Upcoming Events

Hey, everybody! Join us for Word Up’s next event @ Unity Market Cafe & Studios. We’ll start at the usual 7 pm and feature one or two guest authors, followed by the ever-popular and always inspiring open mic.


There will be NO Word Up during the month of August. Word Up is taking a break…

Word Up Thursday Sept 14, 2017

Canadian Writer and Toronto Poet Laureat George Elliott ClarkeBook cover for Canticles I- mmxvi by George Elliott ClarkeAcclaimed for his narrative lyric suites (Whylah Falls and Execution Poems), his lyric “colouring books” (Blue, Black, Red, and Gold), his selected poems (Blues and Bliss), his opera libretti and plays (Beatrice Chancy and Trudeau: Long March, Shining Path), George Elliott Clarke now presents us with his epic-in-progress, Canticles, a work that views History as a web of imperialism, enslavement, and insurrection. A native Africadian, Canada’s 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate ranges the atlas and ransacks the library to ink lines unflinching before Atrocity and unquiet before Oppression.

Book I of The Canticles puts into dialogue – as dramatic monologues – those who fostered the transatlantic slave trade, or who demonized the image of the Negro in the Occident; as well as those who struggled for liberation and/or anti-racism. In this work, Dante can critique Christopher Columbus and Frederick Douglass can upbraid Abraham Lincoln; Elizabeth Barrett Browning can muse on her African racial heritage and its implications for child-bearing, while Karl Marx can excoriate Queen Victoria.

Check out his book here!

Word Up Thursday Oct 12, 2017

Author Poet Anne CampbellRegina writer Anne Campbell’s work – poetry, fiction and non-fiction – is published in books, anthologies, and journals, including: her recent book, The Fabric of Day, new and selected poems, her sixth collection of poetry; the co-edited award winning Regina’s Secret Spaces: love and lore of local geography and, most recently, with co-editors, Biblio Files, a history of the Regina Public Library (UofR Press, 2017). Readings of her work, anFabric of the Day Book Coverd workshops, have taken her across Canada, the USA and to Britain, and her music, with composer Tom Schudel, has been performed internationally. Her many awards include local and national literary awards, the City of Regina Writing Award, and the Mayor’s Arts and the Mayor’s Heritage Awards. Anne is a long time arts and heritage activist; she has served on the Boards of The Writers Union of Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, the Saskatchewan Writers Guild; she is presently a member of the Wascana Centre Authority Heritage Committee. In 2014 she was a one of the founding members of the (Canadian) Creative Nonfiction Collective. Anne’s day jobs were at the Mackenzie Art Gallery and the Glenbow Museum, and for over 20 years as an administrator with the Regina Public Library. She was until 2012 a Research Fellow at the Canadian Plains Research Centre, University of Regina.



Noah Wareness poet

Noah Wareness – Noah Wareness lives with his friends in the city. He writes by hand.

Real is the Word They Use to Contain Us – As the sickly boy dreams in bed, the shadows beneath his parlour curtain are stirring, taking shapes inexpressible even in a child’s dreams. “Real keeps us silent,” argues the taxidermied rabbit to the young air-rifle that shot it dead. “Real keeps us still. You must never ask anyone if ord They Use To Contain Us coverthey are Real.”

For exactly as long as history, a secret peace has bound the human and inanimate worlds. But the stories of the other world are pushing into our own, and that peace will be tested tonight…

In this collection of twenty-six poems and the unbelievably weird happenings that link them, Noah Wareness steals electricity from nihilistic horror fiction and shaggy late-night cartoons to create a landscape of profound loss, vertigo and wonder.



Word Up Thursday Nov 9, 2017

Canadian fiction writer Irene GuilfordCanadian fiction writer Irene Guilford's book cover, Waiting for Stalin to DieIrene Guilford’s work has appeared in various journals and anthologies, and has been short-listed in both the CBC Literary Competition and the Event Creative Non-Fiction Contest. marks her second publication of fiction with Guernica, following her novel, The Embrace. She lives in Toronto with her husband, Nigel.

