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Welcome to The Space Between. In this exciting new series presented by Vancouver Community College (VCC), Humanities department leader Larry Perras speaks with Canadian authors who are challenging the way we see our world and relate to the people around us.
Each of the three featured authors are leading the ever-evolving discourse surrounding gender, race, sexuality, and culture, and creating an open space of respect, compassion, and power.
Live interview sessions are held online and are free to attend with pre-registration. Recordings of the interviews will be posted here when available.
Avan Jogia – Jan. 22, 2021
Avan Jogia is truly a modern Renaissance man. An actor, screenwriter, a director and musician, an LGBTQ advocate, and a poet, Avan, the son of an Indian-British father and English-Irish mother, reflects a new voice in the poetry world, one that is contemplative, at times starkly real, but always authentic. His perspective as a man of a mixed racial background, thus the title of his collection, Mixed Feelings, is one that honours his heritage and shows clarity about the possibility of inclusive change.
Louise Bernice Halfe – March 24, 2021
Award-winning and highly respected writer and poet Louise Bernice Halfe, also known by the Cree name Sky Dancer, has been named Canada's new parliamentary poet laureate, the first Indigenous person to receive this title. Her books, Bear Bones and Feathers(1994), Blue Marrow (2004), The Crooked Good (2007), and Burning In This Midnight Dream (2016) have all received numerous accolades and awards. Sôhkêyihta features selected poems and was published in 2018. Her latest work Awâsis – Kinky and Disheveled will be released in the spring of 2021.
In our interview, we discuss how Louise Bernice Halfe’s work contributes to a greater dialogue about connection and resilience. One of the most striking aspects of her writing is the focus on language as witnessing and documenting, and language as a force of claiming and reclaiming identity. Her ability to convey historical atrocities while maintaining a beauty of language and ideological optimism provides a perspective that is decidedly unique in our often-unconstructive discourses about Reconciliation.
Ivan Coyote – May 12, 2021
Ivan Coyote is the award-winning author of 12 books, the creator of four short films, and has released three albums that combine storytelling with music. Ivan often grapples with the complex and intensely personal issues of gender identity in their work, as well as topics such as family, class, social justice, and queer liberation, but always with a generous heart, a quick wit, and the nuanced and finely honed timing of a gifted storyteller.
In their latest book, Rebent Sinner, Ivan takes on the patriarchy and the political, as well as the intimate and the personal in beguiling and revealing stories of what it means to be trans and non-binary today.