Thursday, 31 January 2008

WFTH Level 2 Class Poetry

Grow a Poem 1
WFTH 28 January 2008


Grow a Poem 2

WFTH 28 Jan 2008

The black cat
Run to apple them
no understanding
of black
Mr. Mistopheles had no fleas
but had a collar
with a shiny blue nametag

Grow A Poem 3
WFTH 28 Jan 2008

The wasp's stinger
drove into my hand
causing me to shriek
identify all matter terrestrial
who cares
Yes Yes Yes
The pharyngeal glands emptied as she
flew her final death flight

by Wilma B.

Parfait Adeste Pluralistic Taschen
French Latin English German
Paradeste Pluraltasch

Ein Deux three
Nei Ho Ma allons Allons
Oui Yes Nyet
Parasol Parapluie
no "fideles" Now its "Faithful"
Eau de Nil & Boes de Rose.


Translucent light slightly
Obscures the images
No matter what!! They are real
Out of grasp They continue
to intrigue
when vision ecomes more clear
perhaps they may dissapear
from a world left to interpretation

by Martin H.

World of water
in a desrt of Tsunami winds.

Sand in the food, sand in my eyes
but clear, clear water in the abyss.

World of water
and flames will consume it all.

the pressure can't hold, the steam released.
and clean, clean water there will be.

world of water.
and shame will dilute it all.

the falls are growing
an no-one will be knowing.
where Noah killed us all.

SFU Poetry course


Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Calling all poems! Come one! Come all!
Bring your poems--those poems that seem to have been worked beyond
comprehension or written in a code foreign to everyone, even you--Yes, come
to Poetry & The Art of Revision and learn new, exciting, and fun techniques
for revising your poems.

6 Saturdays 10:00 am-2:00 pm February 9-March 15 (Vancouver)
Instructor: Jami Macarty
Fee $400 / WRIT 636

Register online at or call 778-782-5093 for more information.

The new Spring catalogue is here. Pick up a copy at Harbour Centre or send me your mailing address to receive a copy by post. Please refer to the website for complete course descriptions.

View the entire Continuing Studies catalogue at

Tardive Dyskinesia by Susan J. Katz

From eVisions Journal: Tardive Dyskinesia—A Side Effect of Stigma

Susan Katz

I have tardive dyskinesia (TD), a brain disorder that causes its victims to have uncontrollable muscle movements or tics. My movements are mostly in my throat and head area. My symptoms increase and decrease in an odd cycle every couple of weeks and include difficulty breathing and swallowing. I have to constantly sip liquids, suck on lozenges and clear my throat by softly grunting. I have learned not to raise my voice or sing for more than a short time because I will become hoarse or develop a throat infection.

The tics cause me to grimace, raise my eyebrows and lick my lips, which can create confusing or inappropriate facial expressions when I’m talking with people. My tongue takes on a life of its own, and uncontrollably explores hiding places between my teeth after I eat, which has drawn stares in restaurants. Because of all these movements, the inside of my mouth and the surface of my tongue are usually scraped, blistered and sore. At times I feel very self-conscious about my appearance.

Tardive dyskinesia is a potential side effect of the antipsychotic medication I was on for almost 15 years, and it is usually permanent. The TD didn’t appear until after I had stopped taking this medicine. That’s when I was told that while you’re taking antipsychotic drugs, they commonly hide the symptoms of TD.

I first started taking the medication because I was experiencing some of the social problems caused by stigma and discrimination toward people with mental illness. For example, after mentioning to a neighbour over coffee that I suffered from post-partum depression, she stopped her daughters from playing with my daughter and stopped our regular coffee dates.

This type of emotionally painful rejection made me fear behaving in ways that might be socially unacceptable. My fear of rejection was greater than any concerns about possible physical damage the side effects of a medicine might have. The stigma attached to people with mental illness is real.

Grasping at straws

I am a very high-functioning, middle class woman with a daughter, and my husband is a working professional. But I had too many emotional pressures. I had become weepy, confused and depressed shortly after the birth of my daughter. I was also so physically tired that I couldn’t meet the high expectations that I and others close to me had for me to take care of my daughter, run the household, be socially active, and employed. This made me extremely anxious and fearful that I was ruining my life and the lives of the ones I loved most.

Fuelled by the fear of rejection for being ‘mentally ill, I began to have disabling anxiety and nightmares. I also suffered confusion and memory lapses due to my depression, which was embarrassing and interfered with my work and social relationships. This lowered my self-esteem even more and increased my depression and anxiety until it became intolerable.

I struggled to find the right psychiatric care, but the supportive and skills-based therapies I was offered weren’t designed to address the reasons underlying my feelings of inadequacy. So I finally came to believe what I was being told by my doctors: that medication was my only hope. I believed what I was advised, that by numbing myself from my worries with medications, no one would know I was ‘mentally ill’ and I could fight my increasing need for social isolation.

My acceptance of medications as “the only hope” for relief led to taking an increasing number of medications. For five years I took various antidepressants. Unfortunately, these medicines numbed all my emotions, not just the depression, and their side effects increased my tiredness and ability to think clearly. My anxiety grew to be intolerable. As a “short-term” solution, I was prescribed a tiny amount of thioridazine (an antipsychotic and sedative medication), which was replaced by trifluoperazine (an antipsychotic and antianxiety medication) to control nightmares, anxiety and my increasing anger and frustration. I continued taking the ‘short term’ trifluoperazine for 15 years.

