Michelle Sylliboy, a Mi’kmaq (L’nu) artist/author, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised on unceded territory in We’koqmaq Cape Breton. Arriving on the art scene in 1995, her Interdisciplinary art practice embodies some of her own life experiences which has led her to work with emerging and professional artists from all over Turtle Island. Michelle recently moved back to her territory after living and working on unceded Coast Salish territory for the past twenty-seven years. While in Vancouver, she learned to capture and intrigue the art community with her Interdisciplinary style of work. She gathers much of her inspiration from personal tales, the environment, and her L’nuk culture. PhD Candidate, Michelle is working on her Philosophy of Education Doctorate Degree fieldwork where she will combine her artistic background and education by creating a L’nuk Komqwejwi’kasikl (Hieroglyphic) curriculum with L’nuk teachers and Elders in Cape Breton.
Juliane Okot Bitek
In 100 Days (University of Alberta Press, 2016), Juliane Okot Bitek writes a poem a day for one hundred days in the summer of 2014 on the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. 100 Days won the 2017 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry, the 2016 Foreword INDIES Poetry Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for both the 2017 Pat Lowther Award and the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Juliane’s latest chapbook, Sublime: Lost Words is available online from The Elephants. Aside from poetry, Juliane also writes creative non-fiction, fiction and essays. She is currently wrestling a beast of a dissertation (on the lost memory of the 1979 sinking of a ship on Lake Victoria) at UBC’s Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program, where she is completing her doctorate.
Ian Hatcher is a writer, performer, and programmer whose work explores cognition in the context of digital systems. Recent output includes a vinyl/mp3 record, Drone Pilot (cOsmOsmOse 2017); a print poetry collection, Prosthesis (Poor Claudia 2016); and numerous screen poems, including the iOS app Abra, created with Amaranth Borsuk and Kate Durbin. His code-inflected vocal performances have been widely presented in North America and Europe. He received his MFA from Brown University and lives in New York.
Fred Moten is author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, Hughson’s Tavern, B. Jenkins, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (with Stefano Harney), The Feel Trio, and The Little Edges. A three-volume collection of essays, Stolen Life/consent not to be a single being/Black and Blur, and a new book of poems, The Service Porch, are forthcoming in 2016. Moten teaches at the University of California, Riverside and also serves intermittently as a writing faculty member in the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College and in the Summer Writers Program at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Naropa Institute. Co-founder and co-publisher (with Joseph Donahue) of a small literary press called Three Count Pour, Moten lives in Los Angeles with his partner, Laura Harris, and their sons Lorenzo and Julian.
TCR would like to thank the Canada Council’s Visiting Foreign Artist program, the SFU Department of English, and the Western Front for their support of Moten’s visit.
Kevin Killian & Dodie Bellamy
Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian have worked steadily in the long-running Poets Theater in the Bay Area since the late 1980s and between them have written parts of, or all of, nearly fifty plays, in collaboration with such English language poets as Leslie Scalapino, Barbara Guest, Brian Kim Stefans, Norma Cole, and dozens of others. We’re going to write a series of short ten minute plays, rewrite them, cast them, stage them, direct them, panic about them, cut those terrible slow first ten minutes from them, and then on Saturday night we’ll deliver a fully participatory, multimedia extravaganza like Peter Brook or Robert Wilson might do if they had only a tiny budget and actors better at being poets than stars. But as Aleister Crowley said, in Vancouver, “The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die.” All welcome to participate—every man and every woman is a star.
Kevin Killian is a San Francisco-based writer and artist. His books include Bedrooms Have Windows, Shy, Little Men, Impossible Princess, Action Kylie, two volumes of Selected Amazon Reviews, and Tweaky Village. Recent projects include a novel, Spreadeagle, from Publication Studio, and Tagged, intimate portraits of poets, artists, writers, musicians, etc.
Dodie Bellamy’s latest books are The TV Sutras (Ugly Duckling) and Cunt Norton (Les Figues). Her chapbook Barf Manifesto was named best book of 2009 under 30 pages by Time Out New York. Her reflections on the Occupy Oakland movement, “The Beating of Our Hearts,” was published by Semiotext(e) in conjunction with the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
TCR would like to thank the Canada Council’s Visiting Foreign Artists program for their support of this visit.
