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    ISBN: 9780889225794 | Paperback

    84 pages | Pub. Date: 20080515
    6.00 W × 9.00 H × 0.25 D inches
    Backlist | Poetry | Bisac: POE011000
    Rights: WORLD

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These poems were written in the political and emotional wake of the “Missing Women” of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Although women had been going missing from the neighbourhood since the late 1970s, police efforts were not coordinated into a full-scale investigation until the issue was given widespread public visibility by Lori Culbert, Lindsay Kines and Kim Bolan’s 2001 “Missing Women” series in the Vancouver Sun. This media coverage, combined with the efforts of activists in political and cultural sectors, finally resulted in increased official investigative efforts, which have so far led to the arrest of Robert Pickton, on whose property the remains of twenty-seven of the sixty-eight listed women were found. In December 2007, Pickton was convicted of six counts of second-degree murder in what had become one the highest-profile criminal cases to take place in B.C.’s history; yet this is not the focus of this book.

As the title suggests, the concern of this project is an investigation of the troubled relationship between this specific marginalized neighbourhood, its “invisible” populations both past and present, and the wealthy, healthy city that surrounds it. These poems interrogate the comfortable distance from which the public consumes the sensationalist news story by turning their focus toward the normative audience, the equally invisible public. In the speaker’s examination of this subject, assumptions and delineations of community, identity and ultimately citizenship are called into question. Projects such as Lincoln Clarkes’ controversial Heroines photographic series and subsequent book (Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2002), news stories and even the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games circulate intertextually in this manuscript, while Pickton’s trial is intentionally absent.

Irritated by complacency, troubled by determinate narrative and the relationship between struggle and the artistic representation of struggle, Murakami is a poet bewildered by her city’s indifference to the neglect of its inhabitants.

Short-listed 2008 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry

Short-listed 2009 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award

The Invisibility Exhibit is an assembly of fine details and drawn connections, as painstaking as it is provocative.”
Toronto Star

By Sachiko Murakami

Sachiko Murakami is the author of the poetry collections The Invisibility Exhibit (Talonbooks, 2008), a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and Rebuild (Talonbooks, 2011). She is the creator of the online poetry projects Project Rebuild (projectrebuild.ca), HENKO (powellstreethenko.ca), WIHTBOAM (whenihavethebodyofaman.com), and co-creator of FIGURE (figureoracle.com), an online poetry oracle, with Angela Rawlings. Her website is sachikomurakami.com.

Read more about Sachiko Murakami

news | 2011-02-07
A Recommendation for The Invisibility Exhibit

…Stephen Troister recommends The Invisibility Exhibit by Sachiko Murakami for KIRBC’s Keep …