Host Karis Shearer is joined by curator Amy Thiessen and special guest-poets Nancy Holmes and Sharon Thesen. Together they talk about a November 14, 1986 recording featuring Sharon Thesen's visit to Warren Tallman's English 205 class at UBC's Vancouver campus.
Host Karis Shearer is joined by curator Amy Thiessen and special guest-poets Nancy Holmes and Sharon Thesen. Together they talk about a November 1986 recording on which Sharon Thesen visits Warren Tallman's English 205 class on November 14th, 1986. The podcast features two archival clips: in the first, Tallman introduces Thesen to the class; in the second, Thesen reads "Chrysanthemum Perfume" from a manuscript she calls "The Landlord's Flowerbeds" on this recording but ultimately publishes as her book The Beginning of the Long Dash (Coach House Press, 1987).
Amy Thiessen is an Honours English student at UBCO where she is working on a digital edition of Sharon Thesen's poem "The Fire." She is a writer, an RA and project manager for the UBCO SpokenWeb project and an aspiring teacher.
Sharon Thesen is a poet, editor, and writer who was based in Vancouver before moving to the Okanagan, where she now lives in Lake Country After receiving her MA degree from Simon Fraser University in 1975, she taught English and Creative Writing at Capilano College (now University) in North Vancouver, and joined UBC Okanagan’s ’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies as professor of Creative Writing in 2005. She is the author of thirteen books, the most recent, The Receiver, Oyama Pink Shale, The Good Bacteria, and A Pair of Scissors.
Nancy Holmes has published five collections of poetry, most recently, The Flicker Tree: Okanagan Poems (Ronsdale Press, 2012), a collection of poems about the place, people, plants and animals of the Okanagan valley in the southern interior of British Columbia. She is also the editor of Open Wide a Wilderness: Canadian Nature Poems (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2009).
Links (3 diff examples)
Inaugural Sharon Thesen Lecture (by John Lent)
Sharon Thesen's Pinecone Writing Workshops: https://www.sharonthesen.com/
Laisha Rosnau's Little Fortress: https://bookstore.wolsakandwynn.ca/products/little-fortress
The Receiver: https://www.newstarbooks.com/book.php?book_id=1554201403
[00:00:00] [Theme music begins].
[00:00:31] Karis Shearer: This is SoundBox Signals, a podcast that brings archival recordings to life through a combination of curated close listening and conversation. Together we'll consider how these literary recordings signify in the contemporary moment and ask what listening allows us to know about cultural history. Full-length versions of these recordings are available online in our SpokenWeb archive at soundbox.ok.ubc.ca.
[00:00:59] [tape click, theme music fades].
[00:01:00] KS: I'm joined today with three special guests in the studio. Our curator is Amy Thiessen, who is an Honours English candidate at UBC Okanagan where her thesis examines Sharon Thesen's, “The Fire,” and offers a digital critical edition of the poem. Amy is an aspiring writer and teacher who plans to pursue a Bachelor of Education after she graduates. She's currently an RA and Project Manager for the SpokenWeb project. I'm also joined by Nancy Holmes, who has published five collections of poetry. Most recently, The Flicker Tree: Okanagan Poems with Ronsdale Press, 2012, a collection of poems about the place, people, plants and animals of the Okanagan Valley in the southern interior British Columbia. She's also the editor of Open Wide a Wilderness: Canadian Nature Poems from Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2009. She's completed work recently on a SSHRC-funded project with research partner, Dr. Cameron Cartiere, of Emily Carr University of Art and Design called Border Free Bees, which harnessed the power of art to raise awareness and to develop initiative to protect native pollinators, especially bees, in both the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and the Okanagan. We're joined today also by Sharon Thesen, who is a poet, editor and writer who taught English and Creative Writing at Capilano College (now University) in North Vancouver and who joined UBC Okanagan's Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies as a professor of Creative Writing in 2005 and is now Professor Emerita. She's the author of nine books of poetry, the most recent of which are Oyama Pink Shale, The Good Bacteria and A Pair of Scissors. Sharon's books have been widely recognized by numerous awards, A Pair of Scissors won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award; The Good Bacteria was a finalist for the Governor General's Award, the ReLit Award, and the Dorothy Livesay Prize; Oyama Pink Shale was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Prize; and two of her earlier books were also finalists for the Governor's General's Award. She currently resides in Lake Country where she offers one-day retreats called the Pinecone Writing Workshops. Welcome, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us. We're going to be listening to an archival recording today from November, 1986. And so, without further ado, we're going to rewind and have a listen to that recording of Sharon Thesen visiting Warren Tallman's almonds class. So, here we go.
