Redeemer will host a reading and Q&A with Vancouver poet Fred Wah on October 20 from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m.
His early poetry is improvisational and experimental, based partly on his interest in jazz and also deeply rooted in the geography of the Nelson area. Wah’s focus shifted to his mixed-race history in later works. With the 1996 publication of Diamond Grill, a biofiction based on his experiences working in his father’s café, Wah emerged as a central figure in race writing in Canada and abroad.
Wah has worked as an editor or contributing editor of small, grass-roots magazines and presses that are the life-blood of Canada’s literary culture. Wah is also professor emeritus at the University of Calgary, having retired from teaching in 2003.
Since 2001, thanks mainly to an annual grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, and in collaboration with the Hamilton Poetry Centre, we have had the honour at Redeemer University College of hosting a number of Canadian poets, both well-established and rising stars, from all across Canada. For students to meet these poets “in the flesh” and find out from their own lips about their working styles, their philosophies, their influences, their hopes, and their struggles has always been exciting and encouraging, and often eye-opening. We’re told, too, that the poets love coming to Redeemer – that they have really appreciated the warmth of their reception here, the attentive audiences, the intelligent questions, and that they have spread the word in the literary community across Canada that Redeemer is a good gig to get. Poetry is alive and well in Canada, and has lots to say!