Taking the time to drown

Sussurri dall’Acqua, an Italian translation of Canadian poet Maureen Scott Harris’s Drowning Lessons by translator Alessandra Bordini, will be featured at the Italian Cultural Centre, Il Centro, on March 30. Bordini will read from selected excerpts in English and Italian, accompanied by the Toronto-based poet and 2005 Trillium award winner. Bordini first became interested in…

Poet Laureate digs deep to reclaim Surrey’s identity

The newly appointed Poet Laureate for the City of Surrey, Renée Saklikar, incorporates her poet practice of place and community to connect people living in Surrey. “Being a Poet Laureate for the City of Surrey is both terrifying and wonderful all at the same time,” says Renée Saklikar. Saklikar, a local author, won the 2014…

Salmon farming, skiing and Santa Lucia: Swedish traditions live on

Elinor Barr, a researcher on Scandinavian immigration to Canada, launched last month a comprehensive new historical book at Vancouver’s Scandinavian Community Centre. Swedes in Canada: Invisible Immigrants is the first comprehensive overview of Swedish-Canadian history. Born in Ignace, Ontario to Swedish parents, Barr, 82, lived in Port Arthur and Fort William, where she worked as…

South of Fraser region finds its artistic voice

Artists and writers from across Delta, Langley, Surrey and White Rock will gather later this month to examine and celebrate the diversity of the region as part of a symposium called Sound Thinking: Voicing the City In/verse. Surrey poet and symposium co-convenor Phinder Dulai explains. “It’s about the uttered voice; it’s about the spoken voice.…

Ricepaper celebrates 20 years

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Ricepaper is planning a special 20.4 issue to coincide with the release of alliterAsian: The Best of Ricepaper, an anthology launched at the October Vancouver Writers’ Festival. Ricepaper, the longest running publication dedicated to Asian Canadian writing, is currently also the only literary magazine dedicated to Southeast Asian Canadian writing.…

Author explores the future and technology

What will the future look like? The 21st century has been a time of much technological advancement, so it is not difficult to imagine a technological nirvana in the future. Canadian author Hal Niedzviecki’s Trees on Mars: Our Obsession with the Future explores people’s understanding of the future and how people have embraced technology in…

Filling in the gaps in Chinese-Canadian history

Putting ink to an almost ignored part of 19th Century China, author Paul Yee’s latest novel, A Superior Man, tries to imagine the lives and mindsets of peasants trying to survive chaotic times. Yee launches his latest book in the Alice MacKay Room, at the Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch (Oct. 14, 6:30–8:30 p.m.). The…

Underwater project stirs interest in Chinatown history

A digital storytelling workshop, Underwater Chinatown, is stirring the waters and capturing what floats to the surface. Cinevolution hopes Underwater Chinatown will open up new dialogues between newcomer communities and the established Chinese-Canadian community through a creative exploration of the symbolic meaning of Chinatown. The free event runs Sept. 26 and is already filled to…

A little luck goes a long way: Chinese Canadian author reflects on career

Boy is it ever good to be lucky.That’s how Canadian writer Wayson Choy feels after passing each barrier put in front of him throughout life. Choy’s good luck streak doesn’t seem to be ending. He was recently awarded the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding long-time contributions to B.C. literature. He received $5,000 and…

American sign language on stage

Songs, poems, stories and speeches are created with words, the main ingredient for the Verses Festival in Vancouver this year. The Verses Festival of Words celebrates the power of oral and literary art forms to encourage diversity and inclusion. The festival has its roots in 2011 as the Vancouver International Poetry Festival, where the first…

Symposium celebrates role of history in artistic inspiration

Black History Month celebrates the contributions of black Canadians to Canadian life, including in many different forms of art. As part of this celebration, the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) has organized a series of screenings, lectures and exhibits, including the Reading Black History Symposium. Participating artists will present some of their own work, as well…