Acclaimed poet presents at Peony Festival and the Nelson Library

BlaineMarchandDapperAcclaimed poet presents at Peony Festival and the Nelson Library

Poetry and peonies feature this June in the West Kootenay.

Award-winning Ottawa poet and past-president of the Canadian Peony Society Blaine Marchand will journey west to be guest speaker at the 2017 Peony Show, June 9 – 11 in Castlegar. With a nod to Marchand’s poetic fame, the author will read from his work Thursday, June 8 at 7pm at the Nelson Public Library.

The National Poetry Contest and Archibald Lampman Award are among the accolades for Marchand, who, in addition to six books of poetry and a chapbook, has published children’s literature and non-fiction. He has been widely published in literary magazines and poetry anthologies, and is active in the literary world: he is a past president of the League of Canadian Poets and co-founded of the Canadian Review, Sparks magazine, the Ottawa Independent Writers, and the Ottawa Valley Book Festival. He was a monthly columnist for Capital XTRA, an LGBTQ community paper, for nine years.

In 2015 a reporter for the Central Experimental Farm newsletter, Mary Ann Smythe, wrote about Marchand’s affinity for plants and poetry: “When Blaine speaks of gardening—the serenity of weeding, the joy of building a garden or discovering a heritage plant—he paints a vivid picture. His words have the power to persuade, to evoke a long-forgotten scent or touch, to relive a childhood memory. When Blaine speaks it’s from his poet’s soul.”

At the Library, Marchand will read from his most recent books: Aperture, The Craving of Knives, and My Head, Filled with Pakistan. He will also read from a collection-in-progress, Where You Dwell.

More information about the Peony Festival can be found at Information about the Nelson Public Library and Marchand’s reading can be found at


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