“Call me an introvert with a thirst for knowledge. For the first five years of my life, I lived on the prairies in a three-room house with no running water or working toilet. That serene life (books, words, open rural spaces and unscheduled play) is something I still treasure. My interest in poetry developed much later.”
What started as a writing career in print journalism and public relations in her twenties and thirties has evolved into a poetic journey spanning over the last eleven years.
Today, she is a professional poet currently on tour with Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press, 2014) her first full collection of poetry by a trade publisher. She is the Past President of The Ontario Poetry Society, a Member of The League of Canadian Poets, The Writers Union of Canada, Sarnia’s AfterHours Poets and the recipient of two Writers’ Reserve grants from the Ontario Arts Council. She loves promoting the work of other writers and for eight years she has been a co-host of a monthly open mic event in southwestern Ontario.
To date, over 290 of her poems have been published in over 110 different publications/websites including the Literary Review of Canada, Descant, Existere, Vallum, The Windsor Review, and Other Voices in Canada plus Mobius, The Binnacle, Thema, and Still Point Arts Quarterly in the United States. She has read her work throughout Ontario including the Fringe Stage of the 2011 Eden Mills Writers’ Festival and during the 2012 PoeTrain Express/Spring Pulse Poetry Festival in Cobalt. Several of her poems have won awards.
In addition to her Black Moss Press book, she has two chapbooks published by Beret Days Press and is part of EnCompass I, a 75-page anthology featuring the work of five Canadian poets. Between touring, she hopes to polish two new manuscripts. Next spring she will be editing Mindshadows, a 2015 membership anthology for The Ontario Poetry Society.
Follow her website/blog Kites Without Stringshttp://okunhill.wordpress.com/ and on twitter @OkunHill
WHERE: The Mykonos Restaurant at 572 Adelaide St. North, London, Ontario. The restaurant has a large, covered terrace just behind the main restaurant, which comfortably holds 60 poetry lovers. Mediterranean food and drinks are available. Except for the coldest months, the terrace is open to the parking lot behind. Overflow parking is available across the side street and in the large lot one block north, in front of Trad’s Furniture.
WHEN: Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014.
MUSIC: We are quietening down our music to allow for easier conversation than was possible in the past. Consequently, we will have live accompanying music from 6:30 to 7:00, or, if we can't get a musician, piped-in restaurant music.
THE FEATURED POET: Debbie Okun Hill will open the poetry portion of the event at 7:00, followed by a Q&A.
OPEN MIC: Following the featured poet, 15 open mic poets will read for about 1.5 hours, ending about 9:00 pm. Each poet has five minutes (which is about two good pages of poetry, but it should be timed at home). Sign up on the reader`s list, which is on the book table at the back. It's first come, first served.
RAFFLE PRIZES: Anyone who donates to London Open Mic Poetry Night receives a ticket for a raffle prize, three of which will be picked after the intermission. The prizes consist of poetry books donated by Brick Books and The Ontario Poetry Society. Donations are our only source of income. We still haven't paid off our initial debt!