Verse Forward: Poetry on the Frontlines

Join us for the launch of “Verse Forward: Poetry on the Front Line,” a new reading series hosted by Canadian Literature. 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.

This event will be hosted on Zoom and is free and open to all. Readings from the four speakers will be followed by an interactive audience Q&A. Registration is required to access the virtual meeting. Registration link provided below.

All registered audience members will be entered into a draw to win a free one-year subscription to Canadian Literature.

Poet Panelists

  • Fred Wah
  • Kevin Spenst
  • Isabella Wang
  • Jillian Christmas

Phinder Dulai (emcee)

Event Info

  • Date: Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020
  • Time: 7:00-8:30pm (PST/Pacific Standard Time)
  • Location: (Link TBA)
  • (please register at

This virtual event will be hosted by Canadian Literature, located at UBC on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Musqueam people.

Contact for inquiries.