Wednesday, March 17, 2021

CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast with Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau


Le 17 mars 2021, écoutez un nouvel épisode des midis littéraires du CLC avec l'écrivaine renommée, Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau !

Née en Jamésie, au nord-ouest du Québec, Bordeleau est une artiste multidisciplinaire eeyou qui œuvre depuis 40 ans. En 2006, elle obtient le prix d’excellence en région remis par le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec en plus de la mention de Télé-Québec du prix littéraire de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue pour son recueil de poésie, De rouge et de blanc, et en 2012, elle est lauréate pour le Prix littéraire de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Depuis 2007, elle a publié 3 romans, 3 recueils de poésie, un livre de contes, un essai et un livre d’art. Elle obtient le prix de l’artiste de l’année en Abitibi-Témiscamingue remis par le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec en 2020.

Son dernier livre, Ourse bleue – Piciskanâw mask iskwew (2020), est une rétrospective poétique de sa carrière artistique qui inclut des histoires, réflexions et anecdotes. D’après le Musée d’art de Rouyn-Noranda, le recueil, accompagné d’une exposition au MA, Musée d’art en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, « trace le parcours artistique et personnel d’une artiste importante en Abitibi-Témiscamingue et au Canada, et la force considérable qu’elle a su déployer en s’imposant comme femme artiste eeyou dans le milieu culturel. Il est possible de mieux cerner la réalité autochtone telle qu’elle a été vécue au siècle dernier, période de grands bouleversements pour les premiers habitants du territoire ».

Dans cet épisode, Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau nous engage du début avec une lecture passionnée de son recueil percutant paru en 2018, Poésie en marche pour Sindy. Cette collection fait référence à Sindy Ruperhouse, une femme de la Première Nation Abitibiwinni de Pikogan, qui est disparue depuis avril 2014, et [je cite] « exprime [l’indignation de l’auteure] et nous fait part de ses questionnements sur le mépris et la haine dont les femmes autochtones sont l’objet, en particulier, mais également toutes les femmes ». Elle nous emporte par après sur un parcours personnel du deuil jusqu’à l’espoir avec une lecture de son texte, Je te veux vivant, aussi paru en 2018.


Thursday, February 4, 2021

CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast with Louise Bernice Halfe


Listen to Episode 6 of the CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast with Canada's parliamentary poet laureate, Louise Bernice Halfe!

Louise Bernice Halfe, whose Cree name is Sky Dancer, is married with two adult children and three grandsons. Raised on the Saddle Lake Reserve in Alberta, she attended Blue Quills Residential School before earning a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina. She completed two years of Nechi Training in St. Albert’s Nechi Institute: Centre of Indigenous Learning, where she has also facilitated the program. Halfe has been awarded honorary degrees from Wilfred Laurier University, the University of Saskatchewan, and Mount Royal University. As well as serving as Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate for two years, she’s been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences. In this podcast, Halfe reads to us from her four books, Bear Bones and Feathers, Blue Marrow, The Crooked Good, and Burning In This Midnight Dream. All have received numerous accolades and awards, and will be reprinted next year by Brick Books and Kegedonce Press. A collection of selected poems, Sôhkêyihta (which means “have courage” or “be strong”), was published by Wilfred Laurier in 2018, and an eagerly awaited new collection, awâsis -- kinky and dishevelled will be released on April 1st, 2021, by Brick Books. 

Halfe’s poetry earned her a Lifetime Achievement Award from the League of Canadian Poets, and last year, she received the 2020 Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence. The jury of the Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize describe her literary impact in the following way: “Halfe’s poetics refuse the hierarchies of colonial literary critique, instead affirming the equality of the contemporary, the ancestral, and the mythological; holding a multiplicity of cosmologies and quotidian realities as relevant and urgent…” Thus, they go on, “Her work cannot be assimilated in the canon of contemporary Canadian literature; instead, it must be ingested, transforming our collective literature on a cellular level, reimagining our identities, languages, and memories as denizens of Turtle Island.”


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast with Shannon Webb-Campbell


Tune in to Episode 5 of the CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast with Shannon Webb-Campbell!

