The Poetry PEI Events Page

We are pleased to share photos and comments from recent literary events on this page, together with announcements of forthcoming events.

Featured Artists:

  • Deirdre Kessler (PEI Poet Laureate)
  • David Helwig
  • Jane Ledwell (Frank Ledwell’s daughter)
  • John Smith
  • Hugh MacDonald
  • Dianne Hicks Morrow

Time: 4:00 to 5:30pm
Location: The Guild, Charlottetown
Admission: FREE

On Saturday afternoon, May 7, 2016, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., at The Guild in Charlottetown, there will be a rare opportunity to sight poets, often a reclusive species, who will flock together for a brief period to chirp, tweet, twitter, pipe, and sing.

Prince Edward Island’s current poet laureate, Deirdre Kessler, is ecstatic about gathering the poets laureate together in one room for a group poetry reading. “Buckle up,” she says. “The afternoon poetry reading promises to be a thrilling ride.”

Who are the poets who each will read a few poems? John Smith was Prince Edward Island’s first poet laureate. During his laureateship, John Smith gave a series of dazzling poetry talks and readings entitled “This Hour Has 1338 Years.” He has seven collections of poetry. P.E.I.’s second poet laureate, Frank Ledwell (1930-2008), will be represented by his daughter Jane Ledwell. Frank Ledwell was best known as a teacher of literature and creative writing at UPEI, where he fostered and mentored many Island writing voices. He received the Order of P.E.I. in 2006. David Helwig, P.E.I.’s third poet laureate, moved to the Island from Montreal twenty years ago. Since then he has published twenty books, the most recent a collection of poems called “Keeping Late Hours.” For nine years beginning in 2005 he wrote a monthly column for The BUZZ. Poet, editor, children’s author and novelist Hugh MacDonald of Brudenell was P.E.I.’s fourth poet laureate. “Morgan’s Boat Ride” was his 14th book as author and editor. Dianne Hicks Morrow, the fifth poet laureate, is author of two poetry collections, including “What Really Happened Is This,” which won the 2012 PEI Book Award for poetry. Her latest nonfiction book is “Fixing Up the Farmhouse.”

Poet Laureate Dianne Hicks Morrow invites readers and listeners to the Open Mic on Wednesday, December 9th from 7:00-9:00 pm. All are welcome at the Baha’i Centre, 20 Lapthorn Ave. The Centre is wheelchair accessible and alcohol-free. Lapthorn Ave is off Longworth Ave., the only side street between Birchwood School and the 1911 Jail Pizza Delight.

“I’m grateful that members of the Baha’i Centre have offered their welcoming space for this event. As well, I’m pleased to partner with members of the PEI Writers Guild and TWiG, for them to continue the open mic series after my term finishes at the end of December,” states Morrow.

Featured reader on December 9th will be Dianne herself. It will her final reading as poet laureate as her three-year term comes to an end. “Encouraging writers to share their writing in public for the first time has been the most exciting part of hosting nineteen Open Mics. I’ve also enjoyed holding Open Mics at libraries across the Island, performing at the Frank Ledwell Storytelling and Comedy festivals in St. Peter’s each summer, and writing new poems for the Confederation Centre’s Symons Medal Gala, in honour of medal recipients Paul Martin, Stephen Lewis, and Paul Gross.”

Other highlights of her term include: writing an Ode to Fallen Elms for the memorial held at Trinity United Church, twice reading a poem at City Hall during National Poetry Month, and reading her Pizza Box poem at Government House as part of the National Reading Town Canada initiative. Morrow has given poetry workshops for libraries, schools, and the PEI Writers Guild; created a new poetry course for Seniors College; and read poems to Rotary and other groups. As well, she encouraged poets to submit poems to the poetrypei.com website, begun by former poet laureate, David Helwig.

“My hope is that these activities helped to make poetry less intimidating by showing how anyone can write a poem, and that a poem can be about anything,” says Morrow.

Dianne Hicks Morrow is an award-winning poet and a non-fiction writer who has called PEI home for over forty years. Her collection What Really Happened Is This: A Poetry Memoir (Acorn Press 2011), won the 2012 PEI Book Award for Poetry. Long Reach Home (Acorn Press, 2002) contains poems that won a Milton Acorn Poetry Award and an Atlantic Writing Competition Poetry Award. Her non-fiction Kindred Spirits: Relationships that Spark the Soul (Acorn Press, 2005) includes interviews with PEI’s new premier Wade MacLauchlan and his kindred-spirit partner Duncan McIntosh, as well as interviews with over twenty other Atlantic Canadians who talk about the kindred spirits in their lives. She has given readings and workshops across Canada, as well as in Mexico and Australia. She teaches two popular courses, Writing from Life and Anyone Can Write a Poem, at PEI Seniors College. She received the Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Literary Arts on Prince Edward Island in 2008, and was appointed PEI Poet Laureate in 2013.