To learn more about her book click here!




writer James Deahlbook cover Rooms Wind Makes by James DeahlJames Deahl was born in Pittsburgh in 1945, and grew up in that city as well as in and around the Laurel Highlands of the Appalachian Mountains. He moved to Canada in 1970 and holds Canadian citizenship. He’s the author (or, in the case of Tu Fu’s poetry, translator) of twenty literary titles. His most recent books are North Of Belleville and Opening The Stone Heart. A cycle of his poems is the focus of a one-hour TV special, Under the Watchful Eye. Both the video and an audiotape have been reissued on CD and DVD by Silver Falls Video. A poem in James Deahl’s collection of haiku, Blue Ridge, won the Mainichi Award (Tokyo, Japan). Tasting The Winter Grapes won the Award of Excellence from the Hamilton & Region Arts Council. In 2001 Deahl was presented with the Charles Olson Award for Achievements in Poetry. His When Rivers Speak won the Ramada Plaza Hotel Award. Deahl lives in Sarnia with companion Norma West Linder. He is the father of Sarah, Simone, and Shona.

The publication of Rooms The Wind Makes completes a cycle of four poetry collections, the preceding volumes being No Cold Ash, Even This Land Was Born Of Light, and When Rivers Speak. James Deahl has been called “one of the ten or twenty finest poets writing in the English language.” His poetry has been described as “precise articulations of landscape …”

To learn more about James and his book, click here.


writer Norma West LinderBook cover, Two Paths Through the SeasonsPoet, novelist and educator, Norma West Linder, was born in Toronto, spent her childhood on Manitoulin Island, and teenage years in Muskoka. Linder is the author of 6 novels, 15 collections of poetry, a memoir of Manitoulin Island, two children’s books, and a biography of Pauline McGibbon. For 24 years she was on the faculty of Lambton College in Sarnia, teaching English and Creative Writing. For 7 years she wrote a monthly column for the Sarnia Observer, and she is a regular contributor to Daytripping in Southern Ontario. Her short stories have been published internationally and broadcast on the CBC. Her poetry has been published in Fiddlehead, White Wall Review, Room of One’s Own, Quills, Toward the Light, Prairie Journal, FreeFall Magazine, Mobius, and other periodicals. In 2006 she compiled and edited Enchanted Crossroads for The Ontario Poetry Society. Her latest publications are collections of poems entitled Two Paths Through The Seasons and Adder’s-tongues. She has two daughters and a son.

Thursday December 14, 2017 Event

Catherine Graham writer

Catherine Graham is the author of the debut novel, Quarry (Two Wolves Press) and five acclaimed poetry collections. Her most recent poetry collection, Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects, was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and CAA Poetry Award. She received an Excellence in Teaching Award at the University of Toronto where she teaches creative writing and was also the winner of IFOA’s Poetry NOW. Her work has appeared in Joyland, The Quarry CoverMalahat Review, Poetry Ireland Review,

Poetry Daily, The Glasgow Review of Books, LRC, CBC Books and elsewhere. Recent reading invitations include Thessaloniki International Book Fair, Spur Festival Calgary, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Linen Hall Library in Belfast and Bangor’s Open House Festival as well as venues in London and Manchester. Her sixth poetry collection, The Celery Forest, appears fall, 2017. Visit her at www.catherinegraham.com



john oughton photo

John Oughton was born in Guelph, Ontario, and lived a block away from the home of John McCrae (author of “In Flanders Fields”).  When his father was seconded to the World Health Organization, John spent two years living in Egypt and Iraq.  He completed a BA and MA in English at York U., where he studied with Irving Layton, Eli Mandel, Miriam Waddington and Frank Davey.  After a half-year stay in Kyoto, Japan, he worked at Coach House Press and as a journalist and corporate communicator.  He attended the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, and served as a research assistant to Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman.  John began teaching English in community colleges, and recently retired from the position of  Professor of Learning and Teaching at Centennial College.

He has published a mystery novel, Death by Triangulation, five books of poetry, most recently Time Slip (Guernica Editions, 20190), several chapbooks, and over 400 articles, interviews, reviews and blogs. John is a member of the Long Dash writing workshop.  He is also a photographer with three solo shows and several book and magazine covers to his credit.  For fun, he plays guitar and drums.

Please check back for updates on Future Word Up Events!



  1. What time for Oct 8th.

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