The Literary Café at the Harrison Festival of the Arts has a bit of green theme this year, as it celebrates the publication of an anthology of Pacific Coast environmental writing.
This year’s café will take place at 8:30 pm on Monday, July 8 at the Harrison Memorial Hall. It is presented by Continuing Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley.
Contributors to the Cascadia: the Life and Breath of the World anthology will read at the event, including recent UFV writer-in-residence Rex Weyler, and Gabriel George, who will read excerpts from his grandfather Chief Dan George’s writing, as well as pieces from the Chief Sepass poems. Poet Eve Joseph will also read.
“This year’s Literary Café promises to be a joyful celebration evening of poetry, First Nations stories and wisdom, and downhome Fraser Valley music that will leave you believing in the magic of community, ecology, and our Pacific Coast spirit,” says Trevor Carolan, a UFV English instructor who will co-host the evening with Cheryl Isaac, director of Continuing Studies at UFV.
Carolan notes that it’s appropriate that the readings will be held in the midst of the beautiful mountain/lake splendour of Harrison Hot Springs, as the evening will “celebrate the cultural and environmental richness of our unique bioregion.”
Singer/songwriter Franklyn Currie will provide musical interludes. Both Currie and Gabriel George are former UFV students.
There are several UFV connections to the new environmental anthology, which is being published as a special book edition of the Manoa journal by the University of Hawaii Press in partnership with the UFV Research Office. Cascadia: the Life and Breath of the World features work by Hugh Brody, UFV Canada Research Chair, anthropologist, and filmmaker; Robert Bringhurst, who received an honorary degree from UFV in 2006; Lee Maracle, who has taught English at UFV; and Richard Van Camp and Rex Weyler, who have been UFV writers-in-residence. Carolan co-edited the anthology with Frank Stewart of the University of Hawaii.
“There is also a strong contingent of First Nations authors from B.C. in the anthology,” says Carolan. “In addition to Lee Maracle, Richard Van Camp, we feature Eden Robinson, Richard Wagamese, Chief Dan George, and Chief William K’HHalserten Sepass. We’re especially happy that Gabriel George, sacred trustkeeper with the TsleilWaututh First Nation and grandson of Chief Dan George, will be appearing at the Literary Café and reading from work in the book by his grandfather, and from the Chief Sepass poems.”
Tickets for the Literary Café are available online at www.harrisonfestival.com and by phone at 604-796-3664.