National Poetry Month 2016 events



Writers, readers, and patrons of the arts all across Canada are celebrating National Poetry Month this April! We’re excited to have a listing of NPM16 events happening from coast to coast. If you would like to include your event in this listing, please email with the following information: name of your event, date and time, location (including city and address), a link, and 1-3 sentences of description. Please do not include any visual materials.

For more information about National Poetry Month, including downloadable visual materials, visit! If you have planned an NPM event with the theme of “The Road,” feel free to email to request posters for your event.

Alberta | British Columbia | Manitoba | New Brunswick | Newfoundland and Labrador | Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia | Nunavut | Ontario | Prince Edward Island | Saskatchewan | Quebec | Yukon


301 Voices: A Public Poetry Project is dedicated to celebrating the reading, reciting and performance of poetry. The aim is to encourage 301 Canadians, either individually or in groups, to read, recite or perform a poem that they love before the end of National Poetry Month! All you have to do is post a video of you or your group reading, reciting, or performing a poem and send the link to

AngelHousePress is pleased to present 2016, a month-long exaltation of poetry that transcends boundaries. In the next 30 days, please visit the site for sound poetry, visual poetry, asemic writing and poetry from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Finland, India, Italy, Romania, Tunisia, UK and USA. This year’s theme is lush exaltation, featuring 236 pieces from all over the world. Visit for daily surprises!

In honour of National Poetery Month, the Calgary Public Library encourages all Canadians to write a “bit” of poetry for the #poembit contest! Visit the CPL website for details on how to participate.


Thursday, April 14 in Calgary
What: Caribou Run Book Launch at Shelf Life Books
When: 7:00 pm
Where:Shelf Life Books (100 – 1302 4th Street SW, Calgary)
Join Richard Kelly Kemick as he launches his debut poetry collection, Caribou Run. Enjoy readings by Richard and fellow poet Nick Thran. The event will begin at 7:00 PM, is free, and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase.

Tuesday, April 19 to Sunday, April 24 in Calgary
What: School of Thought – Languages Lost and Found
When: 8:00 pm
Where: Wine-Ohs and Festival Hall
Readers: Clifton Joseph, Alessandra Naccarato, Tanya Evanson, Lousie Bernice Halfe, and Mary Pinkoski
Free, but registration required.

Friday, April 15 in Calgary
What: Kittenbook ImPress’ed
When: 12 noon to 5:00 pm
Where: Octavia Book Bindery (1040-8th Ave SW, Calgary)
Come and see how books are made at the Bindery, including publications by KIttenBoot Press.

Friday, April 22 in Lethbridge
What: Poetry-Palooza
When: 3:00 to 5:00 pm
Where: Lethbridge Public Library, Main Branch (810 5 Ave S)
Teens are encouraged to pick a poem to share on stage, write fanmail to Canadian poets, hide stealth poetry around the library, and play crazy poetry games. Find more details on the Lethbridge Public Library website!

Wednesday, April 27 in Calgary
What: WGA Presents: Wine & Poetry Pairings in Celebration of National Poetry Month
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Metrovino (722 11 Ave SW, Calgary)
Readers: Derek Beaulieu, Rosemary Griebel, Nikki Sheppy, Bob Stallworthy, Natalie Simpson, Sheri-D Wilson and Nick Thran.
Our legendary wine & literary pairings are back! Raise your glass to National Poetry Month and hear from seven local poets whose collections will each be paired with a specific wine (…or wildcard beverage) that shares the attributes of the work. Join us for a creative evening of runaway tannins, hints of pear and transformation, notes of mystery and explosive bouquets of hope—the finish will not disappoint.


Wednesday, April 13 in Vancouver
What: Twisted Poets Literary Salon: A Night of Celebration
When: 7:00 pm
Where: The Cottage Bistro (4470 Main St, Vancouver)
A reading from and celebration with Mona Fertig.

Saturday, April 16 in Vancouver
What: Poetry Crawl
When: All day
Where: Eleven venues across Vancouver, including art galleries, a clothing store and the Paper Hound bookshop.
Readers: 21 different readers

Described by Vancouver blogger Zoe Welsh as “an inventive, silly, meaningful, and dead serious event,” the day is a culmination of planning and happy accidents as readings occur in a variety of artistic backdrops and spaces.  Again, Zoe Welsh: “Everyone welcome, everyone integral.” For more details, including an itinerary and complete list of readers, visit the Poetry Crawl Facebook event.

