WHAT: The Single Onion kicks off its 2020 season (our 20th anniversary!) with four great poets: James Arthur, Ian Kinney, John Williamson, and U of C Writer in Residence Sharanpal Ruprai.

WHEN: Thursday, January 16th, 7pm

WHERE: Shelf Life Books, 100 – 1302 4th St. SW (

About the readers:

James Arthur’s first book was Charms Against Lightning (2012). His poems have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, Poetry and The Walrus. James grew up in Toronto, and now lives in Baltimore, where he teaches in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. His latest collection is The Suicide’s Son (Vehicle Press, 2019).

Ian Kinney holds an MA in English from the University of Calgary. Kinney plays with found text. In their debut book of poetry entitled Air Salt : A Trauma Mémoire as a Result of the Fall (University of Calgary Press, 2019) Kinney (un)writes his hospitalization and recovery from a seven story fall. This bisexual settler poet lives in Calgary, and occasionally cares for his family’s Kinnship House, a net-zero homestead on the Kainai territory between Lethbridge and Vulcan, Alberta. A memoir written by an amnesiac, Air Salt stitches splintered narratives with projective verse, cutting up and reassembling writing that Ian found as a result of the fall.

Sharanpal Ruprai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Ruprai’s début poetry collection, Seva, was a finalist for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry by the Alberta Literary Awards. Her poetry is featured in a number of anthologies: GUSH: Menstrual Manifestos for Our Time, The Calgary Renaissance, Red Silk: An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women Poets, and Exposed. Pressure Cooker Love Bomb is her second collection of poetry. Sharanpal is the current Writer in Residence at the University of Calgary.

John Williamson, AKA Dr. John, is a Calgary poet and educator. On the 2017 Calgary Slam team, he competed for the national title, eventually helping the team place sixth in Canada, and he has continued to feature often as a spoken word artist at venues in Calgary and beyond. John is also an executive for the Can You Hear Me Now? provincial youth slam and, after his 2015 team with the St. Anne Academic Centre, including his daughter Em, won the provincial title, he continues to co-coach a team for the event. John and Em can also still be found co-hosting Can You Hear Me Now? monthly all ages slams at Shelf Life Books. This summer, John had the honour of having his first chapbook, “Broken and Strong: Family Fragments,” published by Calgary’s Loft 112 and is currently selling remaining copies. John has also published poetry in High Shelf Press, Prairie Journal, the anthology The Pedagogy of Suffering and The Inclusive Educator Journal. John’s 2015 Phd dissertation, written as a detective novel, also won the Chancellor’s medal at the University of Calgary and has been republished in the Journal of Applied Hermeneutics. In his constant attempt to follow Emily Dickinson’s advice “tell the truth but tell it slant”, John tries to reveal awkward and overlooked perspectives on topics political, personal, and sometimes surreal.

The Single Onion takes place the third Thursday of the month, nine times a year. Our event schedule can always be found at:

For the most up-to-date Single Onion news, check us out on Twitter at:

We gratefully acknowledge the support of The Canada Council for the Arts, The League of Canadian Poets and the Calgary Arts Development

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