Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Parts of a Whole

My poetic navigational tool In Its Own Tongue, created during a residency at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, will be included in Parts of a Whole: New Work from MCBA’s Artist Community

This exhibtion will run from August 16 – October 20, 2013 at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, in the Open Book Building in downtown Minneapolis, 1011 Washington Ave. S.

Opening reception and reading: Friday, August 16; 6-9pm

“MCBA presents an exhibition of new work by members of our artist community — faculty, co-op members, past artists-in-residence, fellowship and mentorship grant recipients, current and former staff and board members, and others — curated by the MCBA Artist Cooperative. These talented artists demonstrate their innovative approaches, creative skills and diversity of styles in Parts of a Whole. A variety of artists’ books, broadsides, prints and other bookish artistic endeavours will be on view from this vibrant and eclectic group.”

This exciting exhibit includes work from over 60 artists. Learn more about the show at

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Robson Reading Series

I will be travelling to Vancouver later this month to read as part of UBC’s Robson Reading Series with poets Walid Bitar and Missy Marston. My poems will be happy to visit the coast that birthed them! Join us on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 7pm at the UBC Bookstore at Robson Square.

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Minnesota Center for Book Arts

In a few days, I’ll be travelling to the Minnesota Center for Book Arts to spend a couple of weeks as an artist in residence. I’ll be working on a letterpress project that incorporates maps, images, and poetry about tidal rivers in my home province of Nova Scotia. I’ve heard really good things about MCBA, and I’m beyond excited to have this opportunity to visit and to get into their studio to do some work! If you happen to be in the Twin Cities, please stop in and say hello.

While I am in Minnesota, I will also be reading with Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota’s poet laureate, at Monkey See Monkey Read (425 Division St. S, in Northfield) at 7pm on January 19th. I’ll be reading from my Red Dragonfly Press chapbook A Rattle of Leaves, and from my collection Distillo, from Gaspereau Press. Many thanks to Scott King at Red Dragonfly for organizing the reading.

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Distillo from Gaspereau Press

I’m happy to announce the release of my new collection of poetry from Gaspereau Press.
There will be several launches for the book in Nova Scotia, and one in St. John’s, NL. The details:

Tuesday 28 March at 7:30 p.m.
Gaspereau Press poets Peter Sanger and Basma Kavanagh will be reading from their newly-published poetry collections at the University of King’s College in the Senior Common Room, 6530 Coburg Road. This event is being hosted by the Haliburton Literary Society.

Thursday 29 March at 7:00 p.m.
Gaspereau Press poets Peter Sanger and Basma Kavanagh will be reading from their newly-published poetry collections at the Antigonish Public Library, 283 Main St.

Friday 30 March at 3:00 p.m.
Gaspereau Press poets Peter Sanger and Basma Kavanagh will be reading from their newly-published poetry collections at Cape Breton University Library Commons, 1250 Grand Lake Road. This is the inaugural reading of the new CBU Reading Series, Black White & Read.

Wednesday 11 April at 7:30 p.m.
Monica Kidd will be launching her new poetry book Handfuls of Bone with help from her fellow Gaspereau Press authors Basma Kavanagh and Don McKay at The Rocket Room, 272 Water Street

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Now Available: A Rattle of Leaves Chapbook

I’m pleased to announce that A Rattle of Leaves, a chapbook of nine poems, is now available from Red Dragonfly Press. Red Dragonfly Press is a not-for-profit literary organization that publishes contemporary poetry and poetry in translation, with particular emphasis on work that is rural, environmental and communal in theme.  Their elegant trade and letterpress editions are available by mail, from bookstores, and online. I feel very honoured that my work is now part of their list, and encourage you to visit their website.

Monday, January 31st, 2011


January 12 – February 16, Designer Cafe, Kentville

Organisms unfurling in unnatural fractal versions of themselves – lichens, pebbles, cracked earth -these are some of the animate textures that hold Basma Kavanagh’s attention.

Basma wonders:  “Can the inscrutable marks and symbols of these living patterns bridge the written word (which evolved from symbols that described things) and unlanguaged form?  Can they yield something we can read?”

Embossed, sewn, carved and painted works celebrate these wishing-well forms.  We stare into them and we see cells, growth, decay – a rude anatomy.  We see ourselves reflected there.  Can we find the answer (or maybe the question) to the world riddle?  Or a kind of poetry,  in elegant configurations of body against body, stanzas of stone against stone, delicately punctuated by the spaces between, an understated music of silences and shadows?

Basma Kavanagh is a Nova Scotia visual artist and poet.  She has lived and worked in Cape Breton, on Vancouver Island, and in the Arabian Gulf –  in each place creating art determined by her surroundings.  Basma’s work has been exhibited across Nova Scotia, in British Columbia, Qatar, and the US, and has been included in books, magazines and anthologies in Canada, the US, and the UK.

Designer Cafe
373 Main St. Kentville, 902-365-3322

Monday – Friday, 7 am – 5 pm
Saturday, 8 am – 4 pm
Sunday, 11 am – 3 pm

© 2018 Basma Kavanagh.