Authors Billy-Ray Belcourt, David Chariandy to discuss questions of refuge at 2022 Smyth Dialogues

Woman writing in a notebook

The second annual Smyth Dialogues event in York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) will feature two award-winning writers in a discussion of refuge.

Two of Canada’s greatest writing talents, Billy-Ray Belcourt and David Chariandy, will visit the York Keele Campus for this in-person and livestreamed event on Nov. 1. The topic of this year’s Smyth Dialogues is “Shelter in Place: A Conversation on Community, Connection and Refuge.”

Billy-Ray Belcourt
Billy-Ray Belcourt
David Chariandy
David Chariandy

How do we understand refuge and create it for ourselves and communities? Art and literature have often been a refuge, but do these refuges also carry perils? Chariandy and Belcourt and will discuss refuge, safety, and connections and disconnections with family, community and culture.

This special event will be moderated by Lily Cho, associate dean, Global and Community Engagement, LA&PS. A Q-and-A session will follow the conversation.

Guests have the option of attending this event virtually via Zoom or in-person at York’s Keele Campus. Visit Smyth Dialogues to register for virtual or in-person attendance. Admission is free.

About the authors

Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation in northwest Alberta in Treaty 8 territory. He is an assistant professor in the School of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and the author of four books: This Wound is a World, NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, A History of My Brief Body, and A Minor Chorus.

David Chariandy is the author of the novels Soucouyant and Brother, as well as the memoir I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You: A Letter To My Daughter. Last month, a feature-film adaptation of Brother premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Chariandy’s books have won multiple awards, including the Roger’s Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the City of Toronto Book Prize, and the Windham-Campbell Prize of Yale University for a body of fiction. His writings have been published internationally and translated into a dozen languages. Chariandy is also a recently inducted Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

About the Smyth Diaglogues

The Smyth Dialogues is an annual signature public event series made possible through bequests from the late Wanita Smyth and Delmar Smyth and reflect the desire expressed by these two outstanding individuals to profile ideas and solutions that would promote peace, justice and human security, and prevent violence. The full name of the event is “The Del & Wanita Smyth Lecture on Peace, Justice and Human Security.” In 1963, Del Smyth became the inaugural dean of the former Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies at York University, helping launch an academic unit that became a pioneer in providing student access. As such, he is a key figure in the history of LA&PS.