2021-2022 Season

SAVE THE DATE!

Tuesday, October 19th: Karen Solie and A.E. Stallings. Hybrid (4th Space & Zoom) 12 pm

Karen Solie is the author of several collections of poetry, including The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out (2015); The Living Option: Selected Poems (2013); Pigeon (2009), which won a Griffin Poetry Prize, a Pat Lowther Award, and a Trillium Book Award; and Short Haul Engine (2001), which won a Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. She lives in Toronto.

A.E. Stallings has published three collections of poetry, Archaic Smile, Hapax, and Olives, and a verse translation of Lucretius, The Nature of Things. She has received a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and fellowships from United States Artists, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. She lives in Athens, Greece.

Thursday, October 21st: Kazim Ali. Webinar event, 8 pm

Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom and has lived transnationally in the United States, Canada, India, France, and the Middle East. His books encompass multiple genres, including several volumes of poetry, novels, and translations. He is currently a Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. His newest books are a volume of three long poems entitled The Voice of Sheila Chandra and a memoir of his Canadian childhood, Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water.

Tuesday, November 9th: Haley Mlotek and Doreen St. Félix. Hybrid (4th Space and Zoom) 3pm.

Doreen St. Félix has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2017 and was named the magazine’s television critic in 2019. Previously, she was a culture writer at MTV News. Her writing has appeared in the Times Magazine, New York, Vogue, The Fader, and Pitchfork.

Haley Mlotek is a writer, editor, and organizer. Her works appeared in countless renowned magazines and newspapers all over the world. She is currently a senior editor at SSENSE and the 2019-2020 co-chair of the Freelance Solidarity Project, a distinct division for digital media workers within the National Writers Union.

Monday, November 15th: George Abraham. Hybrid/Webinar event, 8 pm

George Abraham is a Palestinian American poet and writer from Jacksonville, FL. He is the author of the poetry collection, Birthright (ButtonPoetry, 2020), winner of the 2021 Arab American Book Award in Poetry . He is a board member for the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI), a recipient of grants and fellowships from Kundiman, TheBoston Foundation, and the Poetry Foundation.

Friday, November 19th: Rana Tawil. Hybrid/Webinar 8pm November 2021 tbd

Oana Avasilichioaei is the author of six poetry collections, including We, Beasts (Wolsak & Wynn, 2012, A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry) and Limbinal. Her most recent collection, Eight Track was a finalist for both the 2020 A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. She has translated eight books of poetry and prose from French and Romanian, including Bertrand Laverdure’s Readopolis (Book*hug, 2017, Governor General’s Literary Award).

Caroline Bergvall is an award-winning poet, writer, sound artist and performer whose interdisciplinary practice includes working across artforms, media and languages all over the world. Her worlds include books, performances, sound installations and print.

Friday November 26th: Communal reading of Pauline Gumbs, Webinar (12-4). Wednesday, January 19th: Joy Priest. 8pm.

Joy Priest is the recipient of a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a 2019- 2020 Fine Arts Work Center fellowship, as well as the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize. Her poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, The Atlantic, Callaloo, Gulf Coast, and the Virginia Quarterly Review, among others. Her essays have appeared in The Bitter Southerner, Poets & Writers, ESPN, and The Undefeated. Her work has been anthologized in Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, A Measure of Belonging: Writers of Color on the New American South, and Best New Poets 2014, 2016 and 2019. Joy is currently editing an anthology of Louisville poets, forthcoming from Sarabande Books.

March 2022 Professional Panel TBA

Writing Lives: Creative, Critical & Bodily Activisms, Rituals of Mourning Thursday, December 5th at 4th Space Concordia

Writers Read Concordia Presents: Writing Lives: Creative, Critical & Bodily Activisms, Rituals of Mourning Thursday, December 5th at 4th Space Concordia 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd W. 6 – 8 pm  Writers Read hosts a feminist writing panel featuring Sue Sinclair, Sue Goyette, and Larissa Lai in conversation with Sina Queyras as part of Writing Lives

Sue Sinclair is the author of five books of poetry, all of which have won or been nominated for national and regional awards. Her most recent collection, Heaven’s Thieves (from Brick Books), won the 2017 Pat Lowther Award. Sue has a PhD in philosophy and teaches creative writing at The University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, where she also edits for Brick Books and is editor-in-chief of The Fiddlehead.

Sue Goyette lives in Halifax and has published six books of poems and a novel. Her latest collection is Penelope (Gaspereau Press, 2017). She has been nominated for the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize and the Governor General’s Award and has won several awards including the 2015 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award for her collection, Ocean. Sue teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Dalhousie University.

Larissa Lai was born in La Jolla, California, grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and currently lives in Calgary. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Calgary and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She was awarded an Astraea Foundation Emerging Writers Award in 1995. Her novel When Fox is a Thousand was first published by Press Gang Publishers in 1995; a new edition, featuring an afterword by the author, was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2004. In 2009, she published Automaton Biographies (Arsenal Pulp), her first solo poetry book that was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize at the BC Book Prizes. She is also the author of Salt Fish Girl (Thomas Allen Publishers, 2002), as well as a book-length collaborative long poem with Rita Wong called sybil unrest, published by Line Books in 2009. Larissa’s latest novel is 2019 Lamda Award Winner, The Tiger Flu.

 

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Writers Read Concordia Presents: A Masterclass with Sue Goyette (Halifax)

A Masterclass with Sue Goyette (Halifax) *students only*

Thursday, December 5th from 2 pm – 4 pm

LB 646 Pavillion JW McConnell Bldg Concordia University

1400 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest Montréal

Sue Goyette lives in Halifax and has published six books of poems and a novel. Her latest

collection is Penelope (Gaspereau Press, 2017). She has been nominated for the 2014 Griffin

Poetry Prize and the Governor General’s Award and has won several awards including the

2015 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award for her collection, Ocean.

Sue teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Dalhousie University.

This event compliments WRITING LIVES: CREATIVE, CRITICAL & BODILY ACTIVISMS, RITUALS OF MOURNING Thursday December 5th Writers Read hosts a feminist writing panel featuring Sue Sinclair, Sue Goyette, and Larissa Lai in conversation with Sina Queyras as part of Writing Lives at 4th Space 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd W.  6 pm – 8 pm.

Please Note: All students are welcome to register for this event but seating is limited to 30 spots.
To register e-mail: writersreadconcordia@gmail.com with the subject line “Registration”
Please include your student status, department, undergraduate or graduate.Sue Goyette 2018

MARGARET CHRISTAKOS IN CONVERSATION WITH SINA QUEYRAS Wednesday, November 6th 5-6 PM VAV Gallery 1395 Rene Levesque Ouest

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Margaret Christakos is a force in the Toronto and national poetry scene since the early 1990s, Margaret Christakos is a widely published award-winning writer whose many books unfurl along tendrils of feminist, anti-racist, bisexual, serial proceduralist modalities. Recent titles include Multitudes, Her Paraphernalia: On Motherlines, Sex/Blood/Loss & Selfies, Social Medea vs. Virtual Medusa, and Space Between Her Lips: The Poetry of Margaret Christakos (Laurier Poetry Series). Two collections are forthcoming: charger (2020) and Dear Birch (2021). A Chalmers Arts Fellow and the recipient of numerous grants from the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council, Christakos has an extensive teaching/mentoring practice as well as an inspired record of instigating creative literary encounters that bring together writers and artists of diverse aesthetics.

