Display at Bennett Library featuring poet, editor, and essayist Robin Blaser

Visit the Robin Blaser display at the Burnaby campus and learn about this captivating poet, editor, and essayist.

As part of the SFU 50th Anniversary celebration Bennett Library’s Special Collections & Rare Books Division has mounted a display on Robin Blaser’s life and work.

Former SFU professor Robin Blaser (1925-2009) came north to Vancouver from San Francisco in 1966 to join the newly established SFU English Dept.  He taught at the university for two decades, during which time he proved a charismatic and inspiring teacher, as well as a practicing poet, editor and essayist with a steadily rising international reputation.

The display is on the W.A.C. Bennett Library’s main floor (3rd) and continues outside Special Collections on the 7th floor, from September 10 – October 30, 2015. Materials are drawn from the extensive Blaser archive, housed in the Contemporary Literature Collection of Special Collections and Rare Books.

Alcuin Society’s Vancouver ceremony for Book Design Awards 2015

The West Coast book designers who won some of the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada this year will be celebrated in Vancouver on October 15.

This year the Alcuin Society experiments with a new format: instead of having the habitual speaker, the society invited a panel of children’s books’ illustrators and designers to talk about the challenges, rewards, and future of children’s books publishing. The panel is comprised of award winning illustrators and designers Sara Gillingham, Julie Flett, Julie Morstad, and Cynthia Nugent. It will be moderated by Robin Mitchell Cranfield, one of this year’s judges in the Book Design Awards (and an instructor in the Publishing Department at SFU).


The event will take place at Emily Carr University of Art+Design (Auditorium – Room 301 South Building) on 1400 Johnston Street, in Granville Island. Arrive early (by 6:30 pm), for a chance to view all the winning books. The formal event will start at 7 pm.

Note: There is also a Toronto event on October 5, with keynote speaker George Walker.

Fred Moten Reading Group

A reading group has been organized by SFU’s new Writer-in-Residence Jordan Scott and in anticipation of Fred Moten‘s visit to Vancouver.

The Fred Moten reading group will meet three consecutive Thursdays starting October 1 at SFU Harbor Center. The reading group will culminate in a reading and discussion with the author himself during his visit to Vancouver from October 23–25, 2015.

The books to be read:

  • The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study. Fred Moten and Stefano Harvey. Autonomedia (May 1, 2013)
  • The Little Edges. Wesleyan Poetry Series (2014)
  • The Feel Trio. Letter Machine Editions (2014)

Copies of the books are available through the organizers. Please email Jordan Scott if you require copies. To register, please message the organizers through Facebook or email Jordan Scott. Participation is free and open to the public.

This event is sponsored by The Capilano Review and the SFU Department of English.

Reading Group schedule:

Thu Oct 01 | 19:00 – 21:00
SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre Campus. Room 2925 (Hemlock Printers Seminar Room)
Discussion: The Undercommons.

Thu Oct 08 | 19:00 – 21:00
SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre Campus. Room 2925 (Hemlock Printers Seminar Room)
Discussion: The Undercommons and The Little Edges.

Thu Oct 15 | 19:00 – 21:00
SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre Campus. Room 2925 (Hemlock Printers Seminar Room)
Discussion: The Little Edges and The Feel Trio

Fri Oct 23 | Time and location TBA
Reading and Discussion with Fred Moten.

ABOUT FRED MOTEN: In 2009, Fred Moten was recognized as one of ten “New American Poets” by the Poetry Society of America. In addition to being a poet, Moten is also a scholar whose work explores black studies, performance studies, poetry, and critical theory.  He is also cofounder and copublisher of the small literary press Three Count Pour. Moten currently works as a professor of English at the University of California, Riverside. He lives in Los Angeles.

Open City: One Book, One SFU

In celebration of Simon Fraser University’s 50th anniversary, SFU Library is launching One Book, One SFU.

Teju Cole’s original and superbly subtle first novel, Open City, is the inaugural chosen book. Join us during the 2015 Community Summit for a special event during which Teju Cole and Eleanor Wachtel, host and co-founder of CBC Radio’s Writers & Company, will explore Cole’s work, the power of cities, and the lure of literature.

Copies of Open City are available to all members of the SFU community at Bennett, Belzberg, and Fraser Libraries.