At the December 9th Open Mic Dianne plans to read from her new book, Fixing Up The Farmhouse: Forty Years of Living, Loving, and Lamenting, as well as some new poems.

Readers can sign up at 7 p.m. to read their own poetry or prose, anywhere from three to five minutes. Admission is free or by donation. Please contact Dianne at peipoetlaureate@gmail.com with any questions.

Poet Laureate Dianne Hicks Morrow invites readers and listeners to the second Open Mic of the 2015 fall season, to be held on Wednesday, November 11th from 7-9 p.m. All are welcome at the Baha’i Faith Charlottetown Centre, 20 Lapthorn Ave. The Centre is wheelchair accessible and alcohol-free. Lapthorn Ave is the only side street between Birchwood High School and the 1911 Jail Pizza Delight on Longworth Avenue.

“I’m grateful that members of the Baha’i community have offered their welcoming space for this event. As well, I’m pleased to partner with members of the PEI Writers Guild and TWiG. Those groups hope to continue the open mic series after my term finishes at the end of December,” states Morrow.

Featured reader on November 11th will be Paul Vreeland. A frequent winner Island Literary Awards, Paul’s poetry has been published in several Canadian journals and in TWiG anthologies. He has also published two chapbooks: Hydrostone Quartet and Mother-in-Law Suite.

His prose includes stories of his experiences in living in Haiti and West Africa, notably “Smoked Herring and the Talking Dog” (The Caribbean Writer) and “Awaiting Ziafo”, a Grain Magazine creative non-fiction prize winner.

He is particularly proud of the opportunities he has had to help other Island writers see publication. Fires in Many Hearts (Nine Pines Publications), the “me-moirs” of Doris McKay was an early and successful attempt at crowd-sourcing. He also worked with Robert Acorn on Robert’s more recent anthologies.

Currently Paul is working on two projects: I’ll Tell You One Thing, a novel to be published in the new year, and Something Will Occur, a collection of his late mother’s poetry.

Readers can sign up at 7 p.m. to read their own poetry or prose, anywhere from three to five minutes. Admission is free or by donation. Please contact Dianne at peipoetlaureate@gmail.com with any questions.

Poet Laureate Dianne Hicks Morrow invites readers and listeners to the first Open Mic of the 2015 fall season, to be held on Wednesday, October 14th from 7-9 p.m.

After sixteen successful Open Mics at the Haviland Club, a new venue has been found, in partnership with the PEI Writers Guild and TWiG (The Writers in Group). The Open Mic will take place at the Baha’i Faith Charlottetown Centre on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, except where otherwise noted.

All are welcome at the Baha’i Faith Charlottetown Centre, 20 Lapthorn Ave. The Centre is wheelchair accessible and alcohol-free. Lapthorn Ave is the only side street between Birchwood High School and the 1911 Jail Pizza Delight on Longworth Avenue.

“I’m grateful that members of the Baha’i community have offered their welcoming space for this event. As well, I’m pleased to partner with members of the PEI Writers Guild and TWiG. Those groups hope to continue the open mic series after my term finishes at the end of December,” states Morrow.

Featured reader on October 14th will be Patti Larsen, an award-winning writer with a passion for the paranormal. Now with multiple series in happy publication, she lives by choice on PEI with her patient husband and multitude of pets.

Readers can sign up at 7 p.m. to read their own poetry or prose, anywhere from three to five minutes. Admission is free or by donation. Please contact Dianne at peipoetlaureate@gmail.com with any questions.

Poetry Writing Workshop with Prince Edward Island Poet Laureate, Dianne Morrow at Confederation Centre Library, 24 September, 6:45 p.m.

A poem can start from a memory, a dream, an image, a feeling.
It can take any form, such as a list, a limerick, a haiku, a
pantoum, a paradelle, or free verse.
Most of all, it says something that matters to you, and
your reader or listener.

For a couple of hours we’ll have fun making poetry together, and even have the chance to share our new poems with each other.

Enrollment is limited to 12.

Please register by calling the library: 902-368-4642

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