Poet and performance artist Moez Surani is at the Caetani Cultural Centre this month as Kalamalka Press’ writer-in-residence.

Poet wakes up to words at Caetani

Poet, performance artist Moez Surani is visiting Vernon as Kalamalka Press' new writer-in-residence at the Caetani Cultural Centre.

Poet Moez Surani is not wet behind the ears when it comes to weaving words, but he did once embark on a rather watery journey.

In 2012, he joined four other fellow Canadian poets and a folk singer to paddle down Southeastern Ontario’s Grand River as part of  the country’s only canoe-led literary tour.

Entitled the Fish Quill Poetry Boat, the tour saw the participants paddling and portaging on route to rural communities along the shore, where they gave readings and performances.

Along for the journey was local poet and Okanagan College Vernon campus English professor Kevin McPherson, who bonded with Surani on the trip, and has continued to collaborate with him since.

That relationship continues as Surani is currently in Vernon as part of the writer residency program organized by Kalamalka Press, where McPherson serves as editor in chief.

“This is Kalamalka Press’ first year partnering with the Caetani Culture Centre for the residency, and so far it seems brilliant,” said McPherson.

Previously held at the Mackie Lake House, the new residency is now one month long, up from two weeks, which gives the writers more time to work on their projects, and also gives them time to better interact with the community.

“In fact, Moez likes it here so much (so far) that he’s extended his stay by two weeks,” said McPherson.

Surani has a bachelor’s of arts in biology, English and literature from Queens University in Kingston, Ont. He earned a master’s from Montreal’s Concordia University in English language, literature and creative writing. Following these degrees, he travelled and worked abroad.

His writing has been published in journals and anthologies across Europe and North America. His first poetry collection, Reticent Bodies, was published in 2009.

That same year, Surani won a Chalmers Arts Fellowship that supported a research stint to India and East Africa. He walked the Camino de Santiago across Spain and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and attended artists residencies in Italy, Finland, Latvia, Switzerland and Taiwan.

In 2012, he published his second poetry collection, Floating Life, which was praised for its stunning, simple images.

Surani is now working on collaborations and on interdisciplinary art and performance art pieces.

“He’s done performance art with the Elephants Collective in Toronto, his hometown, and is currently working on a collaborative installation that requires the services of a perfumer in Texas,” said McPherson.

During his time at the Caetani house, Surani will be working on his forthcoming book, عملية Operación Opération Operation 行动 Oперация, to be published in the spring by Toronto’s Book Thug.

As part of his residency, Surani is giving a public reading at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo (Suite #1, 3001-31st St.) Thursday, Oct. 22. The event is free and doors open at 7 p.m. with the reading at 7:30 p.m.

Surani is also giving a poetry workshop at the Vernon branch of the Okanagan Regional Library Nov. 7 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

 

Just Posted

North Okanagan car club annual show a huge hit with spectators

People didn’t mind the hot weather as they admired all kinds of vintage vehicles at 25th annual show

North Okanagan mayor’s win benefits school lunch programs

Christine Fraser of Spallumcheen won $1,500 in SILGA draw, which goes to not-for-profit programs

Vernon Vipers name Connor Marritt captain

Takes over from graduating veteran, and fellow Okanagan native, Jagger Williamson

Vernon pitcher tosses second no-hitter of season

Jarod Leroux has two no-nos in his last three starts for the BCPBL’s Okanagan Athletics

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Heat, sun and a chance of thunderstorms for Father’s Day

Morning pancake breakfasts and fishing derbies across the region will see sun, showers may follow.

VIDEO: Horseback riding helps North Okanagan residents with special needs

North Okanagan Therapeutic Riding Association needs more volunteers to continue offering sessions

Thunderstorm leaves small fire in the Shuswap in its wake

Wildfire crews are also fighting a small fire near Kamloops

South Okanagan pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioid treatment drugs

B.C. College of Pharmacists alleges Sunrise Pharmacy dispensed treatment drugs against rules

Police seek two suspects and car after stabbing in Kelowna

The stabbing took place on Friday evening on Wilson Avenue. It sent one man to hospital.

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Summerland Health Care Auxiliary completes hospital donation pledge early

$1M contribution to medical equipment campaign completed half a year earlier than expected

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland ready for dry summer conditions

Province has declared Level Two drought, but Summerland has not increased watering restrictions

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Most Read