Eventually, I developed unusual finger-tapping movements and head bobbing. I was told that, because my dose of antipsychotic medication was low, I didn’t have tardive dyskinesia, but rather, some “Parkinsonism.” I was prescribed benztropine (an antiparkinsonian medication) to control the movements—and continued to take my other meds as directed.

My very numb and limited existence only added to my depression and sense of low self-worth, and I finally reached a personal crisis because of this constant effort to hide my mental illness. I lost hope and attempted suicide.

‘Coming out’ has been the best medicine

Friends and family rallied to support me after my suicide attempt. With their love and support, and a new team of more enlightened care providers, I’ve come to realize that I am the one in charge of my life and how I behave. This has led me to a sense of self-empowerment and a reconnection with humanity.

I now use a range of therapeutic options for self-improvement, including peer friendships, group therapy, a personal psychologist, and correcting chronic physical conditions, such as low thyroid and reproductive hormone levels.

With my new sense of self-worth and self-esteem, I no longer take psychiatric medications. Getting off the drugs has had many interesting results. I no longer have memory or concentration problems, and I can feel a full and normal range of emotions. Of course, after 20 years of feeling numb, there has been a biblical flood of feelings to cope with!

A very important change is that I now have relationships with my care professionals that are based on working together to find the best treatments, and I do a lot of the work to find what options to choose from, rather than just letting them make decisions for me.

Most importantly, however, I no longer stigmatize myself, or fear being stigmatized by others. I’ve thrown off the yoke of stigma’s straw man and have ‘come out’ about my illness. I’ve learned to tell people that having a mental illness isn’t any different from other obstacles life throws in people’s way from time to time.

Now I have the challenge of living with tardive dyskinesia—a new set of behaviours that stigmatize me as a person with mental illness. Because I have reclaimed my former sense of self-esteem, though, I can openly share what the disfiguring facial movements are. I use the questions I get about TD as an opportunity to tell others what mental illness really is—and to share with them who I really am.

For me, my TD is a visible symptom of the harmful power stigma can hold in our lives if we let it, whether the stigma comes from society, our professionals or ourselves.

Susan was first diagnosed with a mental illness in 1985. She resides in Vancouver.
Poem Crazy
by Tony Ruzza

when there was a time
unself toward another
ambiguous a turn of thought
realize all ways to an end.
surprise surprise its over
thuous note to fancy
a foshia two sense
heyday to disclaim
theme to a perpendicular arise

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Poem: Together We Try by Jude Swanson

Together we try
Why must I take yet another tired breath?
I really look forward to a sudden death
Depressed, I will rummage in the fridge
While I visualize leaping from a bridge
The darkness really makes me want to cry
I usually want to give up before I even try
Why must I always feel that life is so bad?
Day after day my moods are simply so sad
"Why go on living?" I often hear myself say
Before enduring yet another meaningless day
The road of life may come to a happy bend
But for now I still long for my life to just end
Some say "you are constantly complaining"
But wanting life just seems to be so draining
With courage, I decided to finally take action
My failed suicide attempt equalled traction
If you really want to have no wind in your sail
Attempt to kill yourself and then have it fail
Some people are glad that I am not yet dead
"Many wonderful times for us are still ahead"
I am still not quite sure if they could be right
But sometimes the future does seem bright
I then began to wonder if the secret to living
Was to reap the benefits of emotional giving
I found one of the happiest moments must be
Meeting people battling depression just like me
Our parents differ but we are sisters and brothers
Talk to me so I can then introduce some others
If you let people see what is stored on the inside
You are a friendly person for them to confide
Often battling similar problems then and now
Maybe together we can each discover the how
Life seems to be cutting quite close to the bone?
It is tough enough without trying to do it alone.

...Jude Swanson

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Poem: Yoga Sunrise, by Sharon Taylor

Yoga Sunrise

Passionate about yoga
Bending this way
That way

Standing on tip toes
Muscles rippling
My fingertips reaching towards the misty blue sky

Then, relaxing onto my heels
Inviting in the stillness
The sun
A full-size fiery orange ball
Comes blazing up

by Sharon Taylor,
excerpt from her book, "Deep System"

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

The Who's Crazy Now News & Views, January 22 2008

The Who's Crazy Now? News and Views
Published by Elly Litvak
Mental Health Coach, Consultant & Public Speaker

The Who's Crazy Now? News and Views provides information for
people recovering from a mental illness, their families, friends
and mental health professionals.


January, 2008 Volume 1 Issue 7

Please forward The Who's Crazy Now? News and Views to your friends
and associates.

For subscribe or unsubscribe instructions, please go to the bottom
of this ezine.

In this issue
1. New Year Greeting
2. Feature Article: YOU are Number 1: Self-care Basics
3. Memoir Excerpt: 'The Big Aha Moment': Part 3, the Finale
4. The Loonie Awards (Not Just Another Recovery Awards Show)
5. Now Who's Crazy Now? The Play
6. About Elly
7. Coaching and Mental Health Services
8. Subscription Information

1. New Year Greeting from Elly
Dear Readers,

Happy New Year! I wish you all a very happy, healthy and peaceful
2008. If you have yet to embark on making a recovery plan, the New
Year is probably a good time to start. This issue kicks off 2008
with a series of feature articles on creating a balanced,
meaningful life. The topics that I'll cover in this series include
self-care, work, relationships and community, finances, romance and
intimacy, environment, spirituality and personal growth. Together
these aspects equal the whole you. This issue starts with
self-care basics.

