Thursday, November 30, 2006

LINE launch tomorrow

Very exciting! Don't miss out!

LINEbooks (of West Coast Line)
invites you to join us for the launch of four new poetry titles:

accrete or crumble by Natalie Simpson
Surplus by Roger Farr
Transversals for Orpheus & the untitled 1-13 by Garry Morse
Courage, My Love by Reg Johanson

Friday, December 01, 8pm
at Spartacus Books
319 West Hastings Street

Special: pre launch price box set of all four titles $50
Contact Michael Barnholden
See also, "News column, to view a pdf of the book titles & descriptions

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

so purty, so cold

Yes, I know, it's just snow. But this is Vancouver, folks, not Calgary, not St. John's. Actually, as long as you don't have to drive, it's kinda fun. Went for a stomp through my neighbourhood yesterday, met some very nice nabeyaki udon and a friendly chocolate mousse cake. Upscale neighbourhoods have their perks.

Writing is stalled out. Need brain food. Reading Rei Terada on affect, and Donna Haraway's Primate Visions. On the burner: the nameless novel, a critical essay about clones and kidneys, Sybil Unrest (The Return of the Jedi) and (may be) a sequel to Salt Fish Girl. You'd think one of them would roll. It's too cold and I've run out of fish crunchies.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

adventures in wonderland

Now that Rita is not around to socially co-ordinate me, I have to do it myself. Oh, the trials and tribulations!
Cools gigs in the next bit:
Roy Miki launches There at SFU Special Collections tomorrow at 12:30. Congratulations, Roy!
Lisa Robertson reads at Thea's Lounge on the UBC campus at 8:30 pm tomorrow. It's also Sophie McCall's birthday-- friends, colleagues and admirers will be found later that evening at the Alibi Room. Peddlar Press is also doing a book launch that night, I believe.
Jeff Derksen reads with Nicholas Perrin on Saturday, Nov. 25 at KSW/Spartacus Books, 319 Hastings at 8pm. And the No Luck Club play the Media Club (695 Cambie) that evening as well.
So pretend it's not raining and go out already. (And I'll pretend my writing isn't stalled...)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Ethics of Longing

Reading Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For

A panel session / open discussion
for English 841: “Future Thinking: The Ethics of Reading ‘Asian Canadian’ Literature”

Guest Speakers, Larissa Lai (UBC) and David Chariandy (SFU)

November 21, 2005
4:30 – 7:00 pm

Segal School of Business
500 Granville Street (at Pender)
4600 Policy Room

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Calgary's Last Hurrah

Here's a few pics from my visit to Calgary, to really stick a fork in it. I'm officially an official Doctor. I didn't think I'd enjoy the ceremony, but actually it felt really great to do the ritual. Aruna Srivastava and Mary Polito were there as part of the officiating party, and Adrienne Kertzer held the role of announcer (are there official titles for these things?) who declared the names of the PhDs as they crossed the stage.

Wish I had my camera with me the day I went to visit Jay and Carmen and my now very chatty 18-month-old godson, Lochlan. Between Lochie and my three-year-old friend Maya, I am re-learning the joy of indoor tents.

Jason Christie, hiding out from Andrea, with mustard for some reason...

Ghostly Chris, potent potion. The KP is a special place.

Paul and Jill-- Sweet party, thanks you two!

creepy Travis, spooked-out Sandy-- some things never change

Natalee Caple and Jeremy Leipert had twins this year! Here's Dr. Me, with Master Jeremy and the twins, Imogen and Cassius, right after convocation.

Friday, November 10, 2006

solids and liquids

Supper with Roy and Slav last night, then off to the Freddy Wood Theatre to hear Arjun Appadurai's talk "Solids and Liquids: Notes on the Materialities of Terror," which is part of larger series of talks on terror at UBC this fall. Interesting read on how the materials of everyday life, from toothpaste to shave cream, have become objects of anxiety.

Afterwards, downtown to the Brick House for the launch of the first Commodore book, Fred Booker's Adventures in Debt Collection. Exciting to see a slice of Black Western Canadian history come to life.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Destination Convocation

Coming to Calgary next week to convocate! Yahoo! Would love to see you what remains of the Cowtown crew, if you guys are still reading this. Monday night at the KP?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

all saints, lost souls

Here's a few pics from The Parade of Lost Souls, the Oddballs Dance at the WISE Hall, and a dinner at Monsoon after the Arif Dirlik book launch last week. Friends, comrades and partners in crime: Ken Singer, Melina Baum-Singer, David Chariandy and Sophie McCall.

Adventures in Debt Collection

Unless you're there right now, unfortunately, you've missed the Christian Bok reading at KSW this afternoon. Sorry Christian! I'm there in spirit...

