Portal’s 2015 Launch!

Words to Transport You: Portal 2015 Launches April 9th 7pm
at VI Conference Centre with Keynote Gary Geddes

April 1, 2015
Acclaimed Canadian writer Gary Geddes, and author of the recent Drink the Bitter Root, is the keynote speaker at the launch of Portal magazine’s 2015 issue on Thursday, April 9, 2015, an event that this year is selling tickets to fund a larger venue to celebrate its growth and success after nearly 25 years of publication.

“The ability to host a bigger magazine launch like this is a victory,” says Managing Editor Jessica Key. “It lets us, and our 30+ contributors, advertisers and supporters, celebrate the exceptional talent in this issue with greater fanfare. Literary magazines have suffered big hits lately – The Capilano Review’s lost their funding and Descant published their final issue – so it is increasingly important to bring the literary community together and champion the independent magazines still going strong and discovering the nation’s emerging writers across genres.”

VIU’s annual full-colour literary magazine edits, designs and publishes student fiction, poetry, non-fiction, scripts, artwork, and photography selected from over 300 submission during a 7-month weekly class and is supported entirely by the 16-students’ fundraising efforts, event planning, and promotions. Because Portal only publishes work by current VIU students, contributors have greater odds of being published in this nationally distributed magazine.

This year’s launch features interviews with two high-profile Canadian First Nations writers. Katherena Vermette, the 2014 Ralph Gustafson Chair of Poetry for VIU, delivered a lecture in October and is the Winnipeg author of 2013 Governor General’s winner North End Love Songs. She spoke to Jennifer Cox in an interview entitled “Turtle Spirit” about the distinct joys of writing about home.

Haisla/Heitlsuk writer Eden Robinson grew up on the Kitamaat reserve and her acclaimed novel Monkey Beach preceded her latest book Sasquatch at Home. She spoke with Francine McCabe about our divided nation in “Our Canada, My Truth.”

The winner of Portal’s contest on the theme of First Nations’ empowerment was veteran Comox writer Lorin Medley. She says poetry, and her heart-wrenching submission, “There are Many Words for Maple,” gave her a form in which to express her gratitude to individuals who have honoured her with their stories.

“The original inspiration for “There are Many Words for Maple” came from a First Nations woman who taught me what it meant to be two-spirited,” explains Medley. “I have also had the privilege of bearing witness to the stories of many First Nations and Aboriginal women. Both the stories, and the women who told them, touched me deeply. I may never see them again, but in some way they have become a part of me.”

The launch takes place in the Mt. Benson Ballroom D of the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, 101 Gordon St in Nanaimo on Thursday April 9 at 7pm, and will feature nearly 20 dynamic 3-min readings by Portal 2015 contributors, live music by Andrew Rasmussen, a slideshow of art and photography, literary door prizes, an a draw for an iPad donated by Dean of Arts & Humanities Ross McKay. A $12 ticket includes a copy of the $10 magazine, while a $5-ticket covers admission only. Doors open at 6:30 pm. For more information and to order tickets, visit the Portal Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/portalmag or email viuportal@gmail.com.

Media Contact: Joy Gugeler, Publisher: 250-797-2623 or joy.gugeler@viu.ca
Or Natalie Goldbeck at viuportal@gmail.com

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