The focus is on writers from B.C.’s Okanagan Valley for the second Zoom reading event in the 2021 Author Reading Series presented by Nelson, B.C.’s Oxygen Art Centre. Reading from and talking about their work on Wed., Jan. 27 will be Vernon fiction writer and poet Hannah Calder, and Kelowna writer, performer, and filmmaker, Michael V. Smith.

            The event begins at 7 p.m. Those interested in attending the event need to R.S.V.P. by emailing Attendees will receive the Zoom link and accompanying event information once they R.S.V.P. The event is free and everyone welcome to attend. Donations are encouraged: $2 – $5 via Oxygen’s CanadaHelps page.

Calder has published two novels, most recently Piranesi’s Figures from New Star Books in 2016. She has also published poetry and short fiction in various literary journals. Born and raised in Great Britain, she now teaches English and writing for Okanagan College.

Smith’s books include Bad Ideas, a 2017 collection of poems from Nightwood Editions, and the memoir My Body is Yours, from Pulp Press in 2015. His films include the 2019 NFB short documentary, The Hook Up, about gay men from different generations. As a drag artist and clown he has presented at many cabarets and festivals, including the Vancouver Fringe Festival, the Vancouver Comedy Festival, and internationally in the Netherlands and Germany. He teaches in the Creative Studies Department of UBC’s Okanagan campus.

            A short film featuring Calder and Smith, accompanied by a piece on addiction by the latter, is available on Oxygen’s website. Forthcoming author readings in the 2020-2021 series include memoirists Kate Braid from Victoria and Vera Maloff from the West Kootenay’s Shoreacres on Feb. 24, and UBC Okanagan author Matt Rader along with students from Selkirk College’s creative writing courses on March 24. Alongside the virtual events, the Author Reading Series presents W. Mark Giles’s Making Light: Pandemic Winter, a digital presentation of daily haiku poems available on Oxygen’s website and social media channels.

            The Author Reading Series is supported in part by the B.C. Arts Council and the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, and is co-sponsored by Nelson’s Elephant Mountain Literary Festival.


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