Sailing to Byzantium–An Event to Remember


Student guest post by English Students Association President, Chris Shunamon

Chris Shunamon and Tal Wieczorek at the “Sailing to Byzantium” event.

All photo credits–Chris Shunamon


On November 24th the University of the Fraser Valley’s English, Visual Arts, and Theatre Student Associations jointly hosted “Sailing to Byzantium,” a showcase for the artists of each discipline to share the art they’ve created during their time at UFV.

A panel framed around the William Yeats poem of the same name was hosted, with the English department’s professor Andrew Gutteridge reading the poem before explaining some of the deeper intricacies found within it. After Andrew’s reading, the head of each department—Heather Davis-Fisch (Theatre), Shelley Stefan (Visual Arts), and Melissa Walter (English)—discussed the poem and its relation to their discipline.

Beginning the presentation of the artist’s creations, poets Tal Wieczorek, Alex Rake, Laurel Logan, and Martin Castro shared poems that they’ve written. Alex Rake is a UFV alumni and has been working on an E-Zine called The Erthly Distraction, which features local art—including fellow presenter Martin Castro’s poem “Leaving the Feast.”

Alex Rake and Martin Castro

Laurel Logan

The layout of the event was intended to immerse the audience in the works of the visual artists, and it accomplished this effectively.

Cassie de Jong

Jessica Johnson, Zaira Ramirez, Katie Strand, Cassie de Jong, Austin Kwidzinski, Sidi Chen, Maddy Hildebrandt, Jessica Peatman, and Katherine Searle all submitted a variety of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photo etchings which formed a semi-circle hugging the audience of nearly three dozen and ensuring that they were able to experience poetry and visual art simultaneously.

What could be better than that? Except Yeat’s Byzantium, of course!

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