2020 was an incredibly difficult year filled with loss, cancellations, illness, tension and heartache. Like so many of us this year, our year was defined by the loss of loved ones and the struggle to find meaning during uncertainty.

As Banff Centre’s Director of Literary Arts, the programming year was defined by the CoVid-19 Pandemic. January, February and March brought fabulous residencies with faculty mentorship from Gary Barwin, Anakana Schofield, Zoe Whittall and Lucas Crawford … but during Crawford & Whittall’s residency the pandemic truly began to assert itself and Banff Centre promoted our residents, faculty, and much of the staff to head home to safety. So many colleagues at Banff Centre were let go due to sudden financial changes; I think about them every day. Banff Centre has a long road ahead. I was able to help bring two online residencies – Writing the Imaginary (with Nalo Hopkinson, Emily Pohl-Weary and Jeff Vandermeer) and Investigative Journalism (with Robert Cribb and Patti Sonntag) to residents in their homes. I continue to plan for online delivery through early 2021 and look forward to greeting artists back on campus when it’s safe.

This year I was lucky to have conducted readings and talks at Sheffield Hallum University in person, and OCADU, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, University of Winnipeg, Western Washington University, University of Melbourne and the Kelly Writers House (UPenn) via Zoom. I was also involved in readings and podcasts with Rain Taxi, ModPo, Writing the Wrong Way, Penteract Poetry Podcast, LitLive, and the Meet the Presses Indie Lit Symposium (and I read the role of Kris Kringle during the Banff Centre online Christmas meeting). Thank you so much to the organizers, funders, hosts and professors associated with those events.

It was an honour to serve on several juries and committees to help bring artists and projects together.

I’ve been lucky to have work published in Writing by Drawing : When Language Seeks its Other. (Eds. Andrea Bellini and Sarah Lombardi, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Genève) and 7 other anthologies. My poetry and criticism appeared in Tuli & Savu, The Fiddlehead and 13 other journals online and on paper.

There were also 7 different small press editions of my work published in 2020: Asterisk ampersand asterisk: The poetry of the Centennial Planetarium (with Pratim Sengupta), Self-Quarantine, [untitled], and Compliments Beans 398 mL — all published by No Press; Cabaret (Ottawa: above/ground), Flash Haiku (Calgary: The Blasted Tree), Other solvents (Calgary: Whisky Jack Press), graphing our feelings: a collaborative visual poem (with Gary Barwin, Erin Brandt Filliter, Kyle Flemmer, Helen Hajnoczky, and Kate Siklosi; Calgary: Blasted Tree), and Give ’er (Clifton, NJ: Radical Paper Press). I continue to place free PDFs of my work online. My artistic work was included in gallery exhibitions in Calgary, Vienna and in online exhibitions.

Through No Press I published 24 different editions of poetry and prose with contributions by 60 different international, national and local emerging and established writers. You can support No Press through Patreon. Each edition was meant to help spread the word of risk-taking international writing. Thank you for trusting me with your work.

None of this would have been possible without my incredible partner, Kristen, and my amazing daughter Maddie. My parents and mother-in-law have also been a steady voice of support and love; thank you.

In so many ways I only excel because of the strength and support of my community of friends and colleagues, especially Greg and Lisa Betts, Christian Bok, Kit Dobson, Aubrey Hanson, Kenneth Goldsmith, Helen Hajnoczky, Nasser Hussain, rob mclennan, Sina Queyras, Jordan Scott and so many others. Thank you.

Here’s to 2021.