Thanks to all of you for your feedback and ideas for future
newsletters. Send your feedback to

2. Feature Article: YOU are Number 1: Self-care Basics
People are often shocked when they learn that I was diagnosed
bi-polar and endured seemingly endless cycles of manic episodes and
hospitalizations. My recovery regime takes priority over
everything else in my life. Your self-care takes priority over
all else in your life too. Diabetes management is a perfect
metaphor for how everyone could be healthier. I lucked out when I
met my partner who's been diabetic since he was five. His life is
threatened if he doesn't eat three nutritionally balanced meals a
day, exercise and take his medication. I eventually adapted this
holistic routine but it took some time. Be patient with yourself
if you're just developing a healthy regime. Not only will you
become adept at managing stress you'll have better overall health,
lower your risk of disease, maintain a healthy body weight, build
stronger muscles and bones, feel and look better and you'll have
more energy to enjoy life.

There's a variety of aspects involved in your self-care. This
issue will address three basic needs: Eating well, getting enough
sleep and daily exercise. Start by asking yourself these three
questions: Could I be eating better? Do I exercise enough? Do I
get enough sleep?

Eating Well

Eating well is a matter of providing yourself with the right amount
and types of food that you need daily. A great resource for
nutritional information is Canada's Food Guide. The website is
chock full of online information but you can also order hard copies
free of charge. Go to this link to
learn more.

Begin by keeping a daily record of what you are eating and
drinking. Once you see what you're consuming you'll know if you
need to change your diet. If you need to lose weight remember the
cardinal rule: 'do not deny yourself anything'. If you're like me
and you have a sweet tooth and a passion for chocolate and ice
cream make certain you treat yourself regularly. Learning portion
control is at the helm of weight management. One Lindor chocolate
after dinner has replaced my daily ingestion of multiple Mars bars.

A great resource for daily nutritional portions at Canada's Food
Guide site is 'My Food Guide Servings Tracker'. You can click on
the gender and age link to find out exactly how much of each food
category you need daily including supplements when recommended.

We all need a certain amount of daily nutrients that come from
fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy and alternatives, meat and
alternatives, and oils and fats. The key as always is balance.
Eating healthy on a limited income can be challenging. The good
news is that eating well can be affordable for everyone. Here's a
list of some barriers and how to overcome them.

Healthy food costs too much. Solution:

-Cut back on pre-prepared foods and low nutrient snacks like salty
snack foods, cookies and baked goods, high calorie soft drinks and
-Buy fresh fruits and veggies when in season and freeze them for
-Choose canned or frozen veggies and fruit. They are nutritious
and affordable.
-Replace meat with beans, lentils and legumes several times a week.
-Stock up on canned goods and staples when they're on sale.

It's tough to cook for one. Solution:

-Feed your freezer. Cook up quantities of soups, sauces and stews
and freeze them in meal portioned containers.
-Make extra big salads. Without dressing salads can store in the
fridge up to three or four days. Squeeze it with a bit of lemon
juice but leave out the salt.
-Get smart about planning your meals. A spaghetti and meatball
dinner can be a meatball sandwich the next day. Bake a bunch of
baked potatoes and use the extras to make hash browns or potato
skins for another meal.
-Join a community kitchen. Many communities have programs where
cooking is a social activity, also providing you with meals to take
-Make sandwiches. Sandwiches are your friend. Choose a whole
wheat bread, fresh veggies and cheese or sliced meat. Sandwiches
provide a well balanced meal.

Getting Enough Exercise

If you haven't exercised for years and you're feeling guilty here's
some good news. The first is that guilt is a wasted emotion and
secondly all you need is a minimum of 30 minutes a day. Half an
hour can be daunting if you're not already exercising but the trick
is to begin with 10 minutes and build up gradually to 30 minutes or
even an hour. Studies show that even a little bit of exercise is
better than no exercise.

Choose an exercise you enjoy and that works well with your daily
schedule. The list of possibilities is endless. The idea is to
keep moving and you can do this in a variety of ways like walking,
biking, swimming, hiking, going to the gym, playing tennis,
basketball, hackee sack, baseball, badminton, volleyball, soccer,
or doing tai chi or yoga. If you're one of those folks who find it
hard to get motivated on your own, try buddying up with a friend,
working with a coach or join a walking club. Check out the fitness
facilities and activities at your local community centre. Most
community centres have gyms, yoga classes and sports groups.
Remember to always contact your doctor before you start any
exercise program.

Don't be a couch potato. Spend less time being inactive like
watching TV or playing computer games. Stay strong lifting
groceries or doing gardening and yard work. Walk whenever
possible. Every step counts, including taking the stairs when
possible, walks to your mailbox, grocery or video store. You can
pick up a pedometer at a dollar store to track the number of steps
you take each day and build up from there.

Sleep and Rest

Sleep can be a major catalyst for extreme moods. Not enough sleep
can exacerbate psychosis and manic episodes. Too much sleep may be
a sign of depression. Disturbed sleep or insomnia can be
debilitating for some folks. The right amount of rest is necessary
for keeping body, mind and spirit healthy. Here are some facts I
learned about achieving healthy sleep habits.
- Get more exercise, physical and mental.
- Set a regular bedtime, and keep it. Your body needs reliability.
- Learn simple meditation and deep breathing and practice it before
- Take a warm bath before bed.
- Keep your bedroom dark. Even small amounts of light and noise can
disturb sleep.
- Don't overheat your environment. Sleep loves cold. Keep your
bedroom cold but load up on blankets.
- Less is more. The less you do in response to a bout of
sleeplessness, the faster your sleep patterns will return to normal.
- Keeping your wake-up time constant but going to bed one hour
later will help 25% of insomniacs in one to two weeks. Prepare to
feel sleepy at times and avoid driving then. After two weeks, add
back the time in half-hour increments.
- Don't worry about the consequences of not sleeping. Worrying
about insomnia can create insomnia.
- Do not try to induce sleepiness by drinking alcohol. It's a great
relaxant but it is metabolized so quickly it creates rebound
insomnia within the night; it's so fast-acting you'll be up in four
short hours.
- Limit caffeine to one cup of coffee in the morning. At age 18,
caffeine has a half-life of 4.5 hours, which increases with age.
Gradually eliminate caffeine altogether if you have trouble

