Open Word: Readings and Ideas with Laurie D. Graham
Open Space will host poet and editor Laurie D. Graham as part of Open Word: Readings and Ideas on Wednesday, January 24th at 7:30 p.m.
A thoughtful and attentive writer, Graham’s work deftly engages with the matter of land and vital questions about how settlers locate themselves in history and on Indigenous territory. The reading will be followed by a conversation with UVic English professor and Canadian literature scholar Dr. Misao Dean.
Raised in Alberta and of Ukrainian and Polish descent, Graham’s poetry joins that of Tim Lilburn and Jan Zwicky in its intent focus on the prairies. Graham’s first collection, Rove, is a long poem that traces family and heritage and loss across that wind-rustled landscape. Her second collection, Settler Education (2016) delves into the Plains Cree uprising at Frog Lake through photographs and the poet’s visitation of historical sites as she investigates Canada’s colonial past, seeking to understand how these events cycle through the present. Work from Settler Education was shortlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize and Arc Poetry Magazine’s Poem of the Year contest, and won The Puritan’s 2014 Thomas Morton Memorial Prize.
Margaret Atwood has described Laurie D. Graham’s poem “Battleford Gravesite” as “A tone-perfect elegiac meditation on the impossibility of engaging with painful history and the necessity of doing so.”
Graham is also the publisher of Brick, an international literary journal based in Toronto that publishes literary non-fiction from the likes of Zadie Smith, Anne Carson, and Louise Erdrich. She holds a BA in English from the University of Alberta, a BFA in creative writing from the University of Victoria, and an MFA from the University of Guelph. She currently resides in Kitchener, Ontario.
Other opportunities to engage Laurie D. Graham on her visit include:
Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 1:30 p.m. UVic reading, Fine Arts Building 104
Thursday, Jan. 25 at 9:30 a.m. talk about Brick magazine, UVic Fine Arts Building 209
Friday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. reading at Planet Earth Poetry, Hillside Coffee (1633 Hillside Ave)
Open Space is an artist-run centre located at 510 Fort Street (second floor) in downtown Victoria. Open Word: Readings and Ideas is a decade-long partnership with the University of Victoria’s Department of Writing.