Award-winning local author, Laisha Rosnau, launches her fourth book of poetry April 24 at the Caetani Cultural Centre.
Rosnau, who grew up in Vernon and moved back with her young family in 2010, is the author of the best-selling novel, The Sudden Weight of Snow, and three previous books of poetry, each of which has been nominated for or won national awards.
Her fourth, Our Familiar Hunger, was inspired by her maternal grandparents, who immigrated to Canada from Ukraine, and from current news stories about conflict in the region.
“Our daughter started Ukrainian dancing with Sadok Ensemble four years ago, and it reignited an interest in my Ukraine heritage,” Rosnau explains.
“This led me to examine the roles that political conflict, exile and resettlement played – and continue to play – in the lives of women.
“I looked at both historical perspectives – early twentieth century immigration, the internment of Ukrainian Canadians in prisoner of war camps – and also current conflicts, and how this can lead to things like exploitation and human trafficking.
“Some nice light topics,” Rosnau jokes.
“I think it’s a collection that can appeal to a variety of people. The issues explored – willing or forced exile, displacement, immigration – are ones that so many cultures have gone through, and continue to go through today.”
The evening will feature dancers from Sadok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble.
“All young women, as seems fitting,” Rosnau says.
“I love that people from all backgrounds can gather at a cultural centre which honours an Italian Canadian artist, watch Ukraine dance, listen to poetry and connect with all that brings us together.”
The book launch and reading of Our Familiar Hunger is April 24 at Caetani Cultural Centre. Doors open at p.m., show beginning at 7:30 p.m. Free and open to the public.