VanDusen Garden Speaker Series: Listening to the Bees

Listening to the Bees is a collaborative exploration by two writers focusing their shared interests in bees. Through their distinct but complementary lenses of science and poetry, Mark L. Winston and Renée Sarojini Saklikar implore readers to listen to the bees, as we depend on them for our own survival and prosperity. The result is a marvellous journey into a deeper understanding of science, culture, nature, and language.

In this Speaker Series presentation, Mark L. Winston and Renée Sarojini Saklikar will welcome us into their multi-dimensional understanding of bees through conversation, readings and imagery.”

Date: Thursday, April 29, 2021 from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Register for the Event Here

March 28: The BC and Yukon Book Prize Storied Series

Honoured to be the event moderator for the Storied Series on March 28—looking forward to a great discussion with Vici Johnstone, publisher at Caitlin Press; Scott Steedman, editor and publishing consultant; and Meghan O’Neill, marketing strategist at Page Two Books.

Registration Available Here

‘The Summons’ face masks created as fundraiser for Surrey Art Gallery Association

From the Surrey News Leader:

Surrey Art Gallery Association’s online gift shop is the place to buy “The Summons,” a poetry- and art-covered face mask that “honours the cycles of change and transformation that people are individually and collectively going through.”

The mask was co-created by Surrey-based artist Debbie Westergaard Tuepah and poet Renée Sarojini Saklikar, who was Surrey’s first Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2018.”

Masks are available for purchase at the Surrey Art Gallery Association.

Feb 20-21: Virtual Seedy Saturday Conference

From February 19 to 21, 2021, Seedy event organizers from across the province will join FarmFolk CityFolk in delivering a pandemic-friendly opportunity to connect with BC community organizations, seed businesses, non-profit organizations, and learn about seed saving. There will be opportunities to swap seeds within and between communities and network with seed enthusiasts from all corners of the province. Speakers and sessions will include seed saving and gardening education, a keynote address by Dr. Vandana Shiva, opening remarks by Hon. Lana Popham, BC Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, two movie screenings, a Q&A with Master Gardeners, local community discussions, poetry readings, a silent auction, and more. 

FarmFolk CityFolk

So lovely to have been part of this event. In case you missed the poetry readings, you can now watch and listen to the video poems HERE!

Sarah de Leeuw – October Chanterelling
Matt Rader – Garlic
Nancy Holmes – The Way We Are Made Of 
Michelle Doege – Fields of Wheat 
Fiona Tinwei Lam – August Raspberries
Yvonne Blomer – Rhubarb, Death in a Garden
Renée Sarojini Saklikar – Grandmother’s Instruction
Shelley Leedahl – Sometimes 
John Barton Malus Pumila 
Rhona McAdam – Wild Bees 
Cornelia Hoogland – Seaweed

For more details about Seedy Saturday, please visit HERE.

On the Poetry Phone, Vancouver’s first free poetry hotline

I’m delighted to see a buzz gathering around the Poetry Phone, Vancouver’s first free poetry hotline. Here are a collection of interviews and articles delving deeper into this wonderful project:

Click to Read the Full Q&A.

A Q&A at Stir: Arts and Culture Vancouver

What makes poetry pertinent to, or helpful amid, the times we’re living in, this period of isolation and worry?

I think like all art, poetry helps us connect: to our own emotions; to social issues; to the world around us.

The Poetry Phone project seeks to provide a connection to joy, to comfort, and also, like any good poem will do, to provoke and inspire.”


Click to read the full article.

Vancouver Is Awesome

2020 has been a challenging year for many people, and it’s the small things that can bring joy to someone’s day,” says Charles Gauthier, CEO of the DVBIA, in the release. “The Poetry Phone is a simple way to bring a smile to people’s faces and celebrate the work of local artists.”


On the Coast with Gloria Macarenko

Click to listen to the interview.

News1130: Poetry Hotline Launches in Vancouver

Click to view the full video.

Give the line a ring, won’t you? #VanPoetryPhone

Vancouver’s First Poetry Phone Launches

Pleased to be the curator of The Poetry Phone, Vancouver’s first free poetry hotline.

Callers can dial 1-833-POEMS-4-U (763-6748) to listen to poetry recordings provided by 10 local writers. After dialling the main line, callers can press numbers 0 to 9 to listen to different poems.

Thank you to the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) for supporting the launch of the wonderful project that celebrates the work of local Vancouver writers, and for bringing a new and accessible format of uplifting entertainment to anyone who has felt social isolation during the difficult times this past year. 

Give the line a ring—I would love to hear what you think!

Visit Here to Learn More

April 21: Lunch Poems Online with Jules Arita Koostachin & Annie Ross

Lunch Poems is a unique opportunity to celebrate poetry and is held now online on the third Wednesday of every month, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. This month’s reading features poets Jules Arita Koostachin and Annie Ross.

The raison d’être of Lunch Poems is to invite and welcome everyone to enjoy poetry in a relaxed and casual atmosphere: whether you are new to poetry or have had a long romance with it. We invite you to join us to lunch on words and feed your soul.

Register Online for Free Here

Mar 25: Artists Unscripted -Restorative Practices + Speculative Futures

Join MOA for Artists Unscripted—a new series of informal conversations with Canadian artists of diverse backgrounds, practices and outlooks.

To mark Women’s History Month, we kick off the series with Renée Sarojini Saklikar’s ground breaking poems and Hana Amani’s visual art and futuristic folklore, hosted by MOA’s Public Programs Intern, Rea Saxena. Join us as we delve deeper into their ways of thinking, the knowledge artists hold, and the collaborations that emerged during the global pandemic and explore restorative practices and speculative futures.

This online series focuses on listening and learning from established and emerging artists. They will be sharing some of their current projects and the ideas that make them want to create. Each event will include a live discussion and a Q+A.”

Date & Time: Thursday, March 25, 2021 | 6–7:30 PM | Online via Zoom • Free, registration required.