Welcome to our new Artistic Director Johnny Trinh

Vancouver Poetry House is pleased to announce the appointment of Johnny D Trinh as our new Artistic Director. Johnny brings over 20 years of experience as an arts leader, producer, educator, and artist.

Often quoted for this mantra, “It takes a community to build an artist, whether we resist against it, or are nurtured by it.” Johnny wants to acknowledge many poets are birthed through resistance, and envisions a space where their voices are nurtured and encouraged to grow. There is a deep need for compassion, laughter, healing, weirdness, and transformation in our community. Vancouver Poetry House and its many programs can be an incredible platform to help people listen to voices that have endured despite the world that aims to silence them.

“I recognize the incredible legacy and lineage of past Artistic Directors including: Joseph Tony Dandurand, Johnny MacRae,  Jillian Christmas, Chris Gilpin and more as I begin my new role at Vancouver Poetry House,” says Trinh. Johnny’s focus for the 2023 Verse Festival of Words will be the theme, “Gathering found family around the table.”

Johnny is also the Founder and Artistic Producer of Stage to Page Performance Society. Stage to Page, developed through the support of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver, is dedicated to the research, development, and delivery of cross-disciplinary methodology in support of the spoken word poets, and the evolution of Spoken Word. As a community-engaged artist, Johnny is interested in auto-ethnographic performance in relation to building community, especially when community seems inaccessible. Johnny is committed to the continual application and creation of consent based, decolonizing, and trauma-informed practice when engaging with community to create art.

 Johnny’s spoken word career began in 2012, quickly reaching national level in 2013 through the poetry slam community, becoming a multi-year finalist at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam. Trinh went on to join the team at Vancouver Poetry House as the Tournament Director for the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam for multiple years, as well as be a featured artist, Word Play educator, and guest curator for the Verses Festival of Words. 

“Johnny has been a pivotal member of the spoken word community for many years.” says Colleen Brown, General Manager of Vancouver Poetry House. 

Johnny holds a MFA: Interdisciplinary Studies – Theatre & Creative Technology from the University of Regina; a Honours BA: Drama from the University of Waterloo, a diploma in Music Theatre Performance from the Randolph College of Performing Arts, and is an alum from the Banff Centre: Spoken Word Literary Program and Dell’Arte International School for Physical Theatre: Mask Intensives.