Our New Site Is Up!

Our new website is now live! You can find it at http://www.vocamus.net.

We won’t be pulling anything down from our wordpress site here for a while, so don’t worry, but any new content (including our blog and upcoming events news) will now be on the new site. If you don’t want to miss out on what’s happening in literary Guelph, head over there and subscribe to the Friends of Vocamus Press blog and calendar.

Why did we need the new site? Well, it allows us to support the Guelph and area writing community far better. Authors who are Friends of Vocamus Press will now have their own accounts and be able to update their own profiles. It’s now easier to search by author, and title, and genre. Much of our behind the scene processes for promoting events and adding content has been streamlined. We’re able to distinguish better between Vocamus Press itself and the Friends of Vocamus Press non-profit arm. And so much more. Trust us. It was worth it.

Of course, there may still be a few things out of place. If you notice something we should really get fixed, you can let us know by emailing info@vocamus.net.

Lastly, we should also mention that none of this would have been possible without the work of the people at Bailey Creative, who did the website design, and we couldn’t have afforded it without a very generous financial donation from Kim Lang, one of Guelph’s tireless supporters of literary arts. We’re very thankful to their commitment to Friends of Vocamus Press, and we’re planning an official website launch party to thank them, so keep your eyes open for details.


James Gordon to Host Book Bash 2017

Friends of Vocamus Press is excited to announce that Guelph songwriter/ playwright/musician/producer/community activist, James Gordon, will be hosting Book Bash 2017 on October 15, 2:00 Pm to 4:00 PM at Lakeside Hope House.

James was the founder of the seminal Canadian folk trio Tamarack.  He has released 40 albums, and has written more than 1500 songs. He’s toured relentlessly around the world, and created a dozen theatre works with his distinctive material covering social justice, environmental and heritage topics. He was a weekly contributor to Arthur Black’s “Basic Black” CBC radio program, and has had more than 100 artists cover his songs. His song “Frobisher Bay” has become a Canadian classic and is sung by choirs everywhere. His new album “Sunny Jim” on Borealis Records reached #2 in Canada in the roots genre for airplay. Often referred to as a “poetician”, James is also a Guelph city councillor.

We’re glad to have James on board for Book Bash 2017.

Rio Youers Launches Forgotten Girl Tonight

A reminder that Elora author Rio Youers launches his new novel, Forgotten Girl tonight, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Elora Brewing Company.

Rio is the British Fantasy Award–nominated author of End Times and Point Hollow. His short fiction has been published in many notable anthologies, and his novel, Westlake Soul, was nominated for Canada’s prestigious Sunburst Award.

Di Brandt Reading

Poet Di Brandt will read at the Elora Poetry Centre on Sunday, June 24, 4:00 PM. She will be joined by cellists, Gillian and Rachel Young, who will play after the reading. Following this there will be finger food and chat.

Di Brandt is the author and editor of more than a dozen books of poetry, fiction, creative essays and literary criticism. She has received numerous recognitions and prizes for her writing, including the Gerald Lampert Award for “best first book of poetry in Canada” for her bestselling debut collection questions i asked my mother (which was recently re-issued in a 30th anniversary tribute edition with afterword by Tanis MacDonald); the McNally Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year Award for Agnes in the sky; the CAA National Poetry Prize for Jerusalem, beloved; the Foreword Gold Medal for Watermelon Syrup: A Novel (with Annie Jacobsen and Jane Finlay-Young), and the Gabrielle Roy Prize for “best book of literary criticism in Canada” for Wider Boundaries of Daring: The Modernist Impulse in Canadian Women’s Poetry (with Barbara Godard). Now You Care was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Trillium Ontario Book of the Year, and the Pat Lowther Award.

Di Brandt’s collaborative multimedia works include Emily, the Way You Are, a one woman chamber opera about the life and works of Emily Carr, with composer Jana Skarecky; and Awakenings: Poetry and Music in Four Voices (with Dorothy Livesay, Rebecca Campbell and Carol Ann Weaver). Di Brandt has taught at five Canadian universities including the University of Alberta, the University of Windsor, Ontario, and Brandon University, Manitoba, where she held the first Canada Research Chair in the Creative Arts, and developed an innovative multimedia creative arts program that was emulated in new interdisciplinary
programs across the country. She has given readings, lectures and workshops around the world, and held guest fellowships in Scotland, New York, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Japan. She currently lives in Winnipeg.

Manitoulin Retreat Pictures

A few area writers headed up north to Manitoulin Island on the first weekend in June for what will hopefully be an annual Friends of Vocamus Press Spring Retreat. The food was delicious, the scenery beautiful, and the company a real pleasure. Even the weather mostly cooperated.

Here are some photos from the trip:

“missedunderstandings” by L. Nesbitt

Editor and writer, actor and playwright, Lauren Nesbitt-Baggerman hails from Alberta, Canada, and has travelled around the world. Finally coming to rest in southern Ontario, she decided to call Guelph home.

Retired now from Managing Editor at Guelph’s Harworth Publishing for several travel publications, she just can’t quite let go of the editing life. She continues to work with Brock Learning as Contributing Editor. She retired from teaching writing and publishing to care for aging parents, but the education world introduced her to gifted writers, and vastly varied cultural experiences she will always cherish.

Throughout her adventures she became amazed at just how commonplace crime can really be, and has just published the first of a series of murder mysteries. She is a member of Crime Writers of Canada. A published poet, Lauren has reignited her passion for poetry, recently, too, inspired by the Guelph writing community.

She firmly believes that the Grande Dames of Murder Mystery are always right, and that life without a big dog is always a mistake.

Guelph Poetry Slam – June 2017

The Guelph Poetry Slam is Saturday, June 17, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the eBar (41 Quebec Street), featuring Raissa Simone. Come see some of the country’s best slam poets, compete for the cash prize, or just share something at the open mic.