What: Performing the Archive Reading Series
Who: Daphne Marlatt with special guest Šari Dale
When: Thursday, September 19 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: Milkcrate Records, 527 Lawrence Ave.
English honours student, Megan Butchart, invited acclaimed Canadian poet and novelist, Daphne Marlatt to UBC Okanagan.
Marlatt is an internationally renowned, lesbian-feminist poet, essayist, and novelist based in Vancouver, B.C. She is a UBC alumna and was one of the second-wave of undergraduate writers and editors of the student poetry newsletter Tish.
We met up with Megan to find out more about her work in organizing this event, and what this visit will offer to our literary community.
Q. Why did you choose Daphne Marlatt to invite for this event?
Megan: Marlatt features prominently on the literary audio recordings within the SoundBox collection and after working with these recordings as a Research Assistant on the SSHRC-funded SpokenWeb Partnership in the AMP Lab, I wanted to curate an event that would mobilize the archive and involve those poets whose voices are captured on the recordings. As a Vancouver poet who has written about communities across British Columbia and as a UBC alumna, Marlatt has strong connections to the Okanagan which I think will resonate with UBCO students and the local community.
Q. Tell us what Marlatt will be doing while in Kelowna?
Megan: Marlatt will be visiting Kelowna to participate in multiple events over two days. On September 19th, a lunch/close-listening event will be held in the AMP Lab (FIP 251) for UBCO students and faculty from noon to 1 pm. Later that evening Marlatt will be giving a public poetry reading at Milkcrate Records as part of the new “Performing the Archive” reading series, co-organized with local arts organization the Inspired Word Café. That reading will feature Marlatt interacting with recently-digitized audio recordings of herself reading from leaf leaf/s in 1969. On September 20th Dr. Karis Shearer and I will conduct an oral-history interview of Marlatt which will subsequently be made available in a podcast. Excerpts from that interview will also form the basis for a student chapbook-making workshop in October.
Q. Please explain what you think this visit from such a prominent author will have for students, and to the writing community.
Megan: These events will be both an opportunity to introduce Marlatt’s work to a wider audience and allow those who are already familiar with her work to experience it in a performative context. This initiative invites the participation of a diverse and interdisciplinary audience including English, History, and Creative Writing students, queer students, UBC alumni, faculty members, and others within the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies. By holding events both at UBCO and downtown Kelowna we hope to encourage dialogue between literary and creative communities both on campus and off.
Q. What kinds of support have you received to organize these events?
Megan: I received Tuum Est Funding to assist with the September 19th and 20th events. SpokenWeb at UBCO has provided support both through access to its archival collections and as a secondary funder. The Inspired Word Café is co-organizer of the “Performing the Archive” reading at Milkcrate Records. This event will feature an open-mic, community reader Šari Dale (UBCO Creative Writing), guest reader Daphne Marlatt, and a Q&A period. Both the IWC and Dr. Karis Shearer have provided invaluable mentorship and support in this curation.
Q. How did you find out about the Tuum Est Funding and decide to apply for this event?
Megan: I learned of the Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund through UBCO Fine Arts alumnus Evan Berg, who had received Tuum Est funding to bring artist Timur Si-Qin to Kelowna for a lecture last March. I thought it would be wonderful to host a similar event for the literary community.
In anticipation of Marlatt’s visit, SpokenWeb at UBCO is hosting an “Epic Reading” event on September 12th at the AMP Lab (FIP 251) from 10am to 1pm.. The “Epic Reading” is a free, drop-by event, in which participants will take turns reading aloud from Marlatt’s poetry collections in order of publication. This casual, community-building event also affords an opportunity for students, faculty, and guests to read and familiarize themselves with Marlatt’s work before her public reading on September 19th.
The September 19th poetry reading will be a free event in downtown Kelowna. The event is supported by UBC’s Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund.
More about Daphne Marlatt
Marlatt is the author of numerous poetry collections including Steveston (1974), Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now (2013) and Reading Sveva (2016). Marlatt has received many awards for her literary contributions including the Order of Canada in 2006, the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for The Given in 2009, and the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.