On Oct. 1, author and poet Maleea Acker read at VIU for the semester’s first installment of Poets on Campus. VIU Creative Writing instructor and Poets on Campus organizer, Marilyn Bowering, says Acker writes about the environment in both her poetry and her first non-fiction book, Gardens Aflame: Garry Oak Meadows of BC’s South Coast.

“[Acker’s] environmental sensibility forms the basis of her work,” Bowering says.

Matthew Hooton, a Writing instructor at the University of Victoria who spent time writing in South Korea, will be the next author to read for Poets on Campus. Yvonne Blomer and John Barton will read later this fall. Blomer is an activist who did post-grad work in the U.K., and Barton is the editor for the literary magazine The Malahat Review.

“The other writers’ focuses are different [from Acker’s] but they all have a stake in the community,” Bowering says. Poets on Campus aims to bring poetry to the community. “Literature is alive,” Bowering says. “It’s right there around you.”

Poets on Campus student coordinator Mat Snowie says that he is looking for student readers as the opening act for subsequen Poets on Campus events. Students who want to read their work or volunteer with Poets on Campus can contact Snowie at <msnowie@stumail.viu.ca>. Those wishing to read should include a poem. Bowering wants students to know that it’s an opportunity to read their work to an attentive audience.

“The audience cares and comes for the purpose of hearing the readers,” Bowering says.

In Snowie’s opinion, hearing an author read their poetry allows listeners to hear it the way the author intended.

“[Hearing the author read] opens your mind and ears to something you wouldn’t necessarily read otherwise,” Bowering explains.

The Poets on Campus events are free and open to everyone. There will be an opportunity to ask the authors questions, and their books will be available for purchase. Hooton reads on Oct. 29 at 5 p.m., in bldg. 365 on the Nanaimo campus. The full schedule for Poets on Campus is available at <www.viu.ca/poetsoncampus/schedule.asp>

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