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Guernica Poets at the Poetry Now: 7th Annual Battle of the Bards

This year’s “Poetry Now: 7th Annual Battle of the Bards” competition will include four Guernica poets, Laurence Hutchman, Ellen S. Jaffe, Max Layton, and Liz Worth. This event is part of the International Festival of Authors and is hosted by NOW Magazine’s Susan G. Cole. The event will be happening tonight, Wednesday March 25th, at 7:30 PM. The competition will take place in the Brigantine Room at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto ON. Our poets will be joined by sixteen other contestants, and judges Geoffrey E. Taylor (IFOA’s Director), Jen Tindall (IFOA’s Artistic Associate) and Catherine Graham (the 2014 Poetry NOW champion). Together, the judges will select one winner, who will receive an automatic invitation to read at the 36th edition of the International Festival of Authors.

Laurence Hutchman is originally from Belfast, and has published eight books of poetry. He has received numerous grants and won awards including the WFNB’s prize for individual poems. He has served as representative for Quebec and New Brunswick/PEI for the League of Canadian Poets and as President of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick. He will be reading from his book, Personal Encounters.

Ellen S. Jaffe was born in New York, and came to Canada in 1979. She has published many books, including a selection of poems translated into Finnish entitled Syntymalauluja/Birth Songs. Besides writing poetry, she has also written and produced plays for children and adults. She will be reading from her collection Skinny-Dipping with the Muse, published by Guernica Editions.

Max Layton was born in Montreal and now lives in Cheltenham, Ontario. Besides working as a logger in British Columbia, laying track in Saskatchewan, writing for tabloid magazines, and owning a book store, he is also the author a novel and a book of short stories. Max Layton is also a prolific musician who has released several albums of original songs. He will be reading from his second collection of poetry, In the Garden of I Am, published through Guernica Editions.

Liz Worth is a Toronto-based writer and is the author of Treat Me Like Dirt: An Oral History of Punk Culture in Toronto and Beyond and a piece of surreal punk fiction called Eleven: Eleven. She will be reading from her first poetry collection, Amphetamine Heart.

For more information about “Poetry Now: 7th Annual Battle of the Bards”, visit the website at:

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