3. Memoir Excerpt: 'The Big Aha Moment': Part 3, The Finale
Aha! In spite of this kind of abuse, I had never really stopped
vying for my mother's love and attention. Even though the evidence
had been mounting for years that she had neither to give. I tried
to cope as best as I could, but it was just too much.

I was hospitalized for the first time when I was fifteen, locked in
a loveless marriage at twenty, and hospitalized again at
twenty-eight when my marriage failed and I lost custody of my
children. I was diagnosed with manic depression, personality
disorders, and other things. I was on welfare for years, homeless
at times, and in and out of psych wards. As much as I wanted to, I
couldn't prevent the seemingly endless roller coaster ride of
insanity, poverty and incarceration that was my life.

Until my first aha moment.

I was gazing out my cabin by the sea window on Vancouver Island
when the words of a psychologist I'd seen smacked me awake. Aha!
"You know, YOU can take responsibility to control your episodes".

Responsibility? Control? What did that mean? I was a classic
"non-compliant" when it came to taking meds let alone control of my
life. Eventually I figured out what taking responsibility and
creating balance in my life entailed. I developed a healthy regard
for the responsible use of medication as well as a concrete,
holistic recovery plan.

It's been almost fifteen years since that first aha moment, the
first step in a long journey towards recovery. I realized that it
doesn't matter what your story is or what your problems are, you
just have to take charge and with determination and persistence
balance will prevail. While the journey could take one, two,
three, four or more wild flashes of inspiration and realizations,
the movie that is life plays on. Recovery is a lot of hard work,
time, patience and commitment. But everything gets clearer, more

"Mother is angry, pushy, manipulative, and can be cruel and
vindictive" and I hear my mother shrieking "You're a SICK, hideous,
FAT ASS Grubba Tuchus! You UGLY MORON, you disgusting PIECE of
CRAP!" And suddenly I'm back in that cheap movie theatre.
Someone's finally fixed the focus and I can see clearly.

Aha! My mother's not screaming at me. She's screaming at herself!

(Go to this link for archived ezines on part 1 and 2 of 'The Big
Aha Moment'.

4. The Loonie Awards (Not Just Another Recovery Awards Show)

Now Who's Talking Recovery Theatre Presents
The Loonie Awards (Not just another recovery awards show)

Mark your calendars, and get advanced tickets now to see the first
ever stigma busting show on how people recover from mental illness
and addiction. Using humour and a variety of theatrical techniques
participants tell their stories of recovery. You will laugh till
you plotz.

Performances Performance Dates:

Friday March 21 1:00 Matinee
Free admission for recipients of mental health services

Friday March 21 7:00 pm
Saturday March 22 7:00 pm

St. James Community Square,
3214 West 10th Ave (at Trutch)
$12 advance $15 at the door

For more information and advance tickets email:

What is Now Who's Talking Recovery Theatre?

Now Who's Talking Recovery Theatre is a new, exciting project
funded by Vancouver Coastal Health's CIF program where people learn
how to tell their recovery stories in the context of theatre. Since
September of 2007 eight participants have been hard at work
learning acting, writing and other theatre skills to bring this
ground breaking, barrier breaking show to our community.

5. 'Now Who's Crazy Now?' The Play
What is mental illness? Is it a health condition characterized by
dramatic alterations in mood, thinking and behaviour? Is it a
chemical imbalance? Or is it the common euphemisms we hear tossed
about daily like 'out of your mind' or 'nutty as a fruit cake'.
What is recovery and how do we achieve this elusive goal?

In this fast paced, one-woman play 'Now Who's Crazy Now?' I
chronicle my experience living with and recovering from a serious
mental illness. 'Now Who's Crazy Now?' is highly entertaining and
educational, with a message that there is hope for recovery for

Some audience feedback:

"...thank you for an uplifting, poignant, funny, sad, thought
provoking and above all inspiring evening."

" inspirational real life story that demonstrates Elly's
ability to turn her pain into power."

"Brilliant, fun AND, most importantly, entertaining education."

More info at

For bookings contact:

6. About Elly
Elly Litvak is a mental health coach, consultant and public
speaker. She is driven by the passion, the knowledge, and the
experience that recovery is possible for everyone. Elly is
committed to supporting people in recovery, as well as the
families, friends and mental health
professionals of those in recovery.

7. Coaching & Mental Health Services
Who's Crazy Now? Provides mental health coaching, consulting and
public speaking services to people in recovery, their families and
friends and mental health professionals.

Privacy Policy
You're privacy will always be respected. Your name and email
address will never be sold or given to anyone.

Pass It Along
Please feel free to pass on this newsletter to anyone you think may
benefit from it. Please ensure that you keep the entire issue
intact and unaltered.

8. Subscription Information
To subscribe to this ezine go to:

Copyright Elly Litvak 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Who's Crazy Now? Mental Health Services, 603-1949 Comox St., Vancouver, BC V6G 1R7, CANADA

To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit:

Monday, 21 January 2008

From Pandora's Collective: VOICES VANCOUVER for Writers and More...