Wednesday, April 20 in Surrey
What: From Image to Imagery… and Back Again
When: 7:30 to 9:00 pm
Where: Turnbull Gallery (South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre)
In this closing event of Double Exposure: Photography//Poetry, Surrey Poet Laureate Renee Sarojini Saklikar will read with a selection of community writers who have written ekphrastic poems in response to photographs in the Double Exposure exhibition.

Thursday, April 21 in Gibsons
What: ‘Journeying through a map of your choosing’ with Marion Quednau and Heidi Greco
When: 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Where: Gibsons Public Library (470 Fletcher Road, Gibsons)
Relax and let your mind meander through an evening of poetry with Heidi Greco and Marion Quednau. To register for this free event, call Heather Evans-Cullen, 604-886-2130.

Friday, April 22 in Vancouver
What: Al Purdy Poetry Night
When: 7:00 pm
Where: Cottage Bistro (4470 Main Street, Vancouver)
A celebration of the life and poetry of Al Purdy, featuring George Bowering, Elizabeth Bachinsky, Raoul Fernandes, Zsuzsi Gartner, Danny Peart, Kate Braid, Wayde Compton, and Gillian Jerome.
Suggested $10 donation to raise funds for the Al Purdy A-Frame Association.

Monday, April 25 in Smithers
What: Poets Unplugged: an evening of poetry and musi
When: 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Where: Smithers Public Library (3817 Alfred Ave, Smithers)
A collaborative evening of poetry and music with local artists. An open mic will follow, so join them for some poetic participation or just to enjoy. Coffee/tea and snacks provided. Visit the SPL website for details.

Tuesday, April 26 in Burnaby
What: Poetry Reading with Sheila Rosen, Diane L. Tucker, Rian Lloyd
When: 7:00 to 8:00 pm
Where: McGill Branch, Burnaby Public Library (4595 Albert St, Burnaby)
Readers: Sheila Rosen, Diane L. Tucker, Rian Lloyd
Three local poets read about childhood memories of a Japanese internment camp, the sensual delicacies of love, and “slam” themes of personal identity and relationship, with insight and wry humour. Light refreshments served. FREE, everyone is welcome; recommended for ages 14 through senior.

Thursday, April 28 in New Westminster
What: Poetry New Westminster presents The Road
When: 6:30 pm
Where: New Westminster Public Library (716 Sixth Ave)
Readers: Candice James and Andrew Parkin


All month long in Gimli
What: Klean-All Laundry Poet-in-Residence
When: Wednesdays from March 30 to May 18
Where: Klean-All Laundry & Dry Cleaning (96 3rd Ave, Gimli)
Gimli Manitoba Interlake Klean-All Laundry & Dry Cleaning, the Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group, and the Envoi Literary Foundation are pleased to announce that Victor Enns will be the Klean-All Laundry Poet-in-Residence to celebrate National Poetry Month. Enns, a Klean-All regular customer, will be available to answer questions about poetry, and provide reading and writing advice to any Inter-Lake residents willing to sit down and chat while he does his laundry.

Saturday, April 2 and 9 in Winnipeg
What: Poetry Play Stations
When: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Winnipeg Public Library, Westwood branch (66 Allard Ave)
Celebrate National Poetry Month by using different techniques to create poems of your own! All supplies provided. Drop in and add your creativity to activities such as hidden poetry, cut and paste poetry, push pin poetry, pocket poetry, and book spine poetry.

Monday, April 11 to Saturday, April 16 in Winnipeg
What: Poetry Play Stations
When: all day
Where: Winnipeg Public Library, West End branch (999 Sargent Ave)
Celebrate National Poetry Month by using different techniques to create poems of your own! All supplies provided. Drop in and add your creativity to activities such as hidden poetry, cut and paste poetry, push pin poetry, pocket poetry, and book spine poetry.

Thursday, April 28 in Flin Flon
What: Ore Samples reader series
When: 7:00 pm
Where: Flin Flon public library
Brenda Schmidt launches the Ore Samples reader series this month, with the inaugural event on Thursday, April 28. On the Ore Samples blog, Brenda shares an interview with Garry Thomas Morse, the featured visiting writer for the April 28 event.



