Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The 2nd annual Poetry and a Pint

...happened on May 20 at the Bushwakker Brewing Company in Regina and it was so much fun! Thank you to Anne McDonald, Bruce Rice, Carle Steel, David Sealy, and Nathan Mader for their fantastic readings! 



The event was loosely themed around the title "On Special." The writers were asked to work a menu item into their intro or into the work itself. They all took the challenge in different and amazing directions. The crowd too was awesome. Thank you to everyone for coming out. Thank you to Grant from Bushwakker and Tracy Hamon from the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild for putting this fun together. Thank you to everyone at Bushwakker. Hats off to Bushwakker's pastry chef who is clearly a master. The limited edition Chocolate Muse cheesecake, made just for this occasion, was absolutely divine! I wrote and delivered my first ever ode in its honour using the form Keats seemed to favour. It was as cheesy as you can imagine!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May 18 Ore Samples report

It's been an exciting spring! The Ore Samples Writers Series continues to grow and evolve and I'm really enjoying getting to know the local writing community better. The workshop by visiting author Candace Savage drew some writers I hadn't yet met. This workshop was one of the best I've ever attended. It was so brilliantly conceived and carried out and all the participants were fully engaged. And wow, the writing they produced and shared! Amazing. I'm still buzzing from it all.    

Copied from the Ore Samples Writers Series blog:

The May 18 Ore at the Flin Flon Public Library​ was amazing! The workshop led by visiting author Candace Savage was very inspiring and very well-attended. Thank you to Candace Savage and Myrna Guymer for their wonderful readings at the event that followed. Thank you to host Kevin Imrie, and what a great host he was. Thank you to the great audience. Thank you to the community, the sponsors, and the local media for their engagement with the arts and for making great things like this happen.


Ore Samples Writers Series gratefully acknowledges support from Artists in Communities. Artists in Communities is a joint initiative of the Saskatchewan Arts Board and SaskCulture Inc., and is supported by funding provided by the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation. Thank you to our community partners Flin Flon Public Library and Flin Flon Arts Council, and sponsors Hudbay and the Victoria Inn.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The 2nd Poetry and a Pint

...is happening at the Bushwakker in Regina on the long weekend! So happy to be part of this. Looking forward to hearing fantastic readings by Anne McDonald, Bruce Rice, Carle Steel, Dave Sealy, and Nathan Mader! Looking forward to sampling the limited edition Chocolate Muse Cheesecake! The food at the Bushwakker is always great! If you're in or around Regina please come by. This will be fun!

Monday, May 01, 2017

National Poetry Month in review

April was an incredibly full month and wow did it fly! 


I read and read and read and what a pleasure! Thank you to all the poets out there. Your work enriches my life. I thought I'd post a list here of the poems I turned to this month to help celebrate the occasion.     

The Saskatchewan Book Awards asked me to speak at the awards event which took place in Regina on Saturday. I decided to celebrate the shortlisted books of poetry, so I bought, read, and studied the seven books of poetry shortlisted for various awards and chose one poem from each to read at the event. Someone asked me if I was nervous and thinking about it now I have to say I was more than a bit worried. The last thing I wanted to do was stumble over the words of someone else's poem during the reading, but all the poems are so beautifully rooted in language and voice that they pulled my voice into theirs and made themselves heard, if that makes any sense. Here are the poems I read that night: 

Lisa Bird-Wilson, “Beside a Residential School,” from The Red Files, Nightwood Editions, 2016.

Carla Braidek, “Heart’s Breath,” from A Map in My Blood, Thistledown Press, 2016.

Louise Bernice Halfe, “His Name was Boy,” from Burning in this Midnight Dream, Coteau Books, 2016.

Katherine Lawrence, “Waves Rise Botanical Wild,” from Never Mind, Turnstone Press, 2016.

Sylvia Legris, “On the General Nature of the Glands,” from The Hideous Hidden, New Directions, 2016.

Mary Maxwell, “Late autumn, a garden,” from Wind Leaves Absence, Thistledown Press, 2016.

Jan Zwicky, “Seeing,” from The Long Walk, University of Regina Press, 2016.


To celebrate National Poetry Month, the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild sent out a quotation to the membership on every work day during April. The quotations, chosen by me, are first lines from poems by poets from or living in Saskatchewan. They were selected and arranged with the aim of adding up to a four-part poem by month’s end. It was an exciting challenge and I read so many amazing poems in my search for lines to make this idea work. Here is the list of poems that I drew from in the end:

Louise Halfe, “Ships on the Reserve,” from Bear Bones & Feathers, Coteau Books, 1994.

Lynda Monahan, "thin as rain,” from a slow dance in the flames, Coteau Books, 1998. 

Barbara Klar, “Thaw,” from The Blue Field, Coteau Books, 1999. 

Neal McLeod, “Wihtikow,” from Songs to Kill a Wihtikow, Hagios Press, 2005.

Carla Braidek, “A Vague and Slippery Thing,” from Carrying the Sun, Thistledown Press, 2005.

Taylor Leedahl, “Hide and Ghosts Seek,” from No Apologies for the Weather, Thistledown Press, 2008.