Pandora's Events


Bring your journal, sketch pad and pen and join us for the first ever Voices Vancouver.

On Tuesday, February26th at 7pm Voices Vancouver will kick off by exploring the new exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. We will meet on the main floor of the Gallery in the first room of the exhibit. There will be time to browse, to write, (individually and in a group) to share thoughts and work. Admission: By Donation


TruthBeauty: Pictorialism
and the Phototgraph as art,

February 2 to April 27, 2008

The hauntingly beautiful photographs created within the Pictorialist movement in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries are among the most important works of art in the medium's history. TruthBeauty will bring together more than 150 of the finest photographs by renowned artists such as Julia Margaret Cameron, Baron Adolph de Meyer, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen and Josef Sudek. The Pictorialist artists sought to elevate photography—still seen in the nineteenth century as merely a mechanical tool of documentation—into the realm of fine art. Drawing upon major museum collections worldwide, including the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, this historic exhibition will reveal the rich aesthetic, diverse approaches and technical innovations of Pictorialism—one of the first truly international artistic movements.

Visit cultural venues with other Pandora's Collective members. Bring your words, your journals, your sketch books. We'll drop in on literary events, go to art galleries, participate in readings, support local bands and more. Membership is free.

Coordinators: Bonnie Nish & Sita Carboni

Upcoming Rendezvous: to be announced

Sign up for invites:

Or visit our web site:

Friday Jan 25, 2008

Upstart Crow Reading Series

Surround yourself with words. Open mic with featured readers.

Time: 7:30pm

Featured Readers: Jen Currin and Christine LeClaire

Jen Currin is a graduate of Bard College and Arizona State University's MFA program. She currently teaches creative writing at Vancouver Film School and Langara College's Continuing Studies program. Jen has been published in many North American journals including Fiddlehead, 2River View, Massachusetts Review, VERSE, Lungfull!, Salt Hill, Konundrum, subTerrain, and Event. Jen's book of poems, The Sleep of Four Cities (Anvil Press) came out in 2005 and her 2nd book Hagiography (Coach House Books) will be available in 2008.

Christine LeClaire is a Vancouver writer, web designer, and enviro-blogger. Her work has been published in such magazines as Filling Station, 2River View, Terry, and Christine is an intriguing performer who has graced many lower mainland stages in the last few years.

We are pleases to have Christine and Jen at Upstart Crow reading Series.

Cost: Free

Location: Upstart Crow Books

238 Lonsdale Avenue (@ 3rd), North Vancouver

(Just up the hill from the Sea-bus station and Lonsdale Quay)

Hosts: Pandora's Collective

Other Events


A storytelling swap of the Vancouver Society of Storytelling. Anyone can come and hear stories. (Please get a babysitter for young children, as the stories are more for adults, youths, and patient older children).
Listeners, professional tellers and amateurs alike are welcome.

When: The third Sunday night of each month is special.
Where: 1805 Larch SW corner at 2nd Avenue, St Marks Church
7:30 pm
Cost: $4 for members & $5 for non-members

This month's theme, Spoonful of Saucy Stories: (stories about food)
I'm on the list of presenters, storytellers.
I'll be telling a version of the Gods seeking a cup of mead in the Halls of the Giants.
It is an original contemporary amalgamation of some popular myth, fairy-tale symbols and mystical philosophy, regarding the soul's journey, who we are, where we came from, and why we set out so long ago.
Nature has brought more people to the earth then at any other time, and we come here facing a world under increasingly desperate challenges. The world stage is set for one of the greatest dramas in the evolution of the soul. Great history is in the making. Get ready for the flight of the soul as the greatest spiritual evolution is set to hit its zenith.
We will not survive as strangers; we must speak each others names,
We must tell each other story's, to make each other strong.

What are the stories we can share that will help us in this historic moment?

Why would the Gods journey into the Halls of the Giants for a cup of mead,
and what meaning could it possibly have for us today?

I hope you will come out to enjoy and support the story tellers of today.

Love and peace in action
Brian Nelson


Play Chthonics Reading Series will host writers Anne Stone and David

Chariandy Wednesday January 23, 2008 at 7:30 PM. Cash bar. Please



Cecil Green Park Coach House

Green College

6201 Cecil Green Park Road , UBC


ANNE STONE has taught creative writing at Capilano College and at

Concordia University, and is an editor of Matrix Magazine. Together


Amber Dean, she is guest editor of the current special issue of the

journal West Coast Line, on representations of murdered and missing

women. Her latest novel, Delible (Insomniac Press 2007), tells the


of Melora Sprague, a 15-year-old girl whose sister has gone missing.

This novel offers a glimpse into a sustained experience of uncertainty

and, in so doing, explores how our identities exist in those traces we

leave behind. She has published two previous novels: jacks (DC Books

1998) and Hush (Insomniac Press 1999).

More information about her work can be found at

and in an interview at:

DAVID CHARIANDY is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English

at Simon Fraser University. He is the author of a novel entitled

Soucouyant (Arsenal Pulp Press 2007), which was a finalist for the

Governor General's Literary Award, as well as several essays on Black

Canadian, Anglo Caribbean, and diasporic literatures and cultures. He

has co-edited two special issues of scholarly journals (The Canadian

Association of American Studies, and Essays on Canadian Writing), and


is a co-founder of Commodore Books, the first and only black literary

press in western Canada.

