auspicious start

Had the first big event of my SFU writer-in-residency yesterday at the Segal Building on Granville at Pender. Beautiful space, great crowd. We recognized people from all quarters of the city, and from many communities. Warm welcome from the Department Chair, Tom Grieve, and kind opening remarks from Vice-President John Waterhouse and Associate Dean Alison Gill. Really great introduction from Sophie McCall, who quoted this blog! (Jeez, people read this thing!)I read a little from Salt Fish Girl, and the opening of another new novel tentatively entitled The New Flesh. (May have to change it. Colin Smith says Cronenberg uses it lot in Videodrome. I love Cronenberg. Haven’t watched that film in a decade.)Afterwards did a Q & A that I’ve had lots of positive feedback about. I think it was a successful evening. Roy Miki and Sophie McCall, who put a lot of work and vision into making this event happen, seemed pleased.

There were lots of great people in the audience, from various corners of my travels. My housemates Aimee Sturley and Kevin Lee came, with their respective partners Tim and Evangeline. Shirley Bear and her partner Peter were there, smiling encouragingly from about five rows back. Peter asked a tough question about voice. I was happy to see old friends and fellow cultural workers Fred Wah, Pauline Butling, Marie Annharte-Baker, Haruko Okano, Erin Soros, Garry Gotfriedson, Jordan Scott, Steve Collis, Michael Barnholden, Lorna Boschman, Fiona Lam, Nikki Reimer, Jonathan Wilcke, Kirsten McAllister and Rita Wong. And it seems there is a whole new generation of people who are writing or doing other kinds of political/artistic work. They asked good but hard questions in the discussion period. Afterwards, I had good chats with a few of them. Then to Steamworks for a beer.

Slept right through my alarm today. Later I’ll go to the Roundhouse to hear Garry Gottfriedson, Richard Van Camp and Louise Halfe read. After that, if I’m not completely wrecked, Adrian Stimson and Terrence Houle performing at the Wise Hall as part of Full Circle’s Talking Stick Festival, at 8.

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