Shannon Webb-Campbell is a mixed Indigenous (Mi’kmaq) settler poet, writer, and critic. Her books include: Still No Word (Breakwater 2015), the recipient of Eagle Canada’s Out in Print Award, I Am A Body of Land (Book*hug 2019), and Lunar Tides (forthcoming with Book*hug in 2022). Shannon holds a MFA in Creative Writing from University of British Columbia, and a MA in English Literature at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, and is a doctoral student at the University of New Brunswick in the Department of English. She is the editor of Visual Arts News Magazine.

Committed to reparation, self-education, and healing, Webb-Campbell writes out of a deep sense of responsibility to Indigenous communities. Her collection I am a Body of Land, is, as Carol Rose Daniels puts it, “forces readers out of polite conversation and into a realm where despair and hard truths are being told, being heard and finding the emotional strength to learn from it, find our way out and embrace our beauty as Indigenous women.” In Susan Musgrave’s words, this is “Poetry awake with the winds from the Four Directions, poetry that crosses borders, margins, treaties, yellow tape warning: Police Line. Do Not Cross. Poetry whose traditional territory, through colonization, has become trauma and shame. Unceded poetry. Read. Respect. Weep.”

In this podcast, which includes readings from her forthcoming collection, Lunar Tides, Webb-Campbell’s poems range across theory, the legacies of colonialism, kinship, and Indigenous resurgence. Her words follow the rhythms of the body, the water, the cycles of the moon, and long and deep familial relationships amid the profound grief of losing her mother. You can hear, too, her eloquent review of her recommended pandemic reading: Shalan Joudry’s Waking Ground.


Monday, January 11, 2021

CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast with J.R. Carpenter


Don't miss Episode 4 of the CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast!

J.R. Carpenter is a UK-based artist, writer, performer, and researcher working across performance, print, and digital media. Born in Nova Scotia, she lived in Montreal for many years before emigrating to the United Kingdom in 2009. Her pioneering web-based works have been presented in museums, galleries, and festivals around the world. She is a winner of the CBC Quebec Writing Competition, the QWF Carte Blanche Quebec Award, Expozine Alternative Press Award, the Dot Award for Digital Literature, and the New Media Writing Prize. Her debut poetry collection, An Ocean of Static, was highly commended for the Forward Prizes 2018. Her latest collection, This is a Picture of Wind, is based on a web-app by the same name and was included in The Guardian’s “Best poetry books of 2020.” She is a Fellow of the Eccles Centre For North American Studies at the British Library and the Moore Institute at NUI Galway. She delivered this podcast reading for the CLC as the 2020-21 Writer in Residence at University of Alberta. 

Carpenter has been praised as a poet who “gives shape to the ineffable.” Themes of place, displacement, migration, and climate change have long pervaded her writing. In Edmonton, which she has come to know during the pandemic, her work has been inspired by the North Saskatchewan River, by walking, by mulling over stones and dinosaur bones, by the questioning and reckoning that comes with migratory and colonial relationships to place, and by the surprising relationships that have flourished despite the isolation of this year. Her residency has been a tremendous gift to the university and the local writing community amidst the unprecedented challenges of this year.


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast with Rebecca Thomas


Check out our final Brown Bag Lunch Podcast of the CLC's Fall 2020 Program with Mi’kmaq writer, performer, and activist Rebecca Thomas!

Rebecca Thomas is a Mi’kmaq poet, spoken-word artist, and activist raised in Moncton, NB. A former Poet Laureate of Halifax (2016-18), Thomas is the winner of an Indigenous Artist Recognition Award; she has performed with Juno Award-winning artists A Tribe Called Red, and has written for the CBC and Washington Post as well as multiple books for children. For Thomas, poetry and storytelling are important tools for education and empowerment, illuminating racism and inequality, creating empathy, and honouring Indigenous experiences. "My biggest dirty secret,” she once admitted, “is that I'm a poet laureate who doesn’t want to be a poet… I want to be a change-maker, and I just happen to use poetry to do that." Described as “open,” “honest,” and “distinctive,” Thomas’s poetic voice has prompted change in her community and beyond.  Her first book, I’m Finding My Talk (2019, Nimbus), is about cultural reclamation and was written as a companion piece to the famous poem, I Lost My Talk, by Rita Joe, who attended the same residential school as Thomas’s father. Thomas’s second book for children, Swift Fox All Along, was published in September 2020 by Annick Press. Her first collection of poetry, I Place You Into the Fire, was published by Nimbus in October, 2020.


