A night of northern poetry inside the gallery.

Featuring Erling Friis-Baastad, Joanna Lilley, Michael Eden Reynolds and Clea Roberts, with host Ellen Bielawski.  Readings will be followed by a Q & A.

Ellen Bielawski was born north of myth in Alaska. Her life's work – to learn as much as she can about her home, the place outsiders call "the North" – has taken her to work in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Alaska and, since 2008, Yukon. She won poetry writing awards as a teenager but her small-business family insisted she do something practical so she earned her doctorate in Arctic Archaeology. Ellen teaches for University of Alberta and Yukon College and writes creative non-fiction, most notably in Rogue Diamonds: The Rush for Northern Riches on Dene Land, published by Douglas and McIntyre in 2003, and she is also the author of In Search of Ancient Alaska: Solving the Mysteries of the Past published by Alaska Northwest Books in 2006. Ellen has raised two young men who are not harming the world.

Joanna Lilley came to Whitehorse twice before she finally emigrated here from Britain. The first time by Greyhound bus and the second time by bicycle, after riding all the way from Nova Scotia. Joanna’s poetry collection, The Fleece Era, was published by Brick Books in 2014 and her short fiction collection, The Birthday Books, is being published by Hagios Press this spring in their Strike Fire New Author Series. Joanna’s poems and stories have been published in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Her awards include first prize in the Vancouver International Writers Festival Poetry Contest, second prize in the Dr. W H Drummond Poetry Contest and, most recently, third prize in the Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest.

Michael Reynolds has lived in Whitehorse, with his wife Jenny for 20 years. They have two children and Michael works as a mental health counsellor. His book, Slant Room, was published in 2009 by Porcupine's Quill Press. Michael’s poems have won the Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize and the John Haines Award for Poetry. He was also a finalist for the CBC Literary Awards in 2005, the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award in 2006 and The Malahat Review Long Poem Contest in 2007. His work has been anthologized in The Best of Canadian Poetry in English 2008, edited by Molly Peacock and Stephanie Bolster, published by Tightrope Books.

Clea Roberts lives on the outskirts of Whitehorse. Her debut collection of poems, Here Is Where We Disembark, published by Freehand in 2010 was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry in Canada and was published in German by Edition Rugerup in 2013. Clea’s poems have been published in journals and anthologies in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. She has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Centre, the Atlantic Centre for the Arts, the Banff Centre for the Arts and is a five-time recipient of the Government of Yukon Advanced Artist Award. Clea was the founder and organizer of the Whitehorse Poetry Festival and she is currently coordinating the Kicksled Reading Series to be launched in February 2015.

Erling Friis-Baastad arrived in the Yukon from Toronto in May 1974. Like so many other visitors back then, he thought he was going to remain in the North for a summer and then get on with his life—Outside. His life, as turned out, had been awaiting him up here, along with the work contained in his books, The Exile House published by Salmon Poetry and Wood Spoken: New and Selected Poems published by Harbour Publishing. Erling recently completed a new manuscript entitled Fossil Light and is now pursuing his winter haiku.

Image courtesy of Joyce Majiski, By Glacier Light, Embellished digital print on BFK Rives, 2014


Events for North of Myth:


North of Myth examines the space between romanticized, nostalgic ideas of the north and the lived experience of northerners. Through monoprints, drawings, photography and installation Majiski explores what links the circumpolar north, such as  latitude, ecosystems, remoteness and a certain resilient fragility.


An evening of experimental music in conjunction with Joyce Majiski’s exhibition “North of Myth” – Jam session featuring John Godfrey, Daniel Janke, Karen Power, Gordie Walker.


A presentation on The Arctic Circle artist residency as well as a walkthrough of the gallery exhibition to discuss with the artists Joyce Majiski and Karen Power