Barry McKinnon has published nine books of poetry (most recently In the Millennium, New Star, 2009 and The Centre: Poems 1970-2000, Talonbooks, 2004) and countless chapbooks. His book, The the, was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for poetry in 1980. Pulp Log won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award in 1991, and Arrhythmia was the winner of the bp Nichol Chapbook Award for the best chapbook published in Canada in English in 1994. His chapbook Surety Disappears was the runner-up for the bp Nichol Award in 2008.
Cole Swensen is the author of fourteen volumes of poetry, most recently Gravesend (U. of California Press, 2012), Greensward (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010), and Ours (U. of California Press, 2008), and a volume of essays, Noise That Stays Noise (U. of Michigan Press, 2011). She is the co-editor of the 2009 Norton anthology American Hybrid, the founding editor of La Presse Books, which specializes in contemporary French writing translated by English-language poets, and a translator of twelve books of contemporary French poetry and prose. Cole taught at the University of Denver and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop before moving to the Literary Arts Program at Brown University where she now teaches.
TCR would like to thank the Canada Council’s Visiting Foreign Artists program for their support of Cole’s visit.
Bhanu Kapil lives in Colorado where she teaches writing and thinking at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, as well as Goddard College’s low-residency MFA. She teaches across genres, with a particular focus on experimental prose writing. Recent classes at Naropa have engaged architecture, animal studies, performance art, and memory as ways to approach or navigate contemporary narrative and poetics. Kapil has written four full-length, cross-genre works: The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers (Kelsey Street Press 2001), Incubation: a space for monsters (Leon Works 2006), humanimal [a project for future children] (Kelsey Street Press 2009), and Schizophrene (Nightboat Books 2011). Currently, she is writing a novel of the race riot, BAN. An on-going experimental pedagogy and reflection can be found at her blog: Was Gertrude Stein a Punjabi?.
TCR would like to thank the Canada Council’s Visiting Foreign Artists program for their support of Kapil’s visit.
Sharon Thesen is a BC-based poet and editor. She lived for many years in Vancouver, where she taught in the English Department at Capilano College and was one of the editors of The Capilano Review. Her books of poetry from House of Anansi Press include, most recently, Oyama Pink Shale, The Good Bacteria, and A Pair of Scissors. A Talonbooks selected poems, News & Smoke, was published in 2001. She is the editor, with Ralph Maud, of Charles Olson and Frances Boldereff: A Modern Correspondence (Wesleyan) and of the upcoming second volume of those letters, After Completion: The Later Letters (Talonbooks). She has edited two editions of The New Long Poem Anthology for Coach House Press and Talonbooks. Chapbooks include From Toledo (Gorse Press) and Weeping Willow published by the Quartermain’s Nomados Press. She is a professor of Creative Writing at UBC Okanagan.
Tom Cone was a Vancouver legend: playwright, librettist, lecturer and teacher, impresario, curator and promoter of cultural hybrids, and nurturer of the avant-garde, he was a major force behind Vancouver’s experimental art, music and theatre scene. Tom Cone’s many plays include True Mummy, Love at Last Sight, Herringbone; his adaptations of classic plays include Moliere’s The Miser and Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters; his librettos include The Architect for Vancouver Opera and The Gang for Vancouver New Music. He was the founder of projects extraordinaires: Songroom – a salon for new song collaborations, and CABINET, Interdisciplinary Collaborations – an experimental arts collective.
George Stanley was born in San Francisco where, in the 1960s, he was part of the San Francisco Renaissance which included Robert Duncan, Robin Blaser, and Jack Spicer. He moved to Vancouver in the 1970s. His books include Gentle Northern Summer (New Star 1995), At Andy’s (New Star 2000), his selected poems, A Tall, Serious Girl (Qua Books 2003), Seniors (Nomados 2006), and Vancouver: A Poem (New Star 2008), a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Award. In 2006 George Stanley won the Poetry Society of America’s annual Shelley Award.
