september, 2021

26sep11:30 am12:30 pmFeaturedCelebrating the 2021 Trillium Book Award for PoetryIrfan Ali, Jody Chan. Moderator: Chuqiao Yang.11:30 am - 12:30 pm(GMT-04:00) View in my time

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Speakers for this event

  • Chuqiao Yang

    Chuqiao Yang


    Chuqiao Yang has been the recipient of two Western Magazine Awards (2011) and a finalist for the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers (2015). Her first chapbook, Reunions in the Year of the Sheep won the bpNicholChapbook Award (baseline press, 2018).


  • Irfan Ali

    Irfan Ali


    Irfan Ali is a writer and educator from Toronto. His first collection Accretion (Brick Books) was shortlisted for the 2021 Trillium Book Award for Poetry. He was a past finalist for the 2015 Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Ali’s words have appeared in The Puritan, Trampoline Hall, and filling Station.


  • Jody Chan

    Jody Chan


    Jody Chan (they/them) is an artist, organizer, and therapist based in Toronto. They are the author of haunt (Damaged Goods Press), all our futures (PANK), and sick, winner of the 2018 St. Lawrence Book Award and 2021 Trillium Award for Poetry. They are also a member of the Switch Collective, and a Performing Member of Raging Asian Womxn Taiko Drummers.


Event Details

Celebrating the finalists for the 2021 Trillium Book Award for Poetry, honouring new and emerging Ontario poets, awarded by Ontario Creates.

Moderated by Chuqiao Yang.

Books featured:

Brick Books

The story of Layla and Majnun, made immortal by the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi in the 12th century, has been retold thousands of times, in thousands of different ways, throughout literature. Against the backdrop of this story, to the soundtrack of modern hip-hop, and amid the struggle of an immigrant family to instill an old faith under new conditions, Irfan Ali’s Accretion hurtles toward an unsustainable, “greater madness.” Majnun, one of the foundational literary characters who haunt Accretion, is also an Arabic epithet for “possessed.” In this tradition, Ali has written a book from the places where the self is no longer the self; places where, in order not to shut down forever, the debris must be cleared, and the soul must inch toward love and hope, “on memory’s dusty beams.”

Accretion is written in a contemporary lyricism that honours ancient poetic traditions. It is a familiar story, imbued with a particularity and honesty that only Irfan Ali could bring to the table.

Black Lawrence Press

Jody Chan writes, “have you ever found your specific wounds curled up in a song / written by someone else?” This striking debut—poems of history, of beauty, of violence, of grief—unearths tenderness. In sick, Jody Chan examines loss through brilliant and stunning lyric, each poem urgent with gentle ferocity.


Promotional Partner: VERSeFest

Supported by Ontario Creates