Collection de­tails Idle No More move­ment

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - BOOKS - By Bob Arm­strong

AWinnipeg poet Ariel Gor­don is mak­ing the launch of her lat­est book of po­etry into a big, col­lab­o­ra­tive, multimedia art ex­per­i­ment. Gor­don launches her sec­ond collection, Stow­aways (Palimpsest Press), May 21 at 7 p.m. at McNally Robin­son Book­sellers. Her read­ing will in­clude live draw­ings done by Win­nipeg il­lus­tra­tor and graphic-novel cre­ator GMB Chomichuk, who will work on large can­vases as she reads. She’s also invit­ing au­di­ence mem­bers to draw, knit, em­broi­der or take pho­tos dur­ing the read­ing. Stow­aways is de­scribed as “half sur­vival guide, half in­va­sive species list” and in­cludes po­ems ex­plor­ing ques­tions like, “What if know­ing Morse code could save your ba­con dur­ing a zom­bie apoca­lypse?” The Man­i­toba Writ­ers’ Guild has launched a writer-in-res­i­dence project fea­tur­ing a poet and edi­tor with a spe­cial in­ter­est in the in­ter­sec­tion of writ­ing and disability. Kate Grisim will be avail­able at the MWG over the sum­mer to of­fer ad­vice and cri­tiques to other writ­ers. A re­cent cre­ative writ­ing grad­u­ate from the Univer­sity of Win­nipeg, Grisim is a stu­dent in the mas­ter’s pro­gram in disability stud­ies at the Univer­sity of Man­i­toba. She re­cently edited a spe­cial is­sue on disability for Geez mag­a­zine and writes a blog called My Lit­tle Crip­pled Heart. Cana­dian and in­ter­na­tional writ­ers and aca­demics are gath­er­ing at the Univer­sity of Win­nipeg this week to dis­cuss trans lit­er­a­ture at a con­fer­ence en­ti­tled Writ­ing Trans Gen­res: Emer­gent Lit­er­a­tures and Crit­i­cisms. The con­fer­ence in­cludes a num­ber of events open to the pub­lic, in­clud­ing a key­note by Arthur C. Clarke Award-win­ning sci­ence-fic­tion writer Rachel Pol­lack and sev­eral pub­lic read­ings fea­tur­ing groups of lo­cal and vis­it­ing writ­ers. Free open events in­clude group read­ings at the Mil­len­nium Li­brary Fri­day at 3 p.m. and at U of W’s Eck­hardt-Gra­matté Hall next Satur­day at 4:45 p.m. The Pyramid Cabaret will also host a per­for­mance night called An Un­be­com­ing Cabaret, Fri­day start­ing at 8:30 p.m. (tick­ets $10, or $15 at the door). For con­fer­ence de­tails, check the web­site at www.writ­ing­trans­gen­res.com. NEW collection of writ­ings, in­ter­views and art­work from Win­nipeg’s ARP Books brings the spirit of last year’s Idle No More move­ment back to life. The Win­ter We Danced brings to­gether dozens of writ­ers and Idle No More par­tic­i­pants from across Canada to share the ex­pe­ri­ence of the so­cial me­dia phe­nom­e­non that cap­tured pub­lic at­ten­tion in late 2012 and early 2013. Sev­eral con­trib­u­tors to the com­pen­dium, in­clud­ing As­sem­bly of Man­i­toba Chiefs head Derek Nepinak, Ni­gaan Sin­clair, Rosanna Deer­child, Wab Kinew, Michael Cham­pagne, Ryan McMa­hon and Leah Gazan, will launch the book Thurs­day at 7 p.m. at Neechi Commons (865 Main St.). A por­tion of the pro­ceeds from the book will go to the Na­tive Youth Sex­ual Health Net­work. Racial di­ver­sity in the lit­er­ary world hit the spot­light this month with two hot-but­ton items spread­ing through so­cial me­dia. First up was an es­say on the New Yorker web­site by nov­el­ist Junot Diaz ( The Brief Won­drous Life of Os­car Wao), who wrote that when he at­tended the cre­ative writ­ing MFA pro­gram at Cor­nell Univer­sity in the ’90s, his pro­fes­sors and most of his fel­low stu­dents were white, as was the at­mos­phere. “That s--- was too white,” Diaz writes. (To be fair to the Ivy League in­sti­tu­tion, four of its 10 cur­rent cre­ative-writ­ing fac­ulty mem­bers are black or Latino.) Next was the launch of the We Need Di­verse Books cam­paign on In­sta­gram, prompted by a lit­er­ary fes­ti­val called Book Con an­nounc­ing an all-white lineup of chil­dren’s au­thors.

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