incisive poems move restlessly across landscapes and time. Old Gods defies colonialism on the Prairies, situating readers in the Métis mindset: the old gods of the land are alive within the rivers, the birds, the hills and the prairies that surround us, and they’ll always be here.

Sheryda Warrener is the author of two previous collections, and a recipient of The Puritan‘s Thomas Morton Memorial Prize for poetry. The poems in Test Piece began from her impulse to see herself more clearly, and grew into more expansive meditations on seeing and vision. These poems are informed by collage—with their echoes and reverberations, a greater complexity is revealed.

They’re joined by host Bronwen Tate—author of the poetry collection The Silk the Moths Ignore, and professor and Undergraduate Chair at the School of Creative Writing at UBC—for a thoughtful conversation about the power of poetry to challenge and help explain the world we live in.

Join us for Incite all season, in-person or online! This readings series offers conversations with celebrated authors and emerging talents every two weeks from January to June. Incite is free and open to all. Books will be for sale before and after the event courtesy of Book Warehouse, a division of Black Bond Books.

Participants and Speakers

Jen Currin

JEN CURRIN lives on unceded Qayqayt, Kwantlen, and Musqueam territories (New Westminster, BC) and teaches at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Jen’s story collection, Hider/Seeker, won a Canadian Independent Book Award and was named a Globe and Mail Best Book. Jen’s poetry books include The Inquisition Yours, winner of the Audre Lorde Award and a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and Lambda Literary Award; and School, a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Prize and Pat Lowther Award.

Conor Kerr

CONOR KERR is a Métis Ukrainian writer. A member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, he is a descendant of the Lac Ste. Anne Métis and the Papaschase Cree Nation. His Ukrainian family are settlers in Treaty Four and Six territories in Saskatchewan. In 2020 he received the Fiddlehead’s Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize and in 2021 was awarded the Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize. His work has been anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry 2020 and Best Canadian Stories 2020 and published in literary magazines across Canada. He is the author of the poetry collection An Explosion of Feathers and the novel Avenue of Champions (2021), which was shortlisted for the Amazon First Novel Award, won a 2022 ReLit Award, and was a finalist for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Old Gods publishes with Nightwood Editions in April 2023.

Sheryda Warrener

SHERYDA WARRENER is the author of the poetry collections Hard Feelings (Snare, 2010) and Floating is Everything (Nightwood, 2015). Her work can be found in Event, The Fiddlehead, Grain, Hazlitt, and The Believer, among other literary journals. She is a recipient of The Puritan’s Thomas Morton Memorial Prize for poetry, and recent poems have been selected for Best Canadian Poetry, The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry, and the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist. Sheryda lives in Vancouver, BC, with her son and partner, and teaches poetry and interdisciplinary forms in the School of Creative Writing at UBC.

Bronwen Tate

Bronwen Tate teaches poetry in School of Creative Writing at UBC, where she is also Undergraduate Chair. A passionate amateur cook and baker, Bronwen’s cookbook collection rivals her poetry collection, and she’s been known to show up to class with matcha latte cookies or homemade pear jam. Ross Gay described her poetry collection The Silk the Moths Ignore as poems that “somehow illuminate the deepest interior while leaving dirt under your fingernails.” Her Substack Ok, But How? features nitty-gritty process-nerd notes on writing, reading, and teaching (and slips in the occasional recipe).