Wednesday, April 20 in Deer Lake
What: Words on Wings
When: 2:00 to 6:00 pm
Where: Deer Lake Regional Airport (1 Airport Road, Suite 1)
Readers: Nellie Strowbridge, D Jean Young, and Mike Madigan



Saturday, April 9 in Musquodoboit Harbour
What: Reading the Road
When: 2:00 to 3:00 pm
Where: Old School Gathering Place (7962 Hwy 7, Musquodoboit Harbour)
Readers: Deirdre Dwyer



Saturday, April 2 in Peterborough
What: Writing on the Road
When: 2:00 pm
Where: 3749 Wallace Point Road (Peterborough)
Readers: Lea Harper, Blaine Marchand, Susan McMaster and Betsy Struthers, followed by an open set.

Sunday, April 3 in Sarnia
What: The Pathways of Poetry Gathering with Keith Inman
When: 1:30 pm
Where: John’s Restaurant’s “Famous Room” (1643 London Line, Sarnia)
Readers: Keith Inman, Lynn Tait, Fran Figge, Norma West Linder, Venera Fazio, and Rhonda Melanson
Hosted by The Ontario Poetry Society, the afternoon event will include book launches, featured readers plus an open mic. Participants are encouraged to share “road or journey” themed work. Organizers acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the League of Canadian Poets. For additional information, check the Ontario Poetry Society website, the event blog post, or the Facebook event.

Sunday, April 3 in Toronto
What: Routes and Branches in Poetry and Art
When: 2:00 to 4:00 pm
Where: Women’s Art Association of Canada (23 Prince Arthur Ave, Toronto)
Readers: John Oughton, Mary Lou Soutar-Hynes, Elana Wolff, Merle Nudelmam, and Yaqoob Ghaznavi
The Long Dash writing group and the Women’s Art Association of Canada present an exhibition of poems and the visual art that inpsired them or was inspired by them. A group reading will accompany the launch of this annual exhibition.

Sunday, April 3 in Mississauga
What: The Road of Poetry Power
When: 1:00 to 5:00 pm
Where: Mississauga Central Library (301 Burnhamthorpe Rd W, Mississauga)
Readers: Ian Williams, Alexandra Oliver, Claudia RadMore, Max Layton, and Anna Yin
Open mic following the readings (all ages are welcome). A haiku workshop led by Claudia RadMore starting at 3:30 pm will be a special treat for all ages to discover the fun of reading/writing haiku and making your own haiku book. Contact:

Monday, April 4 in Niagara-on-the-Lake
What: Ode to the Road
When: 2:00 to 3:00 pm
Where: Benchmark Restaurant, Niagara College campus
Readers: Andrea Thompson, Patricia Keeney, Susan Glickman, and Eva Tihanyi

Tuesday, April 5 in Toronto
What: Fun with Poetry
When: 1:00 to 2:00 pm
Where: Toronto Public Library, Pape/Danforth branch, program room
Join poet Honey Novick for a Fun with Poetry program to celebrate National Poetry Month. Honey will discuss the medium of poetry and encourage children to explore their creativity.

Wednesday, April 6 in Toronto
What: Pivot Readings
When: 8:00pm
Where: The Steady Cafe & Bar (1051 Bloor St W, Toronto)
Readers: Rahat Kurd, Cassidy McFadzean, Allison Lasorda, and Brent Raycroft
Facebook event or the Pivot website for more info.

Thursday, April 7 in Kingston
What: Night of the Living Poets Reading Shakespearean Sonnets
When: 7:00 to 8:45 pm
Where: Kingston Frontenac Public Library (130 Johnson Street, Kingston)
Readers: Mary Cameron, Eric Folsom, Elizabeth Green, Bruce Kaufman, Paul Kelly, Jennifer Londry, Armand Garnet Ruffo
In honour of national poetry Month and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, former Kingston Poet Laureate Eric Folsom is hosting a handful of local poets reading and talking about their favourite Shakespearean Sonnets

Saturday, April 9 in Richmond Hill
What: 12th Annual Poetry Gala
When: 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Where: Richmond Hill Public Library (Major MacKenzie and Yonge Street, Richmond Hill)
Readers: George Elliott Clarke, Barry Dempster, Stevie Howell, Anne Michaels, Cara-Lyn Morgan, and Adam Sol.
Refreshments, book table, and signing. Find more information on host Barry Dempster’s website.

