Historic Joy Kogawa House Writers-in-Residence 2023

  • VICTOR YIPP, young adult novelist (January 1 to 31, 2023)
  • PETER MALLETT, fiction writer (February 1 to March 31, 2023)
  • EFFIE POW, writer (April 1 to 30, 2023)
  • DAVID MURA, poet, playwright, and critic (May 1 to 31, 2023)
  • TOM GAMMARINO, novelist (June 1 to 30, 2023)
  • TARIQ MALIK, poet (July 1 to August 16, 2023)
  • WAYNE NG, fiction writer (August 16 to September 30, 2023)
  • KAREN PARRISH, poet and grief counsellor (October 1 to November 30, 2023)

Victor Yipp

(January 1 to 31, 2023)

Victor Yipp is an emerging writer who completed a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in 2007 after many years working as a computer programmer, systems analyst, data centre manager, and consultant. During his programming career, he wrote computer programs to simulate the flight of guided missiles, including the Apollo flights. In between IT positions, he took a break to go to law school. After graduating and passing the bar, he worked in civil rights law for a few years and served as an Illinois assistant attorney general. Now he combines these interests writing young adult novels that explore social justice issues, including historic and contemporary anti-Asian racism.

Victor Yipp will write in residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House in January 2023 and as a community contribution during the period will present one public program to engage local writers, artists, and public audiences, as follows:

(1) A storytelling session on bystander awareness and intervention when witnessing bullying or harassment, whether in person or online. Personal stories and audience participation will be encouraged. Sunday, January 29, 1 to 2:30pm.

Peter Mallett

(February 1 to March 31, 2023)

Peter Mallett is a university professor and writer based in Kobe, Japan. Originally from the UK, he has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. Former arts editor of Kansai Time Out and publisher/editor of Artspace (JAPAN/UK), he has written for Kyoto Journal, Classical Music (UK), Gramophone Japan, The Asahi Evening News, LiveMusic (USA), Opera News (New York), The New Internationalist (UK/Canada), The Church Times (UK), and Mainichi Daily News. His short stories have been published in Kyoto Journal and the anthologies The Desperation Game and Other Stories and Eternal, and online in The Font, East Lit, and White Enso. He won the 1st Writers in Kyoto Writing Contest in 2016 with his flash fiction piece “Kimono Memories” and was runner up in the 2017 Scottish Arts Club Short Story Contest.

While at Historic Joy Kogawa House, he will continue work on “The Wind of God,” a historical novel that begins in Japan in 1928.
Peter Mallett will write in residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House in February and March 2023 while presenting one public program during each month of the residency:

(1) Un-weaving the Past: Memories in Clothing — An item of clothing can strengthen our sense of identity — or of exclusion and inclusion. This workshop invites participants to write about something worn. The workshop will ask questions to elicit memories of the item as well as its significance and symbolism. From this material, participants will be asked to express their memories in whichever form of writing they prefer: poetry (including haiku), flash fiction, short story, narrative non-fiction. The creative response might also be visual – painting or collage, for
example. Sunday, February 26, 3 to 4:30pm.

2) Un-weaving the Past: Presenting Stories — Participants in the February workshop will be invited to present the work generated by it, along with the visual stimulus in a showcase reading at Historic Joy Kogawa House. Sunday, March 19, 3 to 4:30pm.

David Mura

(May 1 to 31, 2023)

David Mura is an author, poet, novelist, playwright, critic, and performance artist whose writings explore the themes of race, identity, and history. In 2018, Mura published a book on creative writing, A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity, and Narrative Craft in Writing, in which he argues for a more inclusive and expansive definition of craft. The Stories Whiteness Tells Itself was published in January 2023.

Mura has published two memoirs, Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei, which won the Josephine Miles Book Award from the Oakland PEN and was listed in The New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and Where the Body Meets Memory: An Odyssey of Race, Sexuality, and Identity (1995). His most recent book of poetry is The Last Incantation (2014); his other poetry books include After We Lost Our Way, which won the National Poetry Contest, The Colors of Desire (winner of the Carl Sandburg Literary Award), and Angels for the Burning. His novel is Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire (Coffee House Press, 2008).

David Mura will write in residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House from May 1 to 31, 2023, while participating in Asian Canadian Writing Workshop’s LiterASIAN Festival, as follows:

(1) Participate as a panelist in the opening event at Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop’s LiterASIAN festival to be held at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on Saturday, May 6, 1 to 2:30pm, with Asian Canadian writers Jack Wang and Emi Sasagawa, moderated by author Julia Lin; and

(2) Offer four lectures/workshops to be held on Thursday evenings, May 4, 11, 18, and 25, 7 to 8:30pm, on writing about (a) identity and race, (b) poetry, (c) fiction, and (d) memoir.


Tom Gammarino

(June 1 to 30, 2023)

Tom Gammarino is author of the novels King of the Worlds (Chin Music Press, 2016) and Big in Japan (Chin Music Press, 2009) and the novellas Jellyfish Dreams (Amazon Kindle Single, 2012) and The Yellows (Black Hare Press, 2023). He recently co-edited Snaring New Suns: Speculative Works from Hawai’i and Beyond (Bamboo Ridge Press). Recent stories and essays have appeared (or will soon appear) in Interzone, The Oxonian, American Short Fiction, The Writer, Tahoma Literary Review, and Hawai‘i Pacific Review, among others. He holds an MFA in creative writing from The New School and a PhD in English from the University of Hawai‘i and has received a Fulbright fellowship in creative writing and the Elliot Cades Award for Literature, Hawai’i’s highest literary honour. Currently, he teaches science fiction, magical realism, jazz lit, and creative writing at Punahou School in Honolulu.

