Saturday, November 2nd: 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm

Home and Away: A Roundtable Conversation

with Lamees Al Ethari, Helen Knott, Vinh Nguyen & Ayelet Tsabari

BSIA • Room 1-42

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How do displaced writers locate themselves in their writing? Refugee, immigrant, and Indigenous writers have pushed the boundaries of language to express their experiences. But they’re also challenging expectations of what it means to be a displaced writer in Canada. Join this intimate roundtable conversation to traverse these topics and more. 

Please note: Helen Knott is unable to attend this event and sends her sincere regrets.

  • LAMEES AL ETHARI immigrated to Canada with her husband and two boys in 2008. She holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo, where she has been teaching academic and creative writing since 2015. 

    Her poetry has been published in About Place Journal, The New Quarterly, The Malpais Review, the anthology Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, and printed as broadsides. Her collection of poems titled From the Wounded Banks of the Tigris was published in 2018 and her memoir on the American invasion of Iraq, Waiting for the Rain, was published in 2019.

  • HELEN KNOTT is a Dane Zaa, Nehiyaw, and mixed Euro-descent woman living in Fort St. John, British Columbia. In 2016 Helen was one of sixteen global change makers featured by the Nobel Women’s Initiative for being committed to end gender-based violence. Helen was selected as a 2019 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Author. The memoir, In My Own Moccasins (University of Regina Press 2019), is her first book.

  • VINH NGUYEN specializes in refugee, immigrant, and diasporic literature and culture. He held a SSHRC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, a Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction, and a Harry Lyman Hooker Fellowship, among other honors. He is the 2017 recipient of the John C. Polanyi Prize in Literature. His writing can be found or are forthcoming in Social Text, MELUSARIELCanadian LiteratureLife Writing, and Canadian Review of American Studies.  

  • AYELET TSABARI was born in Israel to a large family of Yemeni descent. She is the author of the memoir in essays The Art of Leaving, finalist for the Writer’s Trust Hilary Weston Prize and winner of the Jewish Literary Award for memoir. Her first book, The Best Place on Earth, won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and was long listed to the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. The book was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a Kirkus Review Best Book of 2016, and has been published internationally. Recently, Ayelet’s work appeared in Body and Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers, edited by Susan Scott.

    Photo Credit: Jonathan Bloom