Poetry in public: KPU authors to read from latest works

Thu, Sep 14, 2023

A trio of Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) poets will read from their new books at an authors reading event on Sept. 19.

Instructors Jen Currin and Renee Sarojini Saklikar will be joined by KPU alum Nina Mosall to read from their latest books of poetry and field questions from the audience.

Currin is author of Trinity Street, a book of poetry that questions the places we inhabit in our cities, minds, and spirits. Currin’s poems weave together the meditative and the disruptive, the queer and the quotidian, and the worlds of the dead and the living. Various themes ring throughout the book, including challenges facing the planet: the climate crisis, collective grief, and the perils of late capitalism.

“My poetry seems to bring a lot of worlds together,” says Currin, who teaches creative writing and English upgrading at KPU. “I’m always noticing, listening, and when I go to write, I weave things together. My poems tend to span several worlds at once.”

Saklikar’s book, Bramah’s Quest, is a new epic fantasy book-length poem that reclaims poetry forms such as blank verse, the sonnet, the ballad, and the madrigal. It features the time-travelling demigoddess Bramah, a locksmith and the saga’s hero who is determined to conquer the odds and deal with what fate and chance throw in her path.

“I’ve always been intrigued by longform writing, and long poems just seem to beckon me into a creative space,” says Saklikar, who teaches creative writing in KPU’s Faculty of Arts. “As a child, I loved fantasy fiction, especially stories featuring time travel and magic. I also loved ballads, fairy tales, and rhyming riddles.”

Mosall will be reading from Bebakhshid, her debut poetry collection that revolves around the identity intersections of being Iranian, an immigrant, and a woman. Mosall says her book is an exploration of self, family history, belonging (and not), kinship, isolation, and moments we want to fully express, but can't put a finger on.

“With that said, whatever the readers feel this collection is about seems more important – now that I am done exploring. I believe in poetry and its power, so to have these pages resonate with readers in whatever capacity is an honour.”

The event takes place Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the KPU Surrey library (Arbutus 1780) at 12666 72 Ave. Admission is free; all are welcome.