Délani Valin Reading September 29 at Portfolio

Free Event Hosted by Portal Magazine
Métis author to read from poetry collection at the Black Rabbit Kitchen Friday at 7 pm.
Portfolio poster featuring book cover and author headshot.

09.27.2023 | News

VIU’s Portal Magazine is excited to welcome Délani Valin to its Portfolio reading series, a monthly event that celebrates new writing in Nanaimo’s literary community. After taking a break for the summer, the series is now back up and running.

Join Portfolio night Friday, September 29, from 7-8:30 pm. The event is hosted downtown at the Black Rabbit Kitchen.

Valin, a graduate of VIU’s Creative Writing program, will read from her poetry collection, Shapeshifters (Nightwood Editions, 2022). Three VIU students—Maggie Stvns, Barbara Burgardt, and Taylor Iverson—will open the event with readings of their own poetic works.

Valin is a neurodivergent and Métis author and editor. Her poetry has been awarded The Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize and subTerrain’s Lush Triumphant Award.

Rife with humour, longing, and fearless honesty, Shapeshifters is a stunning debut. In the collection, Valin adopts the personas of various capitalist mascots, from Barbie to Mr. Clean to the Starbucks siren. Bella Hoodle, a former Poetry Editor for Portal, describes this technique as “an act of resistance, gaining confidence in the masquerade” as the author explores “the different identities that inform an ever-changing self.” You can read Hoodle’s review of Shapeshifter’s in the current issue, Portal 2023, available from the VIU Campus Store.

Portal Magazine, too, is ever-changing. With new students every year working hard to make the magazine possible, each one brings fresh ideas and bright enthusiasm.

Tianna Vertigan, co-Managing Editor of Portal this year, is looking forward to reading all the graduate features. “This year, we’ve dedicated an entire team to a new segment on recently published VIU grads,” she explained. “I’m excited to see what comes out of those interviews and what connections the editors might develop as a result.” 

But among this new wave of change, the Portfolio reading series has remained a steady constant. Having run for five years now, the series continues to bring together established and emerging writers and offers a platform for students to gain confidence in reading in front of others.

Nicole Kaastra, one of the magazine’s Non-Fiction Editors, was an opening reader last February. She read her short story “Nothing Is Cast in Stone,” which was published in Portal 2023.  

“Reading a story so personal, as fictional as it is, was a nerve-wracking experience in the best way,” Nicole said. “It was the first time where it clicked: I really am a writer.”

Magazine Cover

Cover of Portal 2023.
Courtesy Of: Portal Magazine

There will be three Portfolio events in the fall semester and three in the spring. Each one focuses on a different genre, rotating between poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and script.

These events are free and open to all members of the public. For more information, visit portalmagazine.ca, follow Portal on social media, or send an email to viuportal@gmail.com.

Portfolio Night ft. Délani Valin

Friday, September 29 @ 7:00–8:30 pm
Black Rabbit Kitchen (Attic)
321 Selby St.

Portfolio Night ft. Délani Valin

Friday, September 29 @ 7:00–8:30 pm
Black Rabbit Kitchen (Attic)
321 Selby St.

And check out the magazine’s Portent Prize—a fiction writing contest that closes on October 15—for a chance to win $500.

Copy Editor

Sam is a poet, editor, and oxford comma enthusiast. She is in her fourth year at VIU, studying Creative Writing and English. When she's not at The Nav, she's working on Portal Magazine, editing children's books at Strong Nations, or losing a game of chess in only four moves.

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