Literary creativity will be on display next Friday, August 30, when Powell River Public Library hosts An Evening of Poetry. The event features a lineup of acclaimed artists from the Lower Mainland and closer to home.
Headlining the gathering is Shazia Hafiz Ramji, who will read from her first book, Port of Being, for which she received the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. The collection of poetry was also chosen as one of the best Canadian poetry books of 2018 by the CBC.
The night is being organized by library teen services coordinator Megan Cole.
“Over the past year I've been really working to bring great writers from around the province to Powell River,” said Cole. “Shazia is just one example of the amazing talent in British Columbia.”
Ramji said she first began writing poetry as a child, before she knew what a poem was, and is currently at work on her second book of poems and first novel.
“The novel is a very big, historical thing,” she added. “But I trust it, and I know it will resolve into something that allows myself and others to feel the gift of their life and to feel connected to each other, because we are all much bigger than ourselves.”
Other participants include local artists Andrea Bennett, Adriana Virtue, Andrea Layne Black and Erin Innes. In addition to writing and performing spoken-word poetry, Virtue has been organizing literary events of her own in the community.
“When I moved to Powell River I started Poetry and Prose, so for the past three years I’ve been running that event,” she said.
Also hosted at the library, Poetry and Prose is a get-together that includes poetry, storytelling, performance and literary reading. In addition to open mic sharing, people can come and work on arts and crafts.
Virtue said she is particularly excited to be collaborating with the talented group of writers at upcoming performance.
“It’s going to be a very powerful night,” she added.
The upper Sunshine Coast has a thriving literary scene and is welcoming to newcomers, according to Cole.
“Powell River has such a rich writing community,” said Cole. “Folks here are eager to learn more about writing, but also to hear work from writers near and far.”
An Evening of Poetry takes place at 7 pm on Friday, August 30, in the First Credit Union Community Room at the library. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.