Winter’s Tales Author Reading Series presents Anna Marie Sewell
Leading off this season’s Winter’s Tales Author Reading Series is First Nations poet Anna Marie Sewell. Born in Fredericton of Mi’kmaq, Anishnabe, and Polish heritage, she and her family moved when she was six to Alberta’s Peace River Country. Fast forward a few decades, and Anna Marie, now a popular poet, story-teller, songwriter, playwright, creative writing teacher, and literacy and cultural activist, was appointed in 2011 as Edmonton’s Poet Laureate.
Anna Marie will share her poems and stories at Confederation Centre Art Gallery on Thursday, September 24, 7:30 pm. Her performance is sponsored by the UPEI Faculty of Arts, with the collaboration of the Art Gallery, and support from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Since 1996 she has been instructing—mostly poetry—for Youthwrite, a community writing program for kids, and is currently running the Blue Pencil Café for tweens and teens, working and “talking with them about their writing and their dreams.” She is also an instructor for The Learning Centre Literacy Association.
Sewell is a founding member of Edmonton’s Stroll of Poets Society, which promotes poetry through performances and festivals. She co-coordinated the Honour Songs project for Edmonton’s Cultural Capital year and has a recurring gig as the “Bike-nik Poet” at the city’s Bikeology Festival.
Her 2009 book of poetry Fifth World Drum won critical acclaim. Author Jorge Antonia Vallejos wrote, “The ‘fifth world’ is one imagined by the mixed race (Mi’kmaq and Slavic) poet….Recounting her experiences with identity, her search for culture and spirituality…Sewell is not afraid to write about reality….Fifth World Drum is a song, lesson, journalism, historical text and life journal all in one.”
Edmonton’s mayor in 2011, Stephen Mandel, said that “Sewell brings to the role [Poet Laureate] a profound ability to blend wisdom and playfulness into poetry that is both beautiful.”
She will bring this playful wisdom to Confederation Centre in September.
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