Exploring ethnicity and literature with Red Silk poets

“Ethnicity and Literature”, a day-long mini-conference series next Monday, will focus on literature and the complexity, diversity and heterogeneity of South Asian Canadian identity. The event is presented by York’s Vanier College, the Division of Humanities, the Faculty of Education, the Centre for Feminist Research, the Creative Writing Program, Writers Without Borders and the York University Bookstore.

Featured will be readings from a new collection of poetry titled Red Silk: An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women Poets (Mansfield Press, November 2004). Arun Mukherjee, a professor of English and South Asian literatures at York University, will give the keynote address. Mukherjee is the author of Postcolonialism: My Living, among other books.

The mini-conference will take place on Monday, Nov. 29, starting at 9:30am in room 034A, Founders College, with readings by the poets featured in Red Silk. Immediately following, Mukherjee will present her keynote address in Founders Hall, room 152. During the afternoon session, there will be a panel discussion with all conference participants.

The conference is free and open to the York community. No preregistration is required.

Red Silk: An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women Poets is a new collection of poetry, edited by York University professors Rishma Dunlop and Priscila Uppal. Featured poets from the anthology who will be participating in the Ethnicity and Literature series include Sonnet L’Abbé, Kuldip Gill, Soraya Peerbaye and Sandeep Sanghera.

Red Silk gathers the voices of  South Asian female, and feminist, writers from the Canadian literary scene. The poets explore the dimensions of their South Asian Canadian identity by examining their relationships to the South Asian cultures. The poems enact how an ordinary household object, a word, a smell, a gesture can all trigger a flood of memories and responses steeped in cultural significance that mark an individual as South Asian.

Red Silk contains works by Hiro Boga, Rishma Dunlop, Kuldip Gill, Sonnet L’Abbé, Danielle Lagah, Soraya Mariam Peerbaye, Sharanpal Ruprai, Sandeep Sanghera, Shauna Singh Baldwin, Proma Tagore, and Priscila Uppal.