Voicing the City In/verse: Reading Surrey and the Super-Suburb

Surrey Art Gallery, in partnership with South of Fraser Inter Arts Collective (SOFIA/c) and Simon Fraser University’s English Department, present the Sound Thinking symposium—Voicing the City In/verse: Reading Surrey and the Super-Suburb on November 28-29, 2015.

This two-day symposium (in two different locations) features the work of poets, fiction writers, spoken word artists, sound artists, and storytellers who read, speak, and voice the experiences of the “super-suburb” (a term used to describe suburbs with populations that exceed 250,000).

The region South of the Fraser River is the quintessential super-suburb . Once known only as a suburb on the edge of Vancouver, the communities of Surrey, Langley, Delta, and White Rock are now recognized as cities in their own right. Urban theorists are observing this city-suburb inversion across Canada, which also results in a rapid increase of cultural production in the visual arts, music, theatre, and literature.

Convened by Phinder Dulai and Jordan Strom, Voicing the City In/verse is presented in conjunction with Surrey Art Gallery’s 40th anniversary show, Views from the Southbank, a three-part series of exhibitions of art from and about the South of Fraser region.

The two events are a Literary Cabaret on Saturday, November 28, 2015 and a conference-style gathering on Sunday, November 29, 2015 with keynote speaker M.G. Vassanji, two-time winner of the Giller Prize.

Sunday panel participants include John Armstrong, Sadhu Binning, Roxanne Charles, Joseph A. Dandurand, Veeno Dewan, Connor Doyle, Lakshmi Gill, Heidi Greco, Leona Gom, Heather Haley, Taryn Hubbard, Tom Konyves, Judy MacInnes Jr., Cecily Nicholson, Fauzia Rafique, Renée Sarojini Saklikar, Kevin Spenst, and Rup Sidhu.

This event is sponsored by Surrey Public Libraries and Geist magazine.

BC Books Online Launches

BC Books Online, a comprehensive database featuring more than 8,500 books and ebooks from BC publishers, launched on November 17, 2015.

The innovative project, spearheaded by the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia (ABPBC), enables librarians, booksellers, educators and the public alike to easily browse books from the province’s publishers, for the first time through one central website.

Using technology from 49th Shelf–a website designed to enable discovery of Canadian books–BC Books Online includes titles from 24 publishers. An evolving project since 2007 as an initiative to highlight BC
ebooks, BC Books Online was enhanced by input from other organizations such as library associations and educational groups.

Internship at Appetite by Random House

An imprint of Penguin Random House Canada, Appetite, the boutique food and lifestyle imprint of Penguin Random House based in Vancouver, is looking for a publishing intern to start January 2016.

The internship is a terrific opportunity for someone looking to learn more about various aspects of the book publishing industry. The appropriate candidate will be enthusiastic and organized, and will have a great eye for detail, as well as excellent IT savvy.

Our ideal intern will have a passion for food and drink, and a genuine interest in cookbooks and lifestyle titles.Responsibilities and tasks include: reading and responding to book submissions; filing, maintaining the office’s shared server, and providing administrative support; proofreading and copyediting book and sales materials; and corresponding with editors, authors, and other members of the publishing team.

Our office is located in Gastown, and the work hours will be 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday. The internship usually runs full time for a twelve week term, but a part-time position may be considered for the right candidate. We offer an honorarium upon completion of the internship.

To apply, please send your resumé and brief cover letter to ebell@penguinrandomhouse.com. Applications are appreciated as soon as possible, preferably before December 4, 2015.

Western Front launches digitized Literary Collection

Western Front has announced the launch of a newly digitized Literary Collection—the culmination of a year-long project.

The launch event on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 7 pm marks the public release of an online showcase featuring more than 50 works from the archive. Amy De’Ath, a poet and PhD student at SFU, will contextualize this look back on the influence of the Literary scene at the Western Front.

The Western Front’s Literary Collection Archive documents a successful series of literary events called Monday Night Readings. It began in January 1974 and curators included Gerry Gilbert, Mary Beth Knechtel, and Charles Watts and the Western Front archives from the period include Gladys Hindmarch, Carole Itter, Roy Kiyooka, Daphne Marlatt, Jamie Reid, Fred Wah, the Four Horsemen and many others.

In addition to a ‘reading from the archive’ selected by De’Ath, the event will feature a guest reading by poet Dorothy Trujillo Lusk and archival appearances by: Kathy Acker, bill bissett, Gerald Creed, Peter Culley, Jeff Derksen, Deanna Ferguson, Maxine Gadd, Gladys Hindmarch, Roy Kiyooka, Monica Holden Lawrence, Steve MacCaffery, Susan Musgrave, bpNichol, Jamie Reid, Lisa Robertson, Nancy Shaw, Sharon Thesen, Fred Wah, Anne Waldman and Tom Wayman.

This launch also marks a couple interesting milestones:

First of all, the launch is part of the inaugural Vancouver Independent Archives Week. An initiative of grunt gallery, VIVO Media Arts Centre, and Western Front (with support from the Vancouver Foundation) the event aims to build direct community awareness and interaction with artist-run centre (ARC) archives in the Vancouver. The inaugural week-long event runs from November 22–28, 2015, and a full list of events can be found at archivesweek.ca.

