Poetry (Adult)

Kent Baker

Novelist, short story writer, children’s author, broadcaster, and playwright, Kent Baker has taught writing and literature at universities and colleges in both Canada and the U.S. Kent, who has had a variety of creative work published or produced, is currently working on a variety of creative projects.

An MFA graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Kent also has an Iowa MA in 19th Century English Literature, and a BA in Literature and Theatre from the University of Connecticut. His radio plays and satire were a feature of CBC radio in the 1970s.

Blanca Baquero

Blanca Baquero’s origins are Spanish and French. Born in Chicago in 1944 and raised in New York, her family moved to Canada in 1959, making Montreal their new home.

Blanca has been writing for the past fifteen years. Her poetry has been published (in both the English and French languages) in a number of literary magazines, university works, and anthologies in Canada and in the United States. In 2001, the Canadian Authors Association chose two of her poems (Repletus and Child’s Play) to be published in their anthology. In 2001 she was the winner of the literary contest organized by the Salon du Livre de la Côte Nord in the province of Quebec.

For the past seven years the poet has been studying a Japanese form of poetry known as Haïku. In 2002, 2004, and 2005 several of her haïkus were published in Quebec by Les Éditions David of Ottawa. Additional highlights include: honourable mention in the Betty Drevniok Award 2005 organized by Haïku Canada; the publication of two of her haïku in Belgium in 2006; and third place winner in a haïku contest organized in Paris, France by l’Association française haïku.

Blanca is a member of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, The Quebec Writers’ Federation, the League of Canadian Poets, Haïku Canada, Haïku Society of America, and the Association Française de haïku (France).

The writer moved to Nova Scotia in November 2002 and lives on the North Mountain near Canning where she is continually inspired by the pastoral beauty of the Annapolis Valley for her poetry and haïku.


Née à Chicago d’une mère québécoise et d’un père espagnol, Blanca Baquero réside au Canada depuis 1958. Poète anglophone depuis quinze ans, plusieurs de ses poèmes ont été publiés dans des revues littéraires, des anthologies, et des ouvrages universitaires.

En 1997, elle est déménagée à Sept-Iles au Québec. Déterminée à s’intégrer à la population francophone, elle s’est jointe à des ateliers d’écriture en français. Grâce à ces ateliers, elle est tombée amoureuse du haïku. En 2002, 2004 et 2005, elle été publiée par Les Éditions David d’Ottawa dans les recueils dirigé par Francine Chicoine intitulés Dire le nord, Dire la faune et Dire la flore. Haïku Canada lui a décerné une mention honorable dans le concours Betty Drevniok 2005. En 2007, elle a gagné le troisième prix du concours organisé à Paris par l’Association française de haïku.

Blanca Baquero est membre de la Nova Scotia Writers Federation, de la League of Canadian Poets, de la Quebec Writers Federation, de Haïku Canada, de la Haïku Society of America et de l’Association française de haïku en France. Elle habite en Nouvelle-Écosse depuis 2002. Écrire est pour elle un joyeux délire ainsi qu’une véritable aventure.

John Wall Barger

After a few years in the U.S., John Wall Barger grew up in Nova Scotia, and then moved away to Vancouver, Ottawa, Rome, Prague, and Dublin. He lived in the north end of Halifax for many years. Over the last ten years, he has taken part in many readings and workshops across Canada.

His poems have appeared in many journals internationally, including The Cincinnati Review, Rattle, The Malahat Review, and Geist. He was included in The Best Canadian Poetry (2008 and 2015), and The Montreal Prize Global Poetry Anthology (2011 and 2013).

John’s second book of poems, Hummingbird (Palimpsest Press, 2012), was nominated for the Raymond Souster Award. His most recent collection, The Book of Festus (Palimpsest Press, 2015), was recently shortlisted for the JM Abraham Poetry Award. Judge’s comments: “Polyphonic, densely textured, ranging over the city of Halifax in vast time and in space, The Book of Festus is an ambitious and original contribution to the poetry of Atlantic Canada and to the poetry of cities. Through Festus, a personification of the city’s energies and its search for itself, Wall Barger depicts the sordid as well as the healthful dimensions of the city, interweaving geological, historical, ecological, and social motifs. Festus, like epic heroes of old, is on a quest. In this dazzlingly allusive, thoroughly contemporary version of epic, Wall Barger brings the city alive in all its complexity.”

“Anyone who writes with the flourish and intensity of John Wall Barger deserves to be read and re-read. His ability to linger over a scene, to ruminate over its history and give himself over to the poetic impulse is complete and genuine.” -The Malahat Review

Brian Bartlett

Brian Bartlett was born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, in 1953, grew up in Fredericton, lived for 15 years in Montreal, and moved to Halifax in 1990 to teach creative writing and literature at Saint Mary’s University. He will retire from teaching in June 2018. He has published seven collections and six chapbooks of poems, as well as Wanting the Day:Selected Poems, which was published internationally (by Peterloo Poets of Cornwall, England, and Goose Lane Editions in Canada) and won the 2004 Atlantic Poetry Prize. His other honours have inclued two Malahat Review Long Poem Prizes, first prize in the Petra Kenney poetry awards, and the 2009 Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry. In 2014 Fitzhenry & Whiteside published his first book of prose, Ringing Here & There: A Nature Calendar (a 366-paragraph book of days going from April 1st to the following March 31st), followed by Branches Over Ripples: A Waterside Journal (Gaspereau Press, 2017), a “plein air” experiment, drafted outdoors by various bodies of water (lakes, rivers, brooks, ponds, marshes, bays, waterfalls, etc.). A selection of Brian’s prose on poetry from over two decades is gathered together in All Manner of Tackle: Living with Poetry (Palimpsest, 2017).

