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Clara Blackwood, Kate Marshall Flaherty and Len Gasparini at the 2014 Battle of the Bards

1 stage. 20 poets. 1 winner.

The Battle of the Bards will be returning to the stage this spring. The popular poetry competition features readings by 20 of Canada’s upcoming and established poets and this year the roster includes three Guernica-published poets: Clara Blackwood, Kate Marshall Flaherty and Len Gasparini. Judges Geoffrey E. Taylor (IFOA Director), Jen Tindall (IFOA Artistic Associate) and Joe Kertes (Dean of Creative and Performing Arts at Humber) will select – from the stiff competition  – one winner, who will receive an ad for their book in NOW Magazine and an invitation to read at the 35th annual International Festival of Authors. The battle will be held April 2nd and will be hosted by NOW‘s Susan G. Cole.

Clara Blackwood is a poet, visual artist and tarot reader. Her first poetry collection, Subway Medusa(2007), was the inaugural book in Guernica Editions’ First Poets Series, which features first books by poets thirty-five and under. Her poetry has appeared in Canadian and International journals. At the competition, she will be reading work from her latest collection: Forecast (2014).

Kate Marshall Flaherty has been published in journals such as Descant, CV2, Freefall and Windsor Review. She was shortlisted for Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, The Malahat Review Long Poem and Descant’s Best Canadian Poem. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three spirited children, where she guides yoga/retreats/writing workshops. On April 2nd, she will be presenting work from her poetry collection Reaching V (2014).

Len Gasparini is the author of numerous books and chapbooks of poetry and five short story collections including The Snows of Yesteryear (2011), The Undertaker’s Wife (,2007), and A Demon in My View (2003), which was translated into French as Nouvelle noirceur. He is also the author of  two children’s books, a work of non-fiction and a one-act play. In 1990, he was awarded the F.G. Bressani Literary Prize for poetry. In 2010, he won the Poetry NOW competition. Gasparini will be reading work from his latest collection Mirror Image (2014).

When: 7:30 PM Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Where: York Quay Centre – Brigantine Room, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto M5J 2G8


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