Brown Bag Lunch Podcast

 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Episode 3 - Rebecca Thomas

 

clcualberta · CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast - Episode 3 - 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

Episode 2 - Canisia Lubrin

 

clcualberta · CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast - Episode 2 - 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

Episode 1 - Jen Sookfong Lee

 

clcualberta · CLC Brown Bag Lunch Podcast - Episode 1 - 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, The Shadow List, 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.