Holden Wall, Director
Holden has been active in local poetry spaces since 2015. He first shared his writing on the VanSlam stage, and although he rarely performs nowadays, he remains committed to the community that gave him a voice, and he likes to stay involved with the goings-on of the Vancouver Poetry House. He was the Active Listener Coordinator for the 2019 Verses Festival of Words, and is honoured to now be joining the Board of Directors, where he hopes his “administrative instinct” will be put to good use. Holden believes that a strong sense of community is a necessary foundation for a thriving arts scene, and is extra passionate about finding a balance in performance poetry where an audience can be impacted by a performance without being sent to a distressing emotional place. He is also interested in shifting the focus in slam away from the scores and towards the craft and care an artist puts into their work – Holden really believes that the point is not the points!
Holden is the the president.
Frankie McGee, Director
I use they/them pronouns.
I have been around the Van Slam community since I moved to what is colonially known as Vancouver in the fall of 2016, after attending the Verses Festival that year and being drawn in by the richness of the poetry community.
Before moving here, I was active in organizing the Peterborough Poetry Slam in Nogojiwanong, on the traditional territories of the Michi-Saagig Anishinaabe, and also worked with various nonprofits as a board and staff member. In 2018 I helped organize the first Voices of Today national youth festival, coordinating the visiting youth teams and the active listening team.
I work closely with youth within and outside of schools, and through that work I have seen the transformative power of allowing people to share their stories, and that’s part of the reason I feel the work Vancouver Poetry House does is so important. So much of my community, support system, and artistic growth have come to me through the spaces Vancouver Poetry House has created. I joined the board to help sustain a community that has sustained me.
Frankie is the vice president.
Amanda Eagleson, Director
Amanda Eagleson grew up in Dubuque, Iowa (with brief stints in San Diego, California and Arnhem, Netherlands). she currently lives, works, and writes on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam people (Vancouver, B.C.).
Her favourite things in nature are the smell of the earth right before a thunderstorm, lightning bugs (or fireflies if you must), hedgehogs, and octopuses.
It was the inspiration and support of individual poets, organisers, and volunteers within Vancouver’s slam community that kept her writing, reading, publishing, and sometimes breathing.
She hopes to contribute to the community that gave her this gift.
Amanda is the secretary.
Leslie Stark, Director
Leslie Stark is a playwright, poet, performer, dancer, mom, high school teacher (Burnsview Secondary), founder of the Elegant Ladies Collective, small business owner/hoopmaker (Serenity Hoops) and is in a band (The Appetizers). She has a BA in Drama (U of Manitoba) and an MFA in Creative Writing (UBC), as well as a BEd (UBC).
Leslie Stark has been attending Vancouver Poetry House events since 2010 and has been a board member since 2013. She is also on the board of Touchstone Theatre. After taking a year off from the VPH board, she is back and thrilled to be a part of such a great team.
Leslie has performed at CIPS three times, has featured at the UBC Slam, and has coached the Burnsview team at Hullabaloo for the past 8 years. In 2018, at Hullabaloo, she was the proud recipient of the Zaccheus Jackson Spirit of the Slam award. She teaches Drama and Creative Writing, and has a special place in her heart for supporting youth engagement in poetry and spoken word.
Lesley is the treasurer.