why vancouver is great

lovely dinner with sophie, david and their daughter maya on monday. maya hid on us and we couldn’t find her. thought she went behind the picture frame, or into the olives or under the table. she can also walk like a penguin, and had us following her around the living room in full waddle. delicious food, great talks about books (dionne brand’s _What We All Long For_ in particular), david’s novel-in-progress (which he promises to share, but so far has not coughed up… david…). they gave some super helpful feedback on paper i’m working on.

working at school has been productive. i’ve got several projects starting to gain momentum. though the no-name novel is still giving me grief. students have starting coming by to introduce themselves. there’s a recently started up student mag at sfu called _iamb_. lots of energy behind it. i’ll have my first student consultations next week.

last night had supper with my old friend haruko okano. she’s working at a community gallery right in my neighbourhood, at the britannia community centre, and doing a bunch of her own art, all with found, organic materials that decompose and change over time. haruko’s work is amazing because it breaks all our expectations about gallery art as permanent, archivable, transportable and (financially) valuable. every thing is time-based, slow-paced and biodegradable.

i’ve been riding to school on monday and wednesday mornings with roy– great chats about the election, citizenship, the global world order. much fun.

tonight– a panel on citizenship at sfu harbour centre, with roy miki, david chariandy, lorena gale and daphne marlatt. some heated discussion. a bunch of very conflicting discourses. question of the value of citizenship when it can be suspended at any time through moments of exception, invoked through the patriot act, the war measures act, the anti-terrorism act etc. some anxiety in the room about the notion of ‘belonging’. afterwards, caught the tail end of the launch of the new _west coast line_ at the honey lounge. i’m tired, but it’s great to be in the midst of all this thinking and doing.

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