Verse Forward: Poetry on the Front Lines

For more than six decades, the value of creative voices and publishing original poetry have been central to the journal’s critical discourse and deep commitment to Canadian writing. In the context of a global pandemic in which our various publics are at once physically distanced and virtually linked, the separation of our familiar literary communities prompts alternative connectivities and new ways of speaking creatively and critically together. What part can poetry play in articulating the complexities of our conditions in a world that appears to be transforming both too much and not enough? The Verse Forward reading series seeks to sustain literary community by amplifying Canadian poetry’s ongoing vitality on the front lines as we interrogate and imagine anew the conditions and locations we inhabit. The inaugural event in the series features a diverse panel of both established and emerging voices speaking on themes of home, race, identity, and the environments we live in. The original poems presented at the reading will be published in an upcoming issue of Canadian Literature.

Read more about the history of poetry in Canadian Literature and Verse Forward in Issue 245 at

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From our Verse Forward Archives

Verse Forward, Nov. 25, 2020

With Authors Kevin Spenst, Fred Wah, Isabella Wang, and Jillian Christmas.


Verse Forward 2, May 25, 2021

With Authors Liz Howard, Larissa Lai, and Canisia Lubrin.