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Poetry Launch / You Might Be Sorry You Read This by Michelle Poirier Brown

June 2, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT




On Thursday, June 2 at 6pm, join Massy Arts, Massy Books, and Cree Métis poet Michelle Poirier Brown for a reading of her debut book of poems: You Might Be Sorry You Read This (University of Alberta Press, Robert Kroetsch Series, 2022).

Hosted by Susan Alexander, the event will present poetry readings and literary discussions by Poirier Brown, joined by co-readers Betsy Warland and Molly Cross-Blanchard for a night of conversation around poetry, women’s experience, and resilience.

In You Might Be Sorry You Read This, Poirier Brown’s confessional poems explore trauma as they prioritize the poet’s story, honouring the complexities of Indigenous identity and the raw experience of womanhood, mental illness, and queer selfhood.

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

This event is free + open to all of our community, and registration is mandatory.

Covid Protocols: For all in-person events, attendees must provide proof of vaccination, wear a mask (N95 masks are encouraged and recommended as they offer the best protection), and consent to having their temperature checked at the front door. We ask that if you are showing any symptoms, that you stay home. Thank you kindly.

This event is part of Massy Voices, an ever-evolving collection of book launches, exclusive interviews, and artist talks that celebrate community voices and the stories they carry. Click here to know more.

Click here to register for the event

Click here to purchase You Might Be Sorry You Read This

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Book Synopsis

You Might Be Sorry You Read This is a stunning debut, revealing how breaking silences and reconciling identity can refine anger into something both useful and beautiful.

A poetic memoir that looks unflinchingly at childhood trauma (both incestuous rape and surviving exposure in extreme cold), it also tells the story of coming to terms with a hidden Indigenous identity when the poet discovered her Métis heritage at age 38.

This collection is a journey of pain, belonging, hope, and resilience. The confessional poems are polished yet unpretentious, often edgy but humorous; they explore trauma yet prioritize the poet’s story.

Honouring the complexities of Indigenous identity and the raw experiences of womanhood, mental illness, and queer selfhood, these narratives carry weight. They tell us “You need / only be the simple / expression of the divine / intent / that is your life.” There is a lifetime in these poems.

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Author + Guests

Michelle Poirier Brown is an internationally published poet and performer living on unceded syilx territory in Vernon, BC. She is nêhiyaw-iskwêw and a citizen of the Métis Nation. Her poem “Wake” won PRISM international’s Earle Birney Prize in 2019. The song cycle, “The Length of a Day” (Jeffrey Ryan, composer), premiered in 2021. Her work has appeared in Arc, CV2, The Greensboro Review, Grain, Emrys Journal, Vallum, and several anthologies.

A feminist activist, Michelle won a landmark human rights case establishing reasonable accommodation in the workplace for breastfeeding women. Retired from careers as a speech writer, conflict analyst, and federal treaty negotiator, she now writes full-time and has taken up birdwatching.

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Betsy Warland has authored 14 books of poetry, creative nonfiction and is a manuscript mentor. The new edition of Warland’s 2000 memoir, Bloodroot—Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss, was launched at Massy Books Gallery in 2021. This second edition includes a new essay by Warland reflecting on her memoir twenty years later, as well as a Foreword by Susan Olding.

The 2022 premiere of Warland’s street opera composed by Lloyd Burritt, is based on Warland’s 2014 memoir, Oscar of Between—A Memoir of Identity and Ideas. It will be performed at the downtown Vancouver Public Library on June 11th. See video and details here.

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Molly Cross-Blanchard is a white and Métis writer born on Treaty 3, raised on Treaty 6, and living on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She is the former publisher of Room magazine and is taking the summer off to work on a novel.

Molly published a chapbook with Rahila’s Ghost Press in 2018 called I Don’t Want to Tell You, and her debut full-length collection of poetry, Exhibitionist, was published with Coach House Books in 2021.

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Susan Alexander is the author of two collections of poems, The Dance Floor Tilts and Nothing You Can Carry. She is the recipient of multiple awards including the 2019 Mitchell Prize. Her poems have appeared in anthologies and literary magazines in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S., have ridden the bus as part of Poetry in Transit and even shown up in the woods around Whistler.

Susan is the volunteer host of the monthly online reading series In/Verse for the Federation of BC Writers. She lives on Nexwlélexm/Bowen Island which is the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Squamish people.

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June 2, 2022
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT