I wrote last week about some awesome Toronto Pride literary events, and am excited to report the list of performers at Victoria Pride’s event “Pride and the Word” have been anounced. None other than recent Ogilvie Prize winner Amber Dawn is among those featured writers. I hope we get a sneak peek of what she is working on now, since it’s been a couple of years since she published the amazing novel Sub Rosa. Dawn’s contribution to Ivan E. Coyote and Zena Sharman’s anthology Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme was recently included in Best Sex Writing 2012: The State of Today’s Sexual Culture, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel and selected by Susie Bright. Dawn’s fierce, imaginative investigations into femme identity, feminism, and queer and sex work politics promise to be a great performance!
Another prolific writer included in the lineup is Janet Marie Rogers, who is currently Victoria’s poet laureate–and B.C.’s first First Nations poet laureate. Although born in Vancouver, she’s a Mohawk writer from Six Nations territory in Ontario; a spoken-word poet, visual artist, and fiction writer, among other interests, Rogers hosts Vancouver Island’s only native radio program on CFUV 101.9fm in Victoria. Her work is preoccupied with “native heritage, feminism, historical territories, human love, sexuality and spirit”–in her own words. Especially intriguing is Rogers’ volume of Indigenous erotica, Red Erotic; hopefully we’ll get a taste of this work at the reading, since it seems pride week appropriate. It’s fantastic to see a writer reclaiming and celebrating Native women’s sexualities! It is also great to see this queer event tackling Indigenous and imperialist issues.
Other performers include Victoria women writers Arleen Pare (author of two novels, Paper Trail and the recently launched Leaving Now) and Gillian Cornwall, an artist and editor as well as a writer. Queer male poets, Billeh Nickerson and Daniel Zomparelli, whose recent collection of poetry Davie Street Translations was published by Talon books, will also be at the event, as well as other queer writers I’ve never even heard of! See the full list of performers here–scroll down to the event for a drop-down menu. The doors open at 6:30 this Saturday at the Ambrosia Conference and Event Centre on Fisgard street; reading starts at 7:15. See you there!