Words and Whatnot at the Atlin Arts and Music Festival, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Atlin, B.C.

On Saturday, July 9, 2016, at 12 noon at St. Marten’s Church, Yvonne Blomer, Poet Laureate of Victoria, B.C., and Yukon poet Jamella Hagen will read from their works of poetry and share in a conversation with host Lily Gontard. This event is being recorded for a podcast.
Yvonne Blomer, Poet Laureate for Victoria, B.C.
Yvonne Blomer, Poet Laureate for Victoria, B.C.

Yvonne Blomer is Victoria, B.C.’s Poet Laureate. Her most recent collection of poems is As if a Raven (Palimpsest Press, 2014). Her previous books include The Book of Places (Black Moss Press, 2012) and a broken mirror, fallen leaf (Ekstasis Editions, 2006) which was short listed for the Gerald LampertMemorial Award. Her travel memoir Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur is forthcoming with Palimpsest Press in the spring of 2017. From 2009-2015 Yvonne was the Artistic Director of the Planet Earth Poetry reading series from which she co- edited the anthology Poems from Planet Earth (Leaf Press).

Jamella Hagen
Yukon poet Jamella Hagen

Jamella Hagen grew up in Hazelton, BC and has lived in Vancouver, Brazil and South Korea. Her poems have appeared in journals across Canada including Arc, Event and The Malahat Review as well as in the anthologies Unfurled: Collected Poetry from Northern BC Women, Ice Floe: New and Selected Poems and The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2010. Her work has won The Fiddlehead’s Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, placed third in This Magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt and been shortlisted for a CBC Literary Award. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from UBC, is a former executive editor of PRISM international and has coordinated the Whitehorse Poetry Festival. She currently lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, and is an instructor at Yukon College.


photo credit: l. gontard

WEB_20160630_lilygontard_9033Lily Gontard is a writer living in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Her fiction, poetry and non-fiction have appeared in magazines such as Geist, The Puritan Magazine, Cirque, and The New Quarterly. New non-fiction appears in Door=Jar and Issue 1.2 of The Violet Hour Magazine, and new poetry in the spring 2017 issue of Pushing Out the Boat. Her first non-fiction book Beyond Mile Zero, a collaboration with photographer Mark Kelly which explores the vanishing Alaska Highway lodge community was published in April 2017 by Lost Moose, an imprint of Harbour Publishing.

Lily is a regular contributor to the “Endnotes” review section of Geist magazine. Throughout her career in publishing she worked as a self-employed editor and designer, as well as in different roles for several magazines, including the Malahat Review, the Georgia Strait, Geist, and Arcticamag.ca. She was the founding editor of Yukon, North of Ordinary magazine and of the now-defunct circumpolar art and culture magazine Arcticamag.ca.

Lily’s film and TV projects in development include a feature-length screenplay co-written with K. G. Green and two TV series co-written with Tonya Mallet. Lily’s fiction is represented by Kris Rothstein with the Carolyn Swayze Literary Agency.

Publishing credits


Non fiction articles


  • “Okanagan”, Pushing Out the Boat, Spring 2017
  • “Heron Song”, “This Electric Night (or can this be winter?)”, “The Runaway” in the poem:a anthology published September 2016
  • A Daughter’s Lullaby”, The Puritan Magazine, Issue 32: Winter 2016
  • “Rootcrop Haiku I (note to self)” and “Rootcrop Haiku II (he was a determined gardener)” published in the Big Lit Festival, Summer 2014
  • Diagnosis: Crippled by Cliché”, League of Canadian Poets National Poetry Month Blog, April 3, 2013
  • “At the Party”, Cirque magazine, Winter 2012 Issue
  • “Gestation”; “Searching for a Dead Sister in the Red River”, Own 2007 Issue 30
  • A Portrait: Janette”; “Henrile survivant”, Event 2004
  • Two poems, City of Whitehorse Poetry in Motion 2003
  • “Observations II”; “Observations IV”, The Optimist, Spring 2003
  • “Blue Grouse”; “The Patriarch”, Out of Service magazine, Spring 2001
  • “Northern Vortex”, The Inner Harbour Review, 2000

Short fiction

  • “Three Lessons”, The New Quarterly, Spring 2011
  • “The Fighter”, The Northern Review, Fall 2009
  • “Gentleman Gardener’s….”, Urban Coyote: New Territory (Anthology, 2003)
  • “Fattening the Rabbit”, Out of Service, Vol 1 Issue 1
  • “Mouthful O’ Clover”, The New Quarterly, Fall 1996


  • (In development) CONflict, TV series, co-written with Tonya Mallet, based on a book by Jörgen Handsen-Ellenrieder, 3D Evolution Productions
  • (In development) Gutleuthof: House of the Good, TV series, co-written with Tonya Mallet, 3D Evolution Productions
  • (In development) The Perfect Family, full-length feature film co-written with K.G. Green, 3D Evolution Productions

Readings and events


  • Guest reader, Circumpolar Duet, Yukon Artists at Work, Whitehorse, Yukon, September 29, 2017
  • Guest reader for Chrys Salt reading, Baked Cafe, Whitehorse, Yukon, June 19, 2017
  • Guest reader for the launch of summer evening, oak leaflet series, Whitehorse, Yukon, February 26, 2014
  • Poetry in the Park, Whitehorse, Yukon (Whitehorse Poetry Society event), June 19, 2013
  • Brave New Words featured reader, Baked Cafe, Whitehorse, Yukon, October 25, 2010
  • An Evening with Yukon Writers, Yukon Public Libraries’ 50th Anniversary event, Whitehorse, Yukon, October 22, 2009
  • Poetry in Motion launch, Whitehorse, Yukon, August 2003
  • Finalist, CBC Poety Face-off, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, March 2003
  • Yukon Writers Festival Poetry Slam, Whitehorse, Yukon, May 2002
  • Out of Service magazine launch, Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2001
  • JBI reading series, featured reader, Victoria, B.C., March 2000
  • Mocombo Poetry Reading Series, featured reader, Victoria, B.C., April 2000
  • Poet Laureate, Peter Gzowski Invitational Golf Tournament for Literacy, Whitehorse, Yukon, June 2000

Panel moderator

  • “The Fine Art of Editing, Publishing and Promoting” Whitehorse Poetry Festival, June 22, 2013, Whitehorse, Yukon


  • Atlin Arts and Music Festival: “Words and Whatnot” with Yvonne Blomer and Jamella Hagen, Atlin, B.C., July 9, 2016
  • Magnetic Encounter, Magnetic North Theatre Festival: “Words and Whatnot” with Erin Brubacher and Talya Rubin, Woodcutter’s Blanket, Whitehorse, Yukon, June 14, 2016.
  • Poetry in the Park, Whitehorse, Yukon (Yukon Writers’ Collective Ink event), July 11, 2014
  • Book launch Joanna Lilley‘s poetry collection The Fleece Era (Brick Books), Whitehorse, Yukon, March 21, 2014
  • The Crash Reading Series, Vancouver, British Columbia, May 2004