On Thursday, November 7th, SpokenWeb and the Mile End Poets’ Festival feature Margaret Christakos as part of a series of events on Deep Curation facilitated by PhD student Klara du Plessis from 1- 5:30 pm on campus.

KATHRYN MOCKLER & ERIN ROBINSONG: A READING & A WORKSHOP ON POETRY & CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIVISM Co-sponsored with Concordia’s Graduate Student Association Friday October 25th, 2019 VAV Gallery 1395 René-Lévesque Blvd. W. 4pm – 6 pm

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Writers Read x SAGE co-sponsor a reading event and workshop on Climate Change Activism in the VAV Gallery on Friday 25th October 2019 from 4pm – 6pm. Not to be missed!

Kathryn Mockler is the author of the poetry books Some Theories (ST Press, 2017), The Purpose Pitch (Mansfield Press, 2015), The Saddest Place on Earth (DC Books, 2012) and Onion Man (Tightrope Books, 2011). She received her MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and her BA in Honours English and Creative Writing from Concordia University.

Erin Robinsong is a poet and interdisciplinary artist working with ecological imagination. Her debut collection of poetry, Rag Cosmology, won the 2017 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry and was described in the Globe & Mail as “an intimacy of ecological identities as wild, sensual and rhythmic as the cosmos,” by Canisia Lubrin. Her work has been published in Lemon Hound, Vallum, The Capilano Review, and Regreen: New Canadian Ecological Poetry, among others. Collaborative performance works with Hanna Sybille Müller and Andréa de Keijzer include This ritual is not an accident; Facing away from that which is coming; revolutions; and Polymorphic Microbe Bodies (forthcoming spring 2020, at Tangente). She is currently organizing a Geopoetics conference and residency, and working on a chapbook with House House Press. Erin is from Cortes Island.

WRITERS READ X ECOTONES 6 WITH CENTRE FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES IN SOCIETY AND CULTURE PRESENT: David Chariandy and Shazia Hafiz Ramji Post/Colonial Ports: Place and Nonplace in the Ecotone Thursday, October 24, 2019, 6-8 pm Concordia’s 4th Space, 1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

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Writers Read hosts the literary reading component for Ecotones 6 with CISSC on the evening of Thursday, October 24th 2019 featuring David Chariandy and Shazia Hafiz Ramji. Admission is free and open to the public.

David Chariandy grew up in Toronto and lives and teaches in Vancouver. His debut novel, Soucouyant, received stunning reviews and recognition from eleven literary awards juries. Brother, his second novel, received rave reviews, was named a Best Book of 2017 on no fewer than eight lists, and won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. In 2019, he was awarded the Windham-Campbell prize.

Shazia Hafiz Ramji is the author of Port of Being, a finalist for the 2019 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and winner of the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Shazia is a columnist for Open Book and is currently at work on a novel.

 

A Masterclass with Doireann Ní Ghríofa *for students only* Friday, October 18th from 12:00 – 2:00 H 1001 Hall Building Concordia University 1455 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest

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To compliment An Evening of Irish and Choctaw Poetry with Doireann Ní Ghríofa and LeAnne Howe Thursday, October 17th@ 7 pm EV-6.720 (1515 St. Catherine West, 6th floor) Please Note: All students are welcome to register for this event but seating is limited to 30 spots. To register e-mail: writersreadconcordia@gmail.com with the subject line “Registration” Please include your student status, department, undergraduate or graduate.

Writers Read, The School of Canadian Irish Studies, & Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace present: An Evening of Irish and Choctaw Poetry with Doireann Ní Ghríofa and LeAnne Howe Thursday, October 17th @ 7 pm EV-6.720 (1515 St. Catherine West, 6th floor)

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An Evening of Irish and Choctaw Poetry with Doireann Ní Ghríofa and LeAnne Howe Thursday, October 17th@ 7 pm EV-6.720 (1515 St. Catherine West, 6th floor)

Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a bilingual Irish writer whose books explore birth, death, desire, and domesticity. A Book of the Year in both The Irish Times and The Irish Independent, her most recent collection ‘Lies’ draws on a decade of her Irish language poems in translation. Awards for her work include a Lannan Literary Fellowship (USA, 2018), a Seamus Heaney Fellowship (Queen’s University, 2018), the Ostana Prize (Italy, 2018), and The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature (2016), among others. Doireann’s artistic practice encompasses cross-disciplinary collaborations, fusing poetry with film, dance, music, and visual art, and she has been invited to perform her work internationally, most recently in Scotland, Paris, Italy, and New Zealand. Her prose debut ‘A Ghost in the Throat’ is forthcoming from Tramp Press in spring 2020.

LeAnne Howe is a poet, novelist, filmmaker and scholar. She was born and raised in Oklahoma and is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation. Some awards include: the Western Literature Association’s 2015 Distinguished Achievement Award for her body of work; the inaugural 2014 MLA Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures; 2012 United States Artists Ford Fellowship; and a 2010 Fulbright Scholarship to Jordan. She received the American Book Award in 2002 for her first novel, Shell Shaker. Her most recent book, Savage Conversations, 2019, Coffee House Press, is the story of Mary Todd Lincoln and a Savage Indian spirit that she (Mary) imagined was torturing her nightly. Harvard scholar Philip J. Deloria writes, “[the book] explodes with the stench and guilt and insanity that undergirds the American story.” Searching For Sequoyah is Howe’s latest documentary film project with Ojibwe filmmaker James M. Fortier. The film is set in the U.S. and Mexico where Sequoyah (Cherokee) traveled as he was writing the Cherokee Syllabary in 1841. LeAnne Howe is the Eidson Distinguished Professor of American Literature in English at the University of Georgia.

Requests for more information contact Ali Pinkney
Email writersreadconcordia@gmail.com

In Conversation: Rachel Zellars & Roxane Gay

Writing these essays was of acknowledging my existence that you just don’t see written about all too often. The black experience is often times limited to a one very specific type of story and I think that we have to broaden our cultural understanding of what it means to be black. –Roxane Gay talking about Bad Feminist with Rachel Zellars.

Here’s one from the archive. October 22, 2015 to be exact. Co-Sponsored by Librarie Drawn & Quarterly and took pace at the Ukrainian Federation. The bookstore, whom we hope will co-sponsor more events with us in the next few years, will be hosting Marlon James on March 5th. James will be in conversation with Concordia part-time instructor Dimitri Nasrallah.

