Author Spotlights

Lost and Found: Author Spotlight – Lydia Kwa

February 26, 2019

Ronnie Lee Hill Photography

Lydia Kwa lives on unceded Coast Salish territories. She has published four novels and two books of poetry. Her revised edition of The Walking Boy will be released this March with Arsenal Pulp Press.

Her poem “from Notes on Grieving” can be read here.

Canadian Literature issue 236, Lost and Found, is available to order through our online store.


Lost and Found: Author Spotlight – Emma Cleary

February 19, 2019

Emma Cleary holds a PhD from Staffordshire University (UK), where she taught English Literature and Creative Writing. Her research addresses representations of the city in Black transnational literature, with a focus on sonic schemas and mapping. She lives and writes in Vancouver.

 

Article Abstract

Sound technologies enact cultural interventions and enable radical experiments of identity through the practice of stripping away, spinning, and splicing sounds—especially the sound of the human voice. This paper reads Black Canadian spoken word and turntable poetry for the symbolic use of sound technologies and other sonic schemas, focusing on Wayde Compton’s “The Reinventing Wheel” (2004) and Tanya Evanson’s “The African All Of It” (2013). In both of these works there is an emphasis upon the role of the body (and postbody) in the production of sound. I present both the spectral figure and sound recording technologies as postbody projections, and read the work of Compton and Evanson for transmissions that cross spatial, temporal, and body boundaries.

The paper engages with posthumanist thought and the work of musicologist R. Murray Schafer to advance that sound technologies forge portals through time and space, as the dub plate reincarnates Compton’s disembodied, pre-recorded voice. Compton’s ghosts are quasi-material, zombies dancing in cargo holds—a reference to the Middle Passage—enacting a kinetic impulse capable of “moving the text” (103); Evanson’s acoustic experimentations with antiphony stress the kinetic and the sensory, and debinarize the relationship between speaker and audience. Finally, I argue that the ghostly emanation of postbody sounds from the turntable challenges culturally constructed binaries and forges a blended space for the celebration of plural, hybrid, and mobile identity formations, demolishing paradigms that work to enclose and encode Black Canada.

Canadian Literature issue 236, Lost and Found, is available to order through our online store.


Lost and Found: Author Spotlight – Gillian Wallace

February 12, 2019

Gillian Wallace’s poems have been published in The Antigonish Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, and Room among others. She’s won the Diana Brebner Prize, been named a Hot Ottawa Voice, and had poems shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize and the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. She wrote her PhD thesis on the origins of human evil and is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers.

Her poem “Snow/White” can be read here.

Canadian Literature issue 236, Lost and Found, is available to order through our online store.


Lost and Found: Author Spotlight – Jennifer Harris

February 5, 2019

Jennifer Harris is Associate Professor of English, University of Waterloo. Her essays have appeared in Canadian Literature, Journal of Canadian Studies, Legacy, African American Review, and elsewhere. She is the co-editor of the Norton Critical Edition of The Coquette and The Boarding School, as well as a collection on American Literary Tourism.

 

Article Abstract

This essay expands our understanding of nineteenth-century Black Canadian writing by introducing the case of Peter Edward Susand. Susand’s 1856 volume of poetry, published in what is now Kitchener, has been lost, raising the questions: how do we write about authors whose work hasn’t survived? Can we recuperate the literary practices of these individuals in the absence of their writings? Is it possible to marshal other evidence to reconstruct their literary networks and affiliations? What might we gain by undertaking such scholarly excavations? And how might doing so on behalf of those authors whose works haven’t survived shift our understanding of nineteenth-century Black Canadian literary culture?

Canadian Literature issue 236, Lost and Found, is available to order through our online store.


Concepts of Vancouver: Author Spotlight – Joseph Dandurand

January 10, 2019

Joseph A. Dandurand is a member of Kwantlen First Nation located on the Fraser River about twenty minutes east of Vancouver. He resides there with his three children Danessa, Marlysse, and Jace. Joseph is the Director of the Kwantlen Cultural Center. Joseph received a Diploma in Performing Arts from Algonquin College and studied Theatre and Direction at the University of Ottawa. He recently published 2 books of poetry: I WANT by Leaf Press (2015) and HEAR AND FORETELL by BookLand Press (2015). His newest book of poems: The Rumour, will be published by BookLand Press in (2018). SH:LAM (the doctor) will be published by Mawenzi Press (2019).

 

Poetry Abstract

at a gathering of fools they wept
and wept until daylight and then the
fire went out and everyone went home
to the insane streets of the pathetic
city where gloom and odor roam

Canadian Literature issue 235, Concepts of Vancouver: Poetics, Art, Media, is available to order through our online store.


