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New Westminster poet laureate featured at Poetry in the Park

Gather under the "poet tree" at Eighth & Eight for shared words on summer Saturdays
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Stephen Karr reads at a previous Poetry in the Park session. The poetry readings and open mic continue on summer Saturdays at 3 p.m., and Aug. 7 features the city's poet laureate, Elliott Slinn.

They're calling it the "poet tree" – and the large tree at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Eighth Street has become the site for Poetry in the Park every summer Saturday.

The Royal City Literary Arts Society organizes the readings, which include a presentation by a featured poet each week, plus an open mic. This weekend (Saturday, Aug. 7), Aidan Chafe will host the event, which features none other than New Westminster's own poet laureate, Elliott Slinn.

Poetry in the Park encourages writers of all colours, shapes and sizes to share their work on stage – poetry, spoken word, short stories and/or music. Each open mic should be between five and eight minutes (three poems). Poetry in the Park is an LGTBQ+ and BIPOC-inclusive program.

Sessions run every Saturday until Aug. 21 under the tree on the Massey Theatre lawn, outside the newly named Eighth & Eight creative arts space. The poetry runs from 3 to 4:30 p.m., and attendees are encouraged to bring a chair and sun protection (hat, umbrella and/or sunscreen).

Poetry in the Park is organized and run through the Royal Literary Arts Society in partnership with the Arts Council of New Westminster, the City of New Westminster and Massey Theatre.

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Got an arts event to share? Email Julie MacLellan, jmaclellan@newwestrecord.ca