January 23, 2013 - 1:57am

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013

NANAIMO, BC – Vancouver Island poet Steven Price will read from his new book of poems, Omens in the Year of the Ox, and from Anatomy of Keys, a book-length poem that tells the story of Harry Houdini, at a free Vancouver Island University Poets on Campus presentation Monday, Jan. 28 at 5pm in Building 365 (the log cabin) on VIU's Nanaimo campus.

Anatomy of Keys was a Globe 100 book for 2006, winner of the 2007 Gerald Lampert Award, shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Award for Poetry (BC Book Prizes), and long-listed for the 2007 ReLit Awards.

Quill and Quire said, “This book is a gallery of formal experiments, ranging from villanelle to prose poem. His technique is virtuoso, but never merely showy; it complements rather than overpowers the story…. Price is an abundantly gifted poet, and this is an exciting – even astonishing – debut. Like Houdini’s increasingly daring escapes, it will be a tough act to follow.”

Omens in the Year of the Ox, Price’s second collection of poems, draws together moments both contemporary and historical, ranging from Herodotus, Icarus, Medea, Penelope, Orpheus, and Odysseus to contemporary observances and events from the author’s own life, including a trip to Europe with his wife.

“Employing everything from sonnets to free verse, short lines to long, prose poems, table talk, a modern Greek chorus that comments unfavourably on Price’s poetics, responses to music, modern renderings of Classical mythology, and the very omens of the book’s title, Price investigates the darkness,” according to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

Events like the Poets on Campus series provide a rare space for poets and readers to come together, to talk amongst themselves, to share some of their interests and enthusiasms in person, says Price, who currently teaches poetry and writing at the University of Victoria.

“At their best, evenings like this can be intriguing, memorable, draining, exhaustive and, hopefully, fun,” Price adds. “I think poetry reading series offer the possibility of encountering a new way of talking about, or thinking about, some very old things.”

Price’s work ranges from free verse to prose to formal constructions, and has been published in Breathing Fire 2: Canada's New Poets, edited by Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane. Born and raised in Colwood, BC., Price graduated from the University of Virginia Writing Program.

Price’s presentation is part of VIU's popular 2012/13 Poets on Campus reading series, which concludes with a reading by celebrated writer Rhea Tregebov and Sarah Pinder on March 11, is sponsored by Canada Council for the Arts, the League of Canadian Poets, the Writers Union of Canada, and VIU’s Faculty Association, Department of Creative Writing and Journalism, and Dean of Arts and Humanities.

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ABOUT VIU: Vancouver Island University is Canada’s west coast university. Known as a centre of excellence for teaching, learning and applied research, VIU offers a diverse range of certificate, diploma and undergraduate and master degree programs to more than 18,000 students on campuses in Nanaimo, Powell River and Cowichan, and at the Parksville-Qualicum Centre. For more information visit

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