Fred Wah is an acclaimed writer of poetry, fiction, and criticism. He was born in Saskatchewan, grew up in the West Kootenays, and studied music and English literature at UBC in the early 1960s where he was one of the founding editors of the poetry newsletter TISH. His book of prose poems, Waiting for Saskatchewan won the Governor General’s Award in 1986. With Frank Davey, he edited the first ever online literary magazine, SwiftCurrent. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction has received numerous literary awards. He was Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate 2011-2013 and made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013. Recent books include Sentenced to Light, his collaborations with visual artists, and is a door, a series of poems about hybridity. High Muck a Muck: Playing Chinese, An Interactive Poem, is available online (http://highmuckamuck.ca/). His recent writing involves the Columbia River (http://www.riverrelations.ca/new-page) and he is currently adapting his biofiction Diamond Grill as a radio play for Kootenay Co-Op Radio. Scree: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1962-1991 was published in 2015 and his collaboration with Rita Wong, beholden: a poem as long as the river, has been published by Talonbooks in the fall of 2018.
Ingrid de Kok
Ingrid de Kok grew up in Stilfontein, a gold mining town in South Africa. In 1977 she emigrated to Ontario, Canada and returned to Cape Town in 1984. She has a MA from Queen’s University. Her poetry books, Familiar Ground, Transfer, and Terrestrial Things were published in South Africa and her work has been given much attention in Europe, the US, and Canada. It has been translated into Italian, Japanese, French, and Dutch. She co-edited Spring is Rebellious: Albie Sachs and Respondents on Cultural Freedom and, amongst many other projects, contributed to Negotiating the Past: The Making of Memory in South Africa, and It all begins: Poems from Postliberation South Africa. Her poems have appeared in West Coast Line and in Sulfur.
In 1999, De Kok was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Residency Fellowship in Bellagio, Italy and, in 2003, she spent further time in Italy on a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship.
he has read poetry and taught workshops at various national and international events, such as the Djibouti Les Temps de Livres Festival in 1997 and Poetry International, Rotterdam Festival of South African Poets in 1998. She has read poetry at various universities, programmes and festivals in Italy, the United States and Canada, including Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, NYU, Fordham University, Columbia, Indiana University, SUNY (Buffalo), Brock, McGill, Queen’s and Concordia Universities.
August Kleinzahler is the author of six collections of poetry: Red Sauce, Whiskey and Snow (Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 1995), Like Cities, Like Storms (Pan American, 1992), Earthquake Weather (Moyer Bell, 1989), Storm over Hackensack (Moyer Bell, 1985) and A Calendar of Airs (Coach House Press, 1978). Of his most recent work The Economist wrote, “Kleinzahler’s poems in Red Sauce, Whiskey and Snow jerk and snap their fingers at you all the time. High and low vocabularies hang out together. They are hectic, pulsing things, ever alive to the music of words when spoken. … In these democratic qualities, they take us back to Walt Whitman and his inventive recklessness with words.”
August Kleinzahler’s work has appeared in numerous journals and newspapers, among them American Poetry Review, Harper’s, Kenyon Review, Los Angeles Times, London Review of Books, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, Poetry, San Diego Reader, The Threepenny Review, and The Washington Post Book World.
Kleinzahler has been anthologized in Postmodern American Poetry, A Norton Anthology (1994), Walk on the Wild Side: Urban American Poetry since 1975 (Scribners, 1994), Moment ‘s Notice: Jazz in Poetry and Prose (Coffee House Press, 1993), Best American Poetry: 1988 and 1995 (Scribners), and Pushcart Prize: 1985-1986 and 1995-1996. He has received awards from the General Electric Foundation, The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Lila Wallace-Readers’ Digest Fund, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Peter Quartermain taught contemporary poetry and poetics at the University of British Columbia for over 30 years, retiring in 1999. He has written or edited numerous articles and several books, including Basil Bunting: Poet of the North (1990) and Disjunctive Poetics (1992); with the English poet Richard Caddel he edited Other: British and Irish Poetry Since 1970 (1999), and, with Rachel Blau DuPlessis, The Objectivist Nexus: Essays in Cultural Poetics (1999).