Apply for the Simon Fraser University Library Scholarship for OpenCon 2015 – Brussels, Belgium

OpenCon 2015 is the student and early career researcher conference on Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data and will be held on November 14-16, 2015 in Brussels, Belgium. It is organized by the Right to Research Coalition, SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), and an Organizing Committee of students and early career researchers from around the world.
The meeting will convene students and early career researchers from around the world and serve as a powerful catalyst for projects led by the next generation of scholars and researchers to advance OpenCon‘s three focus areas—Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data. Participants for the conference will be selected through an application process.

Complete and submit the form at http://www.opencon2015.org/simon_fraser_university by September 28th to apply for the Simon Fraser University Library travel scholarship to attend OpenCon 2015.  Simon Fraser University graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are eligible to apply through this form. The Simon Fraser University Library will decide which applicant will receive the scholarship, and applicants will be notified by October 2nd.

Information about OpenCon 2015 – http://www.opencon2015.org/
Participant FAQ – http://www.opencon2015.org/participant_faq
**please note: the SFU Library scholarship includes registration to OpenCon.  The scholarship is not restricted to those already accepted to attend.**

Rita Wong & Christine Leclerc to read at Special Collections

The SFU Library is pleased to be sponsoring an upcoming reading with poet Rita Wong and writer/activist Christine Leclerc.

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015
12:30pm to 1:30pm
SFU Library Special Collections, Room 7100, 7th Floor, W.A.C. Bennett Library (Burnaby Campus)

Free Drop-In. Refreshments will be served with a question period to follow.

Rita Wong grew up in Calgary and currently lives in Vancouver. She has a doctorate from SFU and is the author of three books of poetry, Monkeypuzzle (1998), Forage (2007, winner of the Dorothy Livesay Prize), and Undercurrent (2015), as well as Sybil Unrest (2008; rev. ed. 2013), co-written with her frequent collaborator Larissa Lai. Her work often investigates the relationships between social justice, ecology, decolonization, and contemporary poetics. She is an assistant professor at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Christine Leclerc is a Vancouver-based writer and anti-pipeline/ tar sands activist. A graduate of the UBC Creative Writing program, she has published two books of poetry, Counterfeit (2008) and Oilywood (2013), and is an editor of The Enpipe Line: 70,000+ Km of Poetry Written in Resistance to the Northern Gateway Pipeline Proposal (Creekstone Press, 2012).

SFU Writer’s Studio celebrates 15th Anniversary with ongoing public events

As part of the ongoing celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Writer’s Studio (Betsy Warland created and started TWS in 2001), they are co-hosting a book club series with the Vancouver Public Library which also include writing workshops. The events will be facilitated by TWS Grads with questions to guide the discussions. 

Location: Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, 350 West Georgia St.
Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms (Lower Level)

The third author workshop is with Joan McEwen on Saturday September 19, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

Joan takes us through the process of writing her non-fiction book, Innocence on Trial: The Framing of Ivan Henry during the author workshop. Ivan Henry spent 27 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, declaring his innocence and fighting to have his case reviewed before he was granted an acquittal. In her non-fiction account, lawyer Joan McEwen lays out how the case against Henry was prejudiced, showing in chilling detail how this can happen, even in Canada. Joan advocates for criminal justice reform and is actively involved in helping long-term offenders reintegrate back into society.

The book club for Innocence on Trial: The Framing of Ivan Henry took place on September 11, 2015.

The following event is on Monday, October 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm with novelist E.R. Brown.

Eric will read from his novel Almost Criminal, and share insights into the writing process. He will discuss innovation and experimentation in the crime and mystery genre. Almost Criminal is a critically-praised debut novel that was nominated for an Edgar Award and an Arthur Ellis Award, and named a 2014 Book of the Year by the 49th Shelf.

The fourth book club and workshop is with Cathie Borrie in January. The book club will take place on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm. The workshop will take place on Friday, January 15, 2016 at 6:00 pm.

Cathie Borrie is the author of The Long Hello ~ Memory, My Mother, and Me. Cathie’s workshop will illustrate the challenges of both writing memoir in a lyrical form, and the organizational hurdles inherent in a work that moves back and forth in time. Discussion and Q&A will follow the presentation.


SFU well represented at Word Vancouver 2015

Word Vancouver is Western Canada’s largest free literary festival, which expanded to 5 days a few years ago. Word Vancouver takes place September 23-27, 2015 around Vancouver. There are a lot of programming events that SFU is involved in, and even more that SFU alumni, staff, and teachers are taking part in. Let’s round up a few events!


