The Olive Reading Series is very pleased to present Anna Marie Sewell!
Date: Tues 22nd January 2013
Place: Empress Ale House
Address: 9912 82 Avenue Edmonton
The Olive is very pleased to host a night with Edmonton’s current Poet Laureate, Anna Marie Sewell!
Anna Marie Sewell’s first book of poetry, Fifth World Drum, (2009, Frontenac House) was nominated for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award, City of Edmonton Book Prize, the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award and the ReLit award. Fifth World Drum won critical acclaim across Canada, from Malahat Review to the Globe and Mail.
Anna Marie is a cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural artist; past work of note includes co-coordinating Honour Songs, a tribute to Aboriginal women, for Edmonton’s 2007 Cultural Capital project; and her award winning Heart of the Flower project. Heart of the Flower was based on writing about the year she spent working in a small city north of Kyoto, Japan.
Anna grew up in the Peace country of northwestern Alberta, and only came to Edmonton when university seemed inevitable. She earned a BA Special in Drama, with a minor in Spanish, from University of Alberta. She has earned her crust as a teacher, community animator, race horse groom, therapist, pasta maker, candy pusher, theatre worker and more. From 1998 – 2001, she even started and ran a company, Big Sky Theatre, producing original Aboriginal theatre. She served on the board of the Edmonton Arts Council from 2003 – 06, which led to such memorable opportunities as visiting Wonju, Korea in pursuit of cultural connections. All along the way, poetry has been a common thread and constant companion.
Anna Marie considers herself to be “quite Canadian” – she is a Status Indian, a Mi’gmaq from Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation in Quebec. And though born in Mi’qmaq territory, in Fredericton, NB, her father’s family are mostly Anishnabe, and this is the part of her Aboriginal heritage with which she was most familiar growing up. On the other hand, Anishnabek are traditionally matrilineal, and Anna’s mother is the daughter of Polish immigrants. So, she is also part of the Slavic wave on the prairies, and first generation metis. She’s also a transplanted farm girl, who still loves to play in the dirt. (Go ahead, give her a pony.)
Anna Marie was a founding member of the Stroll of Poets Society, which has been a remarkable home for poets for 20 years now. She has also taken part in the Edmonton Poetry Festival’s annual month-long shindig, where you might have seen her host the Blinks (80+ poets, 30 seconds each, no hesitation) a time or three.