Double poetry reading celebrates spring

There may be snow outside, but inside spring is in the air as York’s Stong College celebrates the coming season of new beginnings with a poetry reading by poet and editor Barry Dempster and York Professor Rishma Dunlop.

The reading takes place on Wednesday, March 12, from noon to 1pm, in Sylvester’s, 201 Stong College, Keele campus.

Right: Barry Dempster

Dempster has published 14 books, including nine volumes of poetry, two collections of short fiction, a children’s book, a novel and an anthology. He has been nominated twice for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry. As the senior editor of Brick Books, Dempster has edited 12 award-winning books. He was also the poetry and reviews editor for Poetry Canada for six years.

His most recent poetry collection, The Burning Alphabet (Brick Books, 2005), was short-listed for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry and won the Canadian Authors Association Jack Chalmers Award for Poetry. Dempster has run hundreds of workshops in Ontario elementary schools and high schools, as well as stints at the Upper Canada Writers’ Workshop in Kingston, Ont., and the Writing Studio at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Alta., in 2002 and again in 2007. In the fall of 2008, he will be instructor and mentor for the Wired Writing Studio at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Left: Rishma Dunlop

An English professor and coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at York, Dunlop’s teaching and research interests are multi-disciplinary and include post-structural and feminist theory; contemporary fiction and poetry; creative nonfiction; English and World literatures; literary translation; post-colonial and diasporic literatures.

Dunlop is the author of three books of poetry: Metropolis (Mansfield Press, 2005), Reading Like a Girl (Black Moss Press, 2004), and The Body of My Garden (Mansfield Press, 2002). Publications as editor include Red Silk: An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women Poets (Mansfield Press, 2004), co-edited with York Professor Priscila Uppal, and White Ink: Poems on Mothers and Motherhood (Demeter Press, 2007). Dunlop received the Emily Dickinson Prize for Poetry in 2003 and was a finalist for the CBC Canada Council Literary Awards in 1998. She is also the founding editor of Studio, an international journal of poetry.

The event is part of Stong College’s continuing series The Agile Mind. For more information, visit the Stong College Web site.