Alexandra Oliver at VWF: Poetry Bash

October 21, 2022 @ 8:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Performance Works
1218 Cartwright St
Vancouver, BC V6H 3R8

Entrancing, surprising, and memorable: The Poetry Bash is a gateway to discovering new-to-you poets from across the globe or hearing your favourites during an atmospheric night of readings.

This year’s poets include: Alexandra Oliver with a scintillating portrait of the suburban uncanny (Hail, the Invisible Watchman); winner of the Maya Angelou Book Award Threa Almontaser (The Wild Fox of Yemen); Claudia Castro Luna (Cipota under the Moon) sharing an ode to the Salvadoran immigrant experience in the United States; Andrew Faulkner, who’s written a “buddy cop dramedy poetry collection” (Heady Bloom); New Zealand poet Tayi Tibble sharing a bold, intimate exploration of being an Indigenous woman (Poūkahangatus); and 2022 ReLit Award-winner Charlie Petch (Why I Was Late). Hosted by Billeh Nickerson. The event will take place at Performance Works on Thursday, October 21 at 8:30PM PDT.

More details & tickets available here!

Get your copy of Hail, the Invisible Watchman here!


The poems in Hail, the Invisible Watchman are as tidy as a picket-fence—and as suggestive. Behind the charms of iambs lurks a dark exploration of domestic and social alienation. Metered rhyme sets the tone like a chilling piano score as insidiousness creeps into the neighbourhood. A spectral narrator surveils social gatherings in the town of Sherbet Lake; community members chime in, each revealing their various troubles and hypocrisies; an eerie reimagining of an Ethel Wilson novel follows a young woman into a taboo friendship with an enigmatic divorcée. In taut poetic structures across three succinct sections, Alexandra Oliver’s conflation of the mundane and the phantasmagoric produces a scintillating portrait of the suburban uncanny.


Alexandra Oliver was born in Vancouver, BC. She is the author of three collections published through Biblioasis: Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway (2013; recipient of the Pat Lowther Memorial Award), Let the Empire Down ( 2016), and Hail, the Invisible Watchman (2022). Her libretto for From the Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King, conceived in conjunction with composer Scott Wilson at the University of Birmingham, was performed by Continuum Music in Toronto in December, 2017. Oliver is a past co-editor of Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters (Everyman’s Library/Random House, 2015) as well as of the formalist journal The Rotary Dial. She has performed her work for CBC Radio and NPR, as well as at The National Poetry Slam and numerous festivals and conferences. Oliver holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program and a Ph.D. in English and Cultural Studies from McMaster University. She lives in Burlington, Ontario with her husband and son.