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Writer’s Studio grads release books for National Poetry Month

April 28, 2015
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By Amy Robertson

Several graduates of The Writer’s Studio are celebrating National Poetry Month with the release of new publications, while the program’s director is helping Surrey to find its first poet laureate.

  • Chelene Knight (The Writer’s Studio 2013) has just published Braided Skin, a book of poems, with Mother Tongue Publishing. Her work launched on April 8.
  • Raoul Fernandes (The Writer’s Studio 2009) published Transmitter and Receiver, a poetry anthology, with Nightwood Editions in March 2015. During his time at The Writer’s Studio, Fernandes studied under Rachel Rose, Vancouver’s current poet laureate.
  • Jonina Kirton (The Writer’s Studio 2007)’s new book of poetry, Page as Bone, Ink as Blood, has been announced and will hit shelves in June 2015.
Wayde Compton

Wayde Compton, who directs the Writer’s Studio as well as the Southbank Writer’s Program, is helping guide the search for Surrey’s first poet laureate. Compton, himself an author, will work with a team to evaluate applicants.

“I'm excited to be part of this search committee on behalf of SFU,” says Compton. “Through the Southbank Writer’s Program, we’ve been a part of the Surrey arts community since 2012. The Surrey poet laureate will raise both the visibility of the city of Surrey and poetry itself as a vital part of life in the Lower Mainland.”

SFU Continuing Studies has a history of connections to poet laureate office—Rachel Rose, chosen to be Vancouver’s poet laureate in 2014, was a mentor with The Writer’s Studio from 2008 to 2010. Evelyn Lau, a former Vancouver poet laureate, works with SFU Continuing Studies students as a manuscript consultant.

The poet laureate incumbent must live in Surrey or the Lower Mainland and have a significant body of writing. He or she will serve a two- or three-year term and act as an ambassador for arts and literacy in Surrey.