Victoria poet Wendy Donawa (left) and Texas novelist Jenny Cummings (right) will join Electric Mermaid via Zoom on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. (SUBMITTED PHOTOS)

Victoria poet Wendy Donawa (left) and Texas novelist Jenny Cummings (right) will join Electric Mermaid via Zoom on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. (SUBMITTED PHOTOS)

Electric Mermaid in Port Alberni hosts poet, novelist and curated open mic

January event will be online only

It’s a new year and a new focus for The Electric Mermaid: Live Reads from Char’s Landing reading series.

The Friday, Jan. 21 monthly event will be presented on Zoom only. Victoria poet Wendy Donawa and Texas novelist Jenny Cummings will headline the event.

“Electric Mermaid enthusiasts will be treated to at least one B.C. writer feature each month,” said creative director Jacqueline Carmichael. “We’re thrilled that well-known Victoria poet Wendy Donawa will be joining us.”

Wendy will read from her second book, Our Bodies’ Unanswered Questions, published this year with Frontenac House.

Wendy’s poems have appeared widely in poetry journals, anthologies, chapbooks and public transport buses. Her first book, Thin Air of the Knowable, was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award.

Lorna Crozier has called Donawa’s poems “fiery calls to action…in a world rife with inequity and injustice, this…is the kind of beacon we need…Unwavering, uncompromising, and fiercely wise.”

A first time novelist, Texas novelist Jenny Cummings said hiring an editor to work with her on her book, Just Jackie: My Life is Like a Fruitcake, was a great help.

“I hired an editor after my third draft,” she said. “Coming from a journalistic background, I knew how to write a good story. But I didn’t know the first thing about how to show a story. The first step was the developmental edit. That was an eye-opener. Working with an editor was like taking a graduate course in fiction writing. I had an excellent teacher, and I was the only one in class, so I got a lot of personal attention—and my novel was my thesis.”

While she began writing with an outline and a plot, her characters took her in another direction, she said.

The event is supported in part by Creative BC and the Canada Council on the Arts and by Char’s Landing hostel and venue of Port Alberni.

Writers of all levels and genres are welcome to register for a reading of up to five minutes with moderator Karl Korven at electricmermaidreads@gmail.com Curated open mic reading lengths from Luma’s List depend on how many readers there are. Emcee Derek Hanebury will host.

Attendees from anywhere around the continent can tune in at 5:45 p.m. by going to www.charslanding.com, clicking on the dated event and following the prompts.

Port Alberni