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CANOPY: A writing project and public reading

Date & Time:
April 5, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Nickle Galleries
Margaret Christakos, Rebecca Geleyn, Steph Wong Ken, Ian Kinney, Sasha Krioutchkova, Amy LeBlanc, Shannon Maguire, Carol Parchewsky, Grant Poier, Natalie Simpson, Erin Emily Ann Vance

CANOPY: A writing project and public reading

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The Calgary Distinguished Writers Program is excited to announce CANOPY: A writing project and public reading. Margaret Christakos, the University of Alberta’s 2017–18 Writer-in-Residence, will give a public literary reading, accompanied by student writers.

All the works read at CANOPY will be inspired by two exhibitions currently open at Nickle Galleries: EACH PAINTED DOCUMENT – Mark Dicey, and Walter May: Look Again. This will be a roaming reading, with each work read beside the piece of art that inspired it.

The reading will be followed by an informal reception. This event is free and open to all to attend. 



Margaret Christakos comes to Calgary courtesy of the exchange program between the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program and the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Each year, these institutions host the other's Writer-in-Residence for free public events. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of this exchange.

Margaret was appointed Canada Council Writer-in-Residence at the University of Windsor in 2004-05. In 2012-13 she was the recipient of a two-year Chalmers Arts Fellowship. For the academic year of 2016-17, she was Canada Council Writer in Residence at the University of Western Ontario. As well, Wilfrid Laurier University Press published Space Between Her Lips: The Selected Poems of Margaret Christakos, edited by Gregory Betts, in Spring 2017.

Margaret has published nine collections of poetry, including Multitudes (2013, ReLit nominee), Welling (2010, A Globe 100 book), What Stirs (2008) and Sooner (2005, both Pat Lowther Memorial Award nominees), and Excessive Love Prostheses (2002, ReLit winner), as well as a novel, Charisma (2000, Trillium Book Award nominee). Her poetic practice explores direct and indirect address, the body, attachment, longing, lament, public speech and social hope. A collection of creative memoir, Her Paraphernalia: On Motherlines, Sex/Blood/Loss & Selfies, was published by Book Thug in Spring 2016.

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Mark Dicey is a practicing visual artist in Calgary, Alberta. Painting, with an emphasis on abstraction, has been the main focus of Dicey’s practice for more than 30 years. Along the way, other areas of interest and exploration are sculpture, installation, music and collaborative work with other artists through performance, installation and drawing. 

Dicey has worked and volunteered in the arts community through board work, teaching, working as an art technician and consultant. Mark Dicey’s work is represented in private and corporate collections throughout Canada and abroad and is represented commercially by Jarvis Hall Gallery.

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Rebecca Geleyn is a PhD candidate in English and Creative Writing at the University of Calgary.


Steph Wong Ken's writing has appeared in CatapultJoyland Magazine, and other publications. She received her MFA from Portland State University and won the Cosmonaut's Avenue Fiction Prize in 2016.



Ian Kinney holds an MA in English from the University of Calgary. He has served as Poetry Editor for filling Station Magazine where he currently sits on the Board. His poetry manuscript, Air Salt: a Trauma mémoire as a Result of the Fall is currently under consideration by the University of Calgary Press. After the University (accidentally) erased an iconic piece of campus literary history, Ian led alumni, staff and students to restorey Leon the Frog to the stairwell of the Social Sciences Building. 



