Kelsey is a Vancouver-based writer, educator, performer, and graduate of the UBC Creative Writing Program. She has had her work featured on the East Van Poetry Salon’s Best Poems of 2016 list¹, the 2014 CBC Non-Fiction Prize Longlist² , the 2014 Vancouver Fringe Festival, Nineteenquestions.com³, and local anthology Stay Solid! A Radical Handbook for Youth⁴. Kelsey is the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Writer-in-Residence for the Minerva Foundation’s Learning to Lead program⁵.
Beginning her writing career with a two-year column for the South Delta Leader (now the Delta Optimist⁵), Kelsey discovered spoken word poetry in the summer of 2006 and instantly felt a kinship with the form. In 2009, she was one of six poets chosen for the Cultch’s IGNITE! Spoken Word Mentorship Program⁶, ⁷. In the same year, she won a spot on the Vancouver Youth Poetry Slam Team and began travelling B.C. with poetry group The Candelabra Collective, opening for such artists as Brendan McLeod⁸ and such events as the Campbell Bay Music Festival⁹. She is the author of four self-published chapbooks: Carnival Wire (2010), Carnival Dark (2011), Torches (2013), and twenty-three/thirty (2017)⁰.
A former Editorial Assistant for Prism International Magazine¹, Kelsey currently works as the Communications Coordinator for the Community Arts Council of Vancouver², and is a long-time host of Open Mic at the Lyceum, a monthly event at Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art³ in which she strives to foster an inclusive space for artists of all disciplines and backgrounds. Since 2016, Kelsey has also worked in various roles for the Verses Festival of Words⁴, supporting the growth of Vancouver’s largest alternative literary festival.
Kelsey is in her ninth year of working with the Vancouver Poetry House’s WordPlay program⁵, facilitating performance poetry workshops in high schools across the province. She also designs, develops, and runs poetry programming for corporations, working with organizations such as the Minerva Foundation⁶ and Refinery Leadership Partners⁷ to facilitate accessible explorations of poetry at the organizational leadership level. More information about bookings can be found here.