Launch Party for The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them
Segal Conference Room, SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings Street) | 5:45pm
A book launch party presented by SFU Public Square and Anvil Press. Readings by Joanne Arnott, George Bowering, Daphne Marlatt, George Stanley, Fred Wah, and Betsy Warland.


On Saturday, there are free professional development workshops for writers and publishers at Vancouver Public Library (350 W. Georgia Street).

Children’s Publishing Workshop with Robin Mitchell Cranfield
Workshop presented by Publishing@SFU
11:00 am | Peter Kaye Room

Non-Fiction Editing Workshop with Scott Steedman
Workshop Presented by SFU Publishing
Scott Steedman is an instructor in the SFU publishing department
12:30 pm | Peter Kaye Room


The main festival day takes place at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library on Sunday, September 27.

Digital Publishing Strategies with John Maxwell
Presented by Publishing@SFU
John Maxwell is the director of the SFU Publishing Program
Writing Talks | 11:00 am

Emily Davidson, Shaun Robinson, and Shazia Hafiz Ramji read from The City Series: Number One—Vancouver (Frog Hollow Press $10.00)
Shazia Hafiz Ramji is currently in The Writer’s Studio at SFU and received the inaugural Yale Road Scholarship for The Writers Studio 2015.
Underground Words + Art | 11:00 am

Daniela Elza, Mercedes Eng, Mariner Janes, and Cecily Nicholson read from The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil Press $18.00). Hosted by Renée Sarojini Saklikar.
Poetry On The Bus | 11:30 am

Chelene Knight reading from Braided Skin (Mother Tongue Publishing $18.95)
Chelene Knight is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at SFU
Poetry On The Bus 3:15 pm
CUPE Stage | 12:30 pm

Raoul Fernandes reading from Transmitter and Receiver (Nightwood Editions $18.95)
Raoul Fernandes is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio
Poetry On The Bus | 1:15 pm

How to Captivate Readers through the Senses
Presented by SFU’s The Writer’s Studio, with Helen Polychronakos
Writing Talks | 1:20 pm

Establishing and Growing Your Digital Footprint with Trevor Battye and Suzanne Norman
Presented by Publishing@SFU
Suzanne Norman is the director of the Summer Publishing Workshops at SFU
Word Talks | 2:30 pm

Musings on the Poetic Process – Panel
With Jordan Abel, Rahat Kurd, and Jacqueline Turner. Moderated by Wayde Compton and Renée Sarojini Saklikar.
Panelists and moderators are from The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them, Wayde Compton is the director of The Writer’s Studio, and Renée Sarojini Saklikar is a Writer’s Studio graduate.
Magazine Words | 4:00 pm

George Bowering reading from Ten Women (Anvil Press $20.00)
George Bowering is a professor emeritus of the SFU English department
Canada Writes Tent | 4:10 pm


There are lots more events, panels, workshops, and readings—check out the program guide online.

Lunch Poems at SFU returns with Jeff Derksen and Stephanie Young

Lunch Poems at SFU is a unique vibrant exchange of poetic ideas and cadence held the third Wednesday of every month, noon to 1 pm, in the Teck Gallery at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre Campus.

After the summer hiatus, the reading series returns on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 with poets Jeff Derksen and Stephanie Young.

Jeff Derksen studied writing in the innovative Writing Program at David Thompson University Centre in Nelson B.C. and is a founding collective member of the Kootenay School of Writing. Derksen’s poetry edges with the contradictions and possibilities of lit win cities, and turns toward what Ernst Bloch called a “militant optimism.” Jeff Derksen’s poetry books include The VestigesTransnational Muscle Cars, Dwell, Until, and Down Time and his critical books are After Euphoria, Annihilated Time: Poetry and other Politics and How High Is the City, How Deep Is Our Love. He works in the English Department of Simon Fraser University.

Stephanie Young lives in Oakland, California. Her most recent book is Ursula or University (2013), a social and personal history investigating the possibilities and limits of poetry communities alongside police violence, resistance, and protest. Her earlier collections of poetry include Telling the Future Off (2005) and Picture Palace (2008). She edited the anthology Bay Poetics (2006) and is a founding editor of Deep Oakland. With Juliana Spahr, she co-edited A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism (2012), a collection of enactments investigating politics, feminism, and collaborative poetry practice that the pair performed between 2005 and 2007.