Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate to give free public reading Oct. 3

Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate John Steffler will give a public reading at the downtown Kelowna branch of the Okanagan Regional Library on Wednesday, Oct. 3 -- a day the City of Kelowna will proclaim as Poet Laureate Day.

"This event is a great boost to the poets, writers, and supporters of literacy in Kelowna -- Steffler is here to celebrate the work they do in our community," says Nancy Holmes, Associate Professor of Creative Writing at UBC Okanagan. "John Steffler is a great ambassador of Canadian literature, literacy, and creativity. This event should not be missed."

Steffler is the author of five books of poetry, including The Grey IslandsThat Night We Were Ravenous, andHelix: New and Selected Poems. His novel The Afterlife of George Cartwright won Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Steffler was also shortlisted for the Governor General's Award in 1992 and the Commonwealth First Novel Award.

Originally from Ontario, he lived for many years in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, where he taught at Memorial University’s Grenfell College. He now teaches creative writing at Concordia University in Montreal.

The role of the Parliamentary Poet Laureate is to encourage and promote the importance of literature, culture and language in Canadian society. Federal legislators created the position in 2001 to draw Canadians’ attention to poetry, both spoken and written, and its role in our lives.

The Oct. 3 reading at the downtown Kelowna Library is from 7 to 9 p.m. It is open to the public and free of charge. Refreshments will be provided.

This event is made possible by UBC Okanagan's Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, the Canada Council for the Arts, Project Literacy Kelowna, Okanagan Regional Library, and the Okanagan Institute.

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