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast with Canisia Lubrin


Listen to Canisia Lubrin reading “53 Acts of Living,” along with poems from both Voodoo Hypothesis and Dyzgraphyxst, in Episode 2 of the CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast.

Canisia Lubrin grew up in St. Lucia before moving to Canada, where she studied at York and Guelph Universities and now teaches at OCAD and U of T, while also working as a writer and editor. Anthologized and translated internationally, Lubrin’s poetry and fiction has been nominated for, among others, the Toronto Book Award, the Journey Prize, and the bpNichol Chapbook Award. Her first collection of poetry, Voodoo Hypothesis, is, in the author’s words, “a subversion of the imperial construct of ‘blackness.’” Named a CBC Best Poetry book of 2017 and one of the ten “must-read” books of that year by the League of Canadian Poets, longlisted for the Gerald Lampert and Pat Lowther Memorial awards, and shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award, Voodoo Hypothesis has been described as at once “epic” and “intimate.” As one reviewer put it, the collection is “a lush, urgent, cosmological accounting of generations of the African Diaspora.” Lubrin’s second poetry collection, Dyzgraphyxst, is a polyvocal exploration of kinship. It was published this year by McClelland & Stewart at Penguin/Random House. Her debut collection of short fiction is forthcoming from Knopf.

Lubrin’s writing is an act of witnessing that both clarifies and subverts the hierarchical structures of oppression.  In "53 Acts of Living," her stunning prose-poem written in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and in the midst of the Black Lives Matter uprisings, Lubrin offers a moving meditation on the role of the poet as listener to the world, with its “hard-edged roads and meanings” -- as one whose vocation it is to “make something of silence”: 

"You are looking out from here and maybe wondering what is next, how can you begin again? All I know is if my pen hovers over the page long enough because I am listening to the world, hearing what is revealed, what is felt and held because I am still here—because I am travelling the hard-edged roads and meanings of this place, things will eventually announce themselves. In all that living there is war, there is madness, there is music. In that music I find poetry. Whether or not I write it down is, of course, a matter of choice. If I write it down be sure that I make something of silence.”


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast with Jen Sookfong Lee


Tune in to our first ever Brown Bag Lunch Podcast with the celebrated writer, radio host, and podcaster Jen Sookfong Lee!

Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and currently lives with her son in North Burnaby. Lee is a prolific and celebrated writer, editor, teacher, and radio personality who writes in an array of genres, including the literary crime novel, YA fiction, film criticism and poetry. Her first novel, The End of East (Knopf 2007) illuminates the Chinese Canadian story in Vancouver. She followed this with a Young Adult novel, Shelter (Annick Press, 2011), and another for adults, The Better Mother (Knopf, 2011), a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award and praised for its “straight-ahead page-turning brilliance.” Her literary crime novel, The Conjoined (ECW press, 2016), was nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and has been praised for its “complex, refreshing and relevant departure” from the expectations of the genre.

Lee’s writing and editing projects also include Chinese New Year; a book of film criticism called Gentlemen Of The Shade: My Own Private Idaho (ECW Press, 2017); and Whatever Gets You Through, a collection of essays by writers who have survived sexual abuse (co-edited with Stacey May Fowles, Greystone Books, 2019). Lee also edits fiction for Wolsak & Wynn, teaches fiction at The Writers’ Studio Online at Simon Fraser University, and co-hosts the literary podcast "Can’t Lit."

And finally, Lee is also a popular CBC Radio personality: she has been a regular contributor on The Next Chapter and Definitely Not the Opera, and a frequent co-host for the Studio One Book Club. In this podcast, Lee reads from The Conjoined as well as her forthcoming collection of poetry, and reflects on the impact of the pandemic on her writing life, the role of art and literature in these times, and must-reads of the moment.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Midi littéraire avec Marie-Célie Agnant


Time: 11:30 AM

Location: Student Lounge, Old Arts Building

Marie-Célie Agnant is a writer who has been living in Canada since 1970. She is a poet, novelist, and author of children’s book. Her work has been translated in Spanish, English, Dutch, Italian, and Korean. Her titles include The Book of EmmaSilence Like Blood (which was nominated for the 1998 Governor General’s Award), and La Dot de Sara.