 

Gail Scott Marathon Reading of My Paris

This event took place over a six hour period on October 16th, 2014 in the Hall Building and featured approximately 70 readers in French and English, curated by Sina Queyras, Genevieve Robichaud and Jesse McEachern. This is the final section and by now, all of the readers are reading at once. Here you can see Candace Maddy, Jacob Wren and Corinna Copp and hear the chorus.

Here’s an excerpt of Scott reading in the evening event. See below for more of the event and check back for more footage.

Like Pop Rocks on the tongue’ — readings from My Paris, and more

Writers Read event celebrates experimental women scribes and poets from Quebec who collaborated on the iconic text Theory, A Sunday
October 8, 2014
By Tom Peacock

From left to right: Nicole Brossard, Gail Scott, Rachel Levitsky and Lisa Robertson.

From left to right: Nicole Brossard, Gail Scott, Rachel Levitsky and Lisa Robertson. | Image courtesy of Writ

Concordia’s Writers Read, in collaboration with the Université de Montréal’s Département d’études anglaises and the Concordia University Research Chair in Media and Contemporary Literature, is hosting a daylong celebration of Quebec women’s writing on October 16. The event will kick off with a marathon reading of Gail Scott’s experimental novel My Paris (Mercury Press, 1999), beginning at 11 a.m. in Room 767 of the Henry F. Hall Building (H).

“Somebody once told me that the best way to read My Paris was to get on a subway somewhere in, say, Brooklyn, and sit reading till the utmost stop on the uptown line,” said Scott during a 2010 conversation with novelist Sina Queyras, assistant professor in Concordia’s Department of English. The chat is published on Queyras’ literary website, Lemon Hound.

At the Writers Read event, students, authors and professors will attempt to recreate the subway experience — albeit, in the Henry F. Hall Building — as they read back-to-back excerpts from the book, which Quill and Quire reviewer Mary Soderstrom called “a pleasure for those who enjoy playing with language.”

Queyras, who organized the Writer’s Read event, says My Paris is fun to read aloud because of its inventive sentence constructions. “It’s like Pop Rocks on the tongue to read; full of sparkly, linguistic treats.”

The marathon event will be followed by another reading of excerpts from La Théorie, un dimanche (les editions du remue-ménage, 1988) featuring Gail Scott and Nicole Brossard, two writers who contributed to the collaborative feminist text. Queyras says the book was of vital importance for many experimental writers in North America.

“The text came out of a salon that Nicole Brossard started. She, along with Louky Bersianik, France Théoret, Louise Cotnoir, and Louise Dupré, met every Sunday in the 1980s and discussed theory and its implications for women’s rights. These essays evolved out of that.”

Last year, 25 years after the book was first published in French, Belladonna*, a New York-based avant-garde publishing house, released an English version, Theory, A Sunday.

In anticipation of the October 16 Writers Read event at Concordia, Queyras has been posting excerpts from the book on Lemon Hound, including a newly added introduction by internationally recognized Canadian poet Lisa Robertson. She has also invited writers to send in their thoughts inspired by the text.

The responses pay testimony to the book’s continued relevance.

“In the 12 years since I first encountered La Théorie, un dimanche, I have developed or been welcomed into feminist networks of mentorship that span time zones, generations and the bounds of genre,” writes Erin Wunker, an English professor at Mount Allison University. “Because of a book, because on Sundays in Montréal in the 1980s, six women gathered together to talk, to theorize, to think, and to listen.”

Following the reading, Scott and Brossard will take questions from the audience. They’ll be joined by Robertson and Rachel Levitsky, poet and founder of Belladonna*.

Queyras says she hopes the event will raise awareness among young readers of the impact Theory, A Sunday had when it was first published in French.

“It’s a seminal book for a lot of writers across North America, not just women, but a lot of experimental, innovative writers were profoundly influenced by the work of these women,” she says. “They were enacting a kind of feminist, utopian world.”


For more information about Writers Read and other readings series happening at Concordia, visit the Writers Read website.

Billy-Ray Belcourt & Lindsay Nixon

In collaboration with the CEP, Writers Read is pleased to present attendees of our events with an original broadside designed to honour our guests and celebrate the occasion of their visit. You’ll have to come to get one with a new poem by Billy-Ray Belcourt. They’re quite something, and I thank Jessica Bebenek for design and printing of the series.

The first 25 people in the building in March will also get a broadside from CA Conrad’s event in November 2018. #concordia #writersread #curatingthefuture

November 30th: Kate Colby, Paige Cooper, and Anna Moschovakis

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York Amphitheatre, Room EV 1.605, 1515 Rue St. Catherine, Montréal, QC, H3G 2W1

~DOORS~ will be open just before 4pm, and we will start shortly after everyone is inside and seated.

~~~

Kate Colby is author of seven books of poetry, most recently The Arrangements (Four Way Books, 2018). Dream of the Trenches, a book of critical poem-essays, will be out with Noemi Press in 2019. Fruitlands won the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America in 2007. She has also received awards and fellowships from the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts, the Dodd Research Center at UConn and Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room, where she is the 2017-2018 Creative Fellow. Her work has been featured at the Beauport Sleeper-McCann, deCordova, Isabella Stewart Gardner and RISD museums, and her poems and essays have recently appeared in A Public Space, The Awl, Bennington Review, Boston Review, Columbia Poetry Review, PEN America, Verse and the DIA Readings in Contemporary Poetry Anthology. She was a founding board member of the Gloucester Writers Center in Massachusetts, where she now serves on the advisory board. Colby was born in Boston, grew up in Massachusetts and currently lives in Providence, where she works as a copywriter and editor.

Paige Cooper’s stories have appeared in The Fiddlehead, West Branch, Michigan Quarterly Review, Gulf Coast Online, Canadian Notes & Queries, The New Quarterly, and Minola Review, and have been anthologized in The Journey Prize Stories and Best Canadian Stories. Her debut short story collection, Zolitude, was longlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction. She lives in Montreal.

Anna Moschovakis is the author most recently of the novel Eleanor, or, The Rejection of the Progress of Love (Coffee House Press, 2018). Her books of poetry include the James Laughlin award-winning You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake and They and We Will Get Into Trouble for This. Her translations from French include Albert Cossery’s The Jokers, Annie Ernaux’s The Possession, and Bresson on Bresson, and experimental translations of and with the Algerian poet Samira Negrouche. A recipient of grants and fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts, The Poetry Fund, the Howard Foundation, and apexart, she has taught in the graduate writing programs at Bard, Pratt, and Columbia. She is a longtime member of the publishing collective Ugly Duckling Presse and a co-founder of Bushel, an art and community space in Delhi, NY.

~~~

Writers Read at Concordia University has hosted authors including Roxane Gay, Mary Ruefle, Lydia Davis, Roddy Doyle, Mary Gaitskill, Tanya Tagaq, Christian Bok, Rae Armantrout, Emma Donoghue, Lisa Robertson, Gail Scott, George Elliott Clarke, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, Ben Lerner & Dionne Brandwritersreadconcordia@gmail.com
tweet @CUwritersread

Our events are free and open to the public.

