( * many of the hyperlinks lead to blogposts and photo albums of the events ( : enjoy!)
2012 began with my being invited by Director Betsy Warland, along with a handful of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University alumni from different years, to speak to the 2012 students on their orientation day. About our experience with TWS, writing careers goals and plans for the future. That was fun!
In March and June I completed my elective paper for th TWS course, by attending Betsy Warland’s SFU classes The Reluctant Memoirist and Memoir of Inquiry. Both I found very liberating, and developed a better understanding of creative-nonfiction. If you don’t know things because you weren’t there, writing from another characters point of view, were too young, or weren’t born etc, use your imagination! This led me on some wild and interesting tangents!
June also saw the launch of chapbooks by members of The Independents (The Poetry and Lyric Prose TWS alumni 2011) at a wonderful reading we had at (the alas now closed) Cafe Montmartre, with Jen Currin being a great MC! A manuscript for my poetry chapbook Transit of Venus – about love, public transit, and life transitions, was short-listed for the Doire Press prize. A good time was had by all, lots of photos here.
I participated in 6 anthology book launches and/or readings throughout the year. Including in January an Exhibition of Caregivers Creativity. Leaf Press The Wild Weathers chocolatey love poem anthology launch in February at Historic Joy Kogawa House. March the lively Enpipe Line book launch of opposition to the Endbridge oil pipeline proposal. August I was invited by Poetry is Dead to represent them at a reading for MagScence on Main on a hot summer evening. The the standing room only Queer Issue of Poetry is Dead Magazine in November with a lively interactive launch. I was invited by curator Aileen Penner to participate in The Science of Poetry Vol. 1. An amazing collaboration between 5 poets and 5 scientists, resulting in 10 new poems and beautiful limited edition chapbook. A barely standing room only reading at which my working partner and I, Adrienne Drobnies read our work to the accompaniment of an audio mashup I designed, photos from my Views from Cancer Town series, and an installation of illuminated body casts used to immobilize people during radiation ‘treatment’.
On the audio-visual front I was invited to present my water photography based new media installations aqwai, tiarika and going coastal in the July mixed media Homecoming Exhibition at Gibsons Public Art Gallery. In August I completed the video poems Jest or Malice and Freedom, which have been languishing on my hard drive for a number of years, without music and titles, and posted them online!
September I was invited to fly to Canmore, Alberta as one of two professional artists representing the province of BC, at the BeyondAccess2012 gathering of 14 artists from across Canada who work inside and outside disability and arts and culture. Had a great time amongst my peers, worked really hard, met great artists across disciplines. We resolved to form DACAC – Disability Arts and Culture Canada. In preparation for this event and next 2013’s Retrospective Exhibition in NZ ( see below) I created a 90 slide power point presentation tracing my development across artistic disciplines in the past 20 + years. Using the themes of my arts practice: - collaboration, cross-cultural, mentorship, and interdisciplinary. It is interesting to observe your own work in that way and see how things and people come back around in different forms years later.
The year was completed by my graduating from SFU, along with about 10 of my fellow 2011 graduates, our certificates presented by new TWS Director Wayde Compton. I especially enjoyed the speech by writer and publisher Mary Schendlinger whose very informative SFU course Getting Published: From Manuscript to Book I recently completed. She talked about the need for both amateurs and professionals in writing, the 10, 000 hours it takes to become a good writer, the importance to language to children’s development, and some very humorous asides!
2013 is already shaping up to be a good year! I applied to and was accepted into Betsy Warlands VMI program - Vancouver Manuscript Intensive. I will be working with her in the Creative Nonfiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Mixed-genre group, (with fellow TWS Poetry and Lyric Prose alumni Yaana Dancer). Yay! On a manuscript of 33 plus auto-biographical stories in a girl called brian, (because my life is far stranger than anything I could make up!) Below an excerpt from a flash fiction opening premise. I am very much looking forward to shaping this manuscript with Betsy, especially given her current Oscar of Between project.
“Black and White: A photo you will find when you are twenty-five years old. Two older women with babies on their knees’, everyone is laughing. It will defi(n)e everything you have been told. This is what you need to know: you will grow into something beautiful. Something in-between. When you are six your older sister will call this something, Brian. Even though your birth certificate says you are a girl.....”
I have been commissioned to complete a number of Video Poems for Stage Left’s 2013 performance festivals. I will likely work on 2-3 of my Views from Cancer Town video poems.
The ultimate event for me in 2013, which I have been working on all this year in terms of logistics, funding, press, with curators Elizabeth Kerekere and Treason Seditio is Re-Tern: Hokinga Mahara – A Meg Torwl Retrospective. In association with the New Zealand Fringe Festival 2013 Wellington, and LAGANZ present an interdisciplinary exhibition of my video, new media, performance, photography, audio, writing. Thistle Hall Gallery March 5-10. It’s going to be a great experience, I hope to attend! I also received support with this project from the NZ Mix and Mash competition. Through which I applied for and received a Mentor for 2012, Elizabeth Vaneveld, ED of The Big Idea, Aotearoa/NZ’s online arts community
Let me know how your 2012 went and your plans for 2013?