poetry | music | art, sometimes
Julia Sorensen was St Albert’s second Poet Laureate and a published writer, musician, and visual artist from Treaty Six territory. She has performed spoken word and music at events such as Edmonton Poetry Festival, Push the Boat Out: Edinburgh's International Poetry Festival, Hidden Door Festival, SkirtsAFire, Seven Music Festival, Berlin Spoken Word, and Amplify Festival. She co-hosts Push the Boat Out's monthly open mic, Rock the Boat. She has a Masters in Arts, Festival & Cultural Management from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland and a Bachelor of Arts in English, Arts and Cultural Management, and German from the University of Alberta in Canada. Julia writes multilingually and has experience teaching writing to ESL speakers.
Most recently Julia has developed projects integrating poetry and music. For the 2022 Hidden Door Festival in Edinburgh, she developed a music / spoken word feature-length performance entitled "a little bit of everybody" where she produced audio tracks which paired with the poems' cadence and tone.
In September 2022, Julia participated in the British Council's Venice Fellowship Programme where she worked at the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and made work to respond to her experience. It can be accessed via Spotify here.
Julia has organised poetry events and run writing workshops locally for St. Albert Culture Days and the St. Albert Public Library and internationally at the Technische Universität Dresden in Germany. She coached the Paul Kane Poetry Club from Fall 2017 to Spring 2020, providing weekly programming, poetry feedback, and mentorship to her students. In 2019 the club competed in Can You Hear Me Now? in Calgary.
Julia has presented her academic research to the Technische Universität Dresden’s English and American Studies Department in May 2019, the University of Alberta’s EFSUN Symposium in April 2019, and the Interdisciplinary Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Undergraduate Conference in March 2018. She has also won multiple awards for her work including the Darren Zenko Memorial Prize in Creative Writing, the Sheila Watson BA Prize in Canadian or Post-Colonial Literature, the Meryle and Alder Clark Scholarship for English, and the S Bynchinsky Award for Creative Writing.
She placed third in the Edmonton Indie Slam Finals in January 2018 and was a finalist at the Edmonton Team Slam Finals in April 2017. Her own team also won Can You Hear Me Now? in Calgary in April 2016. Though her previous involvement with slam poetry informs her expressive performance style, her work maintains a softness and ambiguity which ultimately leaves it to the audience to make meaning.
Julia’s poetry and short fiction has been published in several anthologies and Glass Buffalo magazine. She has also self-published four chapbooks, the third and fourth of which, "space is silent," and "to love and to be loved" co-authored by Ari Zak, is available for purchase.