Fall 2018: Eileen Myles and CAConrad

The 2018-19 Writers Read season begins with two provocative writers: poet, memoirist, and novelist, Eileen Myles and visionary poet CAConrad. 

 

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Eileen Myles is a poet, novelist, performer and art journalist. Their twenty books includeAfterglow (a dog memoir), a 2017 re-issue of Cool for You and I Must Be Living Twice/new and selected poems, and Chelsea Girls. Eileen is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, four Lambda Book Awards, and the Shelley Prize from the PSA. In 2016, Myles received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. Currently they teach at NYU and Naropa University and live in Marfa TX and New York.

 

CAConrad is the author of 9 books of poetry and essays.  While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books), received the 2018 Lambda Award.  A recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, they also received The Believer Magazine Book Award and The Gil Ott Book Award. Their work has been translated into Spanish, Greek, Polish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Danish and German. They teach regularly at Columbia University in NYC, and Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam.

Saturday, March 17th: An Evening of Poetry with Karen Solie, Stephanie Bolster, and Tess Liem

Join Off The Page and Writers Read for an evening of Poetry with Karen Solie, Stephanie Bolster, and Tess Liem: 

OFF THE PAGE 2018 Schedule

Saturday, March 17, 2018, 5-6.30 PM,

York Amphitheatre, EV 1.6051515 rue St. Catherine West

 

OFFTHEPAGE-POSTER-Solie-Bolster-Liem

Karen Solie is the author of four collections of poems: Short Haul EngineModern and NormalThe Road In Is Not the Same Road Out, and Pigeon, for which she won the Griffin Prize for Poetry in 2010. A volume of selected poems, The Living Option, was published in the U.K. in 2013. An associate director for the Banff Centre’s Writing Studio, she lives in Toronto.

Stephanie Bolster is the author of four books of poetry, the first of which, White Stone: The Alice Poems, won the Governor General’s and the Gerald Lampert Awards in 1998. Her latest book, A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth, was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award, and work from her current manuscript was a finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012 and longlisted in 2017. Editor of The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008 and The Ishtar Gate: Last and Selected Poems by the late Ottawa poet Diana Brebner, and co-editor of Penned: Zoo Poems, she was born in Vancouver and has taught creative writing at Concordia since 2000.

Tess Liem’s debut full-length collection of poetry will be out from Coach House in fall 2018. Her chapbook, “Tell everybody I say hi,” is available from Anstruther. Her writings appear on Plenitude, The Puritan & The Town Crier, carte blanche, in Room Magazine, The Walrus, Vallum and elsewhere. Her essay “Rice Cracker” was the winner of the 2015 Constance Rooke Creative Non-Fiction prize from The Malahat Review.

Hosted by Writers Read and Off The Page.

coopbookstore

 

*~*~* The Co-op Bookstore will be selling books ~*~*~
The Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore is pleased to offer a viable alternative to the corporate structure, putting students’ best interests above and beyond our own bottom line. As a not-for-profit alternative to corporate bookstores, we are conveniently located right on Concordia’s downtown campus at 2150 Bishop Street in Montreal. Offering both new and used books, in addition to a wide variety of artisan consignments, we also boast the largest selection of sex and gender studies titles anywhere in Montreal. (Cash + Credit only)

Friday, March 16th: An Evening with Renee Gladman & Danielle Dutton

Join Writers Read for an evening of Feminine Utopias with Renee Gladman and Danielle Dutton, a reading and follow-up conversation.

Friday, March 16, 2018, 7 PM

York Amphitheatre, EV 1.605, 1515 rue St. Catherine West

 

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Renee Gladman is a writer and artist preoccupied with lines, crossings, thresholds, and geographies as they play out in the interstices of poetry and prose. She is the author of eleven published works, including a cycle of novels about the city-state Ravicka and its inhabitants, the Ravickians, as well as Prose Architectures, her first monograph of drawings (Wave Books, 2017). She lives and makes work in New England with poet-ceremonialist Danielle Vogel.

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/thing-chasing-renee-gladman-invented-city-ravicka/

 

Danielle Dutton’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Harper’sBOMBThe Paris ReviewThe Guardian, etc. She is the author of three-and-a-half books: a collection of prose pieces, Attempts at a Life; an experimental novel, SPRAWL, which will be reissued by Wave Books in 2018 with an afterword by Renee Gladman; Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera, an artist’s book of collages by Richard Kraft; and Margaret the First, a novel about the seventeenth-century writer Margaret Cavendish. She is a professor at Washington University in St. Louis and co-founder and editor of the feminist press Dorothy, a publishing project. 

Please see the attached poster for further information. We hope to see you at the event!

Hosted by Writers Read and Off The Page.

coopbookstore

 

*~*~* The Co-op Bookstore will be selling books ~*~*~
The Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore is pleased to offer a viable alternative to the corporate structure, putting students’ best interests above and beyond our own bottom line. As a not-for-profit alternative to corporate bookstores, we are conveniently located right on Concordia’s downtown campus at 2150 Bishop Street in Montreal. Offering both new and used books, in addition to a wide variety of artisan consignments, we also boast the largest selection of sex and gender studies titles

 

 

 

TONIGHT: AN EVENING WITH CANADIAN FICTION WRITER SUZETTE MAYR

SUZETTE MAYR: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Reading – 7pm, EV 1.605 York Amphitheater

 

Suzette Mayr is the author of Moon Honey, The Widows, Venous Hum, and Monoceros which was longlisted for the Giller Prize. She is here to present her most recent novel, Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall, a ‘manic, queer, and hallucinatory farce.’

Hosted by Writers Read.

coopbookstore

 

*~*~* The Co-op Bookstore will be selling books ~*~*~
The Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore is pleased to offer a viable alternative to the corporate structure, putting students’ best interests above and beyond our own bottom line. As a not-for-profit alternative to corporate bookstores, we are conveniently located right on Concordia’s downtown campus at 2150 Bishop Street in Montreal. Offering both new and used books, in addition to a wide variety of artisan consignments, we also boast the largest selection of sex and gender studies titles anywhere in Montreal. (Cash + Credit only)

Friday, November 17th: An Evening with Suzette Mayr

Mayr Poster Draft

 

Join Writers Read for an evening with Suzette Mayr.

Suzette Mayr is the author of five novels, including her most recent, Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall. Her fourth novel Monoceros was longlisted for the 2011 Giller Prize and has been translated into Italian. Her novels have won the ReLit Award, and the City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Book Prize, and been nominated for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in the Canada-Caribbean region, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s Best First Book and Best Novel Awards, and the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction. She teaches Creative Writing at the University Calgary.

The event will take place on Friday, October 27, 2017, 7PM, York Amphitheatre, EV 1.605, 1515 Rue St. Catherine.

TONIGHT: MARINA CARR

MARINA CARR: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd, 2017, 7 PM, EV 1.605 YORK AMPHITHEATER

Playwright Marina Carr’s works include “By the Bog of Cats“, “On Raftery’s Hill” and an adaptation of “Anna Karenina.” She recently won the Yale University’s Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama.

