It’s been more than a month and I haven’t updated yet, partly because I’m still a bit floored. Our Familiar Hunger went ahead and won the Dorothy Livesay Award. It was an incredible honour to be nominated alongside books by Eve Joseph, Shazia Hafiz Ramji, Fred Wah and Rita Wong, and Onjana Yawnghwe, which made it all the more a surprise when Our Familiar Hunger won. It was an absolute gift to be able to thank some of those who helped the book come to be. I ended in thanking my Baba, whose strength, resiliency, and humour were an inspiration for the book (& for how to live in the world, really). She loved polka dots, so it’s fitting I wore this dress. I continue to feel thrilled and humbled by it all.
As part of the BC Book Prize Finalist’s tour, I’ll be giving several workshops in elementary and secondary schools on the Sunshine Coast, as well as two public readings. I’m super chuffed and honour to be reading alongside Darrel J. McLeod, author of the memoir Mamaskatch, fellow finalist and also winter of the Governor General’s Award for Nonfiction.
We’ll be reading at the Strathcona Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, 730 East Hastings, on Monday, May 13th at 7 PM. Free and open to all!
And on Monday, May 15 at 7 PM at the Powell River Public Library - my first time in Pow Town!
Our Familiar Hunger has been shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, alongside books by Eve Joseph, Shazia Hafiz Ramji, Fred Wah and Rita Wong, and Onjana Yawnghwe. I am incredibly honoured to be on a shortlist with these poets and their books. Floored, and thrilled, and humbled, having being behind the scenes on juries and knowing how much consideration goes into the shortlists, and how many other equally relevant, accomplished, stunning books didn’t make this particular shortlist, at this particular time.
I’m also so excited to read as many of these books as possible, in all the categories. Just look at these beauty books!
I’ll be at the gala in Vancouver on May 11th, 2019. I may need a new or new-to-me dress for the occasion. The possibilities to #dresslikeabook are great.
This fall, I’m fortunate to be part of the Victoria Festival of Authors, the Whistler Writers’ Festival, and a new series in Prince George called Inspiring Women. Writing of which, plans are also afoot for a Vernon reading with Alix Hawley and Ashley Little, inspiring women, indeed.
Here are some deets:
Victoria Festival of Authors
with David James Brock and Katherena Vermette
Friday, September 28, 7:30pm
Metro Theatre | 1411 Quadra St.
Tickets: $15 | Students 20% discount
Poetry is All Around Us
with Jonina Kirtin, Dan McIsaac, and Katherena Vermette
Saturday, September 29, 3:30 PM
Intrepid Theatre | 1609 Blanshard St.
Tickets: $15 | Students 20% discount
Whistler Writers Festival
Writers of Poetry - Thin Places
with Billy Ray Belcourt, Cornelia Hoogland, and Erin Nilson
Saturday, October 14, 11:30 AM
Fairmont Chateau Whistler | $20
On June 20, join us for the Okanagan Launch of GUSH: A Menstrual Manifesto. Natalie Appleton, Ruth Daniell, Kerry Gilbert, Karen Klassen, & Erin Moure will read from this national anthology celebratory the bloody life force. Join us, join in with your own poems, and please bring a package of tampons or pads for donation to the Upper Room Mission. It's going to be a bloody good time!
7 PM, June 20, 2018. Caetani Cultural Centre, 3401 Pleasant Valley Road, Vernon, BC
In April, Nightwood Editions will publish my latest collection of poetry, Our Familiar Hunger, and I'm taking my newest baby on the road. Come join me in one of these locations if you can! There will be snacks, festive drinks, even Ukrainian dancing in one location! And, there will be poetry.
April 19th, 7 PM, Book launch & reading, Paper Hound Books, 344 West Pender, Vancouver - with Ontario poet and playwright, David James Brock & host Dina Del Bucchia
April 24th, 7 PM, Book launch party, Caetani Cultural Centre, 3401 Pleasant Valley Road, Vernon - featuring special guests, Ukrainian dance and food
May 1st, 7 PM, Reading, Milk Crate Record Shop, 527, Lawrence Avenue, Kelowna - with Kelowna poet and playwright, Erin Scott
May 4th, 6-8 PM, Wine-o-Clock, Wine & Poetry Pairings, Metrovino Wines, 722 11 Ave SW, Calgary - with Wakefield Brewster, Cobra Collins, Kyle Flemmer and Stuart Ian McKay
May 5th, 10 AM - 3 PM, Brunch + Poetry Workshop, Rose & Crown Pub, 1503 4th St SW, Calgary - Poetry brunch & hang-out followed by workshop Picture This: Ideas & Imagery in Poetry. Please click below for more on workshop and registration:
Upcoming Fall Events include Victoria Festival of Authors and Whistler Writers and Readers Festival
I'll be leading a workshop on Narrative Therapy at this year's Spoke Literary Festival. What is Narrative Therapy, anyway? This is the blurb for Spoke Fest:
In this introduction to some of the foundational concepts of the practice of Narrative Therapy, we’ll explore how our own narrative and writing practices can positively affect health and resiliency. Learn how to apply the foundational concepts of Narrative Therapy to your own writing practice and your own work, whether it is fiction, memoir, poetry, or any other form of creative writing. Explore how your writing practice can help you move through challenges and blocks in your life, and in your creative work.
I've facilitated plenty of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction workshops -- and, to be honest, each of those workshops ends up being a bit of a therapy session -- but this will be my first workshop on Narrative Therapy, specifically, since I became certified from the Vancouver School of Narrative Therapy last September.
It will be followed by my favourite kind of therapy -- emerging out of my solitary writing life, shaking off the kids and the garden dirt from my hands and knees, to socialize with like-minded and Write-Minded peeps, share some laughs, appies, and festive drinks.
If you can be in the Okanagan Valley August 11-13, 2017, you should join us!
I'm thrilled that Nightwood Editions will be publishing my fourth collection of poetry, Our Familiar Hunger, in 2018.
Our Familiar Hunger explores the lives of Eastern European women, both contemporary and historical. Poems move from the Russian Revolution into holodomor, the massive state-imposed famine in Ukraine, to early twentieth century immigration to Canada and the subsequent interment of those of Eastern European descent into prisoner camps across Canada during the First World War. The collection moves into twenty-first century migration, the international sex trade, and internet-arranged marriage as a way to into "the West". Set against backdrops of historical and contemporary conflict zones, farmers' fields ravaged by the greed of government officials, and oil fields pumping crude resources out of northern Canada, the women each respond to different types of hunger - literal hunger for food and sustenance, sexual hunger and desire, hunger for love, respect, equality, acceptance, and peace.
In other words, some nice light reading!