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Reading Our Selves: An Evening of Identity Poetics
December 6, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST
On Tuesday, December 6 at 6pm, join Massy Arts Society, Massy Books and a collective of literary talents for Reading Our Selves: An Evening of Identity Poetics featuring: Dallas Hunt, Natalie Lim, Catherine Lewis, Tolu Oloruntoba and Andrew French.
From receiving guidance from other-than-human relatives to the transience of diaspora to the “femme armour” of Asian bisexuality, this evening invites local talents to discuss the self-revalatory, mundane and celebrate it in the most poetic of ways–together.
This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada. Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce au gouvernement du Canada.
Registration is free, open to all and required for entrance.
Venue & Accessibility
The event will be hosted at the Massy Arts Gallery, at 23 East Pender Street in Chinatown, Vancouver.
The gallery is wheelchair accessible and a gender-neutral washroom is on-site. Please view our Accessibility page for parking, seating, venue measurements and floor plan, and how to request ASL interpretation.
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.
Dallas Hunt is Cree and a member of Wapsewsipi (Swan River First Nation) in Treaty Eight territory in northern Alberta. He has had creative worked published in Contemporary Verse 2, Prairie Fire, PRISM international and Arc Poetry. His first children’s book, Awâsis and the World-famous Bannock, was published through Highwater Press in 2018, and was nominated for several awards. Hunt is an assistant professor of Indigenous literatures at the University of British Columbia.
Natalie Lim is a Chinese-Canadian poet living on the unceded, traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Peoples (Vancouver, B.C.). She is the winner of the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize and Room magazine’s 2020 Emerging Writer Award, with work published in Arc Poetry Magazine, Best Canadian Poetry 2020 and elsewhere. Her debut chapbook, arrhythmia, is available now from Rahila’s Ghost Press.
Catherine Lewis is a Chinese Canadian writer based in Vancouver. Her debut chapbook Zipless (845 Press) is a finalist for the 2021 Bisexual Book Award for Poetry. Her work has been published in The Humber Literary Review and shortlisted in contests hosted by The Fiddlehead, Room Magazine, and Pulp Literature.
Tolu Oloruntoba has been a physician, editor, and project manager, and has lived in three countries. His literary work combines existential analysis with historical and contemporary critique. His debut collection of poetry, The Junta of Happenstance, won the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry in English and the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize. He lives with his family in Semiahmoo, Katzie, and Kwantlen territories known as Surrey, BC. His second collection, Each One a Furnace, was published by McClelland & Stewart.
Andrew French is a poet from North Vancouver. They have published two chapbooks: Poems for Different Yous (Rose Garden Press, 2021) and Do Not Discard Ashes (845 Press, 2020). Their poetry and book reviews have appeared in EVENT, PRISM International, THIS Magazine, and a number of other journals across North America and the UK. In addition to writing poetry, Andrew has been hosting Page Fright: A Literary Podcast since 2019.
Creeland by Dallas Hunt is a poetry collection concerned with notions of home and the quotidian attachments we feel to those notions, even across great distances. Even in an area such as Treaty Eight (northern Alberta), a geography decimated by resource extraction and development, people are creating, living, laughing, surviving and flourishing—or at least attempting to.
arrhythmia is Natalie Lim’s debut chapbook, now available from Rahila’s Ghost Press. It contains poems about a lot of things, including car crashes, sad space robots, diaspora and existential crises. But in the author’s words: mostly, it’s a book about and for the people I love. I’m so proud of it, and I’m so excited to share it with you.
Zipless is Catherine Lewis debut chapbook. As reviewed by Amber Dawn, this collection of poems wear a femme armour: fortified by Valentino stilettos and sundresses in August’s heat. The thick-skinned and vivid voice firmly leads the reader to fertility clinics, first dates and Pride parties. Zipless leads us further still—into the complex positionality of a mature polyamorous Asian bisexual navigating a queer world that is often too narrowly-focused to see her multitudes. Lewis widens the landscape of queer poetics, punching 4-inch-deep heel marks into the ground as she goes.
The Junta of Happenstance is Tolu Oloruntoba’s poetic debut. Personal, primordial, and pulsing with syncopated language, it is a compendium of dis-ease. This includes disease in the traditional sense, as informed by the poet’s time as a physician, and dis-ease as a primer for family dysfunction, the (im)migrant experience, and urban / corporate anxiety. In the face of struggles against social injustice, Oloruntoba navigates the contemporary moment with empathy and intelligence, finding beauty in chaos, and strength in suffering. The Junta of Happenstance is an important and assured debut.
Poems for Different Yous is Andrew French’s collection of epistolary poems explores conversations and anecdotes on connectedness and alienation. In a haze of depression smoke, he imagines conversations with some of his favourite artists and recounts pivotal exchanges with those in his personal life, navigating the effects of specific poignant experiences.