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Nanaimo poet, reviewer to speak in Nelson

Nanaimo poet Peter Culley will read from his poems and speak about his work at Oxygen Art Centre on Friday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m. - publicity photo
Nanaimo poet Peter Culley will read from his poems and speak about his work at Oxygen Art Centre on Friday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m.
— image credit: publicity photo

Nanaimo innovative poet Peter Culley, who has wide experience as an art, book and film reviewer, will read from his poems and speak about his work at Oxygen Art Centre on Friday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Culley’s books of poems include the Hammertown trilogy published by Vancouver’s New Star Books: Hammertown (2003), The Age of Briggs & Stratton (2008) and Parkway (2013).

“Parkway’s depth resides in its playfulness, which builds as contexts change and new appropriations produce insight,” said the Vancouver literary magazine subTerrain in a review of Culley’s latest.

“While reading Parkway, there is a constant feeling of being lost and found. Just as the reader begins to achieve belonging, a new text appears, forcing change and readjustment. However, if one is willing to seek and oscillate, Culley’s intense engagement and humorous criticism is enjoyable.”

Culley said his Hammertown trilogy consists of poems in several modes attempting, “to trace not only my own perceptions in language but to convey a sense of these perceptions moving through time, space and history.”

The author’s writings on art have appeared in numerous publications and catalogues since 1986. He has published more than 200 book reviews in Publisher’s Weekly, and for several years wrote program notes for the Vancouver International Film Festival.

“My work as an art writer began socially — When I began writing art reviews in the 1980s, my community had as many artists in it as poets,” Culley said, adding that his work as a freelancer for Publisher’s Weekly and the Vancouver film festival lasted until the demise of paid freelancing “and the explosion of venues where one can publish for nothing.”

Culley advises that “anybody who wants to be a serious poet should also be writing prose because it’s the only way to learn the difference.”

Culley’s appearance, part of Oxygen’s Presentation Series, is free ($5 donation appreciated) and open to the public. The Oxygen Art Centre is located at 320 Vernon Street (alley entrance).

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