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Open Space Presents - Open Word: Readings and Ideas, Rita Wong

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Monday, March 11th, 2013
11:00 AM

Open Space’s Open Word: Readings and Ideas literary series continues with two public readings by Vancouver’s Rita Wong. The first reading is scheduled at the University of Victoria, Fine Arts Building Room 209, on Monday March 11, at 11:00 a.m. Later on Monday, Wong will be reading from her book forage as well as new work at Open Space at 7:30 p.m. followed by an interview by Tim Lilburn. Open Word is jointly organized by the University of Victoria Department of Writing and Open Space.

Rita Wong’s poetry excavates the minefields of childhood, family, history, and desire. Her latest collection of poems, forage (Harbour Publishing 2007), explores how ecological crises relate to the injustices of our international political landscape. Querying the relations between writing and other forms of action, Wong seeks a shift in consciousness through poems that bespeak a range of responses to our world: anger, protest, anxiety, bewilderment, hope and love. In her words, “the next shift may be the biggest one yet, the union of the living, from mosquito to manatee to mom.” forage is accompanied by marginalia, Chinese characters and photos that give depth to the political context in which most of Wong’s poems are situated.

Rita is the author of three other collections: sybil unrest (co-written with Larissa Lai, Line Books, 2008), forage (Nightwood, 2007), and monkeypuzzle (Press Gang, 1998). She received the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop Emerging Writer Award in 1997 and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2008. Her poems have appeared in anthologies such as The Harbrace Anthology of Poetry; Regreen: New Canadian Ecological Poetry; A Verse Map of Vancouver; Rocksalt: an Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry; Prismatic Publics: Innovative Canadian Women’s Poetry and Poetics; and more. Building from her doctoral dissertation that examined labour in Asian North American literature, her work investigates the relationships between contemporary poetics, social justice, ecology, and decolonization. Rita serves as Associate Professor in Critical and Cultural Studies at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she is currently researching the poetics of water with the support of a SSHRC Research/Creation grant in a project entitled Downstream.

Tim Lilburn is the author of eight books of poetry, including Kill-site, To the River, and Moosewood Sandhills. He has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award in Literature twice: in 1989, for Tourist to Ecstasy, and in 2003, when he received the award for Kill-site. His most recent books of poetry are Orphic Politics (McCelland and Stewart, 2008) and Assiniboia (M&S, 2012). He is also the author of the essay collection Living in the World as if It Were Home (1999), a book on ecology and desire. Going Home, new essays from House of Anansi (2008), continues to explore the preoccupations of Living in the World, tracing the nearly forgotten Western contemplative tradition from Plato through Christian monasticism, and considering the relevance of this tradition to both contemporary poetry and politics. Tim teaches at the University of Victoria.Open Word: Readings and IdeasOpen Word: Readings and Ideas

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