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Recent articles about Heather

Poetry In Motion: Shifting the definition of spoken word

There's nothing precious about poetry, or Heather Haley

Visible Verse's Heather Haley celebrates poetry on film


Hear interviews with Heather Haley

Wax Poetic with S.R. Duncan and RC Weslowski on Vancouver Coop Radio

Sound Therapy with Jay Peachy on CJSF

Red River Writers Live - Notebook Writer with Mike Marcellino

Unobstructed, hosted by Alaina R. Alexander - Blog Talk Radio

Outsight Radio Hours interviews Heather

Voices on

Transcript of Epoets interview


Heather Haley's poem 'Habitat' posted on websites

Read it on the Geist website or


Authors Aloud Hosts Reading by Heather Haley Online

Hear her read "God's Country" from the poetry collection, Sideways. Then you can explore the Authors Aloud website and its reading library.


Small Sexy Word Event

From the Montréal Mirror

Quebec’s English Language Arts Network is kicking off a series of “Small Sexy Events” this Sunday, July 20 at 8 p.m. at Casa del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent), with West Coast spoken word icon Heather Haley.

She and musician Roderick Shoolbraid are touring in support of her latest CD, Princess Nut. Haley’s poetic performances draw on intense situations found in everyday existence.

“It’s what hits home, that which I feel in my gut, that is what I’m compelled to portray in my writing,” Haley explains. “I don’t like to preach or be preached at, neither do I pull any punches. I address disturbing issues like addiction and domestic violence and I’m so weary of people telling me my ‘work is dark.’ It’s rather akin to pointing out to me that my hair is red!” Other performers in the ELAN line-up include alternative world musician HuDost, and local accordianist/chanteuse Jordi Rosen. $5.

Logo of the Thunderbird online magazineHeather Haley, video poet and curator of See the Voice: Visible Verse 2006

Video poetry hits the big screen

By Catherine Rolfsen
or The Thunderbird

An artist from Bowen Island near Vancouver is challenging the notion that poetry is an archaic form of art, using new technologies to literally change the way we look at poetry.

Heather Haley was behind a recent evening devoted to video poetry in Vancouver, ranging from the hilarious to the profound to the disorienting.

Read the full story...

by Gwynedd Trembly

Movies: Videopoetry

by Kevin Griffin
Vancouver Sun

When I told a friend I was working on a story about videopoetry, his first response was a blank stare. Then came the question "Oh, what's that? " His "that" dripped sarcasm.

His reaction had everything to do with how we regard poets. Rodney Dangerfield may have said "I get no respect" but it was a joke and you laughed. Poets, on the other hand, really don't get no respect and it's no joke.

In a media culture that worships money and celebrity, poets steadfastly pursue neither. They write their poems, scrimp and cajole to get enough money to publish their chapbooks that, at best are read by a few thousand souls, and don't get mentioned on Fresh Sheet. Despite it all, they stubbornly keep writing and publishing their poems.

Add video to poetry and most people don't know what to make of it, at least initially, and that's according to Heather Haley, a videopoet herself and organizer and host of this evening's 7:30 p.m. performance called Visible Verse at Pacific Cinematheque, 1131 Howe.

To clear up any confusion: videopoetry isn't video art, although it's close. It's something new. A videopoem starts out as a poem that gets still or moving images added afterwards.

Haley said the focus in a videopoem is on the voice, the poem, rather than the moving images.

The word videopoetry was first coined in 1978 by Tom Konyves, a poet who thought it best described his multimedia work with Vehicule Poets in Montreal. Konyves, who now lives in Crescent Beach, was the People's Choice at Haley's first festival of videopoetry in 1999.

Haley, a former writer for LA Weekly in California who covered poetry, last year released Surfing Season, a CD of her music and poetry, and Sideways, a collection of her verse published by Anvil Press.

Not only do Haley and other videopoets have to penetrate a wall of ignorance about videopoetry, they often find themselves coming up against poetry purists who are repelled by the idea of mixing mediums.

"Some people are offended by the idea that you're giving images to them along with the words," Haley said.

"People have this purist attitude that they want to compose their own images. My answer is: 'This is my poem.' If I want to add images, then I will. If you don't like it, don't watch it. A lot of people think that poetry should stay on the page."

Sixteen videopoems from around North America will be screened tonight, including Leanne Averbach's Car Wash, Sheri-D Wilson's Spinsters Hanging In Trees, and Nico Stagias' Butch. There will also be onstage performances by Alexandra Olivier and Bernard McLeod.

Audience members will be encouraged to participate by voting for their favourite piece.

Tickets are $8.50. More information at and 604-688-FILM.

© 2004 CanWest Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


"Between, Within" by Heather Hermant

See the Voice - An Evening of Visible Verse

Created and Hosted by Heather Haley

Vancouver author and media poet Heather Haley hosts a special evening of video poetry, devoted to new works from Canada and the United States.

Also known as poetry-film or cine-poetry, video poetry is a hybrid creative form that integrates spoken-word poetry with media-art visuals produced by a camera or a computer.

Because the voice is the catalyst whatever the medium, the evening will also include live spoken-word performances by poets Alexandra Oliver and Brendan McLeod.

A leading figure in the advancement of video poetry in Canada, Heather Haley founded the Edgewise ElectroLit Centre and the Vancouver Videopoem Festival. Surfing Season, a CD of her music and poetry, and Sideways, a collection of her verse published by Anvil Press, both appeared last year. She is currently directing Purple Lipstick, a new video poem, and also performs with her new musical group, Sideways.

For more information, see the Pacific Cinémathèque Web site.


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