A Partly Common Language: Roundtable on the Poetics Essay

Thursday, November 17, 2022

12:30 pm PST / 3:30 pm EST 

Online on Zoom (registration through Eventbrite here)

Most often someone writing a poem believes in, depends on, a delicate, vibrating range of difference, that an “I” can become a “we” without extinguishing others, that a partly common language exists to which strangers can bring their own heartbeat, memories, images.

—Adrienne Rich, “Someone Is Writing A Poem”

To celebrate the release of Issue 3.48 (Fall 2022), the third and final volume of our 50th anniversary glossary series, The Capilano Review invites you to join us for “A Partly Common Language: Roundtable on The Poetics Essay,” featuring Nicole Brossard, Stephen Collis, Larissa Lai, Jami Macarty, and D.S. Marriott.

This roundtable explores the genre of the poetics essay: a creative, critical (or often hybrid) work that analyzes how poetry makes its meaning. It can champion a particular form or mode of expression, or explore a more broadly encompassing worldview from which poetic language emerges. It can offer context around the work of a poet, placing it in a cultural, political, and/or historical milieu. Each of the roundtable speakers, who have published work in the 50th anniversary issues that takes poetics as a point of contemplation, will read a short selection from their text. TCR Literary Editor Deanna Fong will lead a moderated discussion with the speakers, focusing on poetics as a crossroads between individual expression and cultural registers of speech—a “partly common language.” The discussion will be followed by a short Q&A. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of English at Simon Fraser University.

Accessibility and joining information
The event will be held over Zoom. Attendees are asked to pre-register through Eventbrite

Please note that the event will be recorded. You may turn off your camera and/or change your screen name if you wish to remain anonymous. If you would like to ask a question anonymously, you can enter it into the chat and a moderator will read it out loud for you.

The Capilano Review is committed to ensuring an inclusive and respectful environment for all that is free of harassment, violence, and discrimination. We will not tolerate any disrespectful conduct at the event, and are committed to preventing and eliminating inappropriate behaviour through active moderation.

Presenters’ Biographies

Nicole Brossard is a poet, novelist, and essayist from Montréal. Her first publication was in 1965. She was a Governor General’s Literary Award recipient in 1974 and 1984. Her most recent book in English translation is Avant Desire (an anthology of her work edited by Sina Queyras, Geneviève Robichaud, and Erin Wunker). In 2019, she received The Griffin Lifetime Recognition Award.

Stephen Collis is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including The Commons (Talonbooks, 2008), On the Material (Talonbooks, 2010), Once in Blockadia (Talonbooks, 2016), and A History of the Theories of Rain (Talonbooks, 2021). He lives near Vancouver, on unceded Coast Salish Territory, and teaches poetry and poetics at Simon Fraser University.

Larissa Lai has written eight books, including The Tiger Flu (Arsenal Pulp, 2018) and Iron Goddess of Mercy (Arsenal Pulp, 2021). Recipient of the Duggins Novelist’s Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Astraea Award, she holds a Canada Research Chair at the University of Calgary where she directs The Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing.

Jami Macarty gratefully recognizes Native Nations of the West as the traditional and rightful owners of lands where she has the great privilege to live and learn—as a teacher at Simon Fraser University, as an independent editor, and as a writer of essays, reviews, and poetry. Jami is the author of The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020), winner of the 2020 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award – Poetry Arizona, and three chapbooks, including Mind of Spring (Vallum, 2017), winner of the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award.

D. S. Marriott teaches at Emory University, where he is the Charles T. Winship Professor of Philosophy. His most recent books include Before Whiteness (City Lights, 2022), Lacan Noir: Lacan and Afro-pessimism (Palgrave, 2021), and Whither Fanon? Studies in the Blackness of Being (Stanford, 2018). D.S. Marriott currently lives in Atlanta. 

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