Sheryda Warrener

Sheryda Warrener is a poet and award-winning teacher. She is the author of the poetry collections Hard Feelings (Invisible, 2010), Floating Is Everything (Nightwood, 2015), and Test Piece, forthcoming from Coach House Books this fall. You can read her work in literary journals online and in print in the Believer, Puritan, The Malahat Review, and others, and in the anthologies Best Canadian Poetry in English 2018, and The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry. She lives on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded land of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, where she is a lecturer in poetry and interdisciplinary forms in the School of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.


  • As Far As I Can See

    November 17–January 12, 2013

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Artspeak - As Far As I Can See

    Bringing together six international and Canadian artists, As Far as I Can See contemplates a theme of running away from home. The exhibition investigates the metaphorical space of running away—the lost, explorers and wanderers, and meandering thoughts and dreams—and the physical act of escape—traversing other worlds, ghostly creatures, the dark forest, and the unknown. The exhibition presents both a voyage provoked by the imagination and the beacon that brings us home.

    Among the works included is Cloud Studies by Mina Totino (Vancouver), an ongoing series of Polaroid photographs of clouds taken since 1997. Marked with a date, time and occasional anecdotes, the Polaroids reference both the idle pursuit of cloud watching and the transcendent nature of the sky. As a sobering counterpart to Totino’s clouds, Michael Dumontier (Winnipeg) presents a series of foil-stamped books in which the sky is grounded by uniformity and repetition. While no photograph is alike in Cloud Studies, Dumontier presents a scenario in which the intangible sky suddenly feels defined and decisive.

    In her 2011 work Hello Trouble, Emmeline de Mooij (Amsterdam) subtly points to the dark and foreboding aspect of fleeing. Composed of plastic, burlap, mud and fabric, the work insinuates a welcoming of the ominous, underlining the possibility that despite the potential for danger, running away breaks us from the confines of the ordinary. The desire to explore the uncharted extends to Daniel G. Wong’s (Lethbridge) work, Are You Wild Are You Free (2012). Wong’s practice is an exploration of wonder, mystery, and poetry in everyday living. He embarks on adventures to immediate and faraway surroundings, wandering to encounter the mundane and remarkable. Wong produces meditations on his findings, questions, and discoveries in the form of zines, posters, and blogs, and his work in this exhibition is generated from recent excursions in Iceland.

    Inspired by the memories of her childhood, Andrea Heller (Paris/Zurich) creates a sombre universe populated by creatures and shadows. The playful aura in her work is juxtaposed with suggestions of gloom and abyss. Heller’s work examines the forest as hiding place, incorporating elements of mischief, cheerfulness, and humour. This excursion to the edge of the woods is met with Beacon For The Moonshined Wanderer (2009) by Vancouver-based collective Until We Have A Helicopter, a work comprised of a collection of antique lanterns suspended by rope. The work hangs from the window of the gallery, acting as the destination and departure point for those that stray and the ones that return.

    Postscript 49: Sheryda Warrener on As Far As I Can See (PDF)

Talks & Events

  • Approaches to Art Writing with Sheryda Warrener

    April 21–June 2, 2022

    A reimagined iteration of our Studio for Emerging Writers program, Approaches to Art Writing is a series of workshops that will be available to the general public. Workshop facilitators, dates, and details will be released consecutively, with sessions to take place between April and October, 2022.

    To attend please book via Eventbrite. Each event will be limited to 12 people, in order to maintain appropriate health and safety protocol.


    Correspondences: Experiments at the Intersection of Poetry & Art

    April 21, 6-8pm
    May 19, 6-8pm
    June 2, 6-8pm
    With Sheryda Warrener

    In this workshop series, participants will explore various poetic modes and approaches to visual-textual combinations. How is text transformed when placed in relation to image? How does text meaningfully enhance an image? We’ll take an inquiry-based approach to experimentation, with the aim of activating formal possibilities and enlivening creative practice. Workshops can be taken independently of one another, or together. We encourage those with backgrounds in either or both poetry and image-making to sign up.

    Thursday, April 21: Material Provocations

    The English word “text” comes from Medieval Latin textus “style or texture of a work,” literally “thing woven,” from the past participle stem of textere: “to weave, to join, fit together, construct.” In this workshop, we’ll juxtapose physical materials in unexpected ways, then apply this approach to language, tracing the natural connections between text and textile.

    Thursday, May 19: Active Archive

    Inspired by Edith Young’s book of typologies, Color Scheme, we’ll explore the personal archive as “an engine that revs” creative practice. Participants will share their own selected collections of objects, then use these as visual-material provocations for a generative writing practice.

    Thursday, June 2: Writing That Is Also Drawing

    How is a map or a diagram simultaneously a poem and an artwork? Our experimental approach will be inspired by readings from interdisciplinary artists working at the intersections of poetry, prose, and image-making, including Renee Gladman and Amy Sillman.

  • Book and Cider Launch

    April 24, 2018

    Please join us on at 7 pm to celebrate the launch of these publications:

    Glue by Claire Geddes Bailey
    Swan Dives by Kiel Torres
    a lot, a lot  by Christian Vistan
    Liminal Ziplock by Emma Metcalfe Hurst
    Stop Wincing/We’re Fine by Cristina Holman

    Over the past ten months, the Studio for Emerging Writers has been running weekly/bi-weekly workshops, with occasional site visits, discussions, meals, walks, edits, bus and boat rides, readings, and hang-outs. During this time together, we brewed a cider along side a set of five chapbooks, each written by a participant of the Studio.

