As a poet, I am interested in perception and representation, with a particular focus on the visual arts, “ruin porn,” architecture, domestic spaces, theme parks, and the “middle landscape” of zoos and gardens. Zoos in particular are central to my most recent poetry collection, A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth, and to an anthology I co-edited with Katia Grubisic and Simon Reader, Penned: Zoo Poems. Both projects were supported by grants from SSHRC and FQRSC.
Long Exposure, my current project, is a book-length poem that takes as its starting point Robert Polidori’s post-disaster photographs of New Orleans and Chernobyl. This interrogation of the writer’s relationship to looking and to art-making also concerns itself with, among other subjects, the treatment of Canadians of Japanese ancestry during World War II, and Japan’s 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster. The work troubles distinctions between natural and human-caused disasters and asks questions about individual responsibility and the ethics of a poetry of witness.
As a thesis supervisor, I have worked with students writing in a range of genres and approaches to genre: collections of discrete poems, linked and long poems, lyric essays, cross-genre writing, mixed-media work (writing and textiles; writing and photography), and prose in the form of short fiction and the novel.
As guest editor of the inaugural The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008 anthology, I read all the poetry published in English in Canadian literary journals the previous year. My introduction to the collection offers reflections on this sometimes rewarding, sometimes frustrating, always illuminating process and on the aesthetic and pedagogical implications of literary evaluation.
My poetry has received the Norma Epstein Award (1993), the Bronwen Wallace Award (1996), The Malahat Review's Long Poem Prize (1997), Contemporary Verse 2’s poetry competition (1997), the Governor General’s Award (1998, for White Stone), the Gerald Lampert Award (1998, for White Stone), Mother Tongue Press’ Poetry Chapbook Competition (1998), the Archibald Lampman Award (1999, for Pavilion), and The Antigonish Review’s Great Blue Heron Poetry Competition (2003), and has been nominated for the Trillium Award (1999) and the Pat Lowther Award (1998 and 2012), and a finalist for the Canada Writes / CBC competition (2012 and 2019).
2004 - 2009: Fonds Québecois de recherche sur la société et la culture, Nouveaux Chercheurs-Créateurs, “Ménagerie des plantes, Jardin des animaux: The Poetry of Zoos and Gardens in Québec and Western Europe”
2004 - 2009: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Research/Creation Grant in Fine Arts, “Middle Landscape: A Literary Exploration of Groomed and Caged Nature in North America”
16 June 2018: CCWWP (Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs) conference, Toronto (Harbourfront)
• panel presenter, “Constructions of Whiteness”
17 June 2016: CCWWP conference,Toronto (Harbourfront)
17 May 2014: CCWWP conference, Vancouver (University of BC)
22 June 2013: Whitehorse Poetry Festival, The Old Fire Hall, Whitehorse, Yukon
10 February 2013: Dialogic Session, Law, Literature, and Loss Series, St. James United Church, Montreal
Thursday, May 10 – Sunday, May 13 2012: CCWWP (Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs) conference, Toronto (Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning)
23 April 2012: Writers Out Loud with Stephanie Bolster, Mary di Michele, Josip Novakovich, and Sina Queyras, Concordia University, Montreal
3 November 2011: English 230 course (Canadian Poetry), CEGEP John Abbott College
22 October 2011: Vancouver 125 Poetry Conference, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Vancouver
24 May 2011: Writers Out Loud with Kate Hall and Johanna Skibsrud, Ye Olde Orchard Pub,Pointe-Claire, Quebec
10 October 2010: CCWWP (Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs) inaugural conference, University of Calgary and The Banff Centre, Alberta
5 May 2010: “Breaking Barriers: Writers, Scientists, and Mathematicians in Conversation,” TransCanada Pipelines Pavilion, The Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Alberta
9 February 2010: Dialogic session, Beautiful Minds series, Galérie Samuel Lallouz, Montreal
April 26 – May 15, 2010: Writing Studios, The Banff Centre for the Arts – Teaching Faculty for poetry
February 20 – 25, 2006: Writer-in-Residence, Douglas College, New Westminster, BC
June 26 – July 9, 2005: Summer Literary Seminars, St. Petersburg, Russia – Teaching Faculty for poetry
January 1 – March 31, 2003: Department of English, McGill University, Montréal – Reynolds Atelier Writer-in-Residence
July 7 - 14, 2001: Booming Ground Writers’ Community, Green College, University of British Columbia, Vancouver – Teaching Faculty for poetry