From the late seventies until the late nineties he and his wife Meredith ran Slug Press, producing hand-set letter-press poetry broadsides by such writers as Helen Adam, Charles Bernstein, Robin Blaser, George Bowering, Richard Caddel, Robert Creeley, James Laughlin, Daphne Marlatt, Michael McClure, bpNichol, Sharon Thesen, Fred Wah, Phyllis Webb, Louis Zukofsky and others. They are currently setting up Keefer Street Press for limited-edition letter-press work.
Quartermain has spent the last five years completing his memoir, Growing Dumb: My English Education. Parts of it have appeared in Golden Handcuffs Review, The Capilano Review and other publications, and he has shared some of it with audiences in Vancouver, London and New York. For 30 years he taught poetry and poetics at UBC. In between spasms of book- and manuscript-reviewing, he has taught in the Summer Writing Program at Naropa University and is gathering materials for a collection of his essays.
Lisa Robertson’s books include Cinema of the Present, Debbie: An Epic (nominated for the Governor General’s Award in Canada), The Men, The Weather, R’s Boat (poetry) and Occasional Works and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture (essays). Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip (Coach House) was named one of The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2010, and was longlisted for the 2011 Warwick Prize for Writing. A past member of the Kootenay School of Writing, she lived in Vancouver and worked as a freelance writer and teacher for many years. Robertson has taught poetry at Cambridge University, (where she was Judith E Wilson Visiting Fellow in Poetry 1999), the Kootenay School of Writing, Dartington Art College (UK), Hugo House (Seattle), University of California, Berkeley; UC San Diego; American University of Paris, and in The Capilano Review‘s Writing Practices Program at Capilano College. She currently lives in France.
A former editor at Books in Canada and columnist for The Globe and Mail, Brian Fawcett is one of Canada’s most inventive and important novelists. In addition to several volumes of poetry, Fawcett has produced a prodigious collection of notable fiction, including Gender Wars: A Novel and Some Conversation About Sex and Gender, Public Eye, Cambodia: A Book for People Who Find Television Too Slow, Unusual Circumstances / Interesting Times, Capital Tales and My Career With The Leafs & Other Stories. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Leanna Crouch, and ten year-old daughter Hartlea. He writes full time, gardens, and plays more sandlot baseball than is healthy or wise.
A poet, visual and performance artist, musician, irrepressible innovator, wise fool and literary force, bill bissett has made an enormous contribution to Canadian poetry, art and culture. Pushing the boundaries of sound and language, bissett has released numerous cassettes and albums, publishing over 60 books of poetry, including such titles as b leev abul char ak trs, scars on th seehors, the influenza uv logik, inkorrect thots, northern birds in color, and pomes for yoshi. bissett’s work has attracted substantial critical attention, including a special issue of The Capilano Review (Fall 1997) and several documentary films.
Photo by David Hawe
A West Coast poet and novelist, Daphne Marlatt spent a significant part of her childhood in Penang, Malaysia. Her critically acclaimed cross-genre work has been translated into French, Dutch and Japanese. Daphne’s most recent title is Intertidal: Collected Earlier Poems 1968-2008 (Talonbooks 2017), edited by Susan Holbrook. Her novel Taken appeared from House of Anansi in 1996, and her previous novel, Ana Historic (originally published by Coach House Press, 1988), was reissued by Anansi in 1997. Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagne’s translation was published in Quebec as Ana historique (les editions du remuemenage, 1992). Her poetry titles include Reading Sveva (2016), Salvage (1991), Ghost Works (1993), Touch to my Tongue (1984), and Steveston (1974/84).
She has been writer-in-residence at a number of universities in Canada and has taught English and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University and the Universities of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Victoria. She also taught Creative Writing and Women’s Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. One of the founding editors of the bilingual feminist journal Tessera, she has co-edited several other magazines, as well as two oral histories of communities in and around Vancouver.