Monday, April 11 in Windsor
What: Mouth Piece Storytelling presents The Road
When: 7:30 pm
Where: The Foundry Pub (459 Oulette Ave, Windsor)
Readers: Teajai Travis, Courtney King, and Benny Alexander

Tuesday, April 12 in Ottawa
What: Tree Reading Series
When: 6:45 pm (workshop), 8:00 pm (readings)
Where: Black Squirrel Books (1073 Bank St, Ottawa)
Readers: Basma Kavanagh, Liz Howard, and open mi
Workshop at 6:45, “The Poem’s Surprise” with Barbara Myers. Visit the Tree Reading Series website for more information.

Tuesday, April 12 in Toronto
What: Shane Koyczan and special guests at Massey Hall
When: 8:00 pm
Where: Massey Hall
Readers: Shane Koyczan and Bam! Toronto Youth Poetry Slam Team
Tickets: $19.50 – $49.50
Visit the Massey Hall website for more information or to purchase tickets. League members can contact to find out about a promo code available to members.

Wednesday, April 13 in Toronto
What: Toronto Lit Up
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Harbourfront Centre, Lakeside Terrace
Readers: Laurie D. Graham, Tim Lilburn, Jacob McArthur Mooney, Matt Rader
Join us for the inaugural edition of Toronto Lit Up, IFOA’s new book launch series, as we celebrate the launch of McClelland & Stewart’s 2016 poetry program, featuring poets Laurie D. Graham, Tim Lilburn, Jacob McArthur Mooney, and Matt Rader. This free event will include readings, music, food, and more. Books will be sold by Ben McNally Books.

Thursday, April 14 in Toronto
What: The Road is the Journey
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Bar Italia (582 College St, Toronto)
Readers: Catherine Graham, Ian Burgham, Ayesha Chatterjee, and Kathryn Mockler.
Facebook event and more info.

Saturday, April 16 in Ottawa
What: Music, Word and Song, an afternoon of poetry set to music and memorable songs set to the theme of “The Road”
When: 3:00 to 5:30 pm
Where: Pressed Cafe (750 Gladstone Ave, Ottawa)
Poetry by Kate Marshall Flaherty, music by Anne Hurley and Jim Videto

Saturday, April 16 in West Grey
What: Garafraxa Cafe Poetry Series (Special National Poetry Month Event)
When: 2:00 pm
Where: Garafraxa Cafe (131 Garafraxa Street South, Durham)
Enjoy readings by our featured poets Daniel Kolos, Liz Zetlin, Judy Lowry, and Penn Kemp. View the Facebook event.

Tuesday, April 19 in Sharbot Lake
What: Poetry Writing Workshop with Helen Humphreys
When: 2:00 to 4:00 pm
Where: North Frontenac Telephone Company (1019 Windwood Drive, Sharbot Lake)
Kingston Frontenac Public Library offers a 2-hour workshop with Kingston Poet Laureate Helen Humphrey. Theme: the elements of poetry: imagery, line breaks, form and metaphor. Limited number of spaces for those 16 or older, registration required beginning at 9 AM on April 9.

Tuesday, April 19 in Toronto
What: even this page is white book launch
When: 7:00 pm
Where: Another Story Bookshop (315 Roncesvalles Ave)
Reader: Vivek Shraya, Jacqueline Valencia, Giles Benaway
A bold, timely and personal interrogation of skin—its origins, functions and limitations. Poems that range in style from starkly concrete to limber break down the barriers that prevent understanding of what it means to be racialized. Shraya paints the face of everyday racism with words, rendering it visible, tangible and undeniable.

Tuesday, April 19 in Toronto
What: Sounding the Road
When: 7:00 pm (open mic sign up by 6:45)
Where: 122 Patrick Street (OCAD U Learning Zone, Toronto)
Readers: Andrea Thompson, Armand Garnet Ruffo, Robert Priest, Bänoo Zan, Mary Rykov, Catherine Black, Carrianne Leung and Lisa Myers PLUS open mic and Q&A hosted by Lillian Allen.
We honour the journey to and with poetry and offer poets who have travelled inwards and outwards, far and wide, and who have taken roads directly and indirectly OR have imagined other roads OR may OR may not have taken other roads… Whatever the road, it all leads to this precise moment for each poet. Readings will explore The Road from the perspectives of these eclectic and diverse voices.

Thursday, April 21 in Toronto
What: Poetry Reading
When: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: The Donway Covenant United Church Living Room (230 The Donway West, Toronto)
Readers: Vancy Kasper, Joan Guenther, Paula Eisenstein, Shirley McNaughton, Jennifer Palin
We are inviting people to come sit in our church living room and talk about the poetry we love. Any kind of short poetry is welcome – haiku, rhyming, modernist, concrete, rap – all welcome. We have at least one published poet in our congregation, Vancy Kasper, and others who write and love poetry.