Tom Gammarino will write in residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House from June 1 to 30, 2023, and will present one public program during the residency:

(1) Soul Eyes: What Writers Can Learn from Jazz Music

The “rules” for improvisation aren’t the right or wrong notes to play but it’s about understanding theory, acquiring technique, working on ear training, feeling time, listening to the history through records and knowing the jazz language. The rules of improvisation are the skills that jazz musicians need to acquire. The same goes for writing. Good writing isn’t the perfect execution of grammar rules and formulaic story arcs. Good writing lives not just in communicating your idea but making your readers feel that idea in their souls. As writers, we live for the emotions we can make our readers feel.

To be held Thursday, June 22, 7:30 to 9pm, in the garden or in the living room at Historic Joy Kogawa House, depending on weather. This event will be held in-person or on Zoom as health guidelines allow. With musical accompaniment to be determined.


Tāriq Malik

(July 1 to August 16, 2023)

For the past four decades, Vancouver-based author Tāriq Malik has worked across poetry, fiction, and visual arts, to distill immersive and compelling narratives that are always original and intriguing. He writes intensely in response to the world in flux around him and of his place in its shadows.

Born in Pakistani Punjab, he came reluctantly late to these shores. To get here, he first had to survive three wars, two migrations, and two decades of slaving in the Kuwaiti desert. He firmly believes his passion for distilling the alchemy of light/chroma/pixel, and his bouts of furious thinking about life and words in general, can all be happily and gainfully combined. He loves landscapes, bodies of living water large and small, and readers and listeners, and claims he writes so that he has something to read to his tribe on Open Mic Night at the local Poet’s Corner or on the hallowed grounds of public libraries.

Tāriq Malik will write in residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House from July 1 to August 15, 2023, and will present one community-engaged writing program during the residency, as follows:

(1) Poetry workshop to be held Thursday, July 20, 7:30 to 9pm, in the garden or in the living room at Historic Joy Kogawa House as weather permits.


Wayne Ng

(August 16 to September 30, 2023)

Wayne Ng was born in downtown Toronto to Chinese immigrants who fed him a steady diet of bitter melons and kung fu movies. He is an award-winning author and traveller who continues to push his boundaries from the Arctic to the Antarctic. He is author of Letters from Johnny (Guernica, 2021), winner of Best Crime Novella at the 2022 Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence, an Ottawa Book Award finalist, and a CBC Books The Next Chapter’s must-read summer mystery. He is also the author of Finding the Way: A Novel of Lao Tzu (Earnshaw, 2022) and The Family Code (Guernica, 2023),
shortlisted for the 2021 Guernica Prize, which recognizes the best literary fiction novel that pushes boundaries and is cutting edge.

Wayne Ng will write in residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House from August 15 to September 30, 2023, and will present one public program during the residency:

(1) Writing with Emotion, Purpose, and Hope

Art is like therapy. Emotional clarity drives both. For decades, Wayne Ng has worked as a social worker in schools and really enjoys being with young adults and emerging writers. He has run writing groups and delivered discussions on using art as a career pathway, to create, to heal, and to find oneself. Writing is a great vehicle to accomplish this as the strongest craft has elements of self-discovery. This workshop for emerging and young adult writers offers introductory level, hands-on writing prompts taken from epistolary and young adult works that encourage participants to draw from their gut, using self-awareness and emotion in writing scenes and developing character.

To be held Thursday, September 14, 7:00 to 8:30pm, in the garden or in the living room at Historic Joy Kogawa House, depending on weather. This event will be held in-person or on Zoom as health guidelines allow.


Karen Parrish

(October 1 to November 30, 2023)

Karen Parrish is a poet and grief group facilitator with the Lower Mainland Grief Recovery Society. She holds a certificate in fine art techniques from Emily Carr University and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and literature from Syracuse University; she graduated cum laude in English and American Literature and Languages from Harvard University. In October 2019 she ceased being a partner in a lifelong relationship and became a single person navigating disbelief, confusion, and deep sorrow. In her loss she turned to literature, and as a poet, she looked to poetry to make sense of suffering, undertaking a daily ritual of walking in Pacific Spirit Park, and writing haikus on her iPhone.

Karen Parrish will edit to publishable size more than 1,500 grief haikus while in residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House from October 1 to November 30, 2023, and will present one public program during each month of the residency:

(1) Not Just Seventeen Syllables: Expressing Grief Through Haiku

How writing haiku can help in navigating grief’s strong emotions, how the small form can help express the largest of feelings. Participants may bring their own grief haikus to share and discuss with the group and we will write grief haikus as well.

To be held Sunday, October 15, 2023, 3:00 to 4:30pm, in the living room at Historic Joy Kogawa House.

(2) Two Sides of the Heart’s Coin: Beauty and Transformation in Grief Poetry

In this workshop we will explore poems that illustrate this duality of grief by showing how trauma, disbelief, and sadness can balance with a new creative engagement with the world and a heightened compassion for self and others.

To be held Sunday, November 19, 2023, 3:00 to 4:30pm, in the living room at Historic Joy Kogawa House.

Events will be held in-person or on Zoom as health guidelines allow.