Kayla Czaga

Creative Writing

Kayla Czaga is the author of For Your Safety Please Hold On (Nightwood Editions, 2014) and Dunk Tank (House of Anansi, 2019). Her debut won The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and was nominated for The Governor General’s Award for poetry, The Dorothy Livesay poetry prize, and The Debut-litzer. Her poems have appeared in The Walrus, Best Canadian Poetry in English, The Puritan, Forklift, OHIO, Rattle, ARC Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC and currently resides in Victoria, B.C.

Kayla’s advice for Writer’s Studio applicants

What are you looking for in your workshop group?
A mix of different writers who are all passionate about poetry. Writers who will share their opinions, but also listen and give space to each other’s thoughts. Empathetic readers who will close read and engage with and champion each other’s poems. A general willingness to learn and an openness to being critiqued.

What do you look for when reading an applicant’s submission?
Above all else: newness. Poems that don’t retread old metaphors and similes, but find fresh figurative leaps and unexpected imagery. A distinct voice—it doesn’t have to yell, but it must be present and be speaking urgently. Attention to detail both in terms of the content and form of the poems in the submission—every comma and word and line break is important.