Secondly, the Literary Collection Archive is the pilot project for Western Front’s in-house video digitization program. The current media archive is at risk due to obsolete formats and deteriorating tape stocks. But preservation, digitization, and storage cost money. To help preserve their huge archive, they have been raising funds through the Minute By Minute campaign. Supporters can donate dollar amounts—for example, $25 supports 5 minutes of footage—which directly help the works to be restored, digitized, and made publicly available.

Launch of new Black Canadian Scholars Series with Dionne Brand

Join professor of English literature and novelist David Chariandy in a discussion with Dionne Brand, award-winning poet, novelist and filmmaker regarding Black diasporic and Black Canadian Literature.

This inaugural event of UBC’s Race Literacies: A Black Canadian Speaker Series is funded by a UBC Equity Enhancement Grant and co-sponsored by the English Department at SFU.

Dionne Brand’s writing is notable for the beauty of its language, and for its intense engagement with issues of social justice. She has won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award for Poetry, the Trillium Book Award and the Toronto Book Award. In 2006, Brand received the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the world of books and writing. From 2009-2012 she was The Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto. Brand is Professor and University Research Chair in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph.

November 12, 2015
Beedie School of Business
Simon Fraser University (Segal Building)
500 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC

Event is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP: blackcanadianscholars@gmail.com


2015 Mayor’s Arts Awards announced

The 2015 recipients of the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Awards have been announced, recognizing leading artists’ contributions to the city.

Recipients of the awards are chosen through peer review in 10 artistic categories, from literary to culinary and visual to performing arts, as well as five unique awards for involvement in our community. The winners receive a $3,000 cash prize and are tasked with naming an emerging artist in their field, who also receives $3,000.

In the Literary Arts category, Kate Braid has been named as the 2015 recipient and she has named Rob Taylor as the emerging artist.

EMMA Talks with Hiromi Goto and Julie Flett

SFU Woodwards is co-hosting an evening with award-winning authors Hiromi Goto and Julie Flett on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. The event is co-hosted by EMMA Talks, whose core principle is to bring important stories by women identified writers, activists, thinkers, storytellers, makers and doers, from the periphery to the public.

Hiromi Goto’s first novel, Chorus of Mushrooms (1994), received the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in the Caribbean and Canada region and was co-winner of the Canada-Japan Book Award. Her second novel, The Kappa Child (2001), was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Regional Book, and was awarded the James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award. Her YA/Crossover novel, Half World (2009), was long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and received the 2010 Sunburst Award and the Carl Brandon Society Parallax Award. Darkest Light, companion book to Half World, is her latest novel.

Julie Flett is an award-winning author, illustrator, and artist of Cree, Métis, Scottish, French, and Inuit ancestry. It has been said that Julie “is a soft-spoken person with loud ideas. It is obvious from her work that she cares about how and why she constructs meaning out of pictures.” She works within a decolonial practice to create culturally-authentic artwork for children’s literature. Community and youth engagement is a significant part of Julie’s work, and she often participates in author/illustrator visits to public schools and enjoys collaborating with her son on book and art making projects.

The event will be held at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Woodwards, 149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver, BC. Talk begins at 7:00 PM and there will be a pre-reception at 6:00 PM in place of a Q&A to allow for folks to meet one another, converse, and share thoughts. Free to attend, registration is required.

Event is co-presented by SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, EMMA Talks, UBC First Nations Studies Program and SFU Institute for the Humanities.

Alcuin Wayzgoose & Book Auction

The Alcuin Society will be holding their annual Wayzgoose on October 31 and their popular Book Auction on November 14.

At the Wayzgoose, local book artists, printers, bookbinders, paper marbles will display their beautifully crafted work for the public.
October 31, 2015 | 10 am – 4 pm
Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, Vancouver

At the Annual Book Auction, the many books submitted for the Book Design Awards are sold in a fun and charming auction. Bidding starts at half the regular list price and funds raised support next year’s competition.
November 14, 2015 | 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm
UBC Golf Club, Vancouver

Finalists announced for 2015 City of Vancouver Book Award

The finalists for this year’s City of Vancouver Book Award were announced earlier this week. The finalist list includes Wayde Compton, the director of The Writer’s Studio at SFU.

The four finalist titles were selected by a jury that included Indian Summer Festival artistic director Sirish Rao, Ricepaper magazine editor Anna Ling Kaye, and novelist and librarian Zoe Leigh Peterson.

The 2015 Finalists are:

  • Live at the Commodore by Aaron Chapman (Arsenal Pulp Press)
  • The Outer Harbour by Wayde Compton (Arsenal Pulp Press)
  • Hastings-Sunrise by Bren Simmers (Nightwood Editions)
  • Mr. Got to Go, Where Are You? by Lois Simmie and Cynthia Nugent (Red Deer Press)

The winner will be announced on November 12 as part of the Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony.