About our RE:act Collective

The RE:act Collective supports Calgary Poet Laureate, Kris Demeanor, and the Public Poetry Initiative by creating innovative events throughout the City of Calgary.

We support, and work with, youth literacy programs in our schools and communities.

We believe that as Calgary comes of age, its changing landscape is diverse, multicultural, and worth celebrating. There are many stories to tell.

Poetry and the arts belong to the people. We can help showcase the rich diversity of culture that exists in the City of Calgary by creating collaborative events that include music, literary arts, visual arts, and community outreach.

We believe that our Community Associations, libraries, and public spaces are part of the proud heritage of the City, and will benefit from RE:act events as we help build a greater awareness of the potential of our public spaces into the future.

The RE:act Collective will partner and collaborate with community groups and initiatives to enhance existing events, and will also create innovative new happenings throughout the City.

Our events will be family-friendly, inclusive, multicultural and a whole lot of fun.

The goal of the RE:act Collective is to create a poetic bridge to literacy, and to build a foundation for community interaction for future Poets Laureate of the City of Calgary.

The RE:act Collective:

Kris Demeanor

Kris Demeanor was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada right about the time of the first moon landing, the son of a Swedish beauty queen and a German General Proficiency award winner. He’s a songwriter and performer who writes and sings about the funny, dark, absurd, maddening, and the joyful for people who like to think, dance, laugh, cry and party.

Kris has put out six CDs of original music, a couple of award winning videos, created and performed for the theatre, and toured clubs and folk festivals around Canada, Australia and Europe, both solo and with his Crack Band.

His music draws on classic folk story telling, spoken word/rap, and shamelessly hooky pop, which both complicates things for all involved and makes them more interesting.

Kris loves his fellow Canadian songwriters, and has toured and recorded with the likes of Geoff Berner, Carolyn Mark, Nathan, Ford Pier, Dave Lang, Veda Hille, Wendy McNeill and Kim Barlow.

Kris Demeanor has worked for over twenty years in Calgary schools, facilitating songwriting and poetry workshops with students of all ages. Some projects of note include a full length CD of original songs about alternative energy sources called ‘Pitch to the Planet’ for Alexander Ferguson Elementary School, and more recently, ‘From Blue to Red’ a children’s hard copy and digital audio book created by Lord Beaverbrook High School students with Kris and other adult artists as mentors.

Kris is a founding member of the RE:act Art & Community Collective.

For more information about ‘From Blue to Red’ click here.
To learn more about Kris click here

Dymphny Dronyk

Born in the Summer of Love in the City of Sin (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Dymphny Dronyk is a writer, artist, mediator and mother. She is passionate about the magic of story and has woven words for money (journalism, corporate writing) and for love (poetry, fiction, drama, mystery novels) for over 25 years. Dymphny has always “written the land” believing that our sense of place informs both our art and our life choices. Her current place is nestled in a green neighbourhood in the crook of magnificent Nose Hill.

In her non-poetic life, Dymphny has specialized in mediation and stakeholder and community relations for both corporate and non-profit sectors for two decades. Dymphny has volunteered as a literacy tutor, and has taught poetry and creative writing to children and adults.

From 1993 till 2010, she was an organizer and participant in numerous festivals and fundraisers in the Peace Country of northwestern Alberta, including benefit concerts, youth rock festivals, as well as Western Swing – a border crossing celebration of Prairie poets during National Poetry Month.

Dymphny has published articles, fiction, and poetry in magazines and newspapers in Europe and in North America since 1984.

Her first volume of poetry Contrary Infatuations (Frontenac House, Quartet 2007) was shortlisted for two prestigious awards in 2008. She is also the author of the memoir Bibi – A Life in Clay (Prairie Art Gallery, 2009). With Edmonton poet Angela Kublik, she is the co-publisher of House of Blue Skies, and co-editor of the bestselling anthologies Writing the Land – Alberta Through its Poets (2008) and Home and Away – Alberta Poets Muse on the Meaning of Home (2010).

Dymphny is a founding member of the RE:act Art & Community Collective, and currently serves as President of the League of Canadian Poets Council.

Tyler Perry

Tyler B. Perry works as a junior high teacher, and his first book of poetry, Lessons in Falling (2010, B House Publications), explores the world of school, drawing its inspiration from the events, personalities and physical surroundings he encounters in his daily work. Tyler is an active presence in Calgary’s poetry community, and along with a small group of poets, organizes and hosts the Ink Spot Collective monthly poetry slam. He was captain of the 2010 Calgary poetry slam team and has performed his work at venues across the city. Tyler is an MFA candidate at UBC and continues residing in Calgary with his wife and two young children.

You can visit him on the web and read some of his poems at here.

Tyler is a founding member of the RE:act Art & Community Collective.

Rob K. Omura

Robert K. Omura lives in Calgary, Alberta, where he lives from oil plumes, surrounded by vistas and all the trappings of modern living. He prefers to spend his days hopping mountain ridges in the Rockies, where there is nothing else to consider but the next step and the majestic views, and sometimes he even dabs the wet ink and ties words on to lines. His fiction and poetry appears or is forthcoming in numerous literary journals, ezines, and anthologies including the New York Quarterly. His poetry aired on CBC Radio for National Poetry Month in April, 2008. He was a 2009 Pushcart nominee. Sometimes he works on his novel, and at other times, he drinks coffee, sighs and wonders when he’ll get back to work on his novel.

“Writing poems is like carving stone; although you often see what the stone wants to be, it takes a sharp chisel and a little blood and sweat to bring it forth. You don’t create the stone; you merely give it the shape it wants to be.”

Rob is a founding member of the RE:act Art & Community Together Collective.

Bridget Honch

Bridget Honch, born and bred in southern Alberta, has taken a keen interest in literature for as long as she can remember whether she was reading it or writing it. It was in middle school when her English teacher, Michael Finnegan (and yes, he had whiskers on his chinnigan), inspired her to choose a career that would allow her to write. Bridget graduated with a degree in Journalism from Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, and now works as a communication advisor at a public affairs agency in Calgary. Bridget plans and implements communication strategies, delivers communication tools and provides a wide range of communication support for clients. With experience in the television reporting industry, Bridget both shoots and edits video.

A sucker for any good story, Bridget is especially intrigued by children’s literature.

Bridget is a founding member of the RE:act Art & Community Together Collective.

Diane Guichon

Diane Guichon is a M.A. graduate (2006) from the University of Calgary’s Creative Writing Program. Her poetry manuscript, Vignettes, was adapted and performed on stage by the U of C’s Drama Department. Her first book of poetry Birch Split Bark was awarded the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell 2007 Book Prize. Diane served for two years as the first writer in a pilot project: University of Calgary’s Writer-in-the-Schools Program at Queen Elizabeth High School. She teaches English Literature and Academic Writing for the University of Lethbridge’s Calgary Campus. Diane’s poetry, book reviews, and interviews with other poets are published in literary journals in Canada and the U.S. She has written several poetry manuscripts that interrogate and reflect our western identity and landscape. In 2012 Diane was short-listed for Calgary’s inaugural position of Poet Laureate.

Juleta Severson-Baker

Juleta lives in her hometown of Calgary where she writes, teaches poetry and performance at the Mount Royal University Conservatory, works as a birth doula, and raises her two children. Her poetry has been previously published in All That Uneasy Spring(a Leaf Press chapbook, ed. Patrick Lane), the journals NoD and Freefall, and online at Verse Daily. In 2010 she won Freefall magazine’s 20th Anniversary Chapbook Contest with her collection A Hundred Pelts. Her first full-length manuscript, Incarnate, is being published by Frontenac House Press in Fall 2013.