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Jim Johnstone Competes in the Battle of the Bards

Posted: March 8, 2011

Nightwood Editions poet Jim Johnstone, author of Patternicity, is competing as part of the Poetry NOW: 3rd Annual Battle of the Bards in Toronto this March! The battle will commence at 7:30pm, in Harbourfront Centre (Brigantine Room), Wednesday, March 30. Tickets are $10 in advance.

This popular annual poetry competition will feature 20 of Canada’s upcoming and established poets. One poet will receive an automatic invitation to read at the 32nd annual International Festival of Authors AND an ad for their book in NOW! magazine.

Judges: Poet Laureate of Toronto Dionne Brand, Authors at Harbourfront Centre Director Geoffrey Taylor and Authors at Harbourfront Centre Artistic Associate Jen Tindall.

Host: 2009 competition winner Jacob McArthur Mooney

Click here for a full list of competing poets.

Patternicity contains a suite of poems that won a 2008 CBC Literary Award and follows the author’s debut book of poems, The Velocity of Escape (Guernica Editions, 2008). As a physiologist currently completing his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, Johnstone’s work is informed by a scientific approach, his own corporeal environment and an exploration of “the unreliability of language, regardless of how it’s relayed.”

Jim Johnstone obtained his M.Sc. in Reproductive Physiology from the University of Toronto, where he is currently a doctoral candidate. He is a two-time winner of the E. J. Pratt Medal and Prize in Poetry, the recipient of a 2008 CBC Literary Award and his work has been broadcast on CBC Radio’s Between the Covers and published in Canadian periodicals such as The Fiddlehead, Grain and PRISM International. Currently he edits Misunderstandings Magazine, a literary journal he co-founded with Ian Williams and Vicki Sloot. He keeps a blog at