Hosted by Writers Read and The School for Irish Studies.

Books will be available for sale and signing by the author after the reading.

TONIGHT: DAPHNE MARLATT & ERÍN MOURE

DAPHNE MARLATT & ERÍN MOURE: Friday, October 27th, 2017, 7 PM, EV 1.605 York Amphitheater

West Coast writer Daphne Marlatt, critically acclaimed poet and novelist, is known for her cross-genre work. Her most recent titles are Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now (2013) and Reading Sveva (2016), a poetic-ekphrastic biography of the Italian Canadian artist Sveva Caetani. This fall Talonbooks will release Marlatt’s Intertidal: Collected Earlier Poems 1968-2008, edited by Susan Holbrook.

Erín Moure is a Canadian poet and translator of poetry. A three-time finalist for the Griffin Prize, and winner of the Governor General’s Award for poetry, her 18 books include the poetry of FuriousO CidadánLittle TheatresO Resplandor, The Unmemntioable, and Kapusta, and the essays of My Beloved Wager. She has translated or co-translated 16 books of poetry, and holds two honorary doctorates, from Brandon University (Canada) and the University of Vigo (Spain).

 

Hosted by Writers Read.

coopbookstore

 

*~*~* The Co-op Bookstore will be selling books ~*~*~
The Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore is pleased to offer a viable alternative to the corporate structure, putting students’ best interests above and beyond our own bottom line. As a not-for-profit alternative to corporate bookstores, we are conveniently located right on Concordia’s downtown campus at 2150 Bishop Street in Montreal. Offering both new and used books, in addition to a wide variety of artisan consignments, we also boast the largest selection of sex and gender studies titles anywhere in Montreal. (Cash + Credit only)

Friday, November 3rd: Marina Carr

Marina Carr

Join Writers Read and the Department of Irish Studies for an evening with renowned Irish playwright Marina Carr. Her works include “By the Bog of Cats“, “On Raftery’s Hill” and an adaptation of “Anna Karenina.” She recently won the Yale University’s Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama.

See also this recently published article on Concordia News, and FB event page: Marina Carr Reading 

The event will take place on Friday, November 3rd, 2017 at 7 pm, York Amphitheatre, EV 1.605, 1515 Rue St. Catherine.

The event is co-hosted by Writers Read and The School of Irish Studies.

Friday, October 27th: “Celebrating Feminist Experimentation” with Daphne Marlatt & Erín Moure

Marlatt Moure Poster Draftv2

Join Writers Read for an evening “Celebrating Feminist Experimentation” with Daphne Marlatt and Erin Moure.

West Coast writer Daphne Marlatt, critically acclaimed poet and novelist, is known for her cross-genre work. Her most recent titles are Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now (2013) and Reading Sveva (2016), a poetic-ekphrastic biography of the Italian Canadian artist Sveva Caetani. This fall Talonbooks will release Marlatt’s Intertidal: Collected Earlier Poems 1968-2008, edited by Susan Holbrook.

Erín Moure is a Canadian poet and translator of poetry. Three-time finalist for the Griffin Prize, and winner of the Governor General’s Award for poetry, her 18 books include the poetry of FuriousO CidadánLittle TheatresO Resplandor, The Unmemntioable, and Kapusta, and the essays of My Beloved Wager. She has translated or co-translated 16 books of poetry, and holds two honorary doctorates, from Brandon University (Canada) and the University of Vigo (Spain).

The event will take place on Friday, October 27, 2017, 7PM, York Amphitheatre, EV 1.605, 1515 Rue St. Catherine.

Photos by Bridget MacKenzie (Daphne Marlatt) and Mélodie Inouie (Erín Moure).

TONIGHT: Durga Chew-Bose & Haley Mlotek – In Conversation

DURGA CHEW-BOSE & HALEY MLOTEK: Thursday, October 12th, 2017, Molson Building MB 9.A

Reading – 7pm

 

Durga Chew-Bose Is a Montréal based writer whose work has appeared in The Guardian, Buzzfeed, The Hairpin, Rolling Stone, GQ, The New Inquiry, n+1, Interview, Paper, and Hazlitt. She will present her first book, Too Much and Not the Mood (2017).

 

Haley Mlotek is a writer and editor based in New York. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, T Magazine, The New Yorker, and n+1, among others. Previously, she was the style editor of MTV News and the editor of The Hairpin.

Hosted by Writers Read.

coopbookstore

 

*~*~* The Co-op Bookstore will be selling books ~*~*~
The Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore is pleased to offer a viable alternative to the corporate structure, putting students’ best interests above and beyond our own bottom line. As a not-for-profit alternative to corporate bookstores, we are conveniently located right on Concordia’s downtown campus at 2150 Bishop Street in Montreal. Offering both new and used books, in addition to a wide variety of artisan consignments, we also boast the largest selection of sex and gender studies titles anywhere in Montreal. (Cash + Credit only)

Thursday, October 12: Durga Chew-Bose & Haley Mlotek – In Conversation

Chew-Bose Mlotek Poster

Join Writers Read for an evening “In Conversation” with Durga Chew-Bose and Haley Mlotek.

Durga Chew-Bose Is a Montréal based writer whose work has appeared in The Guardian, Buzzfeed, The Hairpin, Rolling Stone, GQ, The New Inquiry, n+1, Interview, Paper, and Hazlitt. She will present her first book, Too Much and Not the Mood (2017).

Haley Mlotek is a writer and editor based in New York. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, T Magazine, The New Yorker, and n+1, among others. Previously, she was the style editor of MTV News and the editor of The Hairpin.

The event will take place on Thursday, October 12, 7pm, in the Molson Building, Room 9.A, 1450 rue Guy.

TONIGHT: FRED MOTEN – 2017 Lahey Lecture & Reading

FRED MOTEN: Friday, September 29th, Hall Building Room H 763, 1455 de Maisonneuve

2017 Lahey Lecture – 4pm, H763

“And: A Reply to Daniel Tiffany’s ‘Cheap Signaling.'”

Poetry Reading – 7pm, H763

 

Fred Moten is Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside. Moten’s work explores black studies, performance studies, poetry and critical theory. He is the author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (2003), The Little Edges (2015), A Poetics of the Undercommons (2016), amongst many others. In 2016, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Stephen E. Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry by the African American Literature and Culture Society. The title of his lecture is “And: A Reply to Daniel Tiffany’s ‘Cheap Signaling.'” The original essay can be found here: http://bostonreview.net/poetry/daniel-tiffany-cheap-signaling-class-conflict-and-diction-avant-garde-poetry

Hosted by Writers Read and the Department of English.

coopbookstore

 

*~*~* The Co-op Bookstore will be selling books ~*~*~
The Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore is pleased to offer a viable alternative to the corporate structure, putting students’ best interests above and beyond our own bottom line. As a not-for-profit alternative to corporate bookstores, we are conveniently located right on Concordia’s downtown campus at 2150 Bishop Street in Montreal. Offering both new and used books, in addition to a wide variety of artisan consignments, we also boast the largest selection of sex and gender studies titles anywhere in Montreal. (Cash + Credit only)

Friday, September 29: An Evening With Fred Moten

Lahey Lecture 2017 Poster

Join Writers Read and the Concordia University Department of English for our 2017 Lahey Lecture, featuring Fred Moten, Professor of English at University of California, Riverside. Moten’s work explores black studies, performance studies, poetry and critical theory. He is the author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (2003), The Little Edges (2015), A Poetics of the Undercommons (2016), amongst many others. In 2016, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Stephen E. Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry by the African American Literature and Culture Society. The title of his lecture is “And: A Reply to Daniel Tiffany’s ‘Cheap Signaling.'” The original essay can be found here: http://bostonreview.net/poetry/daniel-tiffany-cheap-signaling-class-conflict-and-diction-avant-garde-poetry

The Lahey Lecture 2017 will take place on Friday, September 29, from 4-6pm, in Hall 763, and will be followed by a poetry reading from 7-8.30pm at the same location.

