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Book Launch / Beauty, Politics, Poetics: Rahat Kurd and Marguerite Pigeon in Conversation

November 18, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

On Nov 18th (Thursday), at 6pm, join Massy Arts in a literary double-launch: Beauty, Politics, Poetics: Rahat Kurd and Marguerite Pigeon in Conversation.

At the event, Marguerite Pigeon’s “The Endless Garment” (2021, Wolsak & Wynn) and Rahat Kurd’s “The City that is Leaving Forever” (2021, Talon) will be introduced to the audience in an intimate conversation about their works and artistic processes.

“Beauty, Politics, Poetics” will be hosted at the Massy Arts Gallery, at 23 East Pender Street, Chinatown, Vancouver. 

Although the event is free, registration is mandatory.

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About “The Endless Garment”:

In a fresh and unique look at epic poetry, Marguerite Pigeon has created what may be a new classic. With equal parts love of the art form and social critique, Pigeon ranges over time and space in a series of long poems that delve into the history and impact of fashion.

Guided, and haunted, by a series of ghosts, from Coco Chanel to Gypsy Rose Lee to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Pigeon’s narrator moves through the floors of a grand existential department store, comprehending, reinventing and questioning her approach to, and understanding of, fashion.

At times manic, at times surreal and always needle sharp, The Endless Garment is an extraordinary work of imagination that every reader will want to try on.

The Author: Marguerite Pigeon is a writer of fiction and poetry. After a career in journalism, she completed her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC and has since published three books. In 2021, her next book, The Endless Garment, will appear with Wolsak & Wynn. Originally from Blind River, Northern Ontario, she now lives in Vancouver, where she runs an editing and writing business, Carrier Communications.

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About “The City That is Leaving Forever”:

A moving, poetic correspondence written during the ongoing military occupation of Kashmir. The City That Is Leaving Forever is a unique instant-message exchange between Kashmir and Vancouver spanning more than five years in the lives of two Kashmiri Muslim women poets.

As India’s military carries out extrajudicial killings and imposes a lengthy curfew in Srinagar, the authors describe daily hardships and small pleasures, share drafts of their poems, discuss multilingual poetics, and contrast the anguish of exile with life under lockdown.

Their conversation expands during periods of intensifying conflict and personal loss, bearing witness to the harsh tolls (including depression and attempted suicide) exacted by patriarchy and state violence.

The correspondence becomes a rigorously feminist record of two poets thinking through trauma together and creating new work in solidarity with emerging freedom struggles across the globe, “a book like a cluster of thorns with some few fragrant petals caught in them.”

A collaboration with the Kashmiri writer Sumayya Syed, the book is a unique blend of poetry by both writers, message exchanges over several years, and journal entries. The book treats displacement and the pain and constraints of military occupation (of Kashmir by the Indian military), but also love of place, friendship as the grounds for thinking and feeling freely, and poetry and history as doors to freedom.

The Author: Rahat Kurd is a writer and poet based in Vancouver. Rahat Kurd’s first collection of poems, COSMOPHILIA, was published by Talonbooks in 2015. Kurd draws on multilingual poetics and is especially interested in the ghazal tradition in Urdu and Persian literature. With writer and poet Meredith Quartermain, Kurd co-curated and co-hosted The Rhizomatic, a monthly online poetry series featuring a single guest in a deep-dive format, from September 2020 until June 2021. She was the guest editor of the 2019 Summer Supplement issue of The Puritan online literary magazine, publishing poetry and fiction around the theme, “What does it mean to be a Muslim writer?” Commissioned by composer Brian Current , Kurd’s libretto “Light Upon Light” was performed as part of an oratorio, The River of Light, at the Vancouver Opera Festival in May 2019.

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November 18, 2021
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST