About Eliza

Eliza Robertson’s 2014 debut collection, Wallflowers, was shortlisted for the East Anglia Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Short Story Prize, and selected as a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Her critically acclaimed first novel, Demi-Gods, was a Globe & Mail and National Post book of the year and the winner of the 2018 Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize.

Johnny D Trinh

She studied creative writing at the University of Victoria and the University of East Anglia, where she received the Man Booker Scholarship and Curtis Brown Prize. In addition to being shortlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize and Journey Prize, Eliza’s stories have won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and 2017 Elizabeth Jolley Prize.

Originally from Vancouver Island, Eliza lives in Montreal.

Eliza Robertson will live and work at Joy Kogawa House in April 2024 while continuing a novel-in-progress, When Women Were Waves.

To connect with local writers, during her residency, Eliza Robertson will present the following writing workshop:

Translating the Body

Sunday, April 28, 2 – 4pm PDT
Historic Joy Kogawa House
1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver

This writing workshop will begin by exploring passages from texts that work with the body, including the ways our bodies can be sites of history, pain, trauma, disease, and discomfort, as well as pleasure, beauty, fertility, and strength. After sharing and discussing these texts, the group will be offered writing prompts to help reflect on what stories we tell ourselves about our bodies and/or what stories other people have told us about our bodies.

We will then work with interactive tools and with further writing prompts to start untangling, rewriting, and reclaiming those narratives.

Also in April:

A reprise of Karen Parrish’s November 2023 workshop:
Two Sides of the Heart’s Coin

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 2 – 4pm PDT
Historic Joy Kogawa House
1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver

We understandably think of grief poems as expressing the hardest of human emotions sorrow, anger, depression, anxiety yet many also open to lighter, more spacious feeling states: wonder, a sharpened sense of presence, or a renewal of love, compassion, and acceptance.

In this workshop, we will explore this duality by taking a look at several poems. In small groups, we’ll examine how poets shape and work bereavement into more complex, expressive forms. We’ll then use a writing prompt to write poems for each other as a way to share some of our perceptions of grief and explore its many complexities.

An Evening of Poetry in Honour of Danny Peart

Thursday, April 25, 2024, 7 – 8:30pm PDT
Historic Joy Kogawa House
1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver

A limited number of tickets are available now for our annual poetry reading at Joy Kogawa House, to be held Thursday, April 25, from 7:00 to 8:30pm. Eight poets will read for ten minutes each, so we’re going to keep the evening moving along briskly, with four readers before and four readers after a refreshment break.

We will host in the intimate living room at Historic Joy Kogawa House with books available for sale and signing. A small cover charge of $10 includes refreshments. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Hosted in honour of Danny Peart, who has organized an annual poetry event each year for five years now. We are deeply grateful for Danny’s support of the writing program at Joy Kogawa House and for all he has done to live a life rich in poetry.