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Poetry in the Park Summer 2024  

A woman wearing a pink dress stands behind a mic reading from a poetry book.

Poetry in the Park
July 3 – August 28
6:30PM – 8:30PM
Queen’s Park Bandshell, New Westminster

Join the Royal City Literary Arts Society for the 2024 season of Poetry in the Park!

Come listen, and relax at this free, family friendly event at an outdoor setting in Queen’s Park. Bench seating is available, but why not make it a night out? Bring folding chairs, a blanket, a friend, maybe even a picnic!

For those aspiring poets in the crowd, you may like to bring a poem to share on open mic. Open Mic sign up begins at 6:15pm.

Each weekly session will feature 2 poets followed by an Open Mic.

Poetry in the Park Opening Night

Wednesday July 3rd 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Featuring Poets Jónína Kirton and Evelyn Lau

Headshots of two women both wearing blue shirts. 
Black text on a white background reads: Featuring Poets Jónína Kirton and Evelyn Lau. Host SheLa Nefertiti Morrison.

Jónína Kirton, an Icelandic and Red River Métis poet was born in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Treaty 1, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene peoples and the homeland of the Métis. She graduated from the SFU Writer’s Studio in 2007 and since that time has published three books with Talonbooks. She was sixty-one when she received the 2016 Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category. Her second collection of poetry, An Honest Woman, was a finalist in the 2018 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Her third book, Standing in a River of Time, was released in 2022. It merges poetry and lyrical memoir to take us on a journey exposing the intergenerational effects of colonization on her Métis family. She currently lives in New Westminster BC, the unceded territory of the Qayqayt Nation and other down river Coast Salish Nations, a hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking people. Although she acknowledges and is thankful for the teachings offered through academic institutions, she leans heavily into what some term ‘other ways of knowing’. Her writing is often a weaving of body and land as she firmly believes until we care for women’s bodies we will not care for the earth.

Evelyn Lau is a lifelong Vancouverite who has published fourteen books, including nine volumes of poetry.  Her memoir, Runaway:  Diary of a Street Kid, published when she was 18, was made into a CBC movie starring Sandra Oh in her first major role.  Evelyn’s prose books have been translated into a dozen languages; her poetry has received the Milton Acorn Award, the Pat Lowther Award and a National Magazine Award, as well as nominations for the Governor-General’s and a BC Book Prize. Evelyn’s work has appeared in over a hundred magazines and anthologies, including the Best American Poetry and Best Canadian Poetry series.  From 2011-2014, she served as Vancouver’s Poet Laureate; she has also served on numerous national grant and prize juries.  Pineapple Express was released in 2020. Her most recent collection of poetry Cactus Gardens (Anvil, 2022) was the winner of our 2023 Cogswell Award. 

In partnership with Arts New West and City of New Westminster

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