To travel the city, listening – The League of Canadian Poets

The second in a series of blog posts for The League of Canadian Poets, on the experience of being Surrey’s Poet Laureate:

…I’m late and sit at the back of a large room where up at the front, M.G. Vassanji delivers his address. He’s won two Giller prizes, the Governor General’s Prize for non-fiction and a Canada Council Molson Prize for the Arts, so his soft-spoken examination of resistance to main stream “pressure” to conform grabs my interest. Vassanji asks a question that animates my life-long work: “what do we mean by Canadian?” He explores potential linkages between “The Other” in Canadian literature and suburbia, and shares thoughts on how “mainstream/establishment” ideas of quality in literature can be seen in juxtaposition to what might be thought of as “margin/al” and I’m reminded of that old Italian political slogan, the margins are at the centre…”

Read the rest here

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