[00:03:22] [tape click].
[00:03:25] Warren Tallman: [with the sound of chalk on a chalkboard overlapping] While she is doing the work, I'll introduce her.
[00:03:27] [clacking sound of chalk on a chalkboard].
[00:03:31] WT: In one of her books, there's this line that I like, "now only the imagination carries forward." And so the progress of our mini contemporary Canadian poetry series is now from Robin Blaser to Daphne Marlatt to Sharon Thesen as mentioned contemporary Canadian writing stems in good part from the exceptional closeness of perhaps 30 Canadian poets, a community, almost a city, or polis, sociable, supportive, with active interest. I don't know where I get it. But I see Sharon when she's young up in Prince George in a kind of living room or sitting room that has a window seat and she's reading in an absorbed way, yet when she's done she's there because what she's reading now. When she's done, she's there, because what she's reading is also there. A kind of near-far oneness.
[00:04:50] [tape click].
[00:04:53] KS: So we have our guest curator, Amy Thiessen, who has been working on this recording for a number of months now. Amy, can I turn it over to you to say something about what we know about this particular recording, when it was made, what format it was on, etc., and what date it was recorded?
[00:05:11] Amy Thiessen: Yeah, absolutely. So, this recording was recorded in Warren Tallman's classroom at UBC Vancouver. On the tape object, we're told it's November 14th, 1986. And it was recorded on reel-to-reel. The occasion of the recording is Sharon Thesen visiting his classroom. She gives a reading, speaks about her poetics, and also just teaches a number of lessons to the class.
[00:05:40] KS: And she's also introducing, if I remember correctly, a manuscript that she's been working on called "The Landlord's Flowerbeds" which eventually is published as The Beginning of the Long Dash, in 1987. Nancy, I want to go over to you and ask you, what strikes you about what we're hearing on this introduction?
[00:05:59] Nancy Holmes: I really love that introduction. It's so thoughtful and it just seems to be so relevant to poetry in general as well as Sharon's place, you know, in Canadian poetry. It was so interesting to me that he locates Sharon's work in this kind of burgeoning of a Canadian school or in the burgeoning of Canadian poetry, but he doesn't locate that school or lineage, you know, as a group of like-minded or like-practicing writers, but rather he kind of locates it in this really interesting way that it's "only the imagination carry forward,” that he's describing, you know, something about the very nature of poetry. You know, that Sharon is this poet that's aligned firmly in that realm of imaginative power and not with social function, poetry as having a social function, not poetry as identity, not not even aesthetic, it's just this imaginative power unfolding into language. And I think it's quite a beautiful introduction that way.
[00:07:12] KS: Sharon, does that ring true for you as well? I mean, he locates you in this kind of lineage of Robin Blaser, Daphne Marlatt, who've come to visit the class before you. You're the third writer who's coming to this class and he says, you know, there's this kind of group, this tight-knit group of poets. What was that like for you? Does that ring true at the time?
[00:07:35] Sharon Thesen: Well, at the time when Warren said that, I was very, very flattered by his placing me, [Thesen laughs], in a sort of line of Robin Blaser, who was a very dear teacher of mine for many years, and Daphne, who was a friend and a poet I really, really admire. And then me! And so it seems that there was the incursion of the American poets in the 60s into Vancouver via Warren, largely because of his hospitality toward these poets and their poetics, and that inflected very much of the current writing that young people were doing. So we would get invited to these parties, but we were a generation to half a generation younger, and so we didn't belong to the Tish group, although they were, you know, our admired kind of semi-peers, but were at that time kind of forming another layer of Canadian poetry within that polis or community that Warren describes. And so, I thought it was a very very succinct way of de-claiming a kind of lineage or legacy, but of placing me very much in a, you know, line of writing that, as Nancy was saying, and as Warren said, values the imagination as the dynamic of poetry. And so I was very, very flattered, very delighted, by his image of me reading, which was also very perceptive on his part and shows that he had read my work carefully because of the way that I inflect what I'm reading and the voices of other poets and things that I'm even, you know, particular lines and things that I've taken from my reading. So my reading is part of my writing is part of my reading, and he recognized that. Yeah. So yeah, it was wonderful.
[00:10:16] NH: It's also kind of a romantic image, isn't it? Like do you ever see those calendars, you know, used to be the reading woman? Right, you get these calendars and they're all paintings of women reading books?
[00:10:26] ST: Oh, right. Yeah.
