Fraser Valley Poets Society

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  • A Poets Passion Revisited

    A Poets Passion Revisited by T M Broadworth

    A Poets Passion Revisited by T. M. Broadworth - A collection of personal writings and photo art celebrating the complexities of life.

  • A Familiar Shore

    A Familiar Shore by Emily Isaccson. Stories of four women told in poetry, parable and myth

  • The Healing Power of Nature

    The Healing Power of Nature - cover image

    The Healing Power of Nature by Satwant Kaur Pandher. This full-color hardcover book contains over 50 poems and many photos. Click on image for details.

  • Calendar

    Calendar - ebook cover

    Calendar by Violet Nesdoly. Contains over 50 poems that explore the rhythms of the year, nature, life & the family. FREE! Click on image for details.

  • A Poetic Kaleidoscope

    A Poetic Kaleidoscope - book cover

    A Poetic Kaleidoscope by T. W. Goodrich: "... something for all readers: short, long, deep, simple, painful, and hopeful poems" - Reviewer (Click on image for details.)

  • the space between the eyes

    the space between the eyes - cover

    A first collection by Nicholas Roberts, the space between the eyes contains over 50 poems. Click on image for details.

  • Hours From A Convent

    Hours From A Convent  - Cover

    Hours From A Convent by Emily Isaacson. Poems from the perspective of a young nun. Click on image for details.

  • Magnoliye De Phul

    'Magnoliye De Phul' by Satwant Pander was inspired by Satwant's love of nature. Click on image for details.

  • Colours of My Heart

    Colours of My Heart - Poems by Surjeet Kalsey. Click on image for details.

  • Fritzy

    Fritzy is a novelette, by Donna Bishop based on Fritzy's childhood. Informative reading for a ten year old. Delightful reading for an adult. Click on image for details.

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Archive for the ‘Member News’ Category

Blue Moon for Spirit Path

Posted by Violet Nesdoly on September 17, 2016

A Blue Moon reading and book launch were the features of FVPS’s first poetry night after the summer break, September 12th.

Brayden Sawatzky, Erin Fisher and Michael Linburg, co-creators of the just published anthology Spirit Path began the evening by each reading selections from their segments of the book.


Brayden, Erin & Michael pose with Spirit Path (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)


Brayden Sawatzky (Photo © 2016 b V. Nesdoly)

Brayden intrigued us all with four poems from his “Garden of Poets” section—21 poems that describe inspiration he has gained from the society and individual members of it. He supplements these poems with quotes from the Bible and other sources.What a gracious and affirming beginning to a book by three authors.

He also read from other sections of the book. A poem of his I found particularly poignant begins:

“On highways to our destinations
traveling with our heaviness
wishing for lightness of being
our cares will slow us to a stop
dangerously close to devastation…” – from “Lightness of Being” – p. 61.


Erin Fisher (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Erin Fisher surprised us all by presenting writings of hers longer than just a few lines. But even in the longer selections, her poems retain the cryptic distillation of which she is such a master. The three sections: “early, early words,” “early words,” and “later words” illustrate how she has grown in the skill of editing herself, stripping away all that is extraneous to the sinew and bone of metaphor and suggestion. To wit:

“in my mind’s eye a friend,
a bond that cannot be grasped,
would you interrupt every snowflake
to verify its beauty?” – from “early words” p. 156.


Michael Linburg (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Michael Linburg entertained, probed, and inspired us with his well-crafted pieces. He delivered the clever ending to his poem “Randomness” with just the amount of deadpan its punchline wanted:

“And if by chance
You happen to find
That things are not falling
The way you want
There is the distinct possibility
That it was me” – “from “Randomness,” p. 214.

But it was his poem “I Am,” full of its hard-earned affirmations that will stick with me long past the evening.

Well done, you three (and Alvin Ens, who got the book ready for the press)! This 266-page book sells for $20. Contact Brayden Sawatzky for details on how to get your own copy.

After a short break for refreshments, catching up, buying books etc., we reassembled for the open mic portion of the evening. Thirteen poets delivered the usual varied smorgasbord of poems, from our founder Donna Bishop’s rendition of “Encouragement’ to Terry Broadworth’s poem about learning to love herself. (Only 12 are pictured. I read too but there is no photographic proof.)