 

Featured Image: Fred Moten | Image by Kari Orvik

 

unspeakable, unresolvable questions — form and function in Rankine’s Citizen

In anticipation of Claudia Rankine’s visit to Concordia University we are featuring writing that responds to Rankine’s works Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely. This piece is by Concordia MA student, Chalsley Taylor. Rankine will be giving a public reading at 7pm, March 10, 2017 in the DeSeve Cinema in Concordia’s Library building on de Maisonneuve.

unspeakable, unresolvable questions — form and function in Rankine’s Citizen

By Chalsley Taylor

A body in the world drowns in it—

Hey you—

All our fevered history won’t install insight
won’t turn a body conscious,
won’t make that look
in the eyes say yes, though there is nothing

to solve

even as each moment is an answer

(Citizen, 142)

Citizen bears witness to the lack of resolution in the saga of black oppression & resistance by staging the uninterrupted violence to which black folks are subject (in America, though this violence surely exceeds borders), drawing together past and present iterations of anti-black state violence in a nonlinear fashion. Popularly compartmentalized historical violence is not simply layered upon its contemporary counterparts (whether spectacular or, as is more often the case, quotidian); rather, the two meld together and, at times, even align. This movement occurs between pronouns as well in the lyric—while Rankine most often employs the “You” to signify the speaker, there are moments in which the “You” shifts to another subject.

In these moments there is a distinct slippage between the “you” and the “I” and neither subjectivity can be located beyond doubt. From this we may begin a list of slippages: between past and present, but also between Rankine, Serena Williams, and the “I’s” and the “You’s”.

Oh my God, I didn’t see you.

You must be in a hurry, you offer.

No, no, no, I really didn’t see you. (62)

The speaker alerts us to a  temporal melding, asking, “What else to liken yourself to but an animal, the ruminant kind?” is exemplary (Rankine 60).

ruminant (OSX Dictionary.app)

noun

1. an even-toed ungulate mammal that chews the cud regurgitated from its rumen. The ruminants comprise the cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer, giraffes, and their relatives.

2. a contemplative person; a person given to meditation.

“The process of rechewing the cud to further break down plant matter and stimulate digestion is called rumination.” (Wikipedia)

Characterizing the speaking subject as categorically “ruminant” conjures the transatlantic slave trade but also delineates the monotony of anti-black oppression, its banal iterations inscribed and re-inscribed upon the self. Yet still, its double meaning permits the “ruminant” their subjectivity. Moreover, if we consider the Wikipedia definition it seems to imply a coping strategy while also indicting this state by affirming the obligation to digest (process), again and again, what you have already swallowed. It would not be going too far to say rumination (as in rechewing) becomes a dominant modality of the text, one which “doesn’t include acting like…the before isn’t part of the now” (10). This connects to another slippage, one between text and image. Here the lyric form is stretched and pieces of visual art are included. Very early on, we are met with a benign-looking photograph of a suburban street, “JIM CROW RD” (Rankine 6).

Melding, however, is not always made so clear. 

Words work as release–well-oiled doors opening and closing between intention, gesture. A pulse in a neck, the shiftiness of the hands, an unconscious blink, the conversations you have with your eyes translate everything and nothing. What will be needed, what goes unfelt, unsaid–what has been duplicated, redacted here, redacted there, altered to hide or disguise–words encoding the bodies they cover. And despite everything the body remains. (69)

This passage holds an ambiguous, undefined object. Upon my first reading, what initially sprung to my mind was the routine appropriation of black culture (accusations of which are so often invalidated by an insistence that black culture is but a self-serving fiction); upon my second turn, I read therein the prison-industrial complex. As amorphous as the references are here–what goes unfelt, unsaid–it well demonstrates a major accomplishment of the text as a whole; here, as elsewhere in the lyric, the mechanics of oppression are distilled to reveal their pervasiveness, their persistence, their infinite applicability. This ambiguity side-steps the potential for didacticism.

The temporal slippage also manifests a rejection of, as previously mentioned, any claims of resolution inserted into narratives of what is known as Black History. In large part, materials on the subject which are promoted/widely circulated during Black History Month (i.e., through corporate media, educational institutions and state apparatuses) present accounts whose narrative rarely lacks a resolute conclusion, “as if then and now were not the same moment” (Rankine 86). Even some current efforts which push back, in part, against sanctioned BHM rituals seem to imply some form of resolution, if only cursorily. (See Jamal Joseph, activist and director of the film Chapter & Verse, talks to Desus and Mero about his early days in the Black Panthers) In this way Citizen refuses state commemoration as described by Achille Mbembe:

… states have sought to ‘civilise’ the ways in which the archive might be consumed, not by attempting to destroy its material substance but through the bias of commemoration. In this framework, the ultimate objective of commemoration is less to remember than to forget. For a memory to exist, there first has to be the temptation to repeat an original act. Commemoration, in contrast, is part of the ritual of forgetting: one bids farewell to the desire or the willingness to repeat something. ‘Learning’ to forget is all the easier if, on the one hand, whatever is to be forgotten passes into folklore (when it is handed over to the people at large), and if, on the other hand, it becomes part of the universe of commodification.

(“The Power of the Archive and Its Limits”, Refiguring the Archive)

This practice of civilizing the archive is evidenced at Arthur Ashe’s appearance in the text, the tennis legend who is (now) remembered as “‘dignified’ and ‘courageous’ in his ability to confront injustice without making a scene,” beloved in his field postmortem (Rankine 35, 31). (And here we may also think of the sanitized nostalgia proliferated following the 2016 death of Muhammad Ali.) Perhaps Citizen rejects its own entombing via this irresolution, if not preventing it. While this rejection does not only manifest in this strategy (the slippery pronouns also work to this end), irresolution appears, to me, the guiding principle: “We never reached out to anyone to tell our story, because there’s no ending to our story” (Rankine 84).