July 1 - 4, 1999 and June 30 – July 3, 2000: Taddle Creek Summer Writers’ Workshop, Department of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto – Teaching Faculty for poetry
28 January 2016:“Solitary Collaboration: The Whys and Hows of Ekphrasis,” Concordia WriteNights, Concordia University, Montreal
28 September 2009: “Penned: Writing Animals in Captivity,” Sustainable Writing Lab Seminar Series, York University, Toronto
8 April 2006: Full Day Poetry Workshop, Blue Metropolis Literary Festival, Montréal
26 October 2004: Poetry Workshop, Québec Writers’ Federation, Montréal
30 April 2004: Thousand Islands Secondary School, Brockville, Ontario
2019: Finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize for "Shelter Object" (revised), an excerpt from Long Exposure
2017: Longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize for "Shelter Object," an excerpt from Long Exposure
2012: Finalist for the CBC / Canada Writes competition for "Long Exposure," an excerpt from Long Exposure
2012: Finalist for the Pat Lowther Award (best poetry book by a Canadian woman) for A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth
2003: First Prize winner of The Antigonish Review’s Great Blue Heron Poetry Competition
2000: Archibald Lampman Award (best book of poetry published in the National Capital region) for Two Bowls of Milk
2000: Shortlisted for Trillium Award (best book published in Ontario) for Two Bowls of Milk
1999: Gerald Lampert Award (best first book of poetry published in Canada, awarded by the League of Canadian Poets)for White Stone: The Alice Poems
1999: Shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award (best poetry book by a Canadian woman) and the Ottawa-Carleton Book Award for White Stone: The Alice Poems
1998: Governor General’s Award (best poetry book published in Canada) for White Stone: The Alice Poems
1998: First Prize winner of Mother Tongue Press’ Poetry Chapbook Contest for “Inside a Tent of Skin: 9 poems from the National Gallery of Canada”
1997: One of two winners of The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, for “Deux personnages dans la nuit: poems from paintings by Jean Paul Lemieux”
1997: First Prize winner of Contemporary Verse 2 poetry competition for “Poems for the Flood”
1996: Winner of Bronwen Wallace Award for Poetry, given bi-annually (in alternate years, given for fiction) to the most promising Canadian poet under 35 who has not yet published a first book
1993: Poetry winner of the Norma Epstein Award for Creative Writing, awarded by University College, University of Toronto
A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth. London, Ontario: Brick Books, 2011 (in second printing). 80 pages.
Pavilion. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, April 2002. 72 pages.
Two Bowls of Milk. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, March 1999 (in second printing). 86 pages.
White Stone: The Alice Poems. Montréal: Signal Editions/Véhicule Press, April 1998 (in fifth printing). 80 pages.
Pierre Blanche: poèmes d’Alice, trans. Daniel Canty. Montréal: Les Éditions du Noroît, August 2007. 96 pages.
Ghosts. Limited edition chapbook. Ottawa, Ontario: above/ground press, August 2017. unpaginated.
Past the Roman Arena and the Cedar of Lebanon. Handmade limited edition chapbook. Montréal, Québec: Delirium Press, April 2006. 20 pages.
Biodôme. Limited edition chapbook. Ottawa, Ontario: above/ground press, April 2006. unpaginated.
Inside a Tent of Skin: 9 Poems from the National Gallery of Canada. Handmade limited edition chapbook (First Prize winner of annual chapbook contest). Salt Spring Island, British Columbia: Mother Tongue Press, May 1998. 28 pages.
Portraits of Alice. Limited edition chapbook. Shelburne, Ontario: Lewis Carroll Society of Canada, April 1998. 18 pages.
Three Bloody Words. Limited edition chapbook. Ottawa, Ontario: above/ground press, May 1996. 24 pages. Twentieth anniversary edition with new afterword, May 2016.
The Broadview Introduction to Literature, Second Edition, ed. Lisa Chalykoff, Neta Gordon, and Paul Lumsden. Calgary: Broadview Press, Spring 2018. (page numbers unknown)
The Best of the Best of Canadian Poetry in English, ed. Molly Peacock and Anita Lahey. Toronto:Tightrope Books, Fall 2017.
I Found it at the Movies, ed. Ruth Roach Pierson and Sue MacLeod. Toronto: Tightrope Books, 2013.
The Best Canadian Poetry in English, ed. Carmine Starnino. Toronto: Tightrope Books, 2012.
Poet to Poet, eds. Michael Mirolla, Julie Roorda, and Elana Wolff. Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2012.
Open Wide a Wilderness: Canadian Nature Poems, ed. Nancy Holmes. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2009.
A Verse Map of Vancouver, ed. George McWhirter. Vancouver, BC: Anvil Press, 2009.