September 12, 2016 FVPS Open Mic readers (Photos © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Thanks to all who came out to read and listen!

Now mark your calendars for our next poetry night, Monday, October 3rd (6:30-8:30 p.m., Clearbrook Library, 32320 George Ferguson Way, Abbotsford, B.C.). It will be another Blue Moon Reading featuring Robert Martens reading from his most recent book Hush. An open mic will follow so come prepared to share something with us.

Also, remember that the deadline for submitting to our 2017 anthology in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday is quickly approaching (October 15th). See all the details on the Home page.


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FVPS Spring Events

Posted by Violet Nesdoly on April 17, 2015

President Brayden Sawatzky began our April 13th reading by recognizing the achievements of two members. Emily Isaacson and Surjeet Kalsey were both honoured at Abbotsford’s recent Arty Awards. Emily Isaacson was nominated for the Christine Caldwell Outstanding Arts Advocate and Surjeet Kalsey won the award for Outstanding Artist in the Literary Arts. Ted Goodrich presented Surjeet with a framed portrait, photographed during the award night celebrations.


SK Award

The Blue Moon Reading portion of the evening featured the anthology Borrowed Gardens. Violet Nesdoly was the featured reader. She read from all four sections of the book—poems by three Vancouver area women (Jeannine Bertoia, Del McNulty, and Tracie Fisher)—as well as a few poems of her own.

Violet Nesdoly reads from Borrowed Gardens
The always welcome time of refreshment  was followed by an open mic where seven poets read their work—poems that ranged from sea fantasies, to memories of working in a nursing home and studies of interesting characters.

Open Mic readers April 13, 2015
Thanks to all who came out and made this a fun and memorable evening!

Our next Blue Moon Reading is just around the corner. Mark your calendars for May 4th, when three guests Adriel Brandt, Mackenzie Lee and Olivia Sharpe will share their poetry with us.

There will be an open mic.

Blue Moon Reading
Featuring the poetry of:

Adriel Brandt

Mackenzie Lee

Olivia Sharpe

Monday, May 4
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Clearbrook Library
32320 George Ferguson Way
Abbotsford B.C.

All are welcome to attend this FREE POETRY READING and OPEN MIC.

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How will you celebrate National Poetry Month?

Posted by Violet Nesdoly on April 1, 2015

Welcome to April – National Poetry Month (and that’s no April fool)!

How will you celebrate poetry this month?

One idea is to attend a poetry reading. Fraser Valley Poets Society’s April event is a Blue Moon Reading on Monday, April 13th.BG-cover


The featured reader that night is Violet Nesdoly, reading from Borrowed Gardens, an anthology of personal poetry by four Vancouver area writers: Jeannine Bertoia, Del McNulty, Tracie Fisher and Nesdoly.

Bertoia and Fisher have both had haiku honoured in Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. A poem by McNulty won the top poetry prize of the 2010 Surrey International Writers Conference contest. Come and meet these fine poets through their writing.

There will be an open mic after the Blue Moon Feature.

Blue Moon Reading

April 13 – 6:30-8:30
Clearbrook Library, Large Meeting Room
32320 George Ferguson Way
Abbotsford, B.C.


FVPS Blue Moon 04-13-15

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pssst – a couple of quick announcements

Posted by Violet Nesdoly on October 17, 2014


Fraser Valley Poets Society is holding their Annual General Meeting on Monday, October 20th, 1:30 p.m. in the Seminar Room of the Clearbook Library (32320 George Ferguson Way, Abbotsford, B.C.). Please come out to review the year that was and help plan for the future!


book launchBook Launch

FVPS member Surjeet Kalsey’s book Rung Mandal is being released by the Punjabi Literature Society on October 18th, 2014 at the Heritage Sikh Temple Hall. Time is 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Congratulations Surjeet!




urlNew Website address

Look up, way up to your browser bar. Notice the change (from to!

If our old URL is in all your bookmarks, don’t worry. Domain mapping will take care of delivering you safely to the site for another few months. But please change your records to for when domain mapping runs out.

