STPS is back! Finally…

We haven’t seen you in so long, and we’ve been missing you!

We have our first live, indoor event in some time coming up early in November, and we would really love to see you there to support our four featured poets.

Check out the details below, and you can buy tickets through the FB event page here:


buy your ticket at the door for $10/PWYC (no one turned away!).

Show and Tell Poetry Series presents: Four Capital Poets

Conyer Clayton
Manahil Bandukwala
Jeff Blackman
Bardia Sinaee

Friday, November 4th
Doors at 7PM. Reading starts at 7:30PM sharp!
$10 at the door/PWYC.

Hosted by Justin Million

This is the first indoor event that Show and Tell Poetry Series has hosted in years, so we would love to see you all in person at The Theatre On King!

Our poets are all known to me, your loving host Justin Million, through connections to the vast and rich Ottawa poetry scene. Conyer and Manahil were kind enough to approach STPS about hosting a Peterborough event on their current poetry tour to promote their new books, and we were more than happy to oblige. We will have a book table on hand, so please bring your book-buying money!

We will be observing mask mandates at TTOK, so bring your masks! The featured poets will be rapid-testing before the event so they can go maskless during their performances.

A big THANK YOU to The Theatre On King for hosting us!

Let’s show these out-of-town poets some big PTBO love.

Let’s go!

Here is a bit of info about who you will be seeing and hearing at our event:

Conyer Clayton is an award-winning writer and editor whose multi-genre work often explores grief, disability, the climate crisis, and gendered violence through a surrealist lens. She is the author of But the sun, and the ships, and the fish, and the waves. (A Feed Dog Book, Anvil Press) and We Shed Our Skin Like Dynamite (Guernica Editions, 2020, Winner of the 2021 Ottawa Book Award), and many solo and collaborative chapbooks. She is the social media assistant for Canthius and a member of VII; an Ottawa-based poetry collective. Her poetry, essays, and criticism appear in Room Magazine, filling station, Canthius, Arc Poetry Magazine, CV2, The Capilano Review and others.

Manahil Bandukwala is a writer, visual artist, and editor. Manahil was born and raised in Karachi, and is currently a settler on the unceded territory of the Anishnabek, the Haudenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently the Mississaugas of the Credit River (Mississauga). She holds a BA in English from Carleton University and an MA in English at the University of Waterloo. Manahil currently works as Coordinating Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine, and Digital Content Editor for Canthius.

Jeff Blackman is the author of YOUR JUST PROVED POEMS WORK and 14 other chapbooks of poetry and prose. He loves to create openings for poets and artists to share, collaborate, and inspire one another. Since March 2020, Jeff has published a bimonthly zine called These Days, featuring over a hundred poets, writers, and artists, ranging from national award winners to never-before-published outsiders. He also co-hosts the 2-for-1 Poetry Open Mic with Bardia Sinaee. Jeff grew up in Thornhill, Ontario, and now lives with his spouse and two kids in Ottawa.

Bardia Sinaee is the author of Intruder (House of Anansi, 2021), which received the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. His poems have appeared in magazines across Canada and in several editions of Best Canadian Poetry. He was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives in Ottawa.

August update

Hello STPSers!

Justin Million here.

I was asked to answer six questions as part of rob mclennan’s “Six Questions” series for the Chaudiere Books Blog. Here’s the link, if you’d like to read more about me, my work, publishing poetry in Canada, writing in Ottawa and Peterborough, and what I am working on now:

The last of the six questions is “What are you working on now?”, which I decided to just cut and paste below to flesh out this update… reduce, reuse, recycle! Anyhow, I figured what’s the point of retyping all of this when (1) you could just read all about it in the article posted above, and (2) I could just cut and paste that section in right here! I’ve made a couple changes for ease of reading, but here it is:

“By the time this interview goes out STPS will have posted five copies of three poems written by local poets in various locations in the downtown core as part of Show and Tell Poster Series. We did a round of five posters by five local poets in April as well, as part of our ongoing National Poetry Month programming.

Because of the unique circumstances of this year, STPS is trying to use its small but much appreciated budget (thank you City of Peterborough, and New Stages Theatre Company) to offer unique programming throughout such an unpredictable and inaccessible year. We also wanted to bring poetry to our community in a more direct way. On top of posting poems around town, STPS has purchased and disseminated six typewriters to local poets as part of the “Show and Tell Typewriter Initiative”, and has produced our first “Show and Tell Poetry Zine”, which is available for purchase at Watson & Lou, in Peterborough, or on their website here:

We will also continue our Show and Tell Typewriter Initiative efforts to pair local writers with neglected or otherwise available typewriters, as I firmly believe a writer writes differently (in myriad ways) on a typewriter than in a notebook or on a computer. My thoughts and my good friend and publisher Cameron Anstee’s thoughts about typewriters and a live-writing typewriter poetry project I completed in Peterborough can be found in a book you can find here:

I just guest edited a zine by my good friend and occasional writing partner Jeff Blackman, from Ottawa. The issue I guest-edited should be available here in the next couple of weeks:

Like I said about Cameron, feel free to peruse the issues Jeff has put together since the pandemic started. It’s truly a unique publication, ranging in content from a Dungeons & Dragons themed issue, to this current one edited by yours truly that is an eclectic assortment of pieces done by Peterborough folks.

One of the pieces in the aforementioned zine will be about Precarious Festival, a relatively new but extremely important arts festival here in Peterborough that, as its primary goal, seeks to interrogate the precariousness in which artists tend to find themselves while also contributing so much to the places in which they are struggling to survive and create. Find out more about that here:

I’m also in the middle of guest-editing a local publication put together by Deryck Robertson and his Paddler Press. The issue likely won’t be available by the time this interview goes out, so please visit here for more info:

Starting in late-September a group of local artists and I will be putting together a multidisciplinary show at Sadleir House here in Peterborough to celebrate the immense cultural value and significance of the work of local painter and renaissance man John Climenhage. The show has many facets, including a vast exhibition of John’s work, a QR code walkabout through the city, a digital archive of John’s work, a livestream event, music, essays, publications, etc. The contributing artists are myself, John Climenhage of course, Annie Jaeger, Bruce Whiteman, and Laura Thompson. Follow along with what we’re doing on Instagram (for now) @theclimenhageproject.”

My partner Elisha Rubacha and I as bird, buried press are working on a new chapbook by local poet and journalist Nick Taylor, which will hopefully be out in the next couple of weeks. You can find more information about bird, buried press here:

And finally, I was just informed last week that I am one of three finalists for the first ever Poet Laureate appointment in Peterborough! I have my interview with the jury tomorrow night, so wish me luck! I’m not sure when they will announce their choice, but it will likely be in the next week or two. Exciting stuff!

That’s a good enough update for now. I know many of you might be wondering when the next Show and Tell Poetry Series reading will be, and I have to say, at the moment I am not in a hurry to plan any live events, or online events for that matter. I am instead choosing to move forward with the Poster Project, the Typewriter Initiative, and the Show and Tell Poetry Zine, as a means of making sure I am getting as much poetry work out into the world as I can in an accessible and digestible fashion. I think this approach makes sense for our current time and place, and I appreciate your patience during this time. When we’re able to get together again safely, in small bars or coffee shops, and sit shoulder to shoulder and chat about poetry for hours after the reading, etc., you’ll be the first to know.

Enjoy the remainder of your summer. I’m more of an autumn person myself, so my time is fast approaching… and given the humidity this summer (and all the cool arts things slated for September!), I can’t wait for September to come.

Stay frosty,

Justin Million