The New Canon, ed. Carmine Starnino. Montréal: Signal Editions/Véhicule Press, 2005.
Breathing Fire: Canada’s New Poets. Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 1995.
Grain magazine – Vol. 42, Issue 1, Winter 2021 (Regina, Saskatchewan)
• 1 poem: At the End (The World)
CBC Books / Canada Writes, November 2019
• 1 long poem: Shelter Object
Contemporary Verse 2 – Vol. 42, Issue 3, Winter 2020 (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
• 2 poems: Katrina (The Levees), Windows Where There Were Windows (pp. 75-77)
Painted Bride Quarterly – Issue 99, Summer 2019 (Philadelphia)
• 1 poem: Ancestors (unknown page number)
Vallum - #16.1: Connections, Spring 2019 (Montreal, Quebec)
• 1 poem: Now (p. 58)
The Fiddlehead – #276, Summer 2018 (Fredericton, New Brunswick)
• 2 poems: Katrina (Camellia Grill), Wave (Wall) (pp. 69-71)
The New Quarterly – #147, Summer 2018 (Kitchener, Ontario)
• 3 poems: All, Here, Cusp (pp. 42-44)
The Malahat Review – #202, Spring 2018 (University of Victoria, BC)
• 1 poem: Tiffany, or Comfort (p. 29)
Ottawater – #14, January 2018 (Ottawa, Ontario)
• 1 poem: Long Exposure (Weather)
New Poetry, May 8, 2017 (St. John's Newfoundland), newpoetry.ca
• 1 poem: High Line
Numero Cinq, Summer 2017, numerocinqmagazine.com
• 10 poems: Midlife, Selfie, Mother, Lost, Bad Dream, Noise, Once, Strandbeests, Niceville, FL, Wet
Contemporary Verse 2, Volume 37, Number 4, Spring 2015 (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
• 2 poems: Ornamental, Three Trees (pp. 63-65)
• 1 poem: Solstice (p. 41)
Cosmonauts Avenue 1.2, December 2014 (Montreal, Quebec)
• 1 poem: Panorama Mesdag
Matrix #100, Fall 2014 (Concordia University, Montreal)
Hazlitt, 30 June 2014
• 1 poem: After Psalm
2 poems: Party; Elantra
The Fiddlehead #260, Summer 2014 (University of New Brunswick, Fredericton) (pp. 87 – 93)
Ottawater – #10, January 2014 (Ottawa, Ontario) (unpaginated)
• 3 poems: A la Claire fontaine; Paintpots; Sensitive Plant
DUSIE (www.dusie.org), 8 October 2013 (Switzerland)
• 1 poem: Kudzu
The Malahat Review – #182, Spring 2013 (University of Victoria, BC) (pp. 54-55)
CBC Books / Canada Writes, September 2012
• 1 long excerpt from Long Exposure ("He didn't move the dress . . . ") (unpaginated)
Toronto Poetry Vendors, Spring 2012 (Toronto, Ontario) and video on website
• 1 poem: Vacation
Ottawater – #8, January 2012 (Ottawa, Ontario)
Number 5, Spring 2011 (Montréal, Québec)
Contemporary Verse 2– Volume 33, Number 2, Fall 2010 (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Arc – Poetry Annual 2011, Summer 2010 (Ottawa, Ontario
The New Quarterly– #114, Spring 2010 (Waterloo, Ontario
My (Small Press) Writing Day (online series): http://mysmallpresswritingday.blogspot.com/2019/02/stephanie-bolster-my-writing-day.html, posted 14 February 2019 - 7 page essay (unpaginated)
The New Quarterly, Writing Spaces (online series) : https://tnq.ca/writing-spaces-stephanie-bolster/, posted 13 August 2018; short essay on my home office (unpaginated)
Writing Creative Writing : Essays from the Field, ed. Rishma Dunlop, Daniel Scott Tysdal, and Priscila Uppal. Toronto: Dundurn Press, Spring 2018. 304 pp.; one essay: “One of these Things is Not Like the Others: The Writer in the University” (pp. 230-240)
Queen Mob’s Teahouse, posted 6 June 2016 (http://queenmobscom/2016/06/three-bloody-words-an-interview-with-stephanie-bolster/); interviewed by Ottawa poet rob mclennan (unpaginated)
Celebration of Canadian Poetry 2015 (ed. Kitty Lewis), posted 17 September 2015, Brick Books website (http://www.brickbooks.ca/week-38-margaret-atwood-presented-by-stephanie-bolster/); essay on Margaret Atwood’s “This is a Photograph of Me”
Global Poetry Anthology, edited by Valerie Bloom, Stephanie Bolster, Frank M. Chipasula, Fred D’Aguiar, Michael Harris, John Kinsella, Sinéad Morrissey, Odia Ofeimun, Eric Ormsby, and Anand Thakore. Montreal: Signal Editions/Véhicule Press,Spring 2012. 100 pp.
