Verse Forward 3: A Poetry Reading Series

Activist. Decolonialist. Experimental Poetics.

Verse Forward: Poetry on the Front Lines is a Canadian Literaturepoetry reading series featuring diverse poets speaking to the urgent themes of home, race, identity, and the environment we live in.

We are excited to present award-winning poets Junie Désil, Fiona Lam, and Lillian Allen in the third iteration of Verse Forward, emceed by author Phinder Dulai.

We’ll begin the evening in conversation with the poets, followed by readings, including new work, and an audience Q & A.

The event will be hosted on Zoom. Details will be sent out prior to the event.

Author Bios:

Junie Désil is a poet. Born of immigrant (Haitian) parents on the Traditional Territories of the Kanien’kehá:ka in the island known as Tiohtià:ke (Montréal), raised in Treaty 1 Territory (Winnipeg). Junie’s debut poetry collection Eat Salt | Gaze at the Ocean (TalonBooks, 2020) was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.

Fiona Lam is Vancouver’s 6th Poet Laureate. Her poems are featured in Best Canadian Poetry, in the League of Canadian Poets’ Poem in Your Pocket program, and thrice with BC’s Poetry in Transit. Lam won The New Quarterly’s Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Prize and was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. Odes and Laments (Caitlin Press, 2019) is her third collection of poetry.

Lillian Allen is a professor of creative writing at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD). Her most recent poetry collection is Making the World New (Wilfrid UP, 2021). Multi-disciplinary and experimental, Allen’s creativity crosses many genres including radio, theatre, music and film; as writer, featured artist and producer/director and national radio show host.

To learn more about the history of CanLit’s Verse Forward, please visit:

To see past readings, visit: