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An Evening with Basma Kavanagh and special guest Ariel Gordon

Saturday Oct 10 2015 7:30 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Travel Alcove
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Winnipeg launch of Basma Kavanagh's Niche (Frontenac House) featuring readings and a conversation between Kavanagh and guest Ariel Gordon. Hosted by Charlene Diehl and co-presented by the Winnipeg International Writers Festival as part of our Fall Literary Series.

Compelled by loss of knowledge, species, habitat and traditions, Basma Kavanagh's intention with this collection is to elucidate the endurance of what is no longer physically apparent. Extinctions and an exploration of the Red List (the endangered species list for Nova Scotia) are important to this work. The poems grapple with human culpability, but also ask: What will happen as human relationships with non-human animals and other living things diminish? What will happen if we become extinct? Is this a moment to be both patient and visionary, to see beyond destruction to whatever natural renewal will occur without more intervention, or should we cautiously explore the "re-animations" and "de-extinctions" proposed by the scientific community?

Basma Kavanagh is a poet, visual artist and letterpress printer originally from Nova Scotia and now living in Brandon, Manitoba. She produces artist's books under the imprint Rabbit Square Books. She is the author of the chapbook A Rattle of Leaves and Distillō.

Ariel GordonAriel Gordon is a Winnipeg writer. Her second collection of poetry, Stowaways (Palimpsest Press, 2014), won the 2015 Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. When not being bookish, Ariel likes tromping through the woods and taking macro photographs of mushrooms.

See:

Niche

- Basma Kavanagh

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"Basma Kavanagh's spritely genius is both fierce and delicate, biologically exact and artistically complex. This is work of wide scope: deep, informed mourning for what humans have done to the earth, and equally deep, equally informed hope for what might survive us." --Jan Zwicky Compelled by loss of knowledge, species, habitat and traditions, my intention with this collection is to elucidate the endurance of what is no longer physically apparent. Extinctions and an exploration of the Red List (the endangered species list for Nova Scotia) are important to this work. The poems grapple with human culpability, but also ask: What will happen as human relationships with non-human animals and other living things diminish? What will happen if we become extinct? These larger questions about our future in a changing climate are inextricably linked to specific inquiries into what we have lost by reducing certain habitats, hunting particular species to the brink of extinction, and abandoning place-specific traditions and practices. Our sadness surrounding extinction seems to confirm E. O. Wilson's Biophilia (life-loving) hypothesis, our basic need for other life; however, a uniquely human self-loathing distances us from the very life-affirming and life-giving connections that we require. How do we move beyond despair? What happens after extinction? What is regained through the revival of traditions, the restoration of habitats, re-introductions of species? Is this a moment to be both patient and visionary, to see beyond destruction to whatever natural renewal will occur without more intervention, or should we cautiously explore the "re-animations" and "de-extinctions" proposed by the scientific community? BASMA KAVANAGH is a poet, visual artist and letterpress printer originally from Nova Scotia and now living in Brandon, Manitoba. She produces artist's books under the imprint Rabbit Square Books. She is the author of the chapbook A Rattle of Leaves (Red Dragonfly Press, 2012) and Distill? (Gaspereau Press, 2012).

Stowaways

- Ariel Gordon

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Winner of the 2015 Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. In poems that are smart and gorgeously funny, Ariel Gordon's Stowaways careens between life as we-know-it on the Canadian prairies and the frayed yet familiar edges of what-if. What if a beluga from Churchill hooked up with a Gore-Tex-ed tourist? What if knowing Morse Code would save your bacon during the zombie apocalypse? Half survival guide, half invasive species list, these are poems that stick to your socks.