WordsThaw 2013 - March 23, 2013

In Our Names: Writers on Poverty
Organized by the Victoria Writers' Festival

3:45 - 5:45 p.m.
UVic, Human and Social Development Building
Room A240

Current narratives about poverty - the poor will always be with us, taxes are a burden - need a shake. Patrick Lane, Madeline Sonik, and Sylivia Olsen know the true, and richer, story. Moderated by City Councillor Lisa Helps.

Patrick LanePatrick Lane is one of Canada's pre-eminent poets, winner of numerous awards, including the Governor General's Award for Poetry, the Canadian Authors Association Award, the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence and three National Magazine Awards. This coming fall, he will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of British Columbia and from the University of Victoria. His distinguished career spans fifty years and twenty-five volumes of poetry as well as award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction.

He has lived and travelled extensively around the world and his work has been published in a number of countries, including England, France, the Czech Republic, Italy, China, Japan, Chile, Colombia, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, and Russia. He has been a writer in residence and teacher at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, the University of Victoria in British Columbia, and the University of Toronto in Ontario. Patrick Lane lives near Victoria, BC, with his wife, Lorna Crozier.

Madeline Sonik

Madeline Sonik  is an eclectic, award-winning writer and anthologist whose fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction have appeared in literary journals internationally. Her published book-length works include a novel, Arms, a collection of short fiction, Drying the Bones, a children’s novel, Belinda and the Dustbunnys, and two poetry collections, Stone Sightings and The Book of Changes. Her most recent collection of personal essays,  Afflictions & Departures, won the 2013 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize, was nominated for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, and was also a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.

Sylvia OlsenSylvia Olsen is a writer and public speaker living on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. She is the author of several picture books, a number of first readers and novels for young adults and one nonfiction. Most of all she is a mother and grandmother and aunty to dozens of nieces and nephews.

Sylvia has spent most of her life living in Tsartlip First Nation, where her children and grandchildren now live. Because Sylvia is non-native and her children are of mixed heritage most of her stories are about the place—the time—the experience of where different sorts of people come together. That’s one of the things that interests her the most. It’s one of the things she knows the most about—and like many authors—Sylvia writes about what she knows.

Her newest books are: a historical fiction set in the Gulf Islands called Counting on Hope (Sono Nis, Fall 2009) and A Different Game (Orca Books, Spring 2010). She is currently working on an adult nonfiction and dreaming up a new story for a Young Adult novel (making it up is her favourite part of the writing process).

Lisa Helps

Lisa Helps spends much of her time working in the community on place-based solutions to global and national challenges, and to increasing citizen engagement. She is a founder and currently the Executive Director of the Victoria Community Micro Lending Society which helps to build  a vibrant local economy, foster sustainable business, reduce local poverty, and empower people. She also facilitates strategic planning and visioning sessions for organizations and small groups. Lisa was on the the Board of Directors of Victoria’s Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group (Fernwood NRG) when the Society purchased and restored the Cornerstone building, built affordable housing units, and opened the Cornerstone Café as an enterprising non-profit venture. She is thrilled to be working for Community Micro Lending and is excited about the prospect of "changing everything." Finally, Lisa was elected to Victoria City Council in November 2011 and is happy to be helping create a vibrant city where everyone can thrive.

**On Tuesday, March 12th, listen to Amy Reiswig and Colin Dower host John Gould and Rhona McAdam on U in the Ring, CFUV 101.9 FM.

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