Penned: Zoo Poems, edited by Stephanie Bolster, Katia Grubisic, and Simon Reader. Montreal: Signal Editions/Véhicule Press, Fall 2009. 150 pp.
The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008, edited by Stephanie Bolster, series/advisory editor Molly Peacock.Toronto: Tightrope Books, Fall 2008. 155 pp.
13 February 2020: Poetic Notions, E.K. Voland Art Gallery, Montreal
24 September 2019: Poetry Matters, Atwater Library, Montreal
5 February 2019: Librairie Bertrand, Montreal
17 November 2018: Rapid Fire Readings, Salon du Livre, Montreal
17 March 2018: Off the Page Literary Festival, Concordia University, Montreal
5 September 2017: Resonance Reading Series, Resonance Café, Montreal
5-7 October 2016: Festival international de poésie, Trois-Rivières, Québec
10 September 2016: above/ground press 23rd anniversary launch, Black Squirrel Books, Ottawa
17 April 2016: Too Earnest, graduate poetry reading, Brass Door Pub, Montreal
16 October 2015: Translating Horses launch, Argo Books, Montreal
26 September 2015: 50th Anniversary Reading, Pointe-Claire Public Library, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
24 September 2015: Bibliotheque et archives nationale du Quebec, Jazz et poesie bilingual reading, Montreal
18 September 2015: Poetry and Music Performance, Town of Mount Royal, Quebec
8 and 9 May 2015: Falstaff Family Centre and Gallery Stratford, SpringWorks Festival, Stratford, Ontario
25 April 2015: Vallum Magazine Launch, Blue-Metropolis-Bleu Festival, Hotel 10, Montreal
20 February 2015: Drawn & Quarterly, SLS-Montreal reading, Montreal
23 November 2014: Dorval Cultural Centre, Poetry and Music performance, Dorval, Quebec
5 November 2014: Beaconsfield Library, Poetry and Music Performance, Beaconsfield, Quebec
23 October 2014: Storyfest, Hudson, Quebec
25 April 2014: Graduate Poetry Class Reading, McKibbin’s Irish Pub, Montreal
30 March 2014: Kids Write Fundraiser, Concordia University, Montreal
2 November 2013: Words Aloud Festival, Durham, Ontario
29 September 2013: Les Journees de la Culture, Concert-Chat, Stewart Hall, Pointe-Claire
24 September 2013: Tree Reading Series, Ottawa, Ontario
21-23 June 2013: Whitehorse Poetry Festival, Whitehorse, Yukon
21 May 2013: Twigs & Leaves, Ste. Anne de Bellevue
6 May 2013: Rower’s Pub, Toronto
28 April 2013: Ottawa International Writers’ Festival, Manx Pub
27 April 2013: Blue-Metropolis-Bleu Poetry Festival, Montreal
15 March 2013: Argo Books, Montreal
20 February 2013: Poetry London, London Public Library, London, Ontario
23 November 2012: St. Mary’s University, Halifax
22 November 2012: University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown
21 November 2012: St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia
20 November 2012: University of New Brunswick, Fredericton
November 2012: University of New Brunswick, Saint John
30 September 2012: Kingston Writers Fest, Kingston, Ontario
11 July 2012: The Pivot Reading Series, The Press Club, Toronto
10 July 2012: The Art Bar Reading Series, Pauper’s Pub, Toronto
3 May 2012: Robson Reading Series, UBC Bookstore at Robson Square, Vancouver
27 April 2012: Planet Earth Poetry Series,The Moka House, Victoria
1 April 2012: gritLIT festival, Hamilton,Ontario
29 March 2012: Atwater Poetry Project, Atwater Library, Montreal
3 January 2012: Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver
13 November 2011: Collected Works Bookstore, Ottawa, Ontario
26 October 2011: Launch of A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth, Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore, Montreal
21 October 2011: Vancouver 125 Poetry Conference, W2, Vancouver
20 October 2011: Vancouver 125 Poetry Conference, SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver
20 August 2011: Launch of Pointe-Claire: The City We Share, Pointe-Claire Public Library, Quebec
12 July 2011: Literatures in English: Ethical, Cultural and Transnational Perspectives, conference hosted by Concordia University’s School of Canadian Irish Studies and the Centre for the International Study of Literatures in English at the University of Innsbruck, Austria; Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
1 December 2010: A River of Poetry / Une pluie des mots, de langues, de silences; presented with colleagues from Concordia University, Grande Bibliothèque, Montreal
