Back to top

Celebrated Okanagan Poet John Lent reads in Nelson

A life-embracing author, musician, and educator comes to the Nelson Public Library on Thursday, October 17 at 7 p.m. John Lent reads from his new poetry collection A Matins Flywheel (Thistledown Press) in an evening that promises to be reflective, provocative, and honest. Joining Lent will be Nelson poet and this year’s Richard Carver Award recipient Rayya Liebich. 

Matins in morning prayer; a flywheel is the component of machine that keeps momentum up. Lent’s book is a meditation on life: what we might wish for, and how we move forward, regardless. Author Jake Kennedy describes A Matins Flywheel as having “All the glittering, hilarious muck of grace — that’s what’s here: all of the doggy and sun-edged textures of grace.”

Says poet Sharon Thesen, “A Matins Flywheel — a bibliography of the saints of poetry, literature, and music; a late-life and very personal ‘defence’ of the living truths of art; an awesome sanctus for the beauty of the world — is John Lent’s finest and most important testament.”

Lent is the author of six volumes of poetry, three books of fiction, and a book of conversations about the writing life with Robert Kroetsch. A retired Dean of the Creative Writing department at Okanagan College, Lent taught at Notre Dame University College in Nelson and has been an advocate for Canadian writing and writers throughout his career. He is a founding member of the Kalamalka Press and the Kalamalka Institute for working writers. He is also a singer/songwriter who has been publishing and performing since the mid-seventies. He lives in Vernon with his wife, artist Jude Clarke.

Rayya Liebich’s poetry and prose have appeared in journals internationally and her poetry collection Tell Me Everything won Ontario’s Golden Grassroots Award. She works with writers of all ages, including through ArtStarts in Schools, in the Nelson Public Library’s teen programs, and at Oxygen Art Centre. She received the Richard Carver Award for Emerging Artists at the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival in July, 2019.