I’m happy to be hosting Writers Resist, Writers Respond at the Vancouver Public Library‘s one-day literary festival on Saturday, May 13, 2017, 10:30am-12pm, in the Alice McKay Room. It’s the third event I have hosted towards the conversation of social justice and creativity.
Join me and three writers who are engaged in social justice for a morning of creative listening and writing. Each author will share a poem of their own and one by an author of their choice. After the readings listeners are invited to activate as writers, crafting on-the-spot responses (on any topic) that can be added to a community archive in the room. Paper and pen provided; all welcome. No need to write; listeners are appreciated!
I’m thrilled to creating this event with three strong thinkers:
Juliane Okot Bitek is a Liu Scholar at the Liu Institute for Global Issues and a Poetry Ambassador for the City of Vancouver’s Poet Laureate Rachel Rose. She is completing her dissertation in the department of Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program at UBC. Juliane’s book of poetry, 100 Days, was published by the University of Alberta Press in 2016. The book was the result of a project, inspired by the photographs of Wangechi Mutu, in which Juliane wrote a poem a day for one hundred days in the summer of 2014, each a response to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. It has been shortlisted for the 2017 Pat Lowther Award, the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Award for Poetry and is a finalist for the 2016 Foreword INDIES Award for Poetry.
Sonja Larsen has been collecting stories her whole life. As a kid she hitch-hiked across country and lived in 3 communes and one cult. As an adult she has worked as a telephone solicitor, bartender, freelance writer, teacher, and youth worker in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Her fiction has appeared in literary magazines, including Room, Descant and a flash fiction anthology. Her memoir RED STAR TATTOO (Random House 2016) was shortlisted for the 2016 Hilary Weston Writer’s Trust Non-Fiction award.
Leah Horlick is a writer who grew up as a settler on Treaty Six Cree Territory in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her first collection of poetry, Riot Lung (Thistledown Press, 2012), was shortlisted for a 2013 ReLit Award and a Saskatchewan Book Award. Her second collection, For Your Own Good (Caitlin Press, 2015), was named a 2016 Stonewall Honour Book by the American Library Association. Along with Esther McPhee, Leah co-curates REVERB, Vancouver’s only queer and anti-oppressive reading series. Last year she was awarded the 2016 Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers.
Writers Resist, Writers Respond is just one of many events taking place this day on the unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh people.
Here is info on the schedule.