After the near-record snowfall and freezing temperatures experienced this winter in Greater Victoria, many of us are yearning for spring, for a time of renewal and regrowth. At the AGGV, we are celebrating the season with a poetry reading that takes its inspiration from the Gallery’s Asian Art collection. In collaboration with the City of Victoria, we have invited Victoria’s Poet Laureate Yvonne Blomer and guests Terry Ann Carter, Patrick Lane, Sidney Bending, Jeff Tanaka and others as they read poems in response to spring and to the Gallery’s Asian Art works that illustrate the Cherry Blossom season.

Left-right: Yvonne Blomer, Patrick Lane, Terry Ann Carter

Yvonne Blomer

Writer, critic, teacher and poet Yvonne Blomer is proud to be Poet Laureate for the City of Victoria 2015-2018, during which she will serve as Victoria’s literary and cultural ambassador, producing original works that reflect ideas and issues of importance to the community. Her most recent collection of poems is As if a Raven (Palimpsest Press, 2014). Her first collection, a broken mirror, fallen leaf  was short listed for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for best first book by a Canadian writer. Her travel memoir Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur is forthcoming in the spring of 2017. Yvonne graduated with distinction, receiving an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, UK.

Patrick Lane

Patrick Lane is one of Canada’s pre-eminent poets, winner of numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, the Canadian Authors Association Award and the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence. His distinguished career spans fifty years and twenty-five volumes of poetry as well as award-winning books of fiction and non-fiction. Patrick has lived and travelled extensively around the world and his work has been published in a number of countries, including England, France, the Czech Republic, Italy, China, Japan, Chile, Colombia, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, and Russia. He has been a writer in residence and teacher at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, the University of Victoria in British Columbia, and the University of Toronto in Ontario. Patrick Lane lives near Victoria, BC, with his wife, the poet Lorna Crozier.

Terry Ann Carter

Poet and paper artist Terry Ann Carter lives and works in Victoria, B.C., where she serves Haiku Canada as president and teaches Japanese literary forms at Royal Roads University. She is the author of four collections of lyric poetry and five chapbooks of haiku. Her haibun memoir On the Road to Naropa: My Love Affair with Jack Kerouac was published in 2015. Terry Ann is a member of the League of Canadian Poets and founder of KaDo Ottawa and Haiku Arbutus. She is also a member of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild. This year, Terry Ann will serve a “community fellowship” at the Centre for Study of Religion and Society at the University of Victoria where she will devote time to deepening her own practice of haiku and to studying the influence of Buddhism on contemporary haiku poetry.

Left-right: Sidney Bending, Alana Sayers, Jeff Tanaka

Sidney Bending

Sidney Bending is a retired graphic artist. Her poetry and flash fiction have been published in literary journals and anthologies in North America and New Zealand. A chapbook of small poems, Mute Crows, is available from She is a member of Haiku Canada and collaborates with The Heron’s Quill poetry group.

Alana Sayers

Alana Sayers is a writer and English Literature MA student from the Hupacasath (Nuu-Chah-Nulth) and Kipohtakaw (Cree, Treaty 6) First Nations. She is a winner of the SSHRC Graduate Scholarship and her writing areas and research interests include indigenous literature, settler colonialism, and indigenous resurgence.

Jeff Tanaka

Jeff Tanaka is a fourth generation Uchinanchu / Nikkei. “For me, words serve as one of the most reliable pathways to my ancestors. I am grateful for the continued guidance of those who came before me in illuminating a path forward.”

A Pavilion of Blossoms | Thursday, April 6 2017 | 7PM | Admission by donation