The Things We Tell Each Other: A Response to Claudia Rankine’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely”

In anticipation of Claudia Rankine’s visit to Concordia University this week we will feature writing that responds to Rankine’s works Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely. Rankine will be giving a public reading at 7pm, March 10, 2017 in the DeSeve Cinema in Concordia’s Library building on de Maisonneuve. Books will be for sale by the Co-op bookstore and Rankine will be available for signing after the reading.

The Things We Tell Each Other: A Response to Claudia Rankine’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely”

By Eli Lynch

DontLetMeBeLonelyMy therapist tells me it’s important to understand that something can be more than one thing at a time; multiple truths can exist at the same time.  This is a hard fact I need to learn, and as I reread Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (Graywolf 2004), I feel Claudia Rankine’s speaker reiterating this to me, “I could choose that […] or rather I could be all that I am – fictional,” (104) and the complexity of being, the choices and the differences, all become part of this fiction. The things we tell each other to feel better or worse.

Z texts me “truths are multipleand sends me a juggling emoji. This reiteration grounds me, reminds me that I’m here, with this book, existing in multiplicities. I start looking for more grounding truths. I start carrying Rankine’s book around, rereading passages whenever I feel sad or lonely or lost, in the metro, at work, during parties.

Don’t Let Me Be Lonely feels relevant every time I read it, which speaks to the strength and multiplicity of Rankine’s poems, of her words, of her perspective. In times when the inherent racism and misogyny of the world is becoming more obvious even to people not directly affected, the subtleties of Rankine’s criticisms of class, race, and privilege are  particularly important. When the speaker says, “In third world countries, I have felt overwhelmingly American, calcium-rich, privileged, and white,” Rankine is addressing the privilege money and class afford her. While the idea that a black woman feels white initially confuses, given the historical and ongoing mistreatment of black people around the world, the comparison of the nursing home and the third world country works particularly well. While I could paraphrase Rankine’s words, it is important to share the exact quote. I read these words  to my friend while they bake at a café, on the phone to my best friend, I copy them down for you: 

Here I feel young, lucky, and sad. Sad is one of those words that has given up its life for our country, it’s been a martyr for the American dream, it’s been neutralized, co-opted by our cultures to suggest a tinge of discomfort that lasts the time it takes for this and then for that to happen, the time it takes to change a channel. But sadness is real because once it meant something real. It meant dignified, grave; it meant trustworthy, it meant exceptionally bad, deplorable, shameful, it meant massive, weighty, forming a compact body; it meant falling heavily, and it meant of a colour; dark. It meant dark in colour, to darken. It meant me. I felt sad. (108)

The first time I read Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, I had just made the choice not to  fly to the Middle East (I later rebooked my flight due to convincing on my sister’s part). I had grounded myself here in Montreal, in the appearance of safety. In what appeared to be living. Having meant to fly to Lebanon that day, with a layover in Turkey, I sat staring at my phone in my new and empty apartment, wondering how I might have just missed death.  A couple of hours before I was supposed to fly into Turkey, a bomb went off in the Istanbul Atatürk airport, killing forty-five people. At the time, I didn’t feel much. But later, questioning my continued mourning, my survivor’s guilt started to sink in. This phenomenon happened a lot during 9/11; a documentary was made about people who weren’t on the plane that day, who were supposed to be, who missed their flight, and also missed their death. They felt immense guilt. While initially you may read this and wonder how someone willfeel bad when they have been afforded the chance to live, but imagine the weight of death hanging over you the way it hung over them. The weight of death hung over me, hung over the 9/11 survivors, hangs over Rankine’s speaker throughout Don’t Let Me Be Lonely. Rankine’s speaker, addressing the loss around them, seems to feel survivor’s guilt. Maybe this is the speaker’s sadness. And loneliness. However, despite the death permeating through Rankine’s book, the poems are alive, and the feeling one gets when reading them is a moment of alive.

DontLetmebelonely_Here        

But isn’t being alive just holding on to something that will keep you going and spark some feeling in you, whether you understand it or not? Another way of thinking about being alive is being grounded. When your partner holds your hand while you’re having a panic attack, when you drink water after crying, when your best friend tells you “I am here for you,” when you make a decision that feels right for you. Rankine’s book uses these same grounding methods, the end of the lyric articulating this sentiment. The speakers says, “Here. I am here,” grounding their body in the immediate, an image of a billboard stuck into the ground with the word HERE on it accompanying the text. The speaker continues, “This conflation of the solidity of presence with the offering of this same presence perhaps has everything to do with being alive” (130). The lyric is ends saying, despite all of this, despite the fatigue and the loneliness, the hope, the family, despite capitalism and racism, I am here. You are here. “Why are we here if not for each other” (62).

Rankine. Friday. Montreal.

In anticipation of Claudia Rankine’s visit to Concordia University this week we will feature writing by Concordia students responding to Claudia Rankine’s works Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely. For now, here are the details and an article from New Statesmen: United states of prejudice: Claudia Rankine’s powerful interrogations of racism

citizen-134

Subtitled An American Lyric, Citizen has a stylistic precursor in Rankine’s 2004 volume, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, now receiving its first publication in the UK. The two works share a preoccupation with trauma and the American psyche. They mix prose poetry with the lyric essay and are based in part on testimonies in real-life interviews, ventriloquised into the first person. The form is bold, experimental and fragmented.

-BERNARDINE EVARISTO, New Statesman, 2017

 

An Evening with Claudia Rankine

March 10, 2017
7pm
J.A. de Sève Cinema, Webster Library, Concordia University, 1400 Boulevard de Maisonneuve O, Montréal

Citizen Artist Feature: Toyin Ojih Odutola

Toyin Ojih Odutola‘s piece Uncertain yet Reserved is featured in Claudia Rankine’s book Citizen: An American Lyric. Rankine will be reading at Concordia University on March 10, 2017. Details here. Ojih Odutola (b. 1985, Ife, Nigeria) is a visual artist who creates drawings exploiting diverse mediums to emphasize how an image is a striated terrain to mine beyond formulaic representation.

toyin-ojih-odutola-alphabet

When I draw my brothers in particular, I exploit the feminine. I always give them huge lashes and I always capture them in poses that are not quintessential black male poses. There’s one piece that’s based on a photo I took at the Abuja airport, which is absolute chaos, where my brother’s head is cocked up and there’s a tinge of terror in his eyes. He was trying so hard to be this calm, cool black dude. I loved that. I called the piece Uncertain yet Reserved (2012) because he was reserving everything. He was trying so hard to hold onto his blackness, his maleness, but he was very scared and neither of us knew what was going on. It’s the slight sense of uncertainty where his eyes are wavering. I love that kind of portrayal. The whole point of exploiting that gender construct is to get at the person and not get at the label that society wants to put on them. It’s all about the social construct of an identity and the reality of a person, which are very different things.

-Toyin Ojih  Odutola speaking to Zachary Rosen on Africa is a Country, Culture (2012)

The cover image for this post (the  portrait of Odutola) is from Interview Magazine and was taken by Vicente Muñoz.

