7000 College Way
Vernon, BC, V1B 2N5

General Inquiries:

Editor in Chief:

Kevin McPherson


Jason Dewinetz


Joan Smeyers

Caitani Cultural Centre

Kalamalka Press Writer-in-Residence Program
at the Caetani Cultural Centre



2018 Residency

Penn Kemp

London, Ontario performance poet, activist and playwright Penn Kemp's latest poetry collection, Local Heroes, was published by Insomniac Press in Spring, 2018. Next is Fox Haunts, Aeolus House, to be launched in September. Penn is the League of Canadian Poets' 2015 Spoken Word artist of the year ( and their 40th Life Member. Her latest works are two anthologies: Performing Women and Women and Multimedia. Out now is a new collection of poetry, Barbaric Cultural Practice (Quattro Books). Her new play, The Triumph of Teresa Harris, was produced in March, 2017 at The Palace Theatre, London ON.

Penn has been giving creativity workshops, teaching and performing her poetry since 1966. As the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of London (2010-12), she presented poetry at many civic functions. As Canada Council Writer-in-Residence for Western University for 2009-10, her project was the DVD, Luminous Entrance: a Sound Opera for Climate Change Action, Pendas Productions. Penn was Creative Age London's Writer-in-Residence in 2015. She also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for service to arts and culture. Penn has published twenty-five books of poetry and drama, had six plays and ten CDs produced as well as several award-winning videopoems. Since her first book was published by Coach House Press in 1972, she has been pushing textual and aural boundaries, often in participatory performance work. Many of her recent CDs are what Penn terms "Sound Operas": poetic narratives that weave sound, imagery and music in the counterpoint of many voices Having performed in festivals around the world, most recently in Britain, Brazil and India, Penn lives in London, where she edits poetry for Pendas Productions. Penn has been heralded by the Writers’ Union as a “one woman literary industry”.


Residency Dates 2019: TBA 
Application Deadline: TBA

“Literature is dialogue; responsiveness. Literature might be described as the history of human responsiveness to what is alive and what is moribund as cultures evolve and interact with one another.” ~ Susan Sontag


Kalamalka Press and Okanagan College are thrilled to partner again with the Caetani Cultural Centre to offer a Writer-in-Residence program. This collaboration is intended to serve as a conduit between regional and national literary cultures by welcoming authors of any genre from across Canada to the North Okanagan to live and write and commune.   

The KP@C3 includes four weeks of accommodation and studio space at the Caetani Cultural Centre, with the possibility of extended stay, as well as a $1000 honorarium. Writers are responsible for their own transportation, food, and supplies.



Writers-in-Residence are encouraged to participate in one or more community events, such as a public reading, a visit to creative writing classes, or a writing workshop at the local library. The Caetani Cultural Centre and Kalamalka Press will help organize these events. Writers-in-Residence are also encouraged to contribute a book or text to the Caetani Cultural Centre’s community library.


Application Process

Open to emerging and established writers in any genre: poetry, fiction, drama, nonfiction, new media, hybrid works, etc. The residency is scheduled for the month of October. Applicants are asked to provide a cover letter, literary curriculum vitae, and brief proposal of work to be completed during the residency, as well as the competed application form. Forms will be made available when the next round of applications opens.


Selection of Applicants

Candidates will be reviewed by the Kalamalka Press editorial board, while the selection process will consider equally the applicant’s curriculum vitae, the merit of the work to be conducted during the residency, and general suitability for the program.



The successful applicant is required to submit a reservation/cancellation deposit of $200. The deposit will be invoiced online via Paypal in Canadian funds and will be refunded via Paypal upon the arrival of the writer at the Centre for the specified program.



In the event of cancellation by the writer after committing to the accepted program, the Caetani Cultural Centre reserves the right to retain up to and including the full amount on deposit. The Centre will make every effort to find a substitute writer to take the place of the accepted writer in the event of cancellation. A minimum $50 processing fee will be retained if another writer agrees to take your place.



Writers are responsible for their own food requirements and are encouraged to arrange their own transportation.

