Surrey Stories Connect: Teens and Seniors Write Surrey Photos

Friday May 12, 2017: evening, up in Room 418, Surrey City Centre public library, writers and friends celebrated the launch of this book: a time-capsule of Surrey, Autumn 2016, through the writings of seniors and youth from the Cloverdale, Strawberry Hill areas of Surrey as well as at Historic Stewart Farm. Co-edited by Meghan Savage and Renee Sarojini Saklikar:

My Poetry Foundation Interview with Paolo Javier

R-Saklikar-Surrey-Poet-Laureate-photo-by-J-Janzen
Image by J Janzen

Now live, my interview on Poetry Foundation’s blog “Harriet” with guest editor Paolo Javier, former poet laureate of Queens, NY. Here’s an excerpt:

PJ: …Could we talk about your formative years in Surrey/New West? Specifically, when did you start writing poetry, and who were your early inspirations? I imagine living in New West, which is a stone’s throw from the Fraser River, must have some influence in terms of your notion of, well…I’ll let you take it from here.

RSS: I love that phrase, “formative years”: they seem to take the long view with me. Heh. I’ve always had this chronicle-compulsion, just didn’t realize for a long time, that my addiction to writing things down was part of a writing practice, was what defined me as a writer: images, sounds, rhythms, always these were in-coming to me and I took them, language-bits: held, rubbed, stored, taken-out again. My father reading me Mother Goose Nursery rhymes, me, a copy-cat, inventing my own. Scribbling.

So, early inspirations: fairy-tales, nursery rhymes, TV adverts, street signage, dictionaries, the sound of my parents’ speaking/arguing in English-Gujarati (my mother’s mother tongue); the sound of how Other People spoke.

New West when I grew up there, was a well-settled place in the sense of its relation to the colonial history of the province, The Royal City, and as the daughter of a United Church Minister, I settled into place, if that makes sense. My first book, children of air india, un/authorized exhibits and interjections (Nightwood Editions, 2013), explores this idea a fair bit…

And yes, always, the river: I can’t get away from it. Every time I cross The Fraser into/out of Surrey, I have to look up, look at those grey waters, effluent-filled, that deep undertow current: I grew up hearing stories about the grasp of that current, how she’d take you in…”

Read Our Conversation Here

Tripwire 12 * AKA Vancouver: Writings from the Unceded Territories

My long poem, THOT-J-BAP, appears in Issue 12, of Oakland, CA’s Tripwire (David Buuck, editor) in a feature on Vancouver writers, including…

Jordan AbelGeorge BoweringLouis CabriJeff DerksenAmy D’AthMercedes EngRyan FitzpatrickSonnet L’Abbe, Danielle LaFranceChristine LeclercDonato ManciniRolf Maurerrob mclennanCecily NicholsonLisa Robertson, Stephen CollisFred WahRita Wong, and others…

…along with a special tribute to Peter Culley. Thrilled to keep this company and Unceded.

Issue Available Here

Arts 2017: Reflections on Canada – A Panel Discussion

In light of Canada’s 150th anniversary this year, there is a lot of conversation about our country—its past, present, and future. How are local artists responding to Canada?”

Looking forward to being on a panel this Thursday with visual artist Kira Wu, ceramic artist Laura Wee Lay Laq, and musician Amarjeet Singh. A slide from my presentation:Canadian Art

Location: Surrey Art Gallery, 13750 88 Avenue
Date & Time: July 27, 2017  7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Admission: Free!
Presented by the Surrey Art Gallery and Arts Council of Surrey

Learn More Here

July 6: Beckoned by the Story – A Workshop for Teens

Beckoned by the Story Teen Writing Workshop

Explore the art of memoir writing with Surrey’s Poet Laureate Renée Sarojini Saklikar and Surrey author and memoir coach Sylvia Taylor. Inspiration will draw from the rich multicultural fabric of Surrey. We’ll examine our unique relationship to the west coast and its waterways. Group and individual writing exercises will prepare you to write your own life story! For teens ages 12-18.”

Date: Thursday, July 6th
Time: 1:30 – 4:30 PM
Location: City Centre Library, 10350 University Drive, Surrey, BC – Teen Lounge

Click Here for More Details