More information about his work can be found online in interview

articles at: ( and


*Play Chthonics* reading series showcases innovative poetry, narrative,

and cross-genre writing. We encourage creative, interdisciplinary

conversations between writers, students, faculty, theorists, and

community members in Vancouver. The series is based in the English

Department at UBC, and is in the midst of a six-reading 2007-8 season.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Institute for Canadian

Studies at UBC, Green College, the UBC Department of English, and the

Canada Council for the Arts.


Weekly at The Penthouse Nightclub!!!

Come and join us for an evening of fun, music, food and drinks to wind down the weekend. We have a fantastic arrangement of local musicians sharing the stage every Sunday. It's a different show every time!

When: Sundays

Time: 7:30pm

Where: The Penthouse Nightclub, 1019 Seymour St, Vancouver

Entertainment: Coco Love Alcorn, Christa Couture and Melissa Endean

Cost: $6 at the door (FREE for members)

Drink Specials: Bottles of Tuborg and pints of Strongbow for $4.25.

Shots of Fireball Whiskey for $4.00

Kitchen is open!

See you there!

For more information contact Sarah at










Brian Ellis has represented Boston's Cantab Lounge in both the National and Individual World Poetry Slam. His newest book, "Pharmakos," was published by the prestigious Destructible Heart Press. He currently lives in the Whitehaus, a large home filled with artists, writers, musicians and their various subordinates.











604 215 9230 FOR MORE INFO





An invitation to Tea and Opera

at Mollie Nye House Sunday, February 3rd, 2 p.m.

Opera in Lynn Valley , you say? Yes, and not just any opera. Friends of the Lynn Valley Literary Society have the opportunity to hear readings from The Dream Healer, an opera based on Timothy Findley's novel, Pilgrim. The Dream Healer's world premiere takes place in March at the Chan Cen tre at UBC. The opera was composed by West Vancouver 's Lloyd Burritt, whose previous works have been commissioned for bodies such as the National Arts Cen tre, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, CBC Radio and Expo 86. The author of the revised libretto is Don Mowatt, a longtime CBC radio arts producer who is on the faculty of creative writing, film and theatre at UBC.

At the tea, Don Mowatt and Carolyn Finlay, who wrote her doctoral thesis on opera libretti, will perform short dramatic dialogues from the libretto to give guests an idea of the storyline, the tone and the language of the opera. Interspersed amongst the readings will be recordings of four arias sung by top professional singers that will give us an illustration of the power of music to transform the dialogue into its operatic form.Of special interest to writers, Don will also address the challenges and considerations encountered when transposing a story from one form—Findley's novel—to another—the libretto. He looks forward to answering your questions, so come along to learn more about this literary genre. Do join us for tea and goodies and be amongst the first in Vancouver to get a preview of The Dream Healer, which uses character, song and story to delve into the life and work of early 20th century psychiatrist Carl Jung. All are welcome and admission is by donation, but seating is limited, so please RSVP in advance by replying to this email, contacting or calling 604 984-BOOK (2665). Mollie Nye House is located at 940 Lynn Valley Rd. , North Vancouver .

Now Who's Talking Recovery Theatre

Dear friends and colleagues,

Now Who's Talking Recovery Theatre is an innovative project where people bring to life their experiences recovering from mental illness and addiction. This is an opportunity for you to volunteer in an exciting community theatre project aimed at stopping the stigma. For more information please see the attached poster and read the information below then pass it on to your network of friends and colleagues.

Now Who's Talking Recovery Theatre Update:

NWT Recovery Theatre's goal is to teach people in recovery how to tell their stories in the context of theatre. The troupe of nine has been hard at work since last September learning acting skills from Alex Bruhanski , one of Vancouver 's most highly respected acting teachers. They have also completed classes in voice, movement and improvisation with the accomplished and talented thespian Monique Bourgois.

The troupe is currently writing their individual recovery stories which will be crafted into dramatic vignettes. Collectively, the vignettes will be tied together to show how people recover and give hope to those struggling with mental health issues. The current thought is to have some kind of recovery awards show. The play promises to be entertaining, educational and above all humorous. The show should run for about an hour followed by a Q & A session.

Performance Dates:

Friday March 21st: 1:00 Matinee, Free admission for recipients of mental health services

Friday March 21st: 7:00

Saturday March 22nd, 7:00

St. James Community Square, 10th & Trutch

$12 advance $15 at the door

For more info contact Elly at 604-688-1556 or

Thanks a big bunch for all your support!

Elly Litvak

Elly Litvak

Flash Fiction and the Prose Poem

Dear Writers,I'm teaching a course at Langara starting February 6. Please see details below and pass on to anyone who might be interested.



"Jen Currin" <>

Flash Fiction and the Prose Poem register top CREA1009 Explore your voice in this genre-bending course open to all writers! The popular short-short story, also known as "flash fiction", condenses narrative to its very essence in only one to four pages. Prose poems are even shorter, and equally addictive, often surreal or subversive, they make unexpected leaps. In this class, we consider each genre separately and discuss the ways in which they overlap. We write our own prose poems, short-short stories and learn techniques such as dialogue, plot, imagery and lyricism. The ultimate goal is to enter a piece of flash fiction or a prose poem in a national contest.
Note: No class Feb 27.
$189 (50523) 3 eve - We Feb 06, 1900-2200 (Currin) and 3 eve - We Mar 05, 1900-2200

Oliver Schroer news

Hello Friends, Fans & Family

Here is some Oliver Schroer news for you

Fresh Air

THIS Sunday, January 20, 2008 , Oliver can be heard in interview with host Jeff Goodes in the last half hour of this CBC Ontario show. They will discuss Oli's new album Hymns and Hers.

