Afghani flight to freedom

Shahnaz Qayumi (left) writes about the aftermath of the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 and details life under Taliban rule for young readers in her latest novel.FULL STORY


Nine signs of depression

September 28th, 2018

Rob Taylor’s “evidence-based poems” for “Oh Not So Great”: Poems from the Depression Project (Leaf Press $16.95) are derived from his collaborations with two doctors and five patients with a past or current diagnosis of depression. Their focus group discussions incorporated the nine major symptoms of depression — sadness, poor sleep, loss of interest, guilt, low energy, poor concentration, abnormal appetite, psychomotor retardation/agitation and suicidality. Taylor’s goal was to produce a poetry book as an “empathy-enhancing” tool that could help medical trainees develop more empathy and assist loved ones and other caregivers to better understand depression. Patients shared their stories for each symptom; conversations were transcribed. Nine other volunteers with depression read Taylor’s resulting poems and provided feedback. 978-1-988811-02-4

Born in Port Moody, Rob Taylor co-founded Simon Fraser University’s student poetry zine High Altitude Poetry and in 2007 he co-founded an on-line poetry magazine in Ghana, One Ghana, One Voice,  He was the poetry editor at Red Fez from 2007 – 2010, and the poetry editor at PRISM international in 2014-15. He has run a blog devoted to Canadian (especially Vancouver) poetry, Roll of Nickels, since 2006, and in 2011 Rob was part of the team that “resurrected” Vancouver’s Dead Poets Reading Series. He won the 2010 Alfred G. Bailey Prize for best unpublished poetry manuscript, giving rise to his debut collection, The Other Side of Ourselves (Cormorant $18 2011). He was also shortlisted for the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for The News (Gaspereau Press 2016). In 2014, he was named one of the inaugural writers-in-residence at the Al Purdy A-frame and in 2015 he received the City of Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Literary Arts, as an emerging artist.


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