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FVPS Founder Launches Book at 90

Posted by Violet Nesdoly on September 10, 2014

A crowd of friends, family, and Fraser Valley Poets Society members were on hand Monday, September 8th, to launch Encouragement: Writings by Donna Bishop with tributes and poems by friends.

Donna’s cab was late and it felt like waiting for the bride! A round of applause met her entry and the program began. President Brayden Sawatzky led off by welcoming everyone and reading a poem (notice the vintage Poets Potpourri buttons on his hat).

Editor of the book Alvin Ens explained how he assembled the book by consulting with Donna and her family, looking through old PPS anthologies, contacting former members, and canvassing all and sundry for photos.

Violet Nesdoly, co-editor, talked about the member poems section and read snippets to show the book’s variety and whet readers’ appetites for more.

Rhonda Nicholls, Donna’s daughter, expressed her family’s thanks for the work put into the book by FVPS members. “You managed to capture the essence of who Mom is,” she told Ens.

Then Donna took the mic and, after  opening comments, read selections from Encouragement.  Just two weeks shy of her 90th birthday, her voice was strong, her reading clear, and she kept us all spellbound.

Shelley Haggard and Jaye Low (one of PPS’s former presidents) rounded out the first half of the evening by giving Donna their congratulations and reading.

Encouragement launch - 1

Break time was taken up with photos, reunions, book sales and food!



During the second half of the program, FVPS contributors read their tributes or poems  from the anthology part of the book. A long-time family friend concluded the evening with his memories and warm congratulations.  The time to disband came much too soon!

Encouragement launch - 3 Encouragement Launch-1

Our  2014 Blue Moon Reading Series concludes with a final reading on October 6th when Brayden Sawatzky and Bridget Porter Oldale will launch a book. Mark your calendars and plan to celebrate with us the birth of another volume of Canadian poetry! 

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The celebration has begun!

Posted by Violet Nesdoly on September 1, 2014

On Thursday, August 28th, FVPS president Brayden Sawatzky, along with editors Alvin Ens and Violet Nesdoly presented Donna Bishop with her own copy of Encouragement.

Fraser Valley Poets Society anthology, Encouragement

Alvin Ens, Violet Nesdoly, Donna Bishop (holding Encouragement), Brayden Sawatzky

It was wonderful to have her daughter and two sons  on hand to celebrate with Mom.

Fraser Valley Poets Society anthology Encouragement

Back: Randy Bishop, Rhonda Nicholls, Rod Bishop
Front: Donna Bishop holding her book.

We present Donna with Encouragement

Rectangle of leaves,
her collected poems, prose
her Encouragement.
Daughter, two sons see eyes shine:
gathered fruit of a lifetime.

© 2014 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)


The celebration continues at Encouragement‘s public launch:

Monday, September 8th
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Clearbrook Library
32320 George Ferguson Way,
Abbotsford, B.C.

The Encouragement anthology will be available for purchase:
$15.00 / $12.00 (for members)

Hear readings from the book. Come for refreshments.


Everyone is welcome at this free event!


There will be no Open Mic on September 8th.

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Surjeet Kalsey wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted by Violet Nesdoly on May 2, 2014

Big congratulations to our own Surjeet Kalsey who on May 1st,  received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Harjit Kaur Sidhu Memorial Program, Department of Asian Studies, UBC.



Surjeet KalseyB.C.’s prestigious Writer’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2014 was, for the first time, awarded to a woman writer—Surjeet Kalsey


Surjeet Kalsey was given this Award for her dedication as a writer to the Punjabi Literature, language and culture in Canada for the last 40 years, in an Award Ceremony on 1st May 2014 at Centre Stage, New Surrey City Hall, as a part of Late Harjit Kaur Memorial Program of the Department of Asian Studies in the University of British Columbia.

Surjeet Kalsey is an outstanding South Asian Canadian writer, came to Canada in 1974 with her background in broadcasting, as a News Anchor of “Pradeshik Samachar” Regional News for All India Radio Chandigarh. Surjeet writes both in Punjabi and English and is the author of 19 books of poetry, short stories, drama, and translations, and has edited several books.