[00:10:27] NH: So the image he has of you seems to be, I don't know, it's kind of this very interesting beautiful image.
[00:10:35] ST: [overlaps] Yes.
[00:10:36] NH: That I think I've read something, and I don't even remember where, but that painter loved images of women reading because it speaks of the interiority of life. Right? And so he's imagining your interior life, right?
[00:10:52] ST: Exactly.
[00:10:53] NH: It's so beautiful! [00:10:54] ST: Yeah, I love the women reading portraits, especially those of Matisse. That, yes, as I was saying earlier, it's a beautiful image, although there was nothing particularly, I mean, it was pretty hard scrabble at the time, it wasn't an idealized kind of environment in which I was doing this reading, but he caught the nature of my literary imagination, which was being formed at that time through books and reading, yeah.
[00:11:31] KS: I'm going to take us from imagination to something a little bit more practical and bringing it over to you, Amy. Warren opens by saying, "while she's doing the work, I'll introduce her." What is the work he's talking about?
[00:11:44] AT: Right, so, he's asking Sharon to, on the chalkboard, which you can hear quite, perhaps obnoxiously, in the back of the recording, for her to write the titles of her published books of poetry on the board. And in other parts of the recording he goes on to ask her to write certain words to teach the students.
[00:12:10] KS: Yeah, definitely. I mean, it's a historical noise now, right? Because we don't tend to have, you know, chalkboards in the classroom anymore. The sound of the whiteboard marker on the whiteboard doesn't sound anything like that. So we get that really, I mean, you know, it's a very loud ‘clack clack clack’ because the tape recorder must be relatively close to the blackboard. He's making Sharon work. Nancy, do you want to comment a little bit on, you know, when you have a guest poet in the classroom and you're teaching that kind of pedagogical, you know, what's he doing in terms of facilitating and setting up that visit?
[00:12:48] NH: I got my first impression of the chalk was when I was thinking, because the first time I heard it was when Sharon later on in this recording is talking in her introduction about Persephone and it sounds like someone is writing her name, Persephone's name, on the board, and I thought, wow, it's so wonderful that this oral experience becomes an experience of hearing an inscription of words, like, that just felt so poetic to me. There's one of those poetic moments. [Holmes laughs]. I don't think I ever really asked poets to work when I invite them in except to do their reading and to answer questions under interrogation circumstances. But yeah, it's quite wonderful how embodied he's making the reading. The poet, he's making you, you know, a living person in the classroom and you're almost like his assistant, in some ways, in this process of education, which is quite beautiful, you know, it's like you're kind of more, like if we could all have poets as TAs, you know, we'd have these beautiful poetic moments of, you know, engagement and discussion. That was quite lovely, actually.
[00:14:01] ST: Yeah. Yeah, there's something performative about it too and something in it of saying that, you know, we are together. There's a sociability in addition to the presentation of a kind of professionalism and knowledge. And so it accomplishes that gesture, you know, accomplishes a whole lot of language about who we are, what our relationship is, not only to one another in our community, at the time, in Vancouver, the poetry community, but to poetry itself. And that it is something that is serious and has, you know, knowledge imbued in its imaginings, and there's a wonderful, as I was saying earlier, dignity to the whole process.
[00:15:05] KS: Yeah. I'm also struck, too, by how, in terms of the physicality of the pedagogy, I mean, you hear the ‘clack clack clack’ of the chalk on the chalkboard, but how quickly also you become a teacher in that moment, right? He's teaching, but you're teaching. And you teach the word “Persephone” and you teach some of the, you know, the other keywords around that sort of constellate around the poems, as well and set up the reading. In that sense, it's kind of a very shared pedagogical moment, that I think Warren almost sets up right from the very beginning, right? When he's asking you to write the titles on the board.
[00:15:43] ST: [overlaps] Write the titles, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. While he does the work, [Thesen laughs] I'll say this .
KS: [00:15:47] [overlaps] [Shearer laughs] while she does the work.
[00:15:50] ST: Yeah.
[00:15:52] KS: So without further ado, why don't we have a listen to the poem that we've been about to set up. "Chrysanthemum Perfume," 1986.
[00:16:02] [tape click].
[00:16:03] ST: [1986 Thesen reads "Chrysanthemum Perfume."] [00:17:19] [tape click].
[00:17:21] KS:I love this poem. So that was November 1986. Sharon, can I ask you to read the same poem today?
