BC Book Prizes

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On Tour

April 24, 2010

Final tour days & Gala tonight
Posted by Fred Wah

Fred Wah

So I’m in Victoria today, Saturday, after finishing off schools and readings in Osoyoos, Oliver, and Sidney.
I have found a new enthusiasm for talking with 14-yr olds. How out of touch I’ve become from those teen years that, finally, spurred my own poetic investigations and diatribes.
My book, is a door, leans much on my interest in hybridity and senses of “betweeness.” Talking about difference, identity, marginalization with the students has been surprising and interesting. Of course many of them are at that crucial turn in life when identity first offers its confusions.
The teachers, those brave educators who work in the trenches (not towers), have been likewise open and caring about the social, and more aware than I about issues of difference and confidence.
Traveling with Sylvia Olsen, whose life on a reserve informs all of her books on the interface between aboriginality and whiteness, has been an incredible pleasure. Tim Carlson and I have listened throughout the long trip to some amazing and informative stories about her life as a “white Indian.” In fact, our conversations have been so central to our trip that Tim didn’t dip into his box of cd’s he so thoughtfully put together.
So, again, the great thing about the BC Book Prizes has been the school visits. Since BC doesn’t have a “writers in the schools” program, this tour has been, I think, the most useful and productive aspect of the Prizes. I hope it grows (without the bed bugs).

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