A Message from the President

A Message from the President:
As the Haven Reading Series has concluded for the 2024/2025 season I would like to wish all members of the Stroll of Poets a very good summer break. This past season has proven to be very successful in many ways. Besides the very recognizable increase in attendance and participation in the Haven through venues at the Upper Crust Café and Audrey’s Bookstore, we also attracted friends and fellow poets from across North America to reconnect and share their words with us again through an online return to the Haven at Home Readings. The Stroll welcomed many new attendees and readers at these events. As well, the Stroll of Poets staged a successful Blinks event during The Edmonton Poetry Festival and reached out to the community with Fresh Verse plus readings at Allendale Community and the Lions Senior Center.
Thanks to all Stroll members for their initiation and/or participation in all of these Stroll events, the 30-30 and Pure Gold poetry prompts, the annual Anthology, and the upcoming Land acknowledgement publication.
Stay tuned for the return of these events next year along with new and exciting events being planned by your board members. Watch for opportunities for the membership to become involved in committees, participate in planning events, and our transition to a new Stroll of Poets Google Workspace. Please note the new contact information, associated with this transition, for the Stroll of Poets and all board members.
Thank you all for your continued support and enthusiasm for poetry and the Stroll of Poets Society.
In peace and poetry;
Max Vandersteen

Haven-at-Home: An Online Haven Reading May 27

Haven-at-Home: An Online Haven Reading

Topic: Haven at Home reading series
Time: Monday, May 27th at 7:00 PM MDT
Online via Zoom

Well, in December we enjoyed reconnecting with so many out-of-town Stroll of Poet members and the friends in poetry that we shared words with online during the years of the pandemic that we are excited about hosting another Haven-at-Home reading event. While we had a very successful season of live poetry reading events this past season it is especially satisfying to see and hear from some of our fellow poets who are unable to join us for those events. The Stroll of Poets Haven Committee is pleased to invite you all to join us on Monday, May 27th to conclude our reading events for the 2023/2024 season and hear the words of our featured readers and participate in the open mic session which will follow if you wish.

Featured Readers:
Bänoo Zan
Patrick Connors
Hiram Larew
Aisha Malik

Our mic host will be:
Naomi McIlwraith

Here is the link and information to attend the Haven-at-Home Reading event. We hope to see you there!

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Fresh Verse 2024

The Stroll of Poets is proud to offer another version of Fresh Verse to conclude our Haven Reading series at The Upper Crust Café on May 13th, 2024. It is a terrific ending to another great year and the Haven committee looks forward to hosting you all again next year starting in mid-September. Have a good summer break Strollers.

Come out to see fledgling writers soar, come out to hear rising voices roar, enjoy open mic, refreshments, good company and more, just five bucks gets you in at the door. We hope that you will appreciate fresh verses presented by six of Edmonton’s emerging young poets, Rachel Glessing, Sanvi Regmi, Prisha Pandey, Jolie DeShane, Emma Marian, and Joshua QuerijeroOur mic host will be Cole Davidson and our door hosts will be Anne Gerard Marshall and Vivian Zenari.
The Stroll of Poets is honoured to promote the messages of young voices in order to encourage youth to create poetry such as these powerful words borrowed from this poem by the OddOddysey Poet, a 24 year old poet from Zimbabwe:


Dear Old Poet
Oh, dear poet of old, as I ponder on our shared past,

The irony of time’s turn, a role reversal unsurpassed.

Once, you stood as the elder, wise and experienced,

Now, I find myself in your shoes, the one more advanced.


Nostalgia floods my being, memories resurfacing anew,

Like the innocent words we penned, when youth first drew.

Together we crafted a poem, a tale of popcorn’s delight,

At the tender age of ten, our creativity took flight.


How funny it is, when memories unexpectedly arise,

Recalling mischievous days, crafting love’s sweet guise.

Love letters for our peers, seeking help to express,

Feelings for their school crushes, a secret we’d address.


Those were the days of sharing lunches and causing a stir,

Chaos on the school buses, moments that now seem a blur.

This retrospective piece, a tribute to your resilience,

Facing challenges hidden, from prying adult’s brilliance.


I remember your struggles, grappling with life’s profound,

Questions of death and despair, a tightrope you walked around.

Contemplating drastic measures, to end your inner pain,

Yet, you persevered, your strength not in vain.


Your self-doubt and longing, they resonate within me,

The search for belonging, a struggle to truly be free.

But fear not, dear poet, for growth has come our way,

In finding our place, confidence blossoms each passing day.


Oh, how I lament the time we abandoned our pens,

Resorting to spoken words, a silence that never mends.

But after five long years, we reunited with our true art,

And the joy it brings, the growth, a masterpiece’s start.


If only I could assure you, every word you write will be seen,

Celebrated and acknowledged, by eyes that have never been.

But alas, the reality is oftentimes unseen,

Yet, hold on to old dreams, for progress lies in between.


The journey may seem daunting, the finish line afar,

But take that brave step, and let your light become a star.

For in the depths of your soul, the fire of passion burns,

And with each word you write, a new chapter, the world learns.


A Message From The President

Message from the President

It has been a terrific week of poetry delights and I hope that Stroll members have had the opportunity to take in some of the fantastic Edmonton Poetry Festival events.

The Stroll of Poets’ Blinks event, this past Monday, was a very successful part of the festival once again this year. On behalf of the Stroll board of directors, I would like to thank all of the members who were part of making this event possible. Those individuals include Alice Major, Naomi McIlwraith, Dorothy Lowrie, Audrey Brooks, David Fraser, Leslie Dawson, SaraSwoti Lamichhane, Gary Garrison, and Michael Gravel.

Big thank you’s also go to our wonderful emcees Gary Garrison and Michael Gravel, and our fine orchestra members David Fraser, Janis Dow Durnin, Don Perkins, Audrey Brooks, Kayleigh Cline, and Diane Robitelle.

We would also like to thank all members who shared their 30 seconds of words as part of the evening. See you all again next year.

Poets’ Haven Reading Series – April 29

Upper Crust, 10909 86 Ave NW

Monday, April 29th, 7:00-8:30 pm
(Doors open at 6:30)

Features Poetry by: Dan Knauss, Vivian Zenari, Naomi McIlwraith, Rose Marie Sackela

Mic Host: Jessica Coles
Door Host: TBD

Open Mic: Sign-up (2-min. poem)

Welcome all! See you at the Haven! Bring your friends! New and first readers are always welcome and given priority during the Open Mic.

Attention all Stroll members;
In an effort to minimize the hazards and maintain a safe place to meet in person for residents of our local community, masks and hand sanitizer will be provided for attendees at our Haven Reading Series events and distancing will be maintained to the best of our ability.

The Haven Committee also requests that you refrain from attending the event if you are experiencing any symptoms such as a cough, runny nose or fever.

**Please note: Anyone who has signed up for a reading spot and wants to make changes or needs assistance with it, or to be added to the Haven waitlist, please email: strollquestions@gmail.com and the Haven committee will help you.

To check the Haven Master Schedule, click here.