Amy LeBlanc holds an honours BA in English Literature and creative writing at the University of Calgary where she is Editor-in-Chief of NōD Magazine. Her work has appeared in Prairie Fire, (Parenthetical), The Antigonish Review, and Canthius among others and she won the 2018 BrainStorm Poetry Contest. Amy also has work forthcoming in Room, Contemporary Verse 2, and filling Station. Her chapbook, Collective Nouns for Birds, was published by Loft on Eighth Press in December. You can read some of her work at



Shannon Maguire is a non-binary, queer writer and editor. The author of two full-length poetry collections, fur(l) parachute (2013)—shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry—and Myrmurs: An Exploded Sestina (2015), Shannon’s poetry has also been shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award and the Manitoba Magazine Award for Best Suite of Poems. Shannon edited and wrote the critical introduction to Planetary Noise: Selected Poetry of Erín Moure (2017). With Lesley Belleau, Shannon is the guest co-editor of the Winter 2017 special issue of Contemporary Verse 2 on Northern Ontarian Innovative and Indigenous Poetics. Shannon is an Assistant Professor (LTA) in the Department of English at the University of Calgary. Shannon’s most recent genre-nonconforming book is Zip’s File: A Romance of Silence.



Although primarily known as a sculptor, Walter May’s practice has also included drawing, digital photography, installations. He has an extensive exhibition record with over two dozen solo and collaborative exhibitions or projects and numerous invitational and group exhibitions at the regional and national level including the 1998 and 2010 Alberta Biennials. International activities have included the production and exhibition of work at Chateau Matheau, Normandy, France (2009), Kling and Bang Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland (2009), the Lui Haisu Arts Museum, Shanghai (2008), and Galeria Klimy in Warsaw, Poland (2005). May has undertaken artist residencies at “Prairie North”, Grand Prairie, Alberta (2004), “The Brazier’s International Artists Residency” Oxfordshire, England (2001), and the “Djerassi Resident Artists Program,” in Woodside, California (2010). Commissions have included a four part sculpture with an associated limited edition digital print portfolio prepared for the 2012 Honens International Piano Competition and a recently completed 19ft high bronze sculpture for Le Germaine Hotel, Calgary (2017).
From 1982 to 2013, Walter May was a continuing faculty member at the Alberta College of Art & Design.

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Carol Parchewsky is a writer in Calgary, Alberta. She is Vice-President of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta. Her writing has a strong connection with art and explores the strength and the influence of culture, heritage, and ancestry on a person. Carol’s writing interests span fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Her poetry and paintings were published in AWCS Alberta Skies through Paint, Print, Poetry & Prose. In between finalizing her middle-grade novel that was inspired by an Atanas Chongarov painting, and working on a collection of interlinked short stories, she enjoys viewing art and finding inspiration for her next pieces. 

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Grant Poier is an artist living and working in Calgary. He graduated from the Alberta College of Art (& Design) in 1980. His artistic practice moves across media, disciplines and sensibilities, including installation and performance art, video and photography, graphics, sculpture, prose and poetry. He has been the recipient of grants and awards to pursue his work and travels.

He has participated in collaborative art projects in Calgary and Europe—notably, with The NOMADS, The SKEP(tic)KS, and Art Catalyst, undertaking numerous site and context-specific projects and activities.

He was a co-founder in 1979 (then administrator, director) of EMMEDIA, Calgary’s artist-run electronic media arts access and programming centre. He was also a charter member of the Alberta Media Arts Alliance (amaas), a Provincial Arts Service Organization. Poier has contributed to the local/national arts community as an advocate, catalyst and mentor, serving on many boards, juries, programming and advisory committees, and instructing Media Arts at the Alberta College of Art & Design. As a writer and editor, his published works include Expanded Standard Timeline (2009).

Working out of his studio-workshop, Grant Poier maintains a modest arts and writing practice, and continues to travel and garden the Canadian Prairies.



Natalie Simpson is the author of accrete or crumble (LINEbooks 2006) and Thrum (Talonbooks 2014). Her poetry has appeared in several anthologies, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2013 and most recently The Calgary Renaissance. She practices pro bono law and serves on the CDWP Steering Committee.



Erin Emily Ann Vance’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including cV2 and filling Station. Erin was a 2017 recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize and a 2018 Finalist for the Alberta Magazine Awards in Fiction. She is a graduate student in literature and creative writing and writes gothic fiction and poetry. 

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