KPU creative writing instructor hosts book launch on May 10
Jen Currin’s Trinity Street was released last month and will be read at the event
Kwantlen Polytechnic University creative writing instructor, Jen Currin, is hosting a book launch on May 10 for their poetry collection, Trinity Street at The Lido in Vancouver at 7:00 pm.
Trinity Street is Currin’s fifth collection of poetry named after Trinity Street, a neighbourhood in East Vancouver where Currin lived.
“Trinity Street is a collection of poems that tries on a series of imperfect utopias to see which ones might fit,” Currin says. “It concerns itself with themes of late capitalism, collective grief, the climate crisis, but also questions of what is community? What is friendship?”
In the book, Trinity Street is an imaginary place where better relations and worlds are imagined by the speakers, Currin says. The book has been written over several years with some poems dating back in 2014 and 2015.
“I love the practice of poetry. So, looking at language, thinking about line breaks, gathering imagery in my notebook, and then weaving it into a poem,” they say.
To Currin, poetry encourages people to slow down and pay attention in a world riddled with the forces of capitalism. They also say getting into one’s mind, heart, and spirit can be a challenge while writing poetry.
KPU alumni Nina Mosall will also be reading her poetry collection, Bebakhshid, at the event. Other writers including KPU’s Indigenous writer-in-residence, Brandi Bird will also be reading at the book launch.
Currin was one of Mosall’s instructors while she was completing her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. Mosall’s book is about the immigrant experience as a refugee and a woman from the Middle East. It also centres around the themes of family and community relationships.
“I’ve often felt that my family had to be very apologetic for who they were,” Mosall says.
“I’ve felt that in many communities of minorities, through the friends and connections that I’ve made, there seems to be this sense of apologizing for who we are, our past, and what we bring to the table.”
Mosall was encouraged to write about her family and background throughout her degree at KPU. She says it is important to talk about the Middle East in the existing political and social climate.
“It’s important to encourage BIPOC and Indigenous writers who write about things that center around their world, it’s not always just about your race or your religion, but who you are is very important,” she says.
Mosall says the word bebakhshid has a dual meaning in Persian as it usually means excuse me or pardon me, but can also be used to ask for forgiveness.
“I think that’s just a reflection on my poetry collection. It’s about finding a voice as the identities that I have,” Mosall says.
Currin hopes their poetry encourages people to write, read poems, and engage with poetry through their hearts and minds. They also hope the book launch brings the community together to share their poetry.
Currin says poetry is important as it can create spaces of sacred pause, which are needed in our fast-paced culture.
“I think poetry is a chance to slow down and enter other states of consciousness, to be really present with the words on the page, with the breath as you read each line, with each image you encounter,” Currin wrote in an email to The Runner.
“I read and write poetry because I’m interested in transformation, into taking a journey into new ideas and other states of consciousness,” they wrote.