Poet and author Gregory Betts has been publishing cutting edge literature for 18 years and has released seven books and 18 chapbooks from the best avant-garde presses across North America. Not only is he a successful author, Betts is a genuine activist for the literary community in St. Catharines. Since arriving in 2006 to teach at Brock University, Betts has organized events that have brought hundreds of the best authors from around the world to St. Catharines. Gregory has been a tireless advocate for literature and has helped to foster and create a robust literary community in the city, working as an artist, volunteer, and organizer of all things cultural. His work has culminated in the establishment of a new literary festival of which Betts is artistic director. The Festival of Readers is a three-day literary extravaganza that brought over 40 authors to the city in October 2016 and attracted over 400 people. With this festival, not only has he built a stage for the best literature in the country, but he has insisted that the focus of that stage be for developing and encouraging readers in the city of St. Catharines. Gregory received the Jury’s Pick Award from the City of St. Catharines during their Arts Awards evening held on June 5, 2017.