5 Poets Breaking Into Song at EAWLC

Ready for a moment floating in poetry, live music and songs?

With the courtesy of our old friend, national poet laureate George Elliott Clarke, the East and West Learning Connections proudly co-hosts this exciting festival for you.

Five poets will each recite poetry for approximately 10 minutes. Then each poet’s reading will conclude with the singing–by a professional singer–of a poem of theirs that has been set to music.

Everyone is welcome to join the poets, composers, singers and pianist, and let your heart sing like a child of a Muse for a moment on this May evening!

Friday May 14, 2021, 7:00-8:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Cost: Free

Zoom Registration:



The Poets

Toronto-based poet Ayesha Chatterjee grew up in India and is the author of two poetry collections, The Clarity of Distance and Bottles and Bones.

Giovanna Riccio is the author of 3 poetry books; her work has appeared in national and international journals and anthologies.

Lisa Richter is the author of two books, including Nautilus and Bone (Frontenac House, 2020), winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Poetry.

Andrea Thompson is a writer, editor, educator and award-winning spoken word artist. www.andreathompson.ca

Anna Yin was Mississauga’s Inaugural Poet Laureate and has authored five poetry collections. She won awards from Canada and USA and teaches Poetry Alive workshops.

The Composers, Singers, & Pianist

 Emily Hiemstra (b.1991) is a real-life viola mom. She is a violist, composer and mom to two amazing boys under 3 based in Toronto, ON.

David Jaeger is a composer, producer and broadcaster based in Toronto, best known as the creator of the long-running CBC Radio series Two New Hours.

Juliet Palmer’s music has found its way to a highway off-ramp, a swimming pool, a boxing ring and to concert halls across North America, Europe and Oceania. From Aotearoa New Zealand, Juliet makes her home in Toronto.

James Rolfe’s music has been performed by ensembles, orchestras, choirs, and opera companies in Canada and abroad, and recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Jules Léger Prize, and Dora and JUNO Award nominations.

Karen Usha is a soprano who transcends her classical training and brings her versatility to a variety of genres and audiences, locally and abroad.

Gao Yuan, a music lover, immigrated from China to Canada to continue his business which retails pianos and provides piano instruction.



 George Elliott Clarke is the 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15) and the 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada (2016-17).

Yang Wang is Founder and President of the East and West Learning Connections  — we help people of different heritages break cultural barriers and get connected!


George Elliott Clarke,

League of Canadian Poets,

East and West Learning Connections.

(Poster created by Shirley Chen.  Photos courtesy of poets listed above.)

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