[00:17:28] ST: Yes. [reads "Chrysanthemum Perfume”]
[00:18:51] KS: Thank you. Amy, I'm going to come to you and ask you about the image of the garden in this poem, particularly the "chrysanthemums, / Huge white heads blooming through thin November ice along the fence." Sorry, "against the fence, along the path." Do you want to expand on the image of the garden?
[00:19:10] AT: Yeah. What I like about the description of a garden in this poem is that the sort of imagery that comes to mind, even from the title of the poem, and yet there's so much more to be interpreted, or perceived below the surface, which I even think back to Warren's note of the "near-far oneness" and sort of about being a student in this classroom or myself being a listener now about how there is this nearness in the poem of the garden and setting. Yet, there's this much deeper and further away sort of meaning.
[00:19:57] KS: The chrysanthemum is a strong image in this poem as well. Nancy, you were I think quite compelled by the two lines "bitter scent of chrysanthemums grabbing like dry hands at my breath." What speaks to you about those lines?
[00:20:10] NH: Yeah. Just in itself, it's a really powerful image of that kind of asthmatic response you can get to certain flowers that you're allergic to. And of course, I'm a bit allergic to chrysanthemums, so it sort of caught at me in the same way, you know. I think it's one of the beautiful things about reading a poem, is that certain parts of poems you’re sort of primed for and they touch you and they grab you. And so I think that was one of them. It just sort of grabbed me. But, you know, thinking a little bit about what Amy was saying is that you have this kind of beautiful intrusion and that image into the inside, right? That's a beautiful image of the ice and the white chrysanthemums is almost like this origami kind of beautiful image. And then suddenly the flower. It enters you like almost something toxic, right? So it's this beautiful image that kind of explains exactly what you just said, that there's that inside and the outside and you're being attacked. You're being threatened and assaulted, you know, invaded in some ways. So I thought that was very amazing, kind of amazing that one, because, of course, it's mimicking what she's doing, which is going inside a house, just as this scent is coming into her and causing her to talk to gasp and things like that. She's also going into this toxic place, right? So it's really quite amazing.
[00:21:38] KS: Sharon, do you want to pick up on that?
[00:21:40] ST: Yes. It's always so amazing to hear other people like Nancy and Amy talk about, and you, Karis, talk about my poem, because I, you know, I didn't know all that was there [Thesen laughs]. But anyway, it's not all that, but that there is this internal kind of machinery of it that is working to say something I was not able to express otherwise or wouldn't have, and yet in its own way articulates a situation more clearly and sensorially than maybe otherwise or in another form of writing or speaking. For me, the poem is very much of a time and a place and I mentioned a date there 1967-68, when everything was about drugs and politics and there I had both in my house, though I wasn't really that involved in either. And, you know, this sense of threat from both inside and outside I think is very much part of the kind near-far, or closeness, or claustrophobia, or something of the poem. There doesn't seem to be any escape and we were talking about Persephone, and in the poem, if the speaker is a Persephone kind of figure going home to a quote-unquote "Bluebeard" or Plutonic figure, then it is her abandonment by her mother to be, you know, kind of trapped when the gate closes, right? And there she is. So it's, I think, a poem that really does a lot of things.
[00:23:52] KS: Sharon, you talked about the threat from the inside but also the threat from the outside, can we go to the narcs? "The narcs parked outside in a tan coloured Buick," and then later, we have the image of the dark forms of the police tilting wristwatches to streetlights. That was very real in the 60s, right? That presence of narcs.
[00:24:12] ST: Yes.
[00:24:12] KS: Can you unpack that for listeners? Like what is a narc and what are they doing?
[00:24:18] ST: They, the narcs, we call them narcs, but they were the Narcotics Department of the police. The house we were living in had been a drug house. We didn't know that when we rented it, but soon became apparent when people kept coming to the door and we'd have to say, "no the people who were here have moved away," and, you know, in those days there was a lot of police harassment of drug users and drug dealers, if harassment is the right term, because it was a kind of a panicky time. And so we noticed the car, what do you call it? The car that isn't an obvious police car, but we could tell that these two guys, you know, we're practically out of you know, Elliot Ness or something, [Thesen laughs], you know, it's that hats on, collars turned up, you know, kind of sitting outside the house, week after week. They did end up raiding us. There was a terrible crash and clamour one morning downstairs and they came barging in and they did indeed go down to Jamie Reid's apartment. And he came up later and said, "oh, they just left when I told them I was a Marxist-Leninist and we didn't believe in doing drugs" [Thesen and Holmes laugh]. And for us it wasn't a matter of belief, we just sort of weren't into it. So we didn't have anything to hide, but it was still a terrifying experience. So yeah, it was very very much a poem of its time. There was that shadow side of the 60s of the, you know, 67-68 and historians talk about that, you know, where things just started going kind of ugly. And we just happened to be sort of in that time, at that place, in that house, and it all kind of came together. So, yeah.