Concepts of Vancouver: Author Spotlight – Ajmer Rode

January 3, 2019

Ajmer Rode has published books of poetry, prose, drama and translation in English and Punjabi. His publication Leela, more than a thousand pages long (co-authored with N. Bharati) is considered a landmark in twentieth-century Punjabi poetry. His poem “Stroll in a Particle” is one of the eight international poems inscribed on a public wall outside the new office complex of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle.

Poetry Abstract

Says the city whispers
in her ear: I will keep my air clean.
Waters too. Will keep my soul green,
skies blue. Will let my earth spread
more root-runs not pipe runs.

Canadian Literature issue 235, Concepts of Vancouver: Poetics, Art, Media, is available to order through our online store.


Concepts of Vancouver Author Spotlight: bill bissett

December 20, 2018

originalee from lunaria a far dstant planet
i was on th first childrns shuttul from that
trubuld planet as it had run out uv oxygen altho iuv bin on erth a whil i still have troubul undrstanding erthling wayze
dont yu
my first love is sound vizual poetree most recent book th book from talonbooks my latest cd we ar almost ther with
malcolm jack i show my paintings n vizual art work at th secret handshake toronto

 

Poetry Abstract

uv th strange nite skies ride
in our sky skrapr dreems
letting them fly

Canadian Literature issue 235, Concepts of Vancouver: Poetics, Art, Media, is available to order through our online store.


Concepts of Vancouver: Author Spotlight – Chelene Knight

December 13, 2018

Chelene Knight is currently the managing editor at Room magazine, and the 2018 Programming Director for the Growing Room Festival. Braided Skin, her first book (Mother Tongue Publishing, March 2015), has given birth to numerous writing projects including her second book, memoir, Dear Current Occupant (BookThug, 2018).

 

Poem Abstract:

notice the paint peel in slow
motion there’s a division of race, of gender, of class, of—
a city’s silence
they call it art
they call it science
they call it some unsolvable math equation

Canadian Literature issue 235, Concepts of Vancouver: Poetics, Art, Media, is available to order through our online store.


Concepts of Vancouver: Author Spotlight – Christopher Gutierrez

December 6, 2018

Christopher Gutierrez is based in Montreal, Quebec, where he is a lecturer in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. His research focuses on the points of contact between affect theory, media studies, urbanism, and everyday life. Amongst other places, his work has appeared in (re)constructions, Sorbet Mag, and CM: Communication and Media.

 

Article Abstract

This paper will chart out this particular anxiety as it emerges within the fantasy, and reality, of Vancouver as both a city and a model for urban planning. As this investigation was provoked by the 2011 Stanley Cup Riot, a moment that marked a rupture in the image of Vancouver as an exceptional site and that is discussed in the paper’s final pages, my exploration of Vancouver’s particular anxiousness begins in the history, and its attendant affective promise and future fantasy, that preceded this riot. The first part of this paper (Post-political plans (and charts, and diagrams, and lists, and books, and . . .)) will explore the relationship between the “communicative turn” in urban planning discourse, the increasing number of comparative and quantified metrics for understanding the city, and the development of a post-political image of the city. The following section (Mapping Vancouver(ism)s) considers how Vancouverism, as a model for urban planning, has come to be understood as a commodity within this post-political realm. In the next part, (Entrepreneurial Resonances/Material Remainders) I argue that this particular commodified and imagetic form of Vancouver is felt in the city as an anxious structure. Here, I will consider the relationship between Vancouver’s fantastic image in relation to both the city’s “Empty Condo Syndrome” and the ongoing indebtedness of a city where speculative real estate investment continues to dominate an already expensive housing market. Finally, by combining these discursive, ideational, and material realities, this paper concludes with a close reading of Douglas Keefe and John Furlong’s review report of the June 15th riots to consider the affective forces of both the riot and the response to the riot. Read as a moment where the anxiety of the subject is snapped into a present material reality, this paper concludes by considering the events of that night as a particular affective worlding; as a moment when the image of the city disappeared and a moment when the subject encountered the violent reality of present day Vancouver.

Canadian Literature issue 235, Concepts of Vancouver: Poetics, Art, Media, is available to order through our online store.


Concepts of Vancouver: Author Spotlight – Dani Spinosa

November 29, 2018

Dani Spinosa is Adjunct Professor of English Literature at York University and Sheridan College. She co-edits Gap Riot Press and is Managing Editor of the Electronic Literature Directory.

 

Article Abstract

In this paper, Dani Spinosa looks to the semantic and metaphorical connotations of Jim Andrews’ “Seattle Drift” (1997) as a litmus test in order to define the uniquely Canadian, specifically Vancouverite, and transnational, transgeneric contributions to the fields of electronic literature and digital poetics. This paper tries to situate a work that “used to be poetry” but “drifted from the scene” to begin to theorize the role of place (Seattle, Vancouver) and national discourse (American, Canadian) in a digital literary world that increasingly works to blur borders and collapses national and generic conventions alike.

Canadian Literature issue 235, Concepts of Vancouver: Poetics, Art, Media, is available to order through our online store.