Progressive Texts

It was really inspiring hearing (and hosting) Dionne Brand and Rita Wong at Play Chthonics last night. It feels this week as if a world that recognizes justice, beauty and hope is re-emerging after decades of hiding underground.

Upcoming on February 19 : ” Progressive Texts”– an event to launch two special issues of West Coast Line: Active Geographies: Women and Struggles on the Left Coast, edited by Rita Wong and Joanne Lee; Citizenship and Cultural Belonging, edited by Sophie McCall and David Chariandy; The Artist and the Moose: A Fable of Forget by Roy Kiyooka, edited by Roy Miki; and Sybil Unrest by Rita Wong and Larissa Lai.

Thursday, February 19

The ANZA Club

3 West 8th Ave.


Doors: 7:30pm

New leaf strong and free

I wonder if Father Time is a vampire. How does he march so staunchly into the future without getting tired? Mother Nature recycles.

Back at work. Two courses this term, both fourth year– one on race, gender, memory and citizenship; and one on biopolitics.

Paul Lai has just published a pretty cool article about Salt Fish Girl in MELUS. Alessandra Caperdoni has written beautifully about the Rachel poems in West Coast Line. Very pleased to be thought of with such care and intelligence.

Wring out the old, break in the new

Another wash cycle done, new rough beasts waiting to be born. Much eating of poultry in this cold season. I contemplate the killing of chickens. How the one who slaughters sacrifices self to public opinion, but we all want the meat. I should learn to wield the knife. There’s the limit of my own bourgeois privilege.

Dionne Brand and Rita Wong will read for Play Chthonics on January 21 at 7:30pm. Mark your new calendars!

sybil unrest is out. Rough beast #1. Nomados will publish Eggs in the Basement when ice melts and arms heal. What weather. Sending melt and heal vibes. Joy to the world.

sybil from press

sybil unrest, my collaborative long poem with Rita Wong, has just come back from the printers! I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m pretty excited. Much gratitude to Michael Barnholden of the newly formed Line Books, for his hard work and constant faith in this project. We had a lot of support from the good folks at The Kootenay School of Writing, and from Aaron Vidaver and David Fujino, whose collaborative long poem performance at KSW several years ago was a catalytic inspiration.

eventful events

Catch Clint Burnham, Aaron Peck and Rishma Dunlop at Play Chthonics this Wednesday, Nov. 12, 7:30 at Graham House, Green College on the UBC campus. Details here.

Had a great time in TO (briefly, briefly) with Gein Wong, Emily Cheung and Aries Cheung. It was pretty cool to see Salt Fish Girl staged.

Upcoming: Friday, Nov. 21, 4pm: an English Department talk called “Agency After the Bounded Subject: Biopower, Body Parts and Human Rights in Stephen Frear’s Dirty, Pretty Things

Nov. 25: a reading with the Short Line Series at the Railway Club with me, Tony Power and others. I’ll update you on the start time when I have it.

This week’s adventures

Play Chthonics brings Christian Bok and Christine Stewart to the Green College Coach House this Wednesday. Should be a good one. Details here.

On Thursday, I fly to Toronto for the Salt Fish Girl theatre piece staged by Gein Wong, Emily Cheung, Aries Cheung, Brigitte Tang and the company Little Pear Garden. I visited them when they were workshopping it last summer. Now I’m really looking forward to seeing what they’ve done! Check it out.

CUE / Open Text Anthology Launch

Please join CUE in launching its inaugural season, with readings by George Bowering, Ted Byrne, Larissa Lai, Christine Leclerc, Donato Mancini, Sharon Thesen, and Lissa Wolsak.

Music by Cellosound.

Oct 17th. at 7:00 pm
Mountain View Cemetery, Celebration Hall
5455 Fraser Street (East 39th Ave. at Fraser)
Vancouver, BC

Special launch prices on all books. For more information go to:

belated self-promotion

I need to work on ruthless, but in the meantime artless will have to do.

If you’re in the UBC vicinity tomorrow evening, I’m reading and speaking as part of a series put on by Patricia Robertson, the writer-in-residence at Green College. The series is called “Is Fiction an Endangered Species?” I feel very honoured to be sitting on a panel called Words Tamed and Untamed: When We Were Stories” with Robert Bringhurst and Linda Harvey. We’ll be talking about traditional storytelling and the role of fiction in contemporary culture. It runs from 8 – 9:30 pm at the Green College Coach House on the UBC campus.

If out and proud is more your style, come to Little Sister’s this Thursday. I’m reading with Nairne Holtz, one of the editors of No Margins, and the illustrious Marion Douglas, who was the very first person I ever went on tour with.

Storytelling Our Lives

If I can get away from work, I’ll check these events out:

No One Is Illegal and neworldtheatre present…

Storytelling Our Lives:
Stories of Migration and Displacement

Featuring: Sindy Angel, Adriana Contreras, Gurpreet Kambo, Amal Rana,
Ghassan Shanti and Carly Teng

Sunday, September 21, 2008
Doors at 2 PM
2:30pm – 3:30pm sharp
Chapel Arts
304 Dunlevy Avenue (corner East Cordova, 2 blocks East of Main)

Monday, September 29, 2008
Doors at 7:30
8 – 9 pm sharp
Room 1800, SFU Harbour Centre
515 W Hastings

[ These are all free events. Donations will be thankfully accepted ]

‘Storytelling Our Lives’ is an exciting new theatre production that
involves young people of colour sharing their personal stories of
immigration and displacement in a series of deeply moving and courageous

These performances are a culmination of a series of workshops as part of a
collaboration by No One is Illegal and neworldtheatre. The project and
performances hope to jointly contribute to bridging the gap between art
and activism by bringing into focus the individual faces and unique
stories of those who have gone through the migration process. This project
also draws upon the deeply rooted and central role of culture, creative
expression, and storytelling as key components of resistance movements by
providing a connection between personal narratives and global