Her poetry books in Punjabi include Paunan Nal Guftagoo, Aurat, Shabad te Shatkt, Rom Rom Vich Jagdey Deevey, Naam Tiharey, and the latest, Rung Mandal, is forthcoming. Her poetry books in English include Speaking to the Winds, Footprints of Silence, Sand-Scape, and Colours of My Heart. She has written three books of short stories: Sat Paraiyan, Ik Parvasi Aurat di Diary, and Katha Teri Meri as well.

As a social activist, Surjeet has worked intensively in the community to raise awareness about violence against women and children. Working many years with families who went through family violence, her writings especially short stories and drama reflect women’s issues. Her three-act play Mehlin Wasdiyan Dhiyan (Daughters Behind the Palace Doors) was the first play which established theatre for South Asian women in Canada in the late seventies to address the unspoken issue of violence against women in the South Asian Community in Canada.

Graduated from the UBC in Creative Writing in 1978, and got an M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology in 1997, Surjeet was a pioneer to introduce Punjabi literature to English speaking readers through her translations. Her edited and translated anthology, Glimpses of Twentieth Century Punjabi Poetry in English Translation includes works of 55 Punjabi poets living in Canada, India, USA, England, Kenya and Sweden. Besides, she has translated and edited a number of books including Pakistani Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Kav Sagar, and Canadian Urdu poet late Zahid Laeeq’s Akas Barmla. Surjeet has translated Ajmer Rode’s plays One Girl One Dream and Komagata Maru.
Surjeet is one of the woman founder members of the Punjabi Literary Association Vancouver in the early seventies and has been a member since. She is also a founder member of Samaanta (1982), Women’s Sahara Group Abbotsford (1996), and Punjabi Literature Society Abbotsford (2008).

Currently Surjeet hosts “Apni Awaaz” a program at CIVL Radio 101.7FM Abbotsford from the University of Fraser Valley. Surjeet, mother of a daughter and a son, works as a Family Therapist for the last 20 some years along with her creative writing. Surjeet was a winner of Canada’s Best Writer’s International Network (WIN) Award in 2013. For more information about Surjeet’s publications please visit her blog:




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Fourth PPS Book Launch of 2013 ends Blue Moon Season

Posted by Violet Nesdoly on October 9, 2013

The reading year for the Poets Potpourri Society ended on a high note Monday, October 7th with the launch of Satwant Pander’s newest book, The Healing Power of Nature. This was the fourth book launched by a PPS member in a Blue Moon reading in 2013!

Seven readers shared the Open Mic segment that preceded the launch. It contained the usual poetic variety, though on this evening it seemed that nature poems edged out other subjects in popularity.

PPS Open Mic readers - October 7, 2013

PPS Open Mic readers – October 7, 2013

During the break, Ruth-Ann Braun sold raffle tickets on a basket of farm produce that Braun Acres generously donated (proceeds of the raffle to PPS).  The draw was made right after the intermission with Shelley Haggard winning a gift bag donated by a local credit union and Violet Nesdoly the lucky winner of farm fresh herbs and vegetables, a dozen free-range eggs, a bottle of wine and a to-be-arranged Harvest Dinner at Braun Acres.

Blue Moon reading break for refreshments. Raffle produce basket courtesy Braun Acres.

Blue Moon reading break for refreshments. Raffle produce basket courtesy Braun Acres.

Satwant began her book launch by reading a few poems from The Healing Power of Nature. Then she invited a group of friends, colleagues, and family members to pose for a  photo with each holding a copy of the book. Following this, people from the group took turns to either to read a selection they had chosen or comment on the book as a whole. Members of the Founding Punjabi Literary Association of Abbotsford, The Central Association of Punjabi Writers of North America, and the members of Punjabi Writers Forum joined poets from the Poets Potpourri Society in launching The Healing Power of Nature.

Blue Moon book launch readers - The Healing Power of Nature

Punjabi and Canadian writers read from and comment on The Healing Power of Nature.

