TIA House Talks

Episode 53: TIA House Reads Vol. 2

Jun 15, 2023


A few months ago, TIA House Talks published the first episode of an anthology series that showcased the creative work of a few of the authors our team has had the privilege of interviewing. This is the second episode in the reading mini-series, featuring work by Yilin Wang, Isabella Wang, Lydia Kwa, Fred Wah, Wakefield Brewster, Warren Cariou, and Amy LeBlanc, whose interviews are now available episodes of TIA House Talks.


Yilin Wang (she/they) is a writer, poet, Chinese-English translator, and editor who lives on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (Vancouver, Canada). Her writing has appeared in Clarkesworld, Fantasy Magazine, The Malahat Review, Grain, Contemporary Verse 2, Arc Poetry Magazine, The Toronto Star, Words Without Borders, CBC Books, and elsewhere. As a translator, she has translated fiction, children’s literature, poetry, and manhua (comics) from and occasionally into Mandarin Chinese. She is the editor and translator of the Chinese poetry anthology The Lantern and the Night Moths, forthcoming with Invisible Publishing in 2024. Her translations have appeared in POETRY, Guernica, Room, Asymptote, LA Review of Books’ “China Channel,” Samovar, and the anthology The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories (TorDotCom 2022). Yilin has been a finalist for a National Magazine Award and an Aurora Award, and been nominated for a Rhysling Award, as well has won the Foster Poetry Prize and been longlisted for various contests such as the CBC Poetry Prize. Her work has been supported by funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, Access Copyright Foundation, and the ALTA Virtual Travel Fellowship. Yilin has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop (2020/2021). She is a co-editor-in-chief of the cozy speculative fiction magazine Tales & Feathers, a former editor of Room Magazine, and has been a guest editor for Strange Horizons (Wuxia & Xianxia Special Issue).

Isabella Wang is the author of the chapbook, On Forgetting a Language, and her full-length debut, Pebble Swing, shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Among other recognitions, she has been shortlisted for Arc’s Poem of the Year Contest, The Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Contest and Long Poem Contest, and was the youngest writer to be shortlisted twice for The New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Essay Contest. She is completing a double-major in English and World Literature at SFU. An editor on the Room collective, she is also a youth mentor with Vancouver Poetry House, web coordinator with poetry in canada, and directs her own non-profit editing and mentorship program, 4827 Revise Revision St.

Lydia Kwa was born in Singapore but moved to Toronto to begin studies in Psychology at U of Toronto in 1980. After finishing her graduate studies in Clinical Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, she moved to Calgary, Alberta; then to Vancouver, and has lived and worked here on the traditional and the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples since 1992. Kwa has published two books of poetry (The Colours of Heroines, 1992; sinuous, 2013) and four novels (This Place Called Absence, 2000; The Walking Boy, 2005 and 2019; Pulse, 2010 and 2014; Oracle Bone, 2017). Her next novel A Dream Wants Waking will be published by Buckrider Books, an imprint of Wolsak & Wynn in Fall 2023. A third book of poetry from time to new will be published by Gordon Hill Press in Fall 2024. She won the Earle Birney Poetry Prize in 2018; and her novels have been nominated for several awards, including the Lambda Literary Award for Fiction.She has also exhibited her art work at Centre A (2014) and Massy Art Gallery (2018); and has self-published two poetry-visual art chapbooks. An essay “The Wheel of Life: From Paradigm to Presence” appears in the art catalogue In the Present Moment: Buddhism, Contemporary Art, and Social Practice by Haema Sivanesan (Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 2022). Kwa lives and works on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, in a city known by its colonial name Vancouver.

Fred Wah lives in Vancouver and the West Kootenays. He was Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate 2011-2013 and made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013. His award-winning poetry, fiction, and non-fiction include Sentenced to Light, his collaborations with visual artists, is a door, a series of poems about hybridity, and Scree: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1962-1991 published in 2015. His latest writing involves the Columbia River (http://www.riverrelations.ca/new-page) as does his collaboration with Rita Wong, beholden: a poem as long as the river, published by Talonbooks in the fall of 2018. High Muck a Muck: Playing Chinese, An Interactive Poem is available online (http://highmuckamuck.ca/) and an adaptation of his bio-fiction Diamond Grill called A Door To Be Kicked was released as a radio play for Kootenay Co-Op Radio in 2021. Music at the Heart of Thinking: Improvisations was published by Talonbooks in the fall of 2020.