6 to 9 AM Eastern time

To hear clips from Hymns and hers and for purchase information, please visit

Vancouver Writes

Please join us for Vancouver Writes , the Vancouver International Writers Festival's interactive writing event, on February 21 at Performance Works. Last year's Vancouver Writes was so much fun that we have decided to do it again. This year's event features CBC Radio host Lisa Christiansen and more than a dozen of Vancouver's finest writers: Caroline Adderson, Kevin Chong, Brad Cran, Steven Galloway, Anne Fleming, Anne Giardini, Genni Gunn , Lee Henderson, Aislinn Hunter, Shaena Lambert, Nancy Lee , Miranda Pearson and Timothy Taylor. Tickets are limited so don't miss out-book yours today.

See you there!

Hal Wake
Artistic Director
Vancouver International Writers Festival

Vancouver Writes
February 21, 2008 @ 7:30pm
Performance Works
1218 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $20 (plus $1 facility surcharge)/$18 students & seniors (plus $1 facility surcharge)
Call 604.681.6330

Order tickets online through our secure ticket system.

The details:
Tables of ten participants will work with a writer coach/editor. The host of the evening will give the teams a word or phrase and they will have 20 minutes to write a piece. Vancouver Writes judges will select winners of each of the evening's three sessions. Prizes will be awarded to the top entry in each session and to the evening's overall top entry. Wine, beer and snacks will be available.

"Fantastic, creative and fun." - 2007 Vancouver Writes participant

If you would like to receive Book News , the VIWF's weekly compendium of book news and events, please reply back to this email with 'subscribe' in the subject line.

Vancouver Writes is part of Winterruption 2008 ( ), a showcase of food, arts & culture on Granville Island, February 21-24, 2008.

This project received funding support under the Granville Island Cultural Project Sponsorship Program.

Bonnie Nish

Executive Director

Pandora's Collective

More From Pandora's Collective

Pandora's Events

People ask us all the time how do I get to be a member of Pandora's and how do I get to participate in events like the call for poets I sent out earlier today. If you are on this mailing list consider yourself a member and able to come out or participate in any of our events. That is it. There is no fee to join, there is no charge for what we do unless stated i.e. a workshop although so far we have managed to keep them all free to the public. So if you would like to take part in the Poets and Painters show all you have to do is respond to this email and you are in. You don't have to live here to do this although it would be cool to get to the gallery and see your work hung beside the piece of art created just for it. We are proud to be able to have you all as members even if you can't get out. It is because of your support that we are able to keep going. So I hope you all will send something in. Just let Sita know this week as she needs to let them know how many people are interested. Bonnie

Sita has asked me to forward this on for her to my list serve. This is a great opportunity for all Pandora's members. Please respond to her if you are interested at

Thanks Bonnie

Hello Pandora's members,

I have spoken with some of you about the Poets and Painters show that has asked Pandora's Collective to participate. I have received some more info about it and would like to know at this time who would like to join us in this exciting show.

This is how it works. They are providing the artists and we (and World Poetry and a few others) are providing the poets. Poets can choose between the following options.

OPTION A You provide a poem (no later than Jan 20) and a painter will create a painting inspired by your poem. The two pieces will hang together at the show.

OPTION B You receive a photo of a painting (via a draw on Jan 26 in Tsawwassen) and then write a poem inspired by that painting. The two pieces will hang together at the show.

For those very enthused you can request to do both although you should still let us know your first choice in case there are too many participants for you to do both.

Also, those selecting Option B, let us know whether you can attend the draw on Jan 26 in Tsawwassen or if you will need the photo mailed to you. If you do need it mailed please include your address.


More details below....

Poets and Painters show at the South Delta Artists Guild....

We'd like to receive a list of the poets from your group who will be participating....

We will be having the "registration" for the show on January 26th when our painters will come in to draw their poems and then go home and paint their paintings to bring back for hanging in the gallery on March 26, and the opening event for the show will be on Saturday March 29. For poets selecting "Option B" (to write a poem in response to a painting), they will be able to draw their painting (a photo of it) from a box on January 26 also.

Given that registration is on January 26, we would like to have the Option A poems emailed to the chair of the event, Bonnie Kramer, by January 20.

We were also wondering if your poets who have elected to do Option B (writing a poem to respond to a painting) will be able to get to Tsawwassen on January 26 to draw their photo of the painting, or if we will need to mail these to them.

Thanks Sita. We look forward to hearing from you, as we are really excited about this collaborative event. ~ Carla

To recap Pandora's members wanting to participate must provide me with their first and last name and their option choice. If option B was selected we need to know whether or not you can attend the draw and if not, your address. Those selecting option A may be sending their poems to us or directly to the organizers of the show. We will let you know as soon as we know more.

Thanks, and please respond as soon as possible.

Sita Carboni

Pandora's Collective
"Promoting the Arts That Inspire the World to Take Notice of Itself"

Friday Jan 25, 2008

Upstart Crow Reading Series

Surround yourself with words. Open mic with featured readers.

Time: 7:30pm

Featured Readers: Jen Currin , Christine LeClaire and Michael Hetherington

Jen Currin is a graduate of Bard College and Arizona State University 's MFA program. She currently teaches creative writing at Vancouver Film School and Langara College 's Continuing Studies program. Jen has been published in many North American journals including Fiddlehead, 2River View, Massachusetts Review, VERSE, Lungfull!, Salt Hill, Konundrum, subTerrain, and Event. Jen's book of poems, The Sleep of Four Cities (Anvil Press) came out in 2005 and her 2nd book Hagiography (Coach House Books) will be available in 2008.

