Festival of the Arts Oct 24-26, Multimedia, Poets, Spirit of the Hills, Uncategorized

Poets at FOTA

Author and retreat-leader Kim Aubrey is one of the producers of the new Multimedia event at FOTA (Festival of the Arts) in which poets will have a starring role.   She wrote this post about poets at the Festival.


When the Planning Committee was deciding who to invite to participate in this year’s Festival, I immediately thought of two poets whose work I very much admire.

Blog Photo - FOTA Poet KDMIller1.jpg
Photo Credit: Andrew Leith Macrae

K.D. (Kathleen) Miller, who had just published Late Breaking, a book of short stories inspired by the paintings of Alex Colville. (Update: Late Breaking is on the Giller Prize long list for 2019.)

Blog Photo - FOTA Artist Dane Swan2

Dane Swan, whose A Mingus Lullaby came to mind. His 2017 poetry collection was informed by the life and work of renowned musician, composer and civil rights activist Charles Mingus.

I first met Kathleen when I joined the Summer Writers’ Group in 1989. Since then she’s written and published several short story collections, a short novel, a book of essays and a poetry chapbook.


 Blog Photo - FOTA Poet KDMiller Book1Blog Photo - KDMiller book Late breaking

Late Breaking has been named by the Globe and Mail as one of the best books of 2018, and is a finalist for the 2019 Trillium Book Awards.

Dane and I share roots in the small island of Bermuda, where we both grew up. I first met him in 2011 through email exchanges for an article I was writing about Bermudian Poets for the online magazine Numero Cinq.

Dane has gone on to publish a second poetry collection, a book of short stories and a novella, and has a novel forthcoming. A Mingus Lullaby was a finalist for the 2017 Trillium Poetry Award.

Blog Photo - FOTA Poet Dan Swan Book1

Both Dane and Kathleen are engaging speakers who write across genres of poetry, short story and the novel. Dane is also a slam poet and prize-winning spoken-word performer, while Kathleen used to be a professional actor.

As writers who have a strong interest in other art forms, they will have a lot to say about our theme, Sharing Across the Arts.

As well as taking part in the panel discussion, Dane will be teaching a poetry class for high school students, and Kathleen will lead a workshop for adults on using visual art to inspire writing.

Blog Photo - FOTA Artist Dane Swan3

We’re also excited that both writers have agreed to share a couple of their poems with us during the Multimedia event Saturday afternoon.

I can’t wait to see Kathleen and Dane in October, and am looking forward to introducing these accomplished writers to the Northumberland Hills community.



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