Since January 1999, Wakefield Brewster has been known as one of Canada’s most popular and prolific Performance Poets.
He is a Black man born and raised in Toronto, by parents hailing from the island of Beautiful Barbados, and he has resided in Calgary since 2006. Since moving to Calgary, he has produced two professional recordings to his credit (Wakefield Brewster, da lyrical pitbull, 2007; east2west, 2008). In 2019, he was appointed as the very First Resident Poet & Spoken Word Artist of The Grand Theatre House in Calgary, Alberta. In 2021, he joined The League Of Canadian Poets in order to become a more integral part of Canada’s Literary scene, while representing the standards of Diversity and Representation. Also in 2021, he joined the Board of Directors of the E.A.R. Society – Emergency Artist’s Relief Society, providing emergency relief funding and affordable Health Care for Artists. In 2022 he was appointed Calgary’s 6th Poet Laureate, the Calgary Poet Laureate produces literary work that is reflective of Calgary’s landscape, cityscape, and civic identity and that may raise awareness of local issues.
He has spoken across Canada, and several States, and makes countless appearances on a regular basis in a variety of ways, for a myriad of reasons, throughout each and every single year.

Warren Cariou was born in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan into a family of Métis and European heritage.  Though he has lived away from Meadow Lake for many years, his art and academic work maintains a focus on the cultural and environmental questions that have preoccupied the people of his homeland.  His books, films, photography and scholarly research explore themes of community, environment, orality and belonging in the Canadian west, with particular focus on the relationships between Indigenous stories and the land. Warren Cariou is a professor in the Department of English, Theatre, Film and Media at the University of Manitoba.  He lives in Winnipeg with his wife, the poet and professor Alison Calder.

Amy LeBlanc is a PhD student in English and creative writing at the University of Calgary. Amy’s debut poetry collection, I know something you don’t know (Gordon Hill Press, 2020) was long listed for the 2021 ReLit Award and selected as a finalist for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. Her novella, Unlocking (University of Calgary Press, 2021) was a finalist for the Trade Fiction Book of the Year through the Book Publishers Association of Alberta. Amy’s most recent book, Homebodies (Great Plains Publications, 2023), is a collection of interconnected Gothic short stories. Her next poetry collection, I used to live here, is forthcoming with Gordon Hill Press in 2025. Amy’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Fiddlehead, Room, Arc, Canadian Literature, and the Literary Review of Canada among others. Amy is a recipient of the 2020 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award and a Canada Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral Program Award for her doctoral research into fictional representations of chronic illness and gothic spaces. Amy is a 2022 Killam Laureate and a recipient of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal.

Show Notes:

00:02:45 – Yilin Wang Biography

00:03:31 – Yilin Wang Reading

00:07:72 – Isabella Wang Biography

00:08:22 – Isabella Wang Reading

00:13:58 – Lydia Kwa Biography

00:14:37 – Lydia Kwa Reading

00:20:40 – Fred Wah Biograph

00:21:48 – Fred Wah Reading

00:33:27 – Wakefield Brewster Biography

00:34:25 – Wakefield Brewster Reading

00:45:10 – Warren Cariou Biography

00:45:56 – Warren Cariou Reading

00:51:51 – Amy LeBlanc Biography

00:53:03 – Amy LeBlanc Reading

TIA House recognizes the generous support of the Canada Research Chairs program and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. We also appreciate the support of the Faculty of Arts and the Department of English at the University of Calgary, where our offices are housed, as well as the guidance of Marc Stoeckle at the Taylor Family Digital Library.

TIA House is run by Larissa Lai, Shuyin Yu, Ryan Stearne, Shazia Ramji, Rebecca Geleyn, Mikka Jacobsen, Benjamin Ghan, Amy LeBlanc, Marc Lynch, and Mahmoud Ababneh.
Our Intro/Outro music is Monarch of the Streets by Loyalty Freak Music, accessed from the Free Music Archive.

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