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We Follow the River by Onjana Yawnghwe with guests

April 7 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm PDT

On Sunday, April 7th at 2pm, join Massy Arts, Massy Books and Caitlin Press in celebrating the launch of We Follow the River by Onjana Yawnghwe joined by Chantal Gibson and Hazel Jane Plante.

Onjana Yawnghwe returns with a deeply personal exploration of family, memory, and self.

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. We are located in the former MING WO building.

Registration is free and required for entrance. Register at this link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/we-follow-the-river-by-onjana-yawnghwe-with-guests-tickets-859111173647?aff=oddtdtcreator

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 book:

We Follow the River tells the story of one family’s escape from military violence in Myanmar, their exiled existence in Thailand, and their immigration to Canada with only a pile of beat up suitcases on a luggage cart. It is about growing up as a foreigner in a foreign land, sifting through family history and grief, and alighting across cultures and continents to find a home.

Onjana Yawnghwe’s third poetry book reveals an expertise in language—at times joyful, disobedient, wild, and other times condensed and restrained. A work of over twenty years, these poems are written and rewritten through the retroactive prism of experience, polished and honed, eroded and erased. Sweeping in scope, intimate and honest, these poems tell of the quiet moments, the unruly moments of rage and sorrow, the rough distillation of self, both hated and loved. These poems reside behind the secret, dark door of the self.

About the author:

Onjana Yawnghwe is the author of Fragments, Desire (2017), and The Small Way (2018), both nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Her third book of poetry, We Follow the River, is being published in Spring 2024 by Caitlin Press. Onjana’s current project includes a graphic novel about her family set in Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, and Canada, as well as a book of Cloud Divination. She lives in the traditional, ancestral, and unceded lands of the Kwikwetlem First Nation (Coquitlam), and works as a registered nurse.

About the guest readers:

Chantal Gibson is an award-winning writer-artist-educator living on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish Peoples. Working in the overlap between literary and visual art, her graphic poetry collections How She Read (Caitlin 2019) and with/holding (Caitlin 2021) bring a critical lens to the historical representation and reproduction of Blackness across cultural media. A 2021 3M National Teaching Fellow, Gibson’s works appear on curriculum readings lists across the country.

Hazel Jane Plante is a librarian, a musician, a ‘good enough’ Buddhist, and a coastal creature. She is the author of two novels: Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) (Metonymy Press, 2019), which received a Lambda Literary award for trans fiction, and Any Other City (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023).


23 East Pender Street
Vancouver, BC Canada
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