    Publications and refreshments will be available for sale.

    Special thanks to Sheryda Warrener, Stephan Garneau and Erica Wilk.

    Artspeak gratefully acknowledges the BC Arts Council Youth Engagement program for their support of this initiative.

    Claire Geddes Bailey is a writer and artist from Edmonton currently living in Vancouver, where she studies English Literature and Visual Art at UBC. She recently attempted to cut her own hair into a 2000s-chic mullet, an experience that resulted in a pixie cut and a new appreciation for the creative power of scissors.

    Cristina Holman is a writer and artist who holds a degree from the University of British Columbia, where she studied Psychology and Creative Writing. She works as an arts administrator and volunteers as a literacy mentor. Cristina has a pixie haircut that her grandparents love. She had a recent urge to ask for a bowl cut at the salon, but suppressed it. She is at peace with this.

    Emma Metcalfe Hurst organizes, catalogues, records, writes, edits, reads, watches, talks, and walks, more or less interchangeably. In 2017, she was a curatorial intern at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, and now works at the Western Front on Acts of Transfer, a project that aims to highlight and annotate the performance art by women from its media archive. She is revelling in the lightness of a fresh three-inch trim.

    Kiel Torres calls Vancouver home. She studies art history at the University of British Columbia and dreams of one day becoming a contestant on Jeopardy! Her writing has previously appeared in SAD Mag, the UBC Undergraduate Journal of Art History and Visual Culture, as well as in publications for the Hatch Gallery, and the Museum of Anthropology. Her bangs are not a phase.

    Christian Vistan is a Filipino-Canadian artist originally from Bataan, a peninsular province. He works out of his home, his studio and various libraries in Ladner and Vancouver, BC. From 2016 to 2017, he was a Curatorial Assistant at Centre A, where he contributed to the gallery’s programs and exhibitions. His work has been exhibited in Canada, US, and the Philippines. Currently, he has hair past his shoulders and is contemplating an internal layer in the back.

    Sheryda Warrener is the author of two poetry collections: Hard Feelings (Snare, 2010) and Floating is Everything (Nightwood, 2015). Her work can be found online or in print in Event, Grain, The Fiddlehead, Hazlitt, The Believer, among others. In 2017, she was the recipient of The Puritan’s Thomas Morton Memorial Prize for poetry. Originally from Grimsby, Ontario, she lives in Vancouver, where she’s a lecturer in the Creative Writing program at UBC.

    Moniker Press is a risograph print and publishing studio in Vancouver, BC, that works collaboratively with artists , designers and writers to produce small editions of books, zines and print ephemera.

    Stephan Garneau is a designer and writer based in Vancouver. In his work he is interested in the two-dimensional visual representation of information through textual, graphic and photographic mediums. In addition to freelance and self-directed projects relating to contemporary art and design, he works as an instructional designer for software. He is beginning his Masters of Visual Communication with a major in Information Design at Aalto University in fall 2018.

  • Studio for Emerging Writers II

    June 1–April 1, 2018

    Deadline for submission is Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

    Artspeak invites submissions for its second STUDIO FOR EMERGING WRITERS. Led by Vancouver writer SHERYDA WARRENER, the aim of the studio is to facilitate a dialogue with post-secondary/recent graduate students ages 18–24 from the visual art and creative writing disciplines to address the problems and pleasures of using language as both a mode of communication and an art medium. Specially tailored for students who are engaged with language as medium, and/or who are interested in its narrative and poetic possibilities.

    How has text been incorporated into the field of art, and to what effect? How can art and writing positively influence each other to evolve new forms and modes of speaking? What shape can this inquiry take? Through collaborative creative acts, studio and gallery visits, workshops, and close readings of selected works, writers will explore the shapes and modes that came before, and the as-yet-unspeakable, as-yet-unspoken.

    The studio will span the course of ten months, beginning at the end of May 2017 through March 2018. Participants will receive an honorarium for their contributions. A collection of the writing generated over the course of the studio will be published and launched in Spring 2018.

    This studio emphasizes collaborative, experiential learning. Interested writers will be willing to enter into a discussion with genuine curiosity and a spirit of generosity and sharing. Applicants should submit a portfolio, including an introduction and brief statement of interest (max. 1 page), as well as a selection of work (2 – 4 samples of creative/critical writing), via email to

    Individuals with diverse writing sensibilities, educational, and cultural backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to apply.

    Deadline for submission is Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

    Artspeak gratefully acknowledges the BC Arts Council Youth Engagement program for their support of this initiative.

  • Book Launch

    March 22, 2017

    Artspeak’s Inaugural Studio for Emerging Writers is excited to present brand new work by Alysa Hullett, Julia Dahee Hong, Vanessa Grondin and Keagan Perlette.

    This launch features four publications showcasing the writing that emerged from the nine-month studio program.

    Titled “Lexical” (Vanessa Grondin), “Tiny Alligator” (Alysa Hullett), “A Reasonable Request” (Julia Dahee Hong) and “Prayers & Blasphemies” (Keagan Perlette), the four chapbooks bend the genres of poetry and prose in response to an ongoing exploration of the intersections of visual art and writing.

    You are invited to join us for an evening of revelry and reading, with a performance video installation by Vanessa Grondin and embroideries by Keagan Perlette.

    Artspeak gratefully acknowledges the BC Arts Council Youth Engagement program for their support of this initiative.

    We acknowledge that the practices of this studio and this event is being hosted on the unceded ancestral territory of the Musqueam people.