Robert Currie, “Going Now,” from Running in Darkness, Coteau Books, 2007.

Hilary Clark, “Life Stories,” from The Dwelling of Weather, Brick Books, 2003.

Randy Lundy, “Photograph: Age 4,” from The Gift of the Hawk, Coteau Books, 2005.

Jeanne-Marie de Moissac, “a windy poem,” from Slow Curve, Coteau Books, 2004.

Joanne Weber, “Advent,” from The Pear Orchard, Hagios Press, 2007.

Gary Hyland, “Hammel’s Lament,” from Hands Reaching in Water, Hagios Press, 2007.

Mari-Lou Rowley, “Sex in Space Time,” from Viral Suite, Anvil Press, 2004.

Kelly-Anne Riess, “A Kiss From the Door,” from To End a Conversation, Thistledown Press, 2008.

Bruce Rice, “Crawlspace,” from Life in the Canopy, Hagios Press, 2009.

Judith Krause, “Favourite Rooms,” from Mongrel Love, Hagios Press, 2008.

Katherine Lawrence, “Endangered,” from Lying to Our Mothers, Coteau Books, 2006.

Brenda Niskala, “Endless loop / blood-eyed moon,” from How to Be a River, Wild Sage Press, 2012.

S.D. Johnson, “But Quietly,” from Hymns to Phenomena, Thistledown Press, 2000.

Glen Sorestad, “Aide Memoire,” from Leaving Holds Me Here, Thistledown Press, 2001. 


As I said on the Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Facebook page, on our way home from Regina yesterday we stopped to further celebrate the spirit of the place of Saskatchewan. The drama of spring migration is everywhere you look. 


As we sat on the edge of the highway watching geese on the move, I wondered about migration and its relationship to imagination. I'm still wondering. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ore Samples Writers Series springs forth on May 18

This will be great! Mark your calendars and spread the word!

Copied from the Ore Samples Writers Series blog:

Come by the Flin Flon Public Library on Thursday, May 18, 7 pm and have coffee, cake, and listen to these amazing writers. Free. Everyone welcome.

You're also welcome to take in the free writing workshop "Memory: The Past at Home in the Present" with visiting author Candace Savage from 5:45-6:45 as well. It's a great opportunity to learn, add to your resume, and experience something new.  See the previous post for details.



Candace Savage is the author, most recently, of A Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape, which won three Saskatchewan Book Awards and the $60,000 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. She is currently exploring the story of the family who built and first occupied her home in Saskatoon, a pinpoint beginning that has expanded across centuries and continents.

Myrna Guymer was born with a curiosity as solid as the rocks of Flin Flon, her birth place. Her sense of adventure has taken her to several countries, but her most cherished travels have been into our dwindling wilderness by canoe. Her book, The Canadian Shield Alphabet, which won the 2008 Journalism Award, is a reflection of her life. Her 35 years of work has been published in magazines, newspapers and anthologies. Presently, she is working on her memoir.

Kevin Imrie was born in Flin Flon, MB and raised in the neighbouring town of Creighton, SK. A long-time musician, Kevin developed a passion for writing in his early twenties, moving sporadically from poetry to short fiction. He has studied at the University of Saskatchewan, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Education at the University College of the North in The Pas, MB.

Ore Samples Writers Series gratefully acknowledges support from Artists in Communities. Artists in Communities is a joint initiative of the Saskatchewan Arts Board and SaskCulture Inc., and is supported by funding provided by the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation. Thank you to our community partners Flin Flon Public Library and Flin Flon Arts Council, and sponsors Hudbay and the Victoria Inn.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Poetry shortlisted for Saskatchewan Book Awards

One of the top duties in my official job description is to celebrate the spirit of the people and place of Saskatchewan. My pleasure! One of the ways to do this is by reading poetry that does this work and so much more. So I bought all the books of poetry that are shortlisted for various 2017 Saskatchewan Book Awards and I've read each one. That's not in the job description, and I would've done so anyway, and so would anyone in this position. I imagine all Saskatchewan poets eventually read all of the books of poetry that come out of this place. Congratulations to these authors on these amazing books. Each one of them moved me. Reading these books back to back has been an incredible experience and an unforgettable journey. 


Monday, April 17, 2017

Ore readings & workshop with visiting author Candace Savage

The 2017 season is going to be great!

Copied from the Ore Samples Writers Series blog:

The 2017 season gets underway in spectacular fashion on Thursday, May 18 with Kevin Imrie as host and featuring readings by visiting author Candace Savage and Denare Beach author Myrna Guymer!

Poster coming soon!

Join us as well for a writing workshop with visiting author Candace Savage on Thursday, May 18. A great opportunity to learn, add to your resume, and experience something new.


Ore Samples Writers Series gratefully acknowledges support from Artists in Communities. Artists in Communities is a joint initiative of the Saskatchewan Arts Board and SaskCulture Inc., and is supported by funding provided by the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation. Thank you to our community partners Flin Flon Public Library and Flin Flon Arts Council, and sponsors Hudbay and the Victoria Inn.