Jule Briese of Qualicum Beach will be one of the featured readers at Alberni Valley Words on Fire open mic spoken word event on Wednesday Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Writers from Kootenays and Qualicum Beach join forces at Words on Fire

Alberni Valley spoken word open mic event is now virtual

Luanne Armstrong of the Kootenays and Jule Briese of Qualicum Beach will be the featured readers at the next Alberni Valley Words on Fire open mic spoken word event.

The event, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m., is the latest in a series supported by The Federation of British Columbia Writers, which brings writers from around B.C. and the Yukon to Alberni Valley Words on Fire’s home venue, Char’s Landing, through the Quite Determined Literary Road Trip online tour.

Luanne Armstrong, MFA, Ph.D, is a novelist, freelance writer, editor and publisher. Her newest book, A Bright & Steady Flame, is about a long-time friendship.

Armstrong is deeply interested in writing about place and nature. Her research interests also include the ethics of autobiographical writing, ecological identity and writing as inquiry. She has published more than fifty stories and essays in magazines and journals and is the author of 14 books, including poetry, novels and children’s books.

Armstrong has also been nominated for numerous prizes and awards. Her first novel, Annie, was a best-seller in Germany. Her young adult novel, Jeannie and the Gentle Giants, was nominated for Canadian Library Association’s Book of the Year, the Sheila Egoff BC Book Prize Award and the Red Cedar Award. It was named by McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg as one of their top ten all time best children’s books.

Armstrong has taught Creative Writing for many years at the college level, including at Langara College and at summer schools in B.C. and Alberta. She is a popular speaker and workshop leader at writing conferences. She is presently working on a book about the ethics of autobiographical writing for Pacific Educational Press, as well as a book of essays about environmental ethics. She is an adjunct professor of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

She currently lives on her organic heritage farm in the Kootenay region of B.C.

Jule Briese’s newest book, Shades of Loss – A Memoir in Photography, Poetry and Prose, is a collaborative project with her niece, which will be published by the end of September.

Briese considers herself a performance artist using unique poetry, songs, personal stories and writing. The Qualicum Beach resident often invites a guest artist to join her.

“My first book, Dancing Into Reunion, a Haibun adoption reunion memoir, was published in 2016,” she explained. “It was followed by Reflections—An Inward Journey, a book of poetry released in 2017 and a memoir in 2018, The Hot Chocolate And Decadent Cake Society—Alzheimer’s And The Choice For MAiD.”

The former church building that now houses Port Alberni venue Char’s Landing plays host to the Alberni Valley Words on Fire Zoom events. Open mic speakers can sign up prior to the event online at www.charslanding.com and there are usually a handful of spaces available before the event in Zoom.

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