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CLC Brown Bag Lunch with Bertrand Bickersteth & Karina Vernon

February 18, 2022, 4:00 PM5:00 PM EST

We are excited to announce that on Friday, February 18, the CLC will host poet, playwright, and essayist Bertrand Bickersteth in conversation with literary scholar Karina Vernon. Vernon’s The Black Prairie Archives: An Anthology features poetry by Bickersteth, for whom Alberta is at once a “central source of inspiration” and an “unwilling muse.” Introduced by Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike, they will join us from 2 to 3 p.m. MST via Zoom.
Karina Vernon is Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto Scarborough where she researches and teaches in the areas of Canadian and Black Canadian literature, Black aesthetics, archives, critical pedagogy, and Black-Indigenous solidarities. She is editor of The Black Prairie Archives: An Anthology, published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in 2020 and a companion volume, Critical Readings in the Black Prairie Archives, which is forthcoming. With Winfried Siemerling (UWaterloo) she is working on a book project on the politics and aesthetics of relation of Black Canadian cultural achievement, including writing, music, film, and visual art.
Bertrand Bickersteth is a poet, playwright, essayist and educator who was born in Sierra Leone, raised in Alberta, partly educated in the U.K., and completely resident in the U.S. for several years. In 2021, CBC named him a Black writer to watch. His collection of poetry, The Response of Weeds, was a finalist for multiple awards and won the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, and the 2021 High Plains Book Award in the category of First Book. He has been a contributor/columnist for CBC’s The Next Chapter as well as the CBC project Black on the Prairies. His most recent work was published in The Walrus (poetry) and The Sprawl (essay). His TEDx talk is called The Weight of Words. He is currently working on a new collection of poems highlighting the history of Black cowboys in western Canada. He lives in Calgary, teaches at Olds College, and writes about Black identity on the Prairies.