30 September 2010: Morris House reading series, Bishop’s University, Lennoxville, Quebec
8 May 2010: Banff Centre for the Arts, faculty and student reading, Banff, Alberta
13 March 2010: Inter-university graduate conference reading, Arts Café, Montréal
"Shelter Object" longlisted for CBC/Canada Reads Poetry Prize, posted 8 November 2017
Celebration of Canadian Poetry (ed. Kitty Lewis), posted 19 May 2016, Brick Books website (http://www.brickbooks.ca/week-73-stephanie-bolster-presented-by-nancy-holmes/)
essay by Nancy Holmes on my poem “Many Have Written Poems about Blackberries”
Celebration of Canadian Poetry (ed. Kitty Lewis), posted 31 December 2015, Brick Books website (http://www.brickbooks.ca/week-53-stephanie-bolster-presented-by-molly-peacock/)
essay by Molly Peacock on my poem “Luggie”
Celebration of Canadian Poetry (ed. Kitty Lewis), posted 26 November 2015, Brick Books website (http://www.brickbooks.ca/week-48-stephanie-bolster-presented-by-crystal-hurdle/)
• essay by Crystal Hurdle on my book White Stone: The Alice Poems
Concordia News, 26 August 2015, “When we go to theme parks, what are we trying to escape?,” Tom Peacock
Concordia News, 20 August 2015, “This was not supposed to happen”: excerpts from Stephanie Bolster’s Long Exposure
Montreal Gazette, 8 May 2015, “Young writers drive Montreal’s literary scene,” Victor Swoboda
Print and Online Media for A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth,2011-2013
Review (by Matthew Zantingh) in The Goose 12/13 (2013) (pp. 217-219)
Review (by Rebecca Geleyn) in The Fiddlehead #255, Spring 2013 (pp. 104-107)
Review (by Maurice Mireau) in Event 41.2, Fall 2012 (p. xxx)
Review (by Katherine Sehl) in Matrix 93, Fall 2012 (p. 58)
Interview on CBC Books website, September 2012
Review (by Kevin Shaw) on The Bull Calf 2.2, Spring 2012
Review (by Shane Rhodes) in The Malahat Review #178, Spring 2012
Review (by “Inkslinger”) on blog The Overdecorated Bookcase, Friday, 7 October 2011
Review(by Gillian Harding-Russell) in Prairie Fire Review of Books, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2012
Review (by Candace Fertile) in Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Issue #11, January – April 2012
“The Nature of Things”: review (by Abby Page) in Montreal Review of Books (Spring2012)
Review (by Devin Pacholik) on Global Regina, Morning News, Book Review Club (2 March 2012)
http://www.globalregina.com/video/bookreview club march 2nd/video.html?v=2204616855#interviews/video
Review (by Devin Pacholik) (2 March 2012)
“Playing with danger”: review (by Quentin Mills-Fenn) in Uptown (Winnipeg) (1 March 2012)
“An Education” (from A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth) chosen for “Poem of the Month” feature on Montreal Review of Books website (April 2012)
“Familiarand Strange”: review (by Moberley Luger) in Canadian Literature (December2011)
Review (by Jim Johnstone) in Northern Poetry Review (January 2012)
Listed as one of Carmine Starnino’s Top Ten Poetry Books of 2011
Listed as one of rob mclennan’s Top Eleven (Canadian) Poetry Books of 2011
Review (by John Oughton) on Poetry Quebec site, 17 December 2011
“Verse that turns us inside out”: review (by Barbara Carey) in The Toronto Star, 18 October 2011
“Collections take a hard look at Canadian history, nature”: review (by Bill Robertson) in the Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 25 November 2011
http://www.thestarphoenix.com/travel/Collectionstake hard look Canadian history nature/5769078/story.html
Review (by Heather Craig) in the Telegraph-Journal (New Brunswick), 15 October 2011
Interview on Open Book Toronto, posted September 2011
“Pitch Perfect: Two new poetry collections display virtuosity in technique and tone”: review by Nick Thran in Quill & Quire http://www.quillandquire.com/reviews/review.cfm?review_id=7446
Review (by Jonathan Ball) in The Winnipeg Free Press, 24 September 2011<
Review (by Ian Pople) on The Manchester Review website (http://www.themanchesterreview.co.uk/blog.php, 23 September 2011
>Review by rob mclennan on rob mclennan’s blog (http://robmclennan.blogspot.com/2011/09/stephanie-bolster-page-from-wonders-of.html), 8 September 2011
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