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Author Sharon Thesen and Nelson's Ross Klatte help celebrate 10 years of Oxygen Art Centre

By Contributor
November 9th, 2016

The second in a series of author readings during 2016-2017 that mark 10 years of arts programming at Nelson, B.C.’s Oxygen Art Centre will showcase Okanagan-based poet, editor, and teacher Sharon Thesen, and North Nelson memoirist and fiction writer Ross Klatte on Friday, November 18.

The duo’s reading begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free ($5 donation appreciated) and the event is open to the public. The Oxygen Art Centre is located at 320 Vernon St. (alley entrance).

Thesen, who taught for more than a decade at UBC Okanagan, has had several collections of her poetry published, most recently Oyama Pink Shale from Anansi Press in 2011. Based in Lake Country, she has edited two editions of an anthology of long poems, and is a former editor of the literary magazine Capilano Review and Kelowna’s Lake: A Journal of Arts and Environment.

Klatte’s memoir Leaving the Farm was published by Fernie’s Oolichan Books in 2007. A short story of his that first appeared in the Nelson literary magazine New Orphic Review was shortlisted for the national $10,000 Journey Prize in 2011. Klatte, who lives on Nelson’s North Shore, also wrote the text for Selkirks Spectacular (2014), about the international Selkirk Loop drive.

Oxygen, Nelson’s only artist-run centre, was founded in 2002 by artists formerly employed by the city’s Kootenay School of the Arts. The first reading in the current celebratory series drew a full house Oct. 7 to hear former Canadian poet laureate Fred Wah and Ootischenia poet Linda Crosfield.

The third reading, on March 17, 2017, will spotlight current Saskatchewan poet laureate Gerry Hill, a former writing student at Nelson’s David Thompson University Centre, and Nelson poet and artist Susan Andrews Grace.

“Each reading in the series bring to Nelson a writer who has been associated in some way with the B.C. Southern Interior, and pairs him or her with a local author,” said Oxygen executive director Miriam Needoba.

The series aims to highlight how Oxygen serves local audiences and authors by offering the community opportunities to experience literary artists who might not otherwise perform in Nelson, and by fostering and featuring local literary talent.

Oxygen over the years has provided skill development for area writers through presenting readings, author talks and writing workshops, Needoba said.

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