[00:26:23] NH: It does give the poem this political feel, you know, that that sense of the police state and the Leninist books. I love that image because I had a friend who taught Russian history and she had a whole set of Lenin, the collected works of Lenin, in her tiny little apartment and it is such an oppressive set of books! It's huge. There's so many of them, dark covers and in the basement of this house, you have this oppressive kind of torture-chamber, police-state sort of core. So, that's what this poem has. That really dark threatening quality. So, this person, you know, your persona, here going into this place, the Bluebeard, the Hades, the torture-chamber, the police state, the narcs policing on the outside, the WASP policing on the outside. It's a very horrifying poem. It's very gothic, dark and scary.
[00:27:25] KS: Yeah, I'm struck, too, by something that Amy said earlier about how, like, the kind of two levels that are operating in the poem and I think also in The Fire, which you're studying, where you have the kind of mythological level and then the very, you know, biographical level if you will that's grounded in real, the real life. So, would it be fair to say one of the governing senses in this poem is smell? It's called, "Chrysanthemum Perfume." I want to ask each of you if there's a kind of sonic moment, there's some kind of sonic resonance that you detect in this poem or in the reading that we were listening to, either, Sharon, your reading just now or the archival reading? How does sound figure in this poem?
[00:28:10] NH: I love the opening of this poem because of the dictions. It is so clearly rooting us into this descent. To me, under, the word "under," the X-ray, the torch, the night, everything's dragging us down into this darkness. And I'm struck on the printed page how the first word is "so" and that's a line by itself. Then there's this comma and it drops down to the second line. So actually like a step where we go down into the poem. And so, I began listening for that, you know, does Sharon do that with her voice when she reads it? And I think she does, right? I think she does. And I think that, you know, just shows how her, again, her voice maps onto this movement very beautifully. And I noticed also when you were reading it, I didn't notice it in the recording, the original 86 recording, but when you read at this time, you became very rhythmic as you were reading it and that made me feel as if we were stepping with you down that path, in a way that, you know, again, sort of drags us into this dark place. So that's kind of my aural experience.
[00:29:25] KS: Yeah. I'm going to pick up on that actually, Sharon, and like move that over to you and ask you a slightly different question, which is that, how do you feel that you perform this poem differently in this reading compared to what we had just heard?
[00:29:40] ST: Okay. It just occurred to me when Nancy had that very helpful perception of this one being more rhythmic because I feel greater confidence and a more intimate setting whereas in the classroom, you don't want to bore anybody. And you want to kind of, I'd already read a fairly long poem, and so now I'm going to read another page long poem, and even though they're kind of connected, I think I kind of wanted to get through it, and on to something else and maybe I was sensing that I was going too much into something and needed to move on, or we're getting some kind of gestures or feedback or something from the class. I won't say from Warren, although knowing Warren, he was always so eager to go on to the next thing, and "let's talk some more about something else!" [Thesen laughs]. So it's interesting to think that that might have been something hastening my getting through the poem. Yeah.
[00:30:57] KS: Yeah, Warren always, with so much kind of energy and movement. Amy, can I bring that over to you and ask you, are there sonic elements of the poem that strike you or maybe a particular change in the reading style that you noticed just now?
[00:31:14] AT: Yeah, I loved hearing Sharon read it today because I've listened to this recording a lot of times, and sort of have gotten used to the way it sounds and sort of the way that it flows between other moments of the conversation versus today. And sort of, to note back to what we were just saying, in the fuller-length version of this recording there is a moment where Warren does not know what time the class ends. So he is like, "do we have 20 minutes, or do we have half an hour?" And then he says something and then a student in the back is like, "you have till 12:20," or whatever. So it could be quite true that there was maybe a feeling of you were rushed, or, yeah.
[00:32:01] KS: I don't want to rush us to the end, I was to ask each of you for a final thought on this poem. Is there something that we haven't talked about that you are just dying to talk about with this poem, with the recording or about even the introduction?
[00:32:16] ST: I wanted to, the line struck me here in the, one, two, three, in the fourth stanza. The clever line break [Thesen laughs] at "grabbing like dry hands at my breath as if they knew what I wanted." New line, "to refuse." And so that kind of ambivalence of which Persephone may, or may not, have had toward her abduction is there in the ambiguity of that I wanted to refuse. But I still keep going into the house, right?