Just recovering from a very compelling grad student conference at SFU, called Sexing the Text. Some highlights for me: the Friday evening creative panel, especially readings by Kim Minkus, Maya Seuss and Sharanpal Ruprai; a Betsy Warland object poem about states of emergency that seven of us performed together(impromptu); a paper by Rahul Golia about the politics of cross-dressing Jackie Kay's 1988 novel Trumpet; a paper by Sarah Bull on the gendering of murderous women in 1930's pulp fiction; and Ashok Mathur's multimedia keynote performance "Transnational Border Shopping: What We All Long For When We Long to Cross Over." Parties afterwards-- one at Deanna Kreisel and Scott McKenzie's and one at Ashok's. Man, I am wrecked today.

But excited about going to visit Peter Dickinson's class tomorrow morning to talk about Salt Fish Girl and the gothic.

It seems a lot of people don't know where the Commodore launch of Fred Booker's Adventures in Debt Collection is going to be. So here's the PSA I got from West Coast Line:

Join us in launching and celebrating Fred Booker's Adventures in Debt
Collection, the inaugural edition from Commodore Books. Books will be
available for sale and the author will read and sign copies.

Thursday 9 November 2006
The Brickhouse
730 Main Street (@ Union Street)

Access to a secure parking lot is available on Georgia Street; when you
arrive, ask the hostess for the lot code. Free street parking is available
on Union Street after 8PM.

The introduction of Commodore Books marks a historical turn in black
cultural production in Western Canada. While Canada has had black-owned book
publishers before -- most significantly, Williams-Wallace and SisterVision
-- there has never existed a publishing house operating under the control of
a black editorial collective west of Ontario -- until now.

Our name recalls the paddle steamer The Commodore, which transported
thirty-five black migrants from San Francisco to Victoria in 1858, during
the Gold Rush. This small pioneer committee became the nucleus of British
Columbia's first black community.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Why stop now?

In other recent adventures:

A trip to Victoria, Mom in tow, to do a talk for the Provost's office at UVic on race, gender, community work and writing. Performed with Ashok Mathur. We seem to be a regular dog and pony show these days. There is a small, but very attentive community of writers and thinkers there who really care about this stuff.

The next day, off to Toronto with David Chariandy for a conference on Dionne Brand. Wish I could parse some of the marvellous thinking I heard-- shoulda blogged it sooner. What was really great was to see so many committed thinkers, writers, activists and artists in the room some of whom I haven't seen in a decade. The way Dionne's work-- from the poetry to the NFB films to the novels-- have moved and shaped people's lives, is amazing, and it was really inspiring to see these many things taken up from so many quarters.

Last week, back in Vancouver, helped Brett Josef Grubisic celebrate the launch of his first novel The Age of Cities, which is the story of manuscript found in a hollowed out home economics textbook from the 1950s, concerning a young librarian's discovery of gay subculture in the city.

This Wednesday, went to the Freddy Wood Theatre at UBC to hear Slavoj Zizek speaking about fear, terror, biotechnology, the troubling universality of capital and action/inaction in the current political moment. He ended on an odd note, suggesting that sometimes we need to do nothing as a way of resisting capital and war. That these things depend on our constant reaction. Much disgruntlement from the crowd on this-- some due to misunderstanding. He wasn't saying: don't ever act; but rather, just stop and think. (Quoted Lenin: learn, learn, learn.) There was something oddly zen about the move. I'm all about thinking, choosing one's battles, and judicious timing, but it seemed a strange place to end. Mulling still.

Other cool stuff in the past bit: A KSW reading by Hun Q. Tu and Reg Johanssen, The Parade of Lost Souls, and the Oddballs Hallowe'en Dance at the Wise Hall, where a very disturbing ghost of Jon Benet won the prize for creepiest costume.

This afternoon, I'm off to speak with Betsy Warland at a roundtable for the SFU Grad Conference, Sexing the Text.

Don't forget, next Wednesday Arjun Appadurai is speaking at UBC. Also, that's the night of the launch for the first Commodore book, Fred Booker's Adventures in Debt Collection.

Future 'Couv

The interview with Eric Rankin for the Think Vancouver series on CBC was lots of fun. Got to give my whimsical conjecture on the future of the city. They did lots of fun graphic inserts of a future Vancouver in which Bladerunner/Metropolis-esque flying vehicles swoop in and through the skyscrapers.

Here's a snip of my vision:

May be it will be like Sao Paolo, where the rich never touch the ground but fly from rooftop to rooftop (thanks Sabine, for that one!)-- while on the ground, there is nothing but squalor. People will continue to fight for safe injection sites, but those with power will never have to see it. They'll go to their own private clinics to avoid the madness and road rage, and get fresh organs from the countless traffic accidents and not-so-accidents happening in the pumped up, drugged up streets below Those who can't afford housing will, as in Timothy Taylor's vision, move into Stanley Park, and foment revolution in the old growth. While all the undocumented labourers who can't get in, will band their rusty ships together in a Neal Stephenson-esque Raft. A drug will be invented that allows the Stanley Park people and the Raft people to communicate, and to change their outer landscapes instead of their inner ones...