Karla Laird, President

karla_laird@vancouverpoetryhouse.com

Born on the beautiful island of Jamaica, Karla is a dynamic, media-savvy senior communications specialist with over 9 years of demonstrated experience working in the Canadian and Caribbean business, nonprofit, legal, and film and television sectors. She is also an attorney-at-law under the jurisdiction of Jamaica and currently serves as the Director of Member Services and Communications at UBCP/ACTRA.
An advocate in every sense of the word, Karla is also President of the Jamaican Canadian Cultural Association of BC, serving as an ambassador for her home country, by actively supporting the Jamaican immigrant community in the province. Karla holds a Bachelor of Laws degree with honours and a graduate diploma with distinction in public relations from the University of the West Indies and recently completed her Masters in Intercultural & International Communication at Royal Roads University.
Karla is passionate about governance and is a proud member and supporter of Synergy Executive and boards Consulting Group and the work they do placing Indigenous, Black and People of Color (IBPOC) on boards and connecting equity seeking and equity advancing groups with IBPOC candidates.

Catherine Lewis, Vice-President

catherine_lewis@vancouverpoetryhouse.com

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada, Catherine Lewis (she/her) is a Chinese Canadian writer based on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, colonially known as Vancouver. Her debut poetry chapbook Zipless (845 Press) is a finalist for two Bisexual Book Awards, and her work has been published in PRISM international, The Fiddlehead, The Humber Literary Review, Pulp Literature, and Plenitude Magazine. She has performed at the Verses Festival of Words, the Poets Corner Reading Series, and Word Vancouver.

A graduate of SFU’s Writer’s Studio Certificate program, she is a Banff Centre Literary Arts alumna. Catherine holds a UBC Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Information Technology, and has worked as a software developer for over two decades.

She looks forward to serving her Vancouver Poetry House community.

Parv Sachdeva, Treasurer

parv_sachdeva@vancouverpoetryhouse.com

Parv Sachdeva, (Quinn – He/Him) is a Vancouver based artist in the written, film media and music space who has been involved in the city’s artistic scenes at various capacities. He holds an undergrad in Electronics engineering and a Masters in Management from UBC Sauder School of Business and works in the financial world in his 9-5, and everything outside that is for artistic breathing and inspiration. He boasts an extraordinarily simple life that he leads, and takes absolute delight in walking and meeting people.

Amanda Eagleson, Secretary

amanda_eagleson@vancouverpoetryhouse.com

She/Her Pronouns

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.

Nicolas Côté  Director

nicolas_cote@vancouverpoetryhouse.com

Nicolas is a poet, musician, researcher and policy analyst in the sustainability sector. He has worked with the federal government as well as several research centres, think tanks, and political parties on topics like clean tech policy, fracking regulation, or climate education.

Often in parallel to his climate work, poetry has remained close to him for a decade, helping him stop, move, and remember parts of the world that are so easily forgotten in policy. He is grateful for the Vancouver Poetry House creating a recurrent space for the language arts in the city. As a Director, he hopes to advance arts and culture policies to support the organization and all those engaged with it.

Nicolas grew up in Paris, France, before settling in Toronto for seven years (traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Missisaugas of the Credit) and lately moving to Vancouver (unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and the Tsleil-Waututh). He holds a BSc. in physics, an MA in socio-cultural anthropology, and is working towards a Master of Public Policy at the University of British Columbia.

Lucy Yang, Director

lucy_yang@vancouverpoetryhouse.com

 

Lucy Yang (she/her) is a teacher, administrator and writer on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples in British Columbia. She loves to explore language and literature with her students, and writes to examine feminist diasporic identities and intercultural pedagogy. She has taught in school districts in Metro Vancouver as well as in Australia, China and Taiwan. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The New York TimesBCTF Teacher MagazineWorth More Growing (Caitlin Press 2022) and elsewhere; she is a finalist for the 2021 Foster Poetry Prize and a new board member at Vancouver Poetry House. She holds degrees in English literature and literacy education at The University of British Columbia.