Lecture Series in Fine Arts
Through the generous support of the Orion Fund in Fine Arts, the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, is pleased to present:
Inquiries into selfhood
Join influential poet Canisia Lubrin in conversation about her writing journey and hear her read from her highly acclaimed second collection, The Dyzgrapxst (McClelland & Stewart, 2020). The Dyzgraphxst was named to multiple “Book of the Year” lists, including CBC and Quill & Quire, and was a poetry finalist for the inaugural Rebel Women Lit Awards. Her debut, Voodoo Hypothesis (Wolsak & Wynn, 2017), was named a CBC Best Book.
Lubrin’s publications include translations of her work into Spanish, Italian, French and German. She has contributed to Brick, Joyland, Poetry London, Poets.org, blackiris.co and elsewhere. Her writing has been recognized by, among others, the Toronto Book Award, Journey Prize, Gerald Lampert, Pat Lowther and the Writers Trust.
Also an editor, translator and critic, she was born in St. Lucia and studied writing at York University and the University of Guelph. Lubrin teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto and OCAD University. Her first collection of short fiction, Code Noir, is forthcoming from Knopf Canada.
About The Dyzgraphxst
The Dyzgraphxst presents seven inquiries into selfhood through the perennial figure Jejune. Polyvocal in register, the book moves to mine meanings of kinship through the wide and intimate reach of language across geographies and generations. Against the contemporary backdrop of intensified capitalist fascism, toxic nationalism, and climate disaster, the figure Jejune asks, how have I come to make home out of unrecognizability. Marked by and through diasporic life, Jejune declares, I was not myself. I am not myself. My self resembles something having nothing to do with me.
The poet’s “job”
When asked in a Poetry In Voice interview about her “job” as a poet, Lubrin offered this response: “I think that today a poet writes into and out of the chaos of life the things that trouble notions of humanity as a species with only utilitarian interests or provocations or purposes . . . . Perhaps, ultimately, the poet’s job is as the poet decides, but the work of poetry is elemental and expands the possibility for our lives beyond mere utility, beyond the basic needs that reduce us to some oversimplified version of ‘what is real and who we are’.”
About the Orion Fund
Established through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts is designed to bring distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada—and the world—to the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and to make their talents and achievements available to faculty, students, staff and the wider Greater Victoria community who might otherwise not be able to experience their work.
The Orion Fund also exists to encourage institutions outside Canada to invite regular faculty members from our Faculty of Fine Arts to be visiting artists/scholars at their institutions; and to make it possible for Fine Arts faculty members to travel outside Canada to participate in the academic life of foreign institutions and establish connections and relationships with them in order to encourage and foster future exchanges.