Yvonne Maximchuk and Jennifer Wenn are the featured readers at Electric Mermaid on March 30. (SUBMITTED PHOTOS)

Yvonne Maximchuk and Jennifer Wenn are the featured readers at Electric Mermaid on March 30. (SUBMITTED PHOTOS)

Live reading event in Port Alberni has new date, new readers

Electric Mermaid takes place monthly at Char’s Landing

As of March 30, the popular live reading event Electric Mermaid will take place on a new day of the month and is once again in person at a brick-and-mortar location.

Electric Mermaid is now set for the last Wednesday of each month at 5:45 p.m. and, with the lifting of provincial COVID-19 restrictions, will meet once again in person at Char’s Landing (4815 Argyle Street in the Port Alberni arts district). Attendees can also choose to Zoom in from anywhere around the continent by going to www.charslanding.com, clicking on the dated event and following the prompts.

“The move to the last Wednesday of the month will free up the weekend for the Electric Mermaid community, and will allow participants from elsewhere more access,” said artistic director Jacqueline Carmichael.

On Wednesday, March 30, fiction and poetry will be featured on the agenda.

Yvonne Maximchuk is a writer and artist who lives in the Broughton Archipelago. She is the author of Murder Rides a Gale Force Wind: An Island Mysteryand also authored two books with Bill Proctor, including Tide Rips and Back Eddies – Bill Proctor’s Tales of Blackfish Sound (Harbour Publishing, 2015) and Full Moon, Flood Tide (Harbour Publishing, 2003).

“Yvonne’s new mystery is a page-turner, and this will provide an excellent introduction to it,” Carmichael said.

Geography plays a major role in the book, Maximchuk said.

“I’ve found the residents of this island wilderness are so unique, so creative in their problem solving and approach to the issues that challenge us that I wanted to explore what might unfold if they—or fictionalized versions of them—were confronted with the mysterious disappearance of one of their own,” said Maximchuk. “Except for the obvious and acknowledged similarities between two real-life and two key story characters, individuals and events are entirely fictitious, yet entirely plausible.

“For the residents peopling my story, life by the sea may mean death by the sea; this is truth for the real residents as well as the imagined,” she said.

Jennifer Wenn is a trans-identified writer and speaker from London, Ontario. Her first poetry chapbook, A Song of Milestones, has been published by Harmonia Press (an imprint of Beliveau Books). She has also written From Adversity to Accomplishment, a family and social history and has published poetry in publications like WordCity Literary Journal, The Stratford Quarterly, The Ekphrastic Review, Tuck Magazine and the anthologies Dénouement and Things That Matter. She is also the proud parent of two adult children.

Wenn leans to the creation of poem cycles or longer-form poems for the ability to stretch out and explore different aspects of a theme. She will read from three of them, notably her chapbook A Song of Milestones, a multi-faceted tour of her gender journey.

“Being a transgender woman means that this work, of course, has great meaning for me, both in its creation and in sharing it with others,” she said.

An Ontario writer, Wenn is a regular curated open mic reader at Electric Mermaid.

“Electric Mermaid is a wonderful community centred in Port Alberni but reaching much farther out, and has always made me feel most welcome,” she said. “I am really looking forward to sharing more of my work.”

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

authorPort Alberni