He has also edited the Collected Poems of Alden Nowlan; a book of prose, Don McKay: Essays on His Works; selections of poetry: Earthly Pages: The Poetry of Don Domanski and, all from The Porcupine’s Quill, The Essential James Reaney, The Essential Robert Gibbs, and The Essential Dorothy Roberts; and The Child Alone, an anthology of childhood poems from which parents and other adults are largely marginalized or excluded. His wife is Karen Dahl, a Halifax Regional Library system manager, and their two children are Josh and Laura.


John Bell

John Bell is the author or editor of more than twenty books touching on various aspects of Canadian history and culture. A former editor of the poetry magazine Arc, he has contributed to a wide variety of periodicals, including Literary Review of Canada, Event, This Magazine, and Maisonneuve. His work has also appeared in numerous anthologies and collections, the most recent being Compostela: Tesseracts Twenty (2017). As well, he has given readings and lectured on cultural history in many different venues and has served as the curator of several exhibitions and websites for the Canadian Museum of Caricature, the National Library, and the National Archives. He lives in Lunenburg.

The late Malcolm Ross, one of Canada’s most renowned literary scholars, offered the following description of John’s work: “John Bell is a unique figure in our literary landscape. He goes his own way and is more likely to create fashions than to follow them.”

Sophie Bérubé


Sophie Bérubé, born and raised in Québec city, and long-time resident of Nova Scotia, is a writer, performer, and yoga teacher. Most of her work—for children, young adults, and adults—is written in French. Le chef d’oeuvre de Lombrie won the 2002 won the Lilla Stirling Award and La trombe sacreé, also 2002, won the Prix France-Acadie 2003. Le projet Persée, her first youth novel, 2010, was a finalist for 2012 Hackmatack prize. Her most recent book Car la nuit est longue was published by les éditions David in 2015. A natural performer, Sophie studied at Jacques Lecoq in Paris, and has over ten years experience in theatre performance, creation and direction; she was part of the Artssmart Program from 2003 to 2015. She has been involved with many productions and has collectively written many plays. Sophie coordinates various literacy projects and workshops in schools and the community, including Publish It and creative writing sessions at Open Arms, which support families and individuals living on the margins of society to write their own books. She is currently working on a three-part fiction based on historical figures.

Jenni Blackmore

A new season just beginning! Definitely time to upgrade my bio; even though some things never change life’s experience continually morphs and expands. Have to love that 🙂

Part of me is still the kid from Manchester, England, who always wanted to be a writer, a painter and a farmer, living by the ocean, and much to my amazement, here I am, living my dream on a small island just east of Halifax. Of course I’m greatly influenced by the coastal environment and references to this locale have a way of sneaking into most of my work. I love my reality but I usually can’t resist adding a twist or two of magic to my work, especially my favorite genres of poetry, adult short fiction and childrens fiction.

As an illustrator and writer, I like to combine both these forms of expression, especially in my books for children. Recently, however the denizens of QuackaDoodle Farm, who take up a fair amount of my attention, have been demanding their space on the page and this has resulted in, Permaculture for the Rest of Us (New Society Publishing) a factual account of life here at QuackaDoodle,  my blog site  QuackaDoodle.Wordpress.com and occassional posts on the Mother Earth News Site.

My latest book The Foodlovers’ Garden (New Society) is scheduled for release May 2017 and I was delighted to be able to illustrate this with thirty+ illustrations and forty digital images, all celebrating the wonders of homegrown food. Yum! And oh so colourful.

The second edition of Gully Goes to Halifax flew into my life recently. The story remains mostly unchanged but this edition has twice the page size and all the illustrations are in full colour, so I’m delighted about that.

I believe everyone is writer at heart because of course we all have things to say, ideas to share. This is one of the reasons why I particularly enjoy leading writing workshops for both children and adults but mostly, it’s about the stories that get shared. Surely story is the thread that binds us all together while, equally importantly, poetry tends to magnify and perhaps suggest a new way of seeing both the mundane and the magical.

Please visit me at: Quackadoodle.wordpress.com for sporadic but ongoing news of life down here on the farm

 Jenni has been mentioned in “Our Choice Book List” and “Outstanding Canadian Children’s Books” by the Children’s Book Centre, Toronto. Her recent novel Island of Dead Souls came first in the Atlantic Writing competition YA category.

Suzannah Showler

Suzannah Showler is a poet and nonfiction writer.

She is the author of the poetry collections Thing is (McClelland & Stewart 2017) and Failure to Thrive (ECW 2014). Her most recent book, Most Dramatic Ever (ECW 2018), a book of cultural criticism about the reality TV show The Bachelor, was featured in places like The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Globe & Mail, and CBC Books.  

You can read her writing in The New York Times Magazine, The WalrusSlate, Buzzfeed Reader, Hazlitt, Maisonneuve, and more.



After 10 years in BC, Saskatchewan, Ohio, and Ontario, Suzannah is thrilled to be returning to Halifax.

Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson is a former elementary school teacher and author of the newly published, A Pocket of Time, a children’s book about the poet, Elizabeth Bishop’s childhood in Great Vilage, Nova Scotia.

She is currently working on a collection of poetry about the importance of place in our lives, from her vantage point on the Caribou River. She has published non-fiction in Saltscapes Magazine, poetry in various publications, and is one of the founders of Writing on Fire, promoting writing experiences for teens on the North Shore. She finds pleasure in her garden, the beach, books, her children and grandchildren, and the company of friends.

Scroll to Top