All events take place at Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver.

Writing What You Don’t Know

A reading of Radiance by author Shaena Lambert and a discussion about writing across boundaries and into the imaginary lives of others. Presented and facilitated by Carmen Rodriguez, writer-in-residence, Historic Joy Kogawa House.

When: Monday, May 8, 7:00 to 9:00pm
Cost: By donation


Keiko, a survivor of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima and left her with disfiguring radiation scars, is chosen from hundreds of young women to receive plastic surgery in the United States. Radiance does not only tell Keiko’s story, but also Daisy’s, her “house mother,” while exposing the tensions and contradictions that riddled the U.S. during the 1950s.

Radiance: a book by Shaena Lambert

About Shaena Lambert

Shaena Lambert’s latest book of stories, Oh, My Darling was selected as a top book of the year by both The Globe and Mail and National Post, and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor Award. Her novel Radiance was a finalist for the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Award, the BC Book Prize and the Evergreen Award. Her first book, The Falling Woman, was published to critical acclaim in Canada, the UK and Germany. Her stories have appeared four times in Best Canadian Stories, and been published in The Walrus, Zoetrope: All Story, Canadian Notes & Queries, Ploughshares, The Journey Prize Anthology, The Toronto Life Summer Fiction issue and many other publications.  She lives in Vancouver, where she teaches creative writing and mentors novelists and memoirists.

Poetry Performance

A Suitcase of Memories with Joy Kogawa and Sora Takayama

When: Tuesday, May 9, 7:00 to 9:00pm
Cost: Tickets $10 for members and $15 at Eventbrite.

To mark the historic milestone of 75 years since the internment of Canadians of Japanese descent, Joy Kogawa recounts memories in the intimate setting of her childhood home. With poetry performance by Sora Takayama of the Tasai Artists Collective.

Stepping Stones by Margriet Ruur. Illustrated by Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, who works on the beach in Syria with rocks.

MASTER CLASS: The Ups and Downs of Being a Children’s Writer with Margriet Ruurs

When: 10:30–12:30, Saturday, May 13
Cost: The cost is $35 for SCBWI members and $45 for non-members.

A writing workshop with B.C. children’s book author Margriet Ruurs, author of Stepping Stones, a story about the recent refugee crisis in Syria. Presented by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Canada West. Margriet has also offered to do written critiques for attendees of the event. Margriet Ruurs will critique the first 10 pages or a complete picture book up to 1000 words.

If you are interested in your manuscript to be critiqued by Margriet Ruurs please send to as an attachment in word or PDF format by April 13.

Writing Workshops

Presented and facilitated by Carmen Rodriguez, Writer-in-Residence, Historic Joy Kogawa House



When: Thurs. May 18, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Using a few personal photographs as a springboard, you will create a series of interconnected short texts, which will result in a mini-memoir about meaningful episodes in your life. In the process, you will improve your skills of description and narration.


When: Thurs., Jun. 22, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Come break bread with us! Through guided exercises, including the emulation of accomplished Canadian poets, you will have the opportunity to orchestrate your senses, intellect, emotions and words to produce a suite of your own poems.

*In the first part of the workshop, you will participate in group exercises and engage in individual writing. In the second part, you will read your work and receive feedback from the rest of the participants. We will draw some basic guidelines together, so as to ensure that everyone can work in a constructive, respectful and safe environment.



Martes 23 de mayo, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

¡Ven a compartir el pan con nosotros! A través de ejercicios guiados, incluyendo la emulación de consumados poetas canadienses, tendrás la oportunidad de orquestar tus sentidos, tu intelecto, tus emociones y tus palabras con el fin de producir una suite de tus propios poemas.

*En la primera parte del taller, tomarás parte en los ejercicios de grupo y trabajarás en tu escritura individual. En la segunda, leerás tu trabajo y recibirás opiniones del resto de los participantes. Juntos, delinearemos pautas básicas para asegurarnos de que todos podamos trabajar en un ambiente constructivo, respetuoso y seguro. No necesitas ser hispano-parlante de nascimiento para asistir a este taller. Si te sientes cómodo en el idioma, ¡bienvenido seas!