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Furniture Music by Gail Scott with guest Cecily Nicholson

October 5, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

On Thursday, October 5th at 6pm, join Massy Arts, Massy Books and Wave Books for the Vancouver launch of Furniture Music by Gail Scott. Gail will be joined by Harrowings author Cecily Nicholson.

This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada. Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce au gouvernement du Canada.

Venue & Accessibility

The event will be hosted at the Massy Arts Gallery, at 23 East Pender Street in Chinatown, Vancouver.

Registration is free and required for entrance. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/furniture-music-by-gail-scott-with-guest-cecily-nicholson-tickets-706280422757

The gallery is wheelchair accessible and a gender-neutral washroom is on-site. Please refrain from wearing scents or heavy perfumes.

For more on accessibility including parking, seating, venue measurements and floor plan, and how to request ASL interpretation please visit: massyarts.com/accessibility

Covid Protocols: Masks keep our community safe and are mandatory (N95 masks are recommended as they offer the best protection). We ask if you are showing symptoms, that you stay home. Thank you kindly.

About the books:

Furniture Music (Wave Books, 2023)

In Furniture Music, Montreal luminary Gail Scott chronicles her years in Lower Manhattan during the Obama era, in a community of poets at the junction between formally radical and political art. Immersing herself in a New York topography that includes St. Mark’s Poetry Project and the Bowery Poetry Club, Scott writes from a ‘Northern’ awareness that is both immediate and inquisitive, from Obama’s election to Occupy Wall Street and Hurricane Sandy. Here, readers are situated in conversations around citizenship, gender performance, class, race, feminism, and what it means to be writing now. Scott’s project is polyvocal, also resonating with the voices of a host of earlier writers and philosophers, notably, Gertrude Stein, Viktor Shklovsky, and Walter Benjamin. The result is a staggering work of insight and hope during a critical time in American politics and art.

Harrowings (Talonbooks, 2022)

HARROWINGS takes place mainly in the rural and reconnects with a history of Black intellectual and artistic history in relation to agriculture. The poems include pulses of memoir from the poet’s childhood growing up in the country on a farm. These experiences connect to her volunteer work during the recent pandemic, on a local “prison farm” – an agricultural enterprise whose leadership includes people who were formerly incarcerated. Considering movements organizing for food security, and related, resurgent practices, HARROWINGS addresses the work of cultivation. Underlying references include almanacs and Anglo idioms, drawing upon tabular information, weather, and the workings of the sun, moon, and points of stars as may be practical in relation to a localized, growing year. The poems refuse the romance of husbandry, cultivation, and predictive customs. Understanding “the farm” as a tract of colonial advance – tropes of charming and white, tradition and supremacy, are confronted in a study of biome, water, soil, and seed. With love, despite episodic and chronic illness, duress, and dissociative relationships to time – the poetry advances by way of practical tasks such as watering, weeding, and sowing toward abolitionist futures.

About the authors:

Gail Scott’s prose works are laboratories for concocting tales about cities across language/ genre/gender boundaries. Her 2021 poetics, Permanent Revolution, engaging with radical prose writers across the continent , was short-listed for Le Grand Prix du livre de Montréal. Other acclaimed city novels include The Obituary, a fractalled tale of suppressed diversity in post-millennial Québec, also a Grand Prix finalist; Heroine, about radical art and politics in turbulent 80s Montréal; and My Paris, about a sad diarist looking for a lost avant-garde in 90s Paris. Her translation of Michael Delisle’s Le désarroi du matelot was a Governor General finalist. She won major studio grants (Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec) for New York and Paris. She was an invited writer at Brown, UCSD, University of Alberta, and Université de Montréal, where she taught creative writing for fifteen years. Scott lives in Montréal.

Cecily Nicholson is the author of four books and a past recipient of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. She is an Assistant Professor in Poetry at the School of Creative Writing, UBC and will be the 2024/2025 Holloway Lecturer in Poetry and Poetics at UC Berkeley. Cecily volunteers with community impacted by food insecurity and her most recent book HARROWINGS considers Black rurality, agriculture, and art history.


23 East Pender Street
Vancouver, BC Canada
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Massy Arts Society