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Double Launch / Isabella Wang’s “Pebble Swing” and Ellie Sawatzky’s “None of This Belongs to Me”
November 5, 2021 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm PDT
On Nov 5th (Friday), at 6:30pm, join Massy Arts and Massy Books in a double literary launch: Isabella Wang’s “Pebble Swing” (2021, Nightwood Editions) and Ellie Sawatzky’s “None of This Belongs to Me” (2021, Nightwood Editions). Both authors will read passages from their works, and talk to the audience about their literary production.
The event will be hosted at the Massy Arts Gallery, at 23 East Pender Street, Chinatown, Vancouver.
Registration is free and mandatory.
In person events: Due to the latest recommendations from the BC Health Authority, all guests attending in-person events at Massy Arts require double-vaccination and must wear a mask.
Join the event on Facebook Livestream
Pebble Swing by Isabella Wang
Pebble Swing earns its title from the image of stones skipping their way across a body of water, or, in the author’s case, syllables and traces of her mother tongue bouncing back at her from the water’s reflective surface. This collection is about language and family histories.
It is the author’s attempt to piece together the resonant aftermath of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which stole the life of her paternal grandmother. As an immigrant whose grasp of Mandarin is fading, Wang explores absences in her caesuras and fragmentation—that which is unspoken, but endures.
The poems in this collection also trace the experiences of a young poet who left home at seventeen to pursue writing; the result is a series of city poetry infused with memory, the small joys of Vancouver’s everyday, environmental politics, grief and notions of home.
While the poetics of response are abundant in the collection—with poems written to Natalie Lim and Ashley Hynd—the last section of the book, “Thirteen Ghazals and Anti-Ghazals after Phyllis Webb,” forges a continued response to Phyllis Webb on Salt Spring Island, and innovates within the possibilities of the experimental ghazal form.
None of This Belongs to Me by Ellie Sawatzky
In this vibrant debut, Ellie Sawatzky rustles the underbrush of identity, seeking clarity on the nature of ownership and belonging. Haunted and inspired by old boyfriends, girls named Emily, ancestral ghosts, polar bears and mythic horses, None of This Belongs to Me plots a young woman’s coming of age in a time of environmental and socio-economic peril.
From rural Ontario to Kitsilano to Burning Man, Sawatzky inquires into childhood learning, girlhood learning, what is inherited, what is acquired, what begins to take form in the iridescent space between innocence and experience (“The body’s crystal arithmetic”).
Superimposing dreamscapes on realities, history on pop culture and everyday sorrows, this collection is a hymn for the broken-hearted, a plea for connection in the information age, and a call to question the ways in which we both nurture and harm one another and our environment.
None of This Belongs to Me is pertinent now more than ever, as Sawatzky’s generation comes of age in a tumultuous time, forced to consider all of that which does not—and may never—belong to them. These poems invite readers to explore our inner and outer worlds, to question the ways we inhabit them, to infuse our modern lives with our potent histories.