Join Chelene along with Jordan Abel, Liz Howard, and Juliane Okot Bitek for an evening of poetry readings as a part of the CNCP Poetics and Conference.
Jordan Abel is a Nisga’a writer from Vancouver. He is the author of The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Un/inhabited, and Injun (winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize). Abel’s latest project NISHGA(forthcoming from McClelland & Stewart in 2020) is a deeply personal and autobiographical book that attempts to address the complications of contemporary Indigenous existence and the often invisible intergenerational impact of residential schools. Abel is finishing off a PhD at Simon Fraser University, and he is currently teaching Indigenous Literatures and Creative Writing at the University of Alberta.
Liz Howard was born and raised in northern Ontario. She received an Honours Bachelor of Science with High Distinction from the University of Toronto. Her poetry has appeared on Canadian literary journals such as The Capilano Review, The Puritan, and Matrix Magazine. Her chapbook Skullambient was shortlisted for the 2012 bpNichol Chapbook Award. She recently completed an MFA in Creative Writing through the University of Guelph and works as a research officer in cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto.
Juliane Okot Bitek has never stopped exploring the power of narrative, focusing her essays, poetry and nonfiction work on political and social issues. Her work has been published widely on-line, in print and in literary magazines such as Event, The Capilano Review, Room, Arc, Whetstone, Fugue, and recently anthologized in Love Me True: Writers Reflect on the Ups, Downs, Ins & Outs of Marriage, Transition: Writing Black Canadas, Great Black North; Contemporary African Canadian Poetry and Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them. Juliane’s 100 Days (University of Alberta 201) was shortlisted for several writing prizes including the 2017 Pat Lowther Award (League of Canadian Poets), 2017 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (BC Book Prizes), 2017 Canadian Authors Award for Poetry (Canada Authors Association), Alberta Book Awards, Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry. 100 Days won the 2017 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award for Poetry and the 2017 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry.
Chelene Knight is the author of the poetry collection Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award. Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals, plus the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. Her work is anthologized in Making Room, Love Me True, Sustenance, The Summer Book, and Black Writers Matter. The Toronto Star called Knight, “one of the storytellers we need most right now.” In addition to her work as a writer, Knight is managing editor at Room, programming director for the Growing Room Festival, and CEO of #LearnWritingEssentials. She often gives talks about home, belonging and belief, inclusivity, and community building through authentic storytelling. Knight is currently working on Junie, a novel set in Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley, forthcoming in 2020.