The Edmonton Poetry Festival

The Poetry Route Glides Into Winter

New winter-themed poetry can be found on Edmonton Transit buses! The latest round of bus poems features work from Edmonton-area students and will be displayed in ETS buses and LRT cars through mid-March. Details here →

Winter Scene

Festival News

Bus Poem Submission Call - The City's Changing Face

July 02, 2015

With Canada Day under our belts, it’s time to take stock of Edmonton’s place in this great nation of ours. The True North Strong and Free, The Republic of Alberta, Where The Prairie Meets the Mountains, Treaty 6 Land, Dirt City, Deadmonton, City of Champions, or The Boreal Forest. No matter how we are defined, that definition is shaped by our stories and our poetry.

Submissions for the upcoming flight of the Poetry Route, a project that places poetry on Edmonton Transit busses and trains, are now open. The theme is “The City’s Changing Face”, and we want to read your poetic stories of how much this city is changing / has changed.

Here is the official submission call. Check out the parameters and guidelines and get some poems together. The deadline for submissions is July 24, 2015.

Cafe Readings Schedule Posted

April 22, 2015

Edmonton Poetry Festival 2015

Hello all! We hope you’re enjoying the festival so far. So many great events, so many great poets. It makes one dizzy (or, maybe it’s the Whiskey).

Just a quick heads up: The schedule for the 2015 Cafe readings event, happening on Sunday April 26, has just been posted. Check it out, and download it HERE. Our downtown will be filled with poets and words during this event, the festival’s traditional closing movement. See you there!

Welcome to the 2015 Festival!

April 19, 2015

Edmonton Poetry Festival 2015 Spring brings bounty; new life. It brings yard-bound surprises and playful turns of phrase. Spring arrives with a rake in one hand and a Mary Oliver poem in the other. It brings light and soft weight. Buds, bulbs, blooms, buzzes. Senseless alliteration, and bold rhyme. It tells you to get moving. It says begin now.

Welcome to #pofest15, #yeg’s first big festival of the year, The Edmonton Poetry Festival! Our lovely early spring has made the arrival the Festival sweeter than usual. The community is jazzed and energized – maybe even a bit drunk on sunshine and warmth. Everyone is pumped to brush away winter’s sad leavings and bring on the beauty of the season. So let’s do this thing.

There are many great events at this year’s fest, and you should certainly check the schedule for the rundown. A few highlights:

Today, Sunday April 19: The day starts early with a Haiku Workshop at the Devonian Garden, then moves on to High Noon, a spotlight on some hot local talent. At 2pm, allow yourself the luxury of a Most Beautiful Deception down at La Cité Francophone. At 5 o’clock, you can catch some visual art and poetry at The First Metaphor, featuring poetry by Kelly Shepherd and woodcuts by BC artist Alison Kubbos. At at 7pm, take a trip to the inner city with Gary Garrison and friends at Gettin’ Gritty Inner City.

Monday April 20 holds two interesting events. Join Liz Withey, the Edmonton Public Library’s Writer in Residence, in an event called Build a Book as she and local poets publish their work using the EPL’s Espresso Book Machine. And Monday night brings our wildly popular Gone With The Blinks event, wherein 60 poets each crush out a 30-second poem. It’s an energetic way to spend a Monday evening!

We’ll have more as the week progresses – reviews, pics, previews, the lot. Keep ‘er locked here for your festival news!

Spring, and a New Event

April 08, 2015

Edmonton Poetry Festival 2015

Can we say that word yet? Can we write that word yet? The word we dare not loose for fear of reprisal from the weather gods? Maybe. In between all the things people ask of us we think of tank tops, flip flops, and patio beers. And when that certain word DOES finally write itself, what shall we do to mark the occasion?

April is National Poetry Month. That may mean something special in some circles, but what does it mean in daily life for the average person? It may mean noticing the way the sun falls between buildings at 7pm. It may mean listening to and appreciating the subtle beauty of the human voice in the air – not spoken poetry per se, but just words, how our familiars say things. Perhaps it means re-reading Dickinson or Eliot. It may dictate a trip to the poetry section of Audrey’s books. For some it means contemplating the Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist and wondering why their favourite poet isn’t on it. For most, we suspect, this month dedicated to poetry is about noticing words with a little more intensity than usual. If you want to get heady about it, you may come to believe that “Poetry is a characteristic of reality, echoing in every human tongue.” (Bringhurst) Poetry is out there without us…we just grab it by the hind leg from time to time.

More prosaically: We’ve added a new event since we first announced and posted or schedule. It’s called Build a Book, and it’s presented in partnership with the Edmonton Public Library and Eilizabeth Withey, the EPL’s current Writer in Residence. The event takes place in the EPL’s Maker Space at the downtown Milner Library. The event features the Espresso Book Machine, and selected participants will have their work published in a slim chapbook. Check the event page for complete details and submission guidelines.

Enjoy spring’s fickle gifts, #yeg. We’ll see you out on the streets.

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