In addition to poems praising nature  Satwant’s book has poems about family, writing, her admiration of the Creator, and the meaning of life. And so it was interesting to note what people chose to read and the various aspects of Satwant’s writing that spoke to different individuals.

Satwant Pander reads from her book The Healing Power of Nature.

Satwant Pander reads from her book The Healing Power of Nature.

Of course along with the readings came many congratulations from members of PPS and the Indo Canadian Literary Society on this handsome hardcover volume of poetry, photographs and quotes. Well done, Satwant!

All in all  It was a beautiful and varied multicultural evening, and a wonderful way to end another season of Blue Moon readings.

Satwant Pander, signing books after the launch.

Satwant Pander, signing books after the launch.



Our next event is the Annual General Meeting

Kariton Gallery

2387 Ware Street [Mill Lake Park], Abbotsford, B.C.,

Monday, October 21st 

6:30 p.m.

All members are asked to attend.

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Blue Moon shines again

Posted by Violet Nesdoly on September 12, 2013

On September 9th the Poets Potpourri Society resumed after taking the summer off.

To honour International Literacy Day, Sharon Crowley from Literacy Matters Abbotsford began the evening by telling us about some of the literacy programs available for all ages through her organization. (For information, check out their website).

Ten poets took advantage of the Open Mic segment, reading poems on an array of subjects, from summer to surgery, intellect to alienation, saying farewell to savouring the wine of life.

PPS Blue Moon readers 09-09-13

Literacy Matters Abbotsford guest Sharon Crowley (top right) and five of the PPS open mic readers 09/09/13.

More PPS open mic readers.  What poets eat (bottom right)

More PPS open mic readers.
What poets eat (bottom right)

After coffee time, featured reader Alvin Ens introduced his latest book, Must Have A Sense of Humour.

Violet and Irene, Alvin’s wife, read prose pieces from this witty collection, written over years with many prize-winning and previously published pieces in the bunch. Alvin concluded the reading by sharing several of the book’s poems. If anyone left frowning, it certainly wasn’t  his fault.

Alvin Ens launches Must Have A Sense of Humour  09-09-13

Irene and Alvin Ens launch Must Have A Sense of Humour 09/09/13

Now mark your calendars for our next and final Blue Moon Reading of the 2013 season. It will take place on October 7th (6:30-8:30, Clearbrook Library, 32320 George Ferguson Way, Abbotsford). Our featured reader that evening will be Satwant Pander. She will launch her collection of English poems and photographs—The Healing Power of Nature. (Poster coming soon!)

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Snowflake Princess launched at June Blue Moon

Posted by Violet Nesdoly on June 16, 2013

Poets and friends gathered at the Abbotsford Library n Monday June 10th for the Poets Potpourri Society’s June Blue Moon open mic reading and book launch.

Eight open mic readers entertained us with poems on many subjects from the last day of school to the heroism of the gamer,  the joys and challenges of motherhood to musings on a Tennessee storm.

Blue Moon open mic readers - June 10/13
After the break special guest Carol Todd shared her passion to help kids deal with the realities of  their cyber-world. She told us how she was taking a year out of her life as a long-time advocate for kids (she’s a special needs teacher) to advocate for her daughter (Amanda Todd) whose death after unbearable bullying was eight months from the night of the reading.

Emily’s book, Snowflake Princess, was especially significant to her because “Princess Snowflake” was the playful nickname she called Amanda. Carol reminded us how appropriate a snowflake is in describing our children and teens, with their beauty, uniqueness, and fragility.

Nicholas Roberts introduced Emily, after which she launched her book Snowflake Princess by reading selections from this prose-poetry book.

Snowflake Princess launch - June 10, 2013
The poems employ various voices: Ivory—the Snowflake Princess;  Ebony—her mother and a young naturalist and poet; and the Philosopher—Ivory’s father (latter selections read by Brayden Sawatzky).   The poems delve into  tragedy and suffering, and seek to find their meaning through poetry and symbolism.

Launch of Snowflake Princess - Emily Isaacson

Congratulations, Emily, on another beautiful book!

The Poets Potpourri Society will be taking a summer break  but will return on September 9th to celebrate International Literacy Day. Please check back for details closer to the event.

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