Christine LeClaire is a Vancouver writer, web designer, and enviro-blogger. Her work has been published in such magazines as Filling Station, 2River View, Terry, and Christine is an intriguing performer who has graced many lower mainland stages in the last few years.

Michael Hetherington 's collection of short stories, The Late Night Caller, was published by Turnstone Press in 2003. His fiction has appeared in many literary magazines across Canada , including Matrix, Exile, and The Malahat Review, and three of the stories in The Late Night Caller are being made into short films. Michael holds degrees from Queen's University, UBC, and the London School of Economics.

We are pleases to have Michael, Christine and Jen at Upstart Crow reading Series.

Cost: Free

Location: Upstart Crow Books

238 Lonsdale Avenue (@ 3rd), North Vancouver

(Just up the hill from the Sea-bus station and Lonsdale Quay)

Hosts: Pandora's Collective


Other Events of Interest

Upstart Crow Books will be closing its' doors in mid-March.
In the interim period, we will be holding a liquidation sale with 50-75% off all stock.
Jack and I would like to thank you for your patronage and wish you the best in the coming year and beyond.
We had a great time while it lasted and will miss having the opportunity to serve you.


John Fisher

Story Slam Wednesday 23rd January. Story Slam at Our Town Cafe 245 E. Broadway, Vancouver every 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month @ 8pm. Ten storytellers competing for prizes and a place in the finals. First come, first served. Sign up from 8pm. Guest Host: Clint Wilson. For more info visit or

I am hoping your calendar might still be open on Monday evening, January 21st. Author Harold Rhenisch (he's published 21 books in every genre imaginable) will be reading at the latest new venue for literary happenings out here on the Peninsula – the Community Arts Council Gallery. If you're not familiar with the place, it's tucked into the south arm (indoors) of Windsor Square. The reading is at 7, and the gallery will likely even offer us some wine.

And if you or anyone you know might be interested in a writing workshop: Rhenisch will be offering a workshop the day before. Sunday afternoon, 1 – 4, again at the Gallery. Cost of the workshop is $35 and requires pre-registration (phone 604-536-8333). He's also going to do 'Blue Pencil Café' session Sunday morning, a session where he will provide one-on-one immediate feedback on your writing. Cost is $1/minute plus a $5 administrative fee. As with the workshop, if you're interested, this requires a phone call to register in advance. More info is available at the Arts Council website:


Other Things of Interest

If you would like more info about the Vancouver Artists' Collective Association or if you are interested in membership please contact Sarah at more information about becoming at VACA member please contact:

Vancouver Artists' Collective Association

Director: Sarah Martin604-764-2379 (currently under construction)

From Far and Away

7th Annual Pleasanton

Poetry, Prose & Arts Festival

Saturday & Sunday, April 5&6, 2008

Pleasanton Senior Center, 5353 Sunol Blvd Pleasanton, CA 94566

Join us for a weekend celebration of poetry, prose, and visual arts. One or two day workshops offered.

Sponsored by the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council (PCAC) and the City of Pleasanton.

On-line brochure and registration form available at:

Contest entry deadline: Saturday, March 08, 2008

Early registration deadline: Saturday, March 08, 2008

Last date to register for Festival: Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Keynote Speaker: Jane Hirshfield ~ Poet, Essayist, & Translator

Special Event: Z- Space Studio's Word for Word Youth Arts Program

~ performance & workshop~

" When Tom Smith Caused the 1906 Earthquake" by Greg Sarris

(Sunday 1 PM performance free & open to the public)


Featured Festival Events...

Saturday-Sunday: Adult Poetry & Prose Mini-Course

Poetry: Kim Addonizio,

Prose: Martha Alderson,

Saturday: Adult Poetry Workshops

Kevin Hearle,

Kathleen Lynch,

Saturday: Adult & Teens Prose Workshops

Maureen Biro,

Saturday: Teen Poetry

Connie Post, Livermore Poet Laureate,

Saturday: Youth Poetry

Marta Meltzer, Pleasanton Poet Laureate

Poetry and Prose Contests

-Adult poetry and prose -Teen poetry and prose -Youth poetry

with over $1000 in awards (must be registered to enter)


* Fine Arts show provided by Pleasanton Art League and other regional artists.

* Literary Row: meet, talk, and mingle with talented local & regional authors

*Saturday evening awards banquet with reading of prize winning poems, contest awards,

door prizes, and music selections by Con Moto.

* Poets Laureate in California Exhibit

Festival information, registration, or brochure:


Michelle Russo (925) 931-5350,

Kirk Ridgeway ,

Contest entry deadline: Saturday, March 08, 2008

Early registration deadline: Saturday, March 08, 2008

Last date to register for Festival: Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Open only to registered conference attendees. Deadline Saturday, March 08, 2008 (postmark)

For further contest information contact:

Martha Meltzer , Pleasanton's Poet Laureate, (925) 417-6679, e-mail:

Adult Poetry Short (20 lines or less)

Submission: $3.50 per poem

First prize: $100

Second prize: $50

Third prize: $25

Adult Poetry Long (46 lines or less)

Submission: $3.50 per poem

First prize: $100

Second prize: $50

Third prize: $25

Adult Non-Fiction Prose

Submission: $10.50 per entry

First prize: $100

Second prize: $50

Third prize: $25

Adult Fiction Prose

Submission: $10.50 per entry

First prize: $100

Second prize: $50

Third prize: $25

Teen Poetry (ages 13-19)

Submission: $2.50 per poem

First prize: $100

Second prize: $50

Third prize: $25