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December 5, 2014

Speak, memory: Geist celebrates Vancouver's literary heritage as part of the 2011 Memory Festival

by Gillian Blore

Reader at Geist's 40th Anniversary Party

 Geist magazine combined the launch of its most current issue with the final evening of the Memory Festival for 2011 on Friday, November 18, at the Roundhouse Community Centre.

The Memory Festival, an initiative of the Vancouver Memory Collective, is a free-floating series of public events which capture the subjective act of memory through: photography, video instillations and public readings. The combination of events was a timely one as the focus of Geist’s 82 issue is Vancouver’s radical literary climate of the 70s.

Geist staff kicked off the event with a selection of readings delving into the archives of Vancouver’s independent publishing houses for samples of the city’s outré literary heritage. PRISM international editor, andrea bennett read a Margaret Atwood piece selected from poet bill bissett’s experimental literary periodical: blew ointment while Jordan Abel, also an editor at PRISM as well as a contributor to Geist, read some selections from TISH, a poetry newsletter established in 1961.

Geist’s Assistant Publisher Michal Kozlowski read a selection of works from the archive of Pulp Press, the precursor to what is now known as Arsenal Pulp Press, and editor Chelsea Novak presented several pieces from the seminal feminist literary journal Room of One’s Own. A presentation by Writers Caravan concluded the event with readings from members of the Thursdays Writing Collective.

The selection of readings, all contemporary authors writing in Vancouver currently, provided a fitting balance to the evening, illuminating the path of Vancouver’s unique literary voice has taken.

Above:  Elee Kraljii Gardiner from the Thursday Writing Collective.

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