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Composing for a Free-Exchange

Date & Time:
November 13, 2017 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Shelf Life Books (1302 4 St SW)

Each year, the English Department at the University of Calgary hosts an interdisciplinary graduate student conference entitled "Free Exchange." Scholars-in-training from around the world gather to discuss literature, creative writing, social issues, critical theory, popular culture, and other areas of concern, so as to generate dialogues between fields of study and from multiple perspectives. This year, our conference topic is "Re/Collections."

We are hosting a fundraiser at Shelf Life Books to raise money for this conference. With this money, we can widen our scope, plan for a larger diversity of speakers, and ensure that this conference continues to be an important yearly event not only for the English Department, but also for those who are interested preserving space for critical discussion.

"Composing for a Free-Exchange" invites Calgarians to attend a reading on November 13 at Shelf Life Books, beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 each, which include refreshments. We've prepared a line-up of established and emerging writers currently working in the Department of English at the University of Calgary — and for the first time, they're all in one place!

Buy tickets here.


List of readers:

Denise Chong, best known for her family memoir, The Concubine's Children, is this year's Writer-in-Residence at the University of Calgary. A two-time finalist for the Governor General's literary award for non-fiction, and named an Officer of the Order of Canada for "writing books that raise our social consciousness", Denise has published four works. Her newest is Lives of the Family: Stories of Fate & Circumstance. 

Larissa Lai is the author of two novels, When Fox Is a Thousand and Salt Fish Girl; two books of poetry, sybil unrest (with Rita Wong) and Automaton Biographies; a chapbook, Eggs in the Basement; and a critical book, Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s. A recipient of the Astraea Foundation Emerging Writers' Award, and a finalist for seven others, she holds a Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary and directs The Insurgent Architects' House for Creative Writing there. 

Shannon Maguire is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Calgary. Shannon’s third full-length collection of poetry, Zip’s File: A Romance of Silence is forthcoming from BookThug in the spring of 2018. Shannon’s other collections include fur(l) parachute—which was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry—and Myrmurs: An Exploded Sestina. Shannon has been a finalist for the bpNichol Chapbook Award for her chapbook fruit machine and the Manitoba Magazine Award for Best Suite of Poetry. Shannon edited and wrote the critical introduction to Planetary Noise: Selected work of Erín Moure (Wesleyan UP). 

Suzette Mayr is the author of five novels, including her most recent book Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall. Her novel Monoceros won the ReLit and the City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Awards, and was nominated for the 2011 Giller Prize, the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction, and Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction. Her novel The Widows was a finalist for the Commonwealth Prize for Best Book in the Canada-Caribbean region. She is a former president of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, and she has been teaching creative writing at the University of Calgary since 2003. 

Mallory E. Land Smith is a PhD candidate in the University of Calgary's program in English and Creative Writing. She is working on Manifest Meaning, her thesis poetry collection, that investigates Lyric Conceptualism and materialism in poetry, and dismantles notions of scientific objectivity by looking at the first poetry collection of the 17th century writer, Maragaret Cavendish. 

Erin Emily Ann Vance is an MA student in English and Creative Writing at the University of Calgary. Her work has appeared in Contemporary Verse 2, Untethered, Parenthetical, NoD, QWERTY, Existere, and more. In 2016, she was a recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist’s Prize.

Aritha van Herk is an award-winning Canadian novelist. She first rose to international literary prominence with the publication of Judith, which received the Seal First Novel Award. Her other novels include The Tent PegNo Fixed Address, and Restlessness. She teaches Canadian Literature and Creative Writing; but first of all, she is a writer who loves stories.

Joshua Whitehead is an Oji-Cree/nehiyaw, Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1) in Manitowapow. He is the 2016 winner of the Indigenous Arts and Stories competition and recipient of a Governor General's History Award for his poem, "mihkokwaniy". His debut book of poetry, full-metal indigiqueer, was published this fall with Talonbooks and features a cybernetic 2S trickster who re-members queer Indigeneity. His debut novel, Jonny Appleseed, is forthcoming in Spring 2018 through Arsenal Pulp Press.