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For release: October 5, 2004

POETS ACROSS CANADA HIT THE STREETS TO COMMIT “RANDOM ACTS OF POETRY” DURING WEEK LONG CELEBRATION and the Victoria READ Society join forces with 27 acclaimed Canadian poets to bring poetry to Canadians everywhere.

(Victoria, BC, October 5, 2004)—, in association with the Victoria READ Society, today announced the launch of “Random Acts of Poetry Week,” the first nation-wide public poetry celebration that will see Canadian poets reading poems in their own communities to people on the street.

The week long event will take place October 25th – 31st. Twenty-seven poets, living in 17 different cities from Newfoundland to British Columbia, will take part. Each poet will travel through their city, randomly reading poems to people in parks, bus stops, schools, cafes, shops, libraries, hair salons and other everyday places.

Wendy Morton, a published poet from Sooke, British Columbia toured Atlantic Canada in 2003, and Durham, Ontario in 2004, reading poems for strangers on the street, while supported by DaimlerChrysler and WestJet Airlines.

Morton explains how the idea for “Random Acts of Poetry Week” arose: “I’ve had remarkable experiences reading poetry to strangers, seeing how poetry could move them. I thought that poets all across Canada could commit “random acts” to promote poetry in a new way, and that this would also be an opportunity to raise awareness about literacy issues. Both the Victoria Read Society and have been very enthusiastic supporters, and the poets are delighted to be involved.”

Poets taking part include well known names such as Billeh Nickerson ( Vancouver), Sheri D Wilson ( Calgary), Glen Sorestad ( Saskatoon), Carolyn Souaid ( Montreal) and Mary Dalton (St.John’s). Souaid explains the appeal of being involved: “ Poetry is often perceived as a bitter pill. This will be an opportunity to knock poetry out of the ivory tower. An opportunity to hear a real flesh-and-blood poet, an invitation for the everyday person on the street to slow down a little and enjoy a literary burst of energy for what it is —nourishment for the soul.”

Lisa Stevens, VP of Marketing at AbeBooks agrees: “We’re pleased to help promote poetry and literacy in Canada, support independent publishers, and to simply remind people of the treasures to be found in books.” As part of the weeklong celebration, AbeBooks invites everyone to enter a prize draw for $500 worth of books from and 4 gift baskets filled with Prairie Naturals products and 2 tickets from WestJet Airlines, by filling in the phrase “I read poetry because...” on

In addition, funds from will go towards purchasing 1,500 books of poetry from Canadian publishers, which will be handed out to people who take part: each random act of poetry will conclude with the gift of a book of poetry to the “listener” from the poet. The Victoria READ Society will provide information about literacy issues in Canada and suggestions for individuals on how to support literacy in their communities.

For full details and bios for each poet visit and

About is the world’s largest online marketplace for books, with over 60 million new, used, rare, and out-of-print titles listed for sale by more than 12,500 independent booksellers from around the world. AbeBooks has millions of registered customers who collectively purchase more than 20,000 books a day from its 4 global websites (,,, A true internet success story, has been selling books online since 1996, and is a private company based in Victoria, BC Canada, with offices in Düsseldorf, Germany.

About Wendy Morton

During the day, Wendy Morton is an insurance investigator. During the night, she’s a poet with two books: Private Eye and Undercover published by Ekstasis Editions. She commits random acts of poetry any chance she gets; she once was stopped by a cop for speeding, read him a poem and didn’t get a ticket! She was thus convinced of the power of poetry. Periodically, she boards WestJet flights and writes poems for the passengers as “poet of the skies”.

About the Victoria READ Society

The Victoria READ Society is a non-profit organization established in 1976 to bridge barriers to learning. READ’s professional teachers provide students of all ages in the Greater Victoria area with support to learn and improve basic reading, writing, math, ESL and study skills. For 12 years READ Festival has raised money for literacy programs through poetic performances by some of Canada’s finest poets.

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Richard Davies, PR & Publicity Mgr.,
Ph: 250-412-3238

Wendy Morton tel: 250-642-3542

Julie Holder tel: 250-388-7225

 Dates and Details: Random Acts of Poetry Week ( For full details and poets’ bios visit and )


  • Random Acts of Poetry Week October 25th to the 31st, 2004
  • Media launch date: Tuesday October 26th, 2004

Poets taking part:

  • Victoria - Wendy Morton, Susan Stenson, Isa Milman
  • Vancouver - Billeh Nickerson, Fiona Lam
  • Kelowna - Nancy Holmes
  • Edmonton - Wendy McGrath, Jannie Edwards
  • Calgary - Ian Samuel, Sheri-D Wilson
  • Saskatoon - Glen Sorestad
  • Moose Jaw - Gary Hyland
  • Winnipeg - Chandra Mayor
  • Toronto - Andrea Thompson, Sheila Stewart
  • Hamilton - Marilyn Gear Pilling
  • Ottawa- Ronnie Brown, Sue McMaster
  • Owen Sound - Liz Zetlin
  • Montreal - Fernand Durepos, Jos é Acquelin, Carolyn Souaid
  • Charlottetown - Hugh MacDonald
  • Fredericton - Kathy Mac
  • Halifax - Lorri Neilsen Glenn
  • St. John's - Marian Frances White, Mary Dalton

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Richard Davies
PR & Publicity Manager
(Media inquiries only. For general questions please contact Customer Support.)

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