Thursday, April 21 in Barrie
What: L3 Writers’ Conference
When: 7:00 pm
Where: Barrie North Collegiate (110 Grove St E, Barrie)
Readers: Shane Koyczan, Ian Keteku, “IF” the Poet, and Barrie Poet Laureate, Damian Lopes
Tickets: $25 adult, $20 student, available at Rivendell Books and Manticore Books

Thursday, April 21 to Saturday, April 23 in Cobalt
What: Spring Pulse Poetry Festival
Spring Pulse Poetry Festival is Northern Ontario’s largest and only poetry/arts event. Situated in the historic mining town of Cobalt our famous northern hospitality awaits. Coe experience Canada’s best valued poetry/arts festival”.

Saturday, April 23 in Scarborough
What: National Poetry Month with the Scarborough Poetry Club
When: 12 noon to 2:00 pm
Where: Toronto Public Library Maryvale Branch (16-85 Ellesmere Rd, Toronto)
Readers: Jeevan Bhagwat and members of the Scarborough Poetry Club
Come out and enjoy National Poetry Month with The Scarborough Poetry Club as featured reader Jeevan Bhagwat and members of the Club explore “The Road to Peace” through their poetry. The event is free and open to the general public. Contact the Maryvale Branch of the Toronto Public Library for more details.

Sunday, April 24 in Toronto
What: Lyricalmyrical Book Launch
When: 2:00 pm
Where: Bar Italia (582 College Street, Toronto)
Readers: Pat Connors, Sonia Di Placido, Sophie Else, Gale Zoe Garnett, and musical guests It Ain’t Pretty

Tuesday, April 26 in Oshawa
What: Poetry Lives, Oshawa poetry group
When: 12 noon to 1:00pm
Where: Oshawa Public Library, McLaughlin Branch, Children’s Studio
Open mic poetry reading by local poets with a featured poet.

Tuesday, April 26 in Toronto
What: Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night)
When: 6:15 pm, show at 7:00 pm
Where: Beit Zatoun (612 Markham St, Toronto)
Readers: Sue Reynolds & Hazrat Wahriz
Admission: $5 at the door

Thursday, April 28 in Scarborough
What: SA Talks: Poetry Springs Forth
When: 7:00 pm
Where: Bluffs Gallery (1859 Kingston Road, Scarborough)
Readers: Dane Swan, Dwayne Morgan (feature), Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliot Clarke, Mississauga Poet Laureate Anna Yin, and Robert Priest (feature)
Tickets: $5 at the door, or free for Scarborough Arts members



Wednesday, April 13 in Pointe-Claire
What: An Evening of Poetry
When: 7:00 pm
Where: Starbucks (in Chapters; 141-6321 Autoroute Transcanadienne, Pointe-Claire)
Enjoy readings from Philip J Taylor with discussion to follow. RSVP by April 8 to Facebook event for more information.

Sunday, April 17th in Hudson
What: Greedwood Poets
When: 2:00 to 4:00 pm
Where: Patisserie les Artisans d’Hudson (429 Rue Main, Hudson)
Poets will have their poems displayed on pillars in the restaurant for the month of April. Poets include: Anita Power, Elizabeth D’Ambrosio, Louise Carson, Sandra Stephenson, Jon Torell, Frances Piché, Elizabeth Price and others.


All month long in Saskatoon (and online)
What: Where Does Poetry Take You?, a month-long feature online at the Saskatoon Public Library website.
SPL writer-in-residence dee Hobsbawn-Smith asks poets across Canada to answer the question, “Where does poetry take you?”

Monday, April 18 in Regina
What: Vertigo Series National Poetry Month Celebration
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Crave Kitchen & Wine Bar
Readers: Lousie Bernice Halfe, Garry Thomas Morse and Timothy Long with music by Joelle Fuller
More information available at


Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 in Whitehorse
What: Break on Through! an evening with the doorknobs, a tribute to the Doors, with local poets
When: 7:00 pm
Where: Well-Read Books (4137 4th Avenue, Whitehorse)
Yukon poets, Lily Gontard & Maggie Larocque (on Friday), & kjmunro & Jamella Hagen (on Saturday) will read their work as the opening act, followed by Mike Millar and his tribute band, The Doorknobs, playing some music from The Doors. Break on through!