Today I had the privilege of teaching for the Vancouver International Writers Festival‘s outreach program serving inner-city schools. I read from my book People Who Disappear to an amazing group at the Newton Learning Centre in Surrey. David Ellison, the teacher who welcomed me to the school, shared with me a chapbook made by Surrey students on the poetics of place. As a lifelong Vancouverite I grew up with the negative stereotypes about Surrey so I was especially curious about this project. The chapbook is a collection of different forms of poetry about Surrey, a mix of oral history, surprising metaphors and gritty, aware voices. You can read it online here. The workshops that produced the chapbook were run by poet Taryn Hubbard. Give it a read.
This weekend I’m in Salmon Arm giving a workshop at the Word On The Lake festival. My workshop is on writing place.
Another response to People Who Disappear. This one from Kerry Clare, who edits The 49th Shelf, on her books blog. You can read her review of my book here.
From her review:
This is a story collection populated with people who do disappear, with fractured lines, with miscommunication, gaps and questions. Closest family ties tend to be with strange uncles, or dubious fathers. Lovers are not wholly known to one another, test each other’s limits. The roads these characters travel are off often the map, literally and metaphorically: “There were so many, a person could spend their life driving around and around these invisible roads.”
And please see the post below and come to see the reading next Wednesday May 30th by the writing group I run at The Gathering Place in Vancouver’s West End. 5:30. Helmcken & Seymour. The Facebook event is here. Heartbreak and free cookies. What more could you ask for.