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Evan J. Book Launch (THIN AIR 2021)

Saturday Oct 16 2021 7:00 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Atrium, Streaming on YouTube

Join us as we celebrate the launch of Evan J's debut poetry collection Ripping down half the trees (McGill-Queen's University Press). This event features a reading and a conversation hosted by Teresa Horosko. Presented as part of THIN AIR 2021: The Winnipeg International Writers Festival

The launch will be hosted live in the Atrium of McNally Robinson Booksellers, Grant Park and also available as a simultaneous YouTube stream. The video will be available for viewing thereafter. Before arriving, please review details of how to attend physical events here at the store.

Some poems can live without souls / but mine remain ghastly fools flicking / uncomfortable narratives like / cigarette butts during class change.

One out of every twenty students in the adult education classes Evan J teaches in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, dies every year; the surviving students are often afflicted by severe racism, poverty, addictions, and violence. Ripping down half the trees engages with these struggles, offering a catalogue of experiences specific to the remote regions of Canada.

These poems also let stand the shelterwood, the upstanding actions of individuals, the totems of hope. They work as coping strategies, as therapy, as empathy, offering a glimpse of optimism and a space for discourse. These are poems that listen.

Evan J (he/him) is from Manitoba and now lives and writes in the town of Sioux Lookout, Ontario.

Teresa Horosko is an emerging writer and zine maker, living and working in Treaty One Territory. A recent graduate of the University of Winnipeg's Honours English program, she works for several arts non-profits in music, literature, and film doing programming, event management or operations management. Currently, she is part of the THIN AIR programming team. Her creative non-fiction has appeared in Prairie Fire, and she has just published a limited-run zine called Letters to John Goodman: An Exploration in Anticipatory Grief.

See:

Ripping down half the trees

- by Evan J

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Some poems can live without souls / but mine remain ghastly fools flicking / uncomfortable narratives like / cigarette butts during class change. One out of every twenty students in the adult education classes Evan J teaches in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, dies every year; the surviving students are often afflicted by severe racism, poverty, addictions, and violence. Ripping down half the trees engages with these struggles, offering a catalogue of experiences specific to the remote regions of Canada. Tearing down the façade of Canadian justice and equality to expose the racism, colonialism, sexism, prejudicial capitalism, and ableism at the nation's core, these are poems about cruelty, both the obvious and the ambient. They are unflinching in their sociopolitical criticism, upset by unchanging systemic oppressions, unable to overlook the threat of the author's white skin, unwilling to forget Justin Trudeau in blackface. And while they acknowledge the limits of the author's privileged perspective, they are never willing to let the perpetrating structures of this cruelty go unchecked. But these poems also let stand the shelterwood, the upstanding actions of individuals, the totems of hope. They work as coping strategies, as therapy, as empathy, offering a glimpse of optimism and a space for discourse. These are poems that listen.