  1. The residency does not include travel expenses, food, health insurance, writing supplies, shipping, or other personal expenses.
  2. Most participants apply for grants to institutions, foundations, universities, government agencies, etc. in their country/province of origin to assist with funding their stay.
  3. The Caetani Centre does not provide daily cleaning or meals. Residents are expected to maintain their studio spaces and rooms, shared common areas of the kitchen, bathroom and other common areas in a clean, tidy and orderly manner, with respect for the other residents using the space.


Residential Accommodation
Sermoneta Room – approx. 10’ x 12’ (3m x 4m)

  1. Private one bedroom (queen-sized bed, clothes storage, desk with chair).
  2. Double occupancy may be considered. Please indicate on your application form.
  3. Shared 4-piece full bathroom
  4. Shared kitchen/eating area
  5. Shared communal gathering space in the Library
  6. Parking for one vehicle onsite
  7. Bed linens, towels, and cleaning supplies are provided by the Centre
  8. Coin-operated laundry onsite
  9. Access to Internet and Library
  10. The Caetani Centre residential accommodation is within walking distance to most downtown shopping amenities and bus routes, while taxi service is available to the site. If you plan to rent a car for the entire 4-week period, expect to budget a minimum of $1000. Arrangements for transportation may be made through staff and volunteers whenever possible, but cannot be guaranteed. A complementary bicycle and helmet are also available for the resident’s use (at their own risk).


Location, location, location…

The Caetani House is located two blocks from downtown Vernon, and is within walking distance or public transportation to shopping, as well as most public facilities and amenities. Bike trails and bus service are available to larger centres. Kalamlka Press and Okanagan College are located 5 minutes south of the city of Vernon at the top of a hill, approximately a 5-10 minute drive from the Caetani Centre.

The Greater Vernon community offers hiking trails, nature centres, a public art gallery and arts centre, performing arts centre, recreation centre, Vernon Community Music School, commercial galleries, library, science centre, and shopping. We are located between three lakes: Kalamalka Lake, Okanagan Lake and Swan Lake, and 25 minutes from world class cross country and downhill skiing, and mountain biking at Silver Star Mountain. 30 minutes from Kelowna International Airport. 5 hours from Vancouver by car. Vernon has a small airport with limited access.



For over ten years, Kalamalka Press and Okanagan College operated a writer-in-residency plan in coordination with the Mackie Lake House Society. This program brought to the region numerous talented poets, essayists, and novelists, including Dennis Cooley, Robert Kroetsch, Mona Fertig, Brenda Schmidt, Gary Geddes, Peter Midgley, Leona Theis, and Kathleen Brown. Several of these authors have published notable creative and critical works that were composed or conceived of during their Mackie Lake House residencies. In 2015, the program was moved to the more centrally-located Caetani Cultural Centre, in part, to accommodate longer tenancies for visiting writers.



“I arrived in the Okanagan expecting the gorgeous mountains and keen students, but what disarmed me and made the Kalamalka Press Writer-in-Residence position unique were the flourishes: the comedic sound of horse chestnuts falling on daydreaming cars, the casual sublime of the Enderby cliffs, the open hearts of the many writers living in the valley, the stories I heard in my favourite Vernon bar, the extravagance of Caravan Farm Theatre’s Halloween party, the visiting artist from Saskatchewan who knelt for a week in the front yard rearranging those fallen chestnuts into a more human pattern and, through it all, day and night, the courteous ghost of Sveva Caetani, my taciturn and moody companion, who roamed the Caetani House and helped with my negligence by gently shutting cupboard doors I absentmindedly left open behind me.”

~ Moez Surani, 2015 Writer-in-Residence




Previous Residents

For details on Mackie Residency Publications, see here.




Penn Kemp

Penn Kemp


Janet Munsil

Janet Munsil


Kath McLean

Kath McLean


Brenda Schmidt

Brenda Schmidt


Mona Fertig

Mona Fertig



Dawne McCance



David Pitt-Brooke & Christine McPhee



Ronald Ayling


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Anne DeGrace

Anne DeGrace


Moez Surani

Moez Surani


Terry Jordan

Terry Jordan


Peter Midgley

Peter Midgley


Gary Geddes

Gary Geddes


Robert Kroetsch

Robert Kroetsch


Dennis Cooley

Dennis Cooley