news | Thursday November 15, 2018

Fall Launch a Resounding Success!

Rita Wong and Fred Wah read from beholden: a poem as long as the river.

The Talonbooks Fall Poetry Launch was held at Pyatt Hall in Vancouver, on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ Lands, this past Tuesday. Our gratitude goes out to Irvin Waskewitch, who opened the evening with a Cree prayer, and to the over 130 launch attendees, for whom the cold fall rain was no match! 

Talon author Jónína Kirton hosted the evening, bringing her warm presence and attentive poetic ear. Ted Byrne read wild sonnets from his book Duets and Tiziana La Melia brought art from The Eyelash and the Monochrome to life; Rita Wong and Fred Wah performed pieces from beholden: a poem as long as the river, sharing snippets from their research process along the Columbia River; Christine Stewart read pointed (and pointing) passages from Treaty 6 Deixis and, last but certainly not least, Wanda John-Kehewin’s moving reading of Seven Sacred Truths was accompanied by dance and choreography by Koyali Burman. Wanda read her poem, “tO all the children Of residential schOOls…” to her friend Michelle as Michelle was honoured with a blanket.

Catering for the launch consisted of delicious stew and bannock provided by Gladys Moran and other friends of Wanda John-Kehewin. A good time was had by all! 

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