Narrating Identity, Memory, and (Dis)Belonging
with Lamees Al Ethari and Antonio Michael Downing
How do writers tell their stories while they are still finding their place in the world?
Antonio Michael Downing’s SAGA BOY is a memoir of creativity and transformation. He narrates a deeply personal account of a young immigrant’s search for belonging and black identity. At the heart of his odyssey: a longing for home. Join Lamees Al Ethari and Antonio Michael Downing to explore how writers navigate complicated personal histories amid the long-lasting effects of cultural dislocation.
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ANTONIO MICHAEL DOWNING grew up in southern Trinidad, Northern Ontario, Brooklyn, and Kitchener. He is a musician, writer, and activist based in Toronto. His 2010 debut novel, Molasses (Blaurock Press), was published to critical acclaim. In 2017 he was named by the RBC Taylor Prize as one of Canada’s top Emerging Authors for nonfiction. He performs and composes music as John Orpheus.
LAMEES AL ETHARI holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo, where she has been teaching creative and academic writing since 2015. She has published a collection of poems titled From the Wounded Banks of the Tigris (2018) and, more recently, a memoir titled Waiting for the Rain (2019). Her poems have appeared in About Place Journal, The New Quarterly, The Malpais Review, and the anthology Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. She is a nonfiction editor with The New Quarterly and a co-coordinator for The X Page: A Storytelling Workshop for Immigrant Women.