Larissa Lai, author
Coach House, Green College, UBC
Wednesday, February 13, 5-6:30 pm
in the series
Critical Nationalisms, Counterpublics
Iron Goddess of Mercy is a long poem in the form of a series of letters. It is also a nonsense rant that draws in the multiple exigencies of our contemporary moment and its histories, from undocumented border crossings to land to property relations to call out culture to the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is replete with subjects: therapists, avatars, corporations, animals, monsters, mothers, stem cells, time zones, and even the occasional human being. It is full of affect—rage, grief, joy, amusement, surprise, fear, shame. Riskily playful and yet deadly serious, it enacts and illustrates the role that poetry has to play in our way through the horrors and possibilities of the present moment.
Larissa Lai is the author of three novels, The Tiger Flu, Salt Fish Girl and When Fox Is a Thousand; two poetry collections, sybil unrest (with Rita Wong) and Automaton Biographies; a chapbook, Eggs in the Basement; and a critical book, Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary.