Canadian poet Joanna Lilley to perform in Chichester

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Canadian poet Joanna Lilley will launch the 2019 Chichester Open Mic Poetry season at New Park Centre on Wednesday, January 30, 7.30pm.

Organiser Barry Smith said: “We have a fantastic line-up of visiting poets for 2019 with lots of treats in store, but it’s great to kick off the season with one of our internationally-recognised regular contributors. Joanna, who lives in the Yukon, has family connections with Sussex and always tries to fit in a poetry reading during her visits. We’re delighted to welcome Joanna back to Chichester, reading from her new collection, If There Were Roads.’

Looking ahead to the reading, Joanna describes her new collection in terms of a journey: “Guided by the geography of land and mind, the familiar and the unknown converge in this set of poems. Pulled like the tide between the sea and the shore, If There Were Roads drives toward new vistas while reflecting on what has been lost in the process of moving forward. These new poems explore the paths we take from here to there when there are no roads to guide us.”

Joanna’s first poetry collection, The Fleece Era, was nominated for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Her third poetry book, a collection of poems about extinct animals, will be published by Turnstone Press in spring 2020.

Joanna is also the author of a novel, Worry Stones (Ronsdale Press) and a short story collection, The Birthday Books (Hagios Press). Joanna lived in Bognor Regis from the age of 11 and as an adult lived in Wales and Scotland before emigrating to Canada in 2006 where she settled in the Yukon. She has received an Advanced Artist Award from the Government of Yukon to support her literary work.

Barry added: “After Joanna’s reading, local poets will get the chance to read their own new poems to a supportive audience in the open mic section. Just sign up on the door. Listeners are equally welcome.”

Open Mic Poetry, Jubilee Hall, New Park Centre, Chichester, 7.30pm, Wednesday, January 30; www.chichesterpoetry.simplesite.com; 07813244731.

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