Kayla Czaga at the Victoria Writers Festival

Kayla Czaga, who has just released her debut poetry collection with Nightwood Editions – For Your Safety Please Hold On – will be taking part in a reading / new poets panel at the Victoria Writers Festival this weekend! The event, which has been titled “For Your Safety Please Hold On” after Kayla’s book, will take place on Saturday, November 8 at 1pm, at the Oak Bay United Church (1355 Mitchell St). It will also feature authors Anne-Marie Turza, Garth Martens and Troy Sebastian and will be hosted by Marita Dachsel. Tickets are required.

For Your Safety Please Hold On is a truly remarkable first poetry collection. Kayla Czaga’s poems are already making waves and several in the collection have received award attention, including: The Fiddlehead’s 23rd annual Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, The Malahat Review’s 2012 Far Horizon’s Award for Poetry and an Editor’s Choice Award in ARC Poetry Magazine’s 2012 Poem of the Year Contest.

The poems in For Your Safety Please Hold On move in thematic focus from family, to girlhood, to adulthood, each permeated by Czaga’s lively voice and quick-witted, playful language. The collection begins with funny/sad portraits of family members from the eccentric father to the not-grandfathers to the decorative aunt. Her poems about girlhood play a linguistic hopscotch often beautifully juxtaposed with feelings of menace or a first taste of smothering expectations, while her pinprick meditations on contemporary adulthood suggest a yearning for personal meaning and purpose on a larger scale. The irrepressible energy of the poems in For Your Safety Please Hold On, paired with their complex balancing act between light and dark, humour and melancholy, innocence and danger, make this collection an extraordinary first offering.

Kayla Czaga grew up in Kitimat and now lives in Vancouver, BC, where she recently earned her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC. Her poetry, nonfiction, and fiction has been published in The Walrus, Best Canadian Poetry 2013, Room Magazine, Event, and The Antigonish Review, among others.

This event is made possible with support from the Canada Council for the Arts. For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, visit

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