An Evening with Claudia Rankine

 

hc-claudia-rankine-in-new-haven-0618-20150611

An Evening with Claudia Rankine:

March 10, 2017
7pm
J.A. de Sève Cinema, Webster Library, Concordia University, 1400 Boulevard de Maisonneuve O, Montréal

Join us for a reading and discussion with Claudia Rankine. She is the author of five collections of poetry including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; and is the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. In 2016, she was the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.

For updates and details find us online.

WritersReadConcordia.ca

@CUWritersRead

FB/ WritersReadConcordia

 

Writers Read is one of a long tradition of diverse literary reading series at Concordia University and has recently hosted such authors as Trish Salah, Mary Ruefle, Ben Lerner, Dionne Brand, and Roxane Gay. Writers read is supported by the Faculty of Arts & Science at Concordia University and the English Department.

 

 

The Racial Imaginary

theracialimaginary

…our imaginations are creatures as limited as we ourselves are. They are not some special, uninfiltrated realm that transcends the messy realities of our lives and minds. To think of creativity in terms of transcendence is itself specific and partial—a lovely dream perhaps, but an inhuman one.

-Claudia Rankine and Beth Loffreda via LitHub, which published a version of the foreword to the collection of essays, edited by Rankine and Loffreda, titled, The Racial Imaginary (Fence Books 2015). Also see Claudia Rankine: why I’m spending $625,000 to study whiteness.

Claudia Rankine will be at Concordia University, Montreal, on March 10th, 2016. Details TBA.

Fall 2022 Season

Writers Read is back in-person! Follow us on Instagram @writersreadconcordia for reminders closer to each event’s date. All can be found at Concordia’s Events calendar.

Thursday, October 20th

Reading and Q&A with Xochitl Gonzalez

10 – 11:15 AM at LB 322. 

In honor of Latin-American Heritage Month, the U.S. Consulate in Montreal is sponsoring a talk by The New York Times best-selling author Xochitl Gonzalez. Gonzalez is the author of the novel Olga Dies Dreaming, and a graduate from Iowa’s MFA. Josip Novakovich will hosting the reading, and there will be space for questions from the audience.

New Grub Street: Non-Fiction Panel

12:30 – 2 PM at Floating Box (MB 2.130) in the John Molson Building.

Join us at Concordia for New Grub Street, a Non-Fiction Panel. Panelists Durga Chew-Bose, Perry King, and Taras Grescoe will cover writing on food, sports, and travel, among others, and discuss the intricacies of their careers in non-fiction. There will be a Q&A session moderated by Haley Mlotek.

This event is free and open to the public. Note that capacity is limited to fifty attendants. Registration link: https://forms.gle/Nji6LzhJQs8R25D36

Tuesday, October 25th

Reading and Q&A with Kasia Van Schaik

7 PM at LB 320.

Kasia Van Schaik is the author of the linked story collection, We Have Never Lived on Earth, and the poetry chapbook, Sea Burial Laws According to Country. Her writing has appeared in the LA Review of Books, CBC Books, The Rumpus, Maisonneuve Magazine, Electric Literature, the Best Canadian Poetry Anthology, and elsewhere. A postdoctoral fellow at Concordia University, Kasia is currently working on a book of cultural criticism entitled Women Among Monuments and is also co-editing an essay collection, Shelter in Text, which interrogates the relationship between the physical and textual spaces we inhabit. Kasia lives in Tiohti:áke (Montreal).

“My collection of linked short stories We Have Never Lived On Earth explores the constraints facing young women at the beginning of the 21st century, which include the feminist backlash of the 1990s and early 2000s, and the growing recognition of climate disaster. The main character, Charlotte, arrives in Canada as a young girl in the late 1990s where she must learn to navigate sexuality, friendship, gendered violence—both internalized and externalized—and cultural alienation during these formative years. But the world around her is in trouble as well. Earthquakes, wildfires, disappearing islands and animal species, wounded sea creatures, trash-strewn shores and rising levels of microplastics make up the environments and textures of these stories. With this book, I want to reflect on how our sense of threatened ecological futurity echoes and amplifies the precarious position of being a woman in the world.”

Tuesday, November 8th

How to Make Money (and Ideally Have a Little Fun) Writing for the Screen with Arthur Holden

12 – 1:30 PM at LB 322. 

Arthur Holden will briefly talk about the distinction between writing scripts for theatrical release and writing scripts for TV in its various forms: free broadcast, cable networks and online subscription (ie. Netflix).

Focus will be placed on:

– writing animation scripts for kids’ TV

– writing made-for-TV movies

– adapting non-English-language productions for broadcast in dubbed versions.

Holden will touch on working methods, the operative differences between purely creative writing and writing-for-hire, and writing for series TV. Questions are encouraged. There will be an opportunity for students to talk about their own script ideas – or ongoing projects – and to discuss possible strategies for developing and selling those ideas in Montreal and the wider world.

Cancelled — Shani Mootoo & Helen Humphreys: A Reading & Conversation Cancelled

Cancelled — Concordia’s Writers Read, the Student Association for Graduates in English (SAGE) & the Department of English present Shani Mootoo & Helen Humphreys.

Dear Friends, from Sina Queyras at Writers Read on Facebook: We have had to cancel our March 20 event with Helen Humphreys and Shani Mootoo, but we are sending love and strength to you all and looking forward to seeing you all at the other side of these strange days.


Cancelled — 7-9 pm, Friday March 20th, 2020

York Amphitheatre, EV-1.605, Main Floor
EV Building, 1515 St. Catherine W, Concordia University
Free. All are welcome.
Wheelchair accessible
Attendees can use gender-neutral bathrooms at the following locations:
EV S3.408, S2.408, 1.42, 2.406, 2.608, 3.408 and 3.608.

About Shani Mootoo

Shani Mootoo is the much-loved author of the novels Cereus Blooms at Night, which was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize; He Drown She in the Sea, which was longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award; and Valmiki’s Daughter, which was also longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Mootoo was born in Ireland and grew up in Trinidad. She immigrated to Vancouver more than 30 years ago and now lives near Toronto. Mootoo’s released her latest novel, Polar Vortex, this month through Book*hug Press.

About Helen Humphreys

Helen Humphreys is the award-winning author of eight novels, four works of creative non-fiction and four books of poetry. Her writing has been published internationally and optioned for film, theatre, opera and television. She lives and writes in Kingston, Ontario.

Books by the authors will be for sale.

 

Helen Humphreys

A masterclass with Helen Humphreys (Kingston)

Writers Read presents a masterclass with Helen Humphreys (Students only)
Friday March 20, 2 – 3 pm
Room LB 646, Department of English
LB Building, Concordia University
Please note: All students are welcome and are required to register.
Limited to 30 seats.

Helen Humphreys is the award-winning author of eight novels, four
works of creative non- fiction, and four books of poetry. Her writing
has been published internationally and optioned for film, theatre,
opera, and television. She lives and writes in Kingston, Ontario.

TO REGISTER: Visit sign-up sheet outside Sina Queyras’ office,
S-LB 674-02. Please include your name, email address & status
(department, undergraduate, or graduate.)