[00:33:01] NH: Which I think leads me to something that I think is really important to me about your work, Sharon, and that's, and I have told you this before when I first met you when I was a young woman with two little children in Calgary running the Calgary Creative Reading Series I'd taken over from Bill Kinsella, and, you know, really knew nothing about Canadian poetry, but I was kind of hungry for it. So whenever there was the Governor-General shortlist announced, I would go, and into a bookstore, illicitly read the poetry books to see who I'd want to invite for the next reading. And I love this book and I invited you there, and that's the first time I met you. And I felt that you were this model of a poet that I wanted to be. I wanted to be a Canadian poet like you. And I think that in some ways this poem struck me when I read it. How vulnerable the woman is in here and the sheer maleness of this world that you're creating and how dangerous it is for a young woman. And I think that, you know, you are so important to me, and I think to many other Canadian poets, because, you know, you're of that generation that showed young women at the time, in the 80s, that you can be a poet, too. And you were just such an important figure, you know, for that you were just a role model, you were a torchlight in the darkness.
[00:34:37] KS: Amy, I'm going to turn it over to you and ask you, similarly, do you have final thoughts, or to pick up on Nancy's observation, or thinking about maybe teaching this poem, because I know you want to be a teacher?
[00:34:51] AT: Yeah, I do have one thought about the final line "and no mother anywhere," and what I like about this line, or sort of strikes me is the whole sort of motive of Persephone and that underlying theme that if you sort of went through the poem reading without that in mind at all, and we're just imagining the scene and the narcs and you got to the end, and then that doesn't really make sense and then it sort of prompts a further investigation into sort of the meaning of a poem.
[00:35:27] KS: Yeah, I want to bring that back to Sharon. Do you want to talk about that final line for us?
[00:35:32] ST: It was a line I think that really came out of my unconsciousness or unconscious. It's only in later years that I have had to face the repercussions in my life of a mother who was very absent owing to illness and various other things and also, there was a point in my writing where as a young woman writer in the mid-60s, there weren't that many foremothers that were evident. You really had to search and they weren't just around, and I think I found one in a way aesthetically speaking in Phyllis Webb. And that really helped kind of propel me into other places just having that link with her. But yeah, so I think the mother is, it’s historical, it’s in terms of poetics and it's also personal and familial.
[00:36:54] KS: We often talk about the tapes, this box of tapes that Warren gave to Jodey Castricano, who gave to me, etc, as a kind of community building and, they've been community building both in terms of how they've traveled, but also the kind of work that they're doing. When we hear that on this particular tape when Warren says, you know, there's this lineage, there are these 30 poets who are close. I'm struck again by something, you know, Nancy that you said earlier about that connection between you and Sharon but also the connection that's in the room here between, from you, Sharon, to Nancy, to me, to Amy, as teachers of poetry. I'm really grateful for all of you, to all of you for joining us today. I want to ask you as we sign out for a shout-out. And Amy, I'm going to start with you. A shout-out to a particular book or event or thing that you'd like listeners to know about.
[00:37:45] AT: Yes. I'm going to give a shout-out to Laisha Rosnau's new novel called Little Fortress. It came out late 2019 and it is super wonderful.
[00:37:58] KS: Awesome. Thank you. And we're going to provide a link to that on our site. Nancy?
[00:38:02] NH: Well, I'd like to put a shout out to our very first annual Sharon Thesen lecture here at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, the Creative Writing program, you know, wants to honor our first full professor, Sharon Thesen. We've been thinking about it for a while. We thought the best thing to do would be to get a writer to come once a year and talk about poetics and contemporary writing. So the very first one will be on, I think, Thursday, March the 17th. I hope that's the right date. Didn't write it down. I think that the first one will be Thursday, March 17th and John Lent, who is our Writer in Residence, will be giving the lecture. So, we're absolutely thrilled.
[00:38:48] ST: And so am I. That's such an honor. Well, I'll give a shout-out to my Pinecone Workshops. For now, I've suspended the day-long retreat workshops and I'm planning to host a series of sort of two to three-hour living room readings at the house, at my house, where I have the Pinecone Workshops and interestingly enough, I was thinking of inviting Laisha to do the first one. and what I would like her to talk about is how she sustained a voice for this book over nine years of research and writing. So that will be posted somewhere when it happens.
[00:39:38] KS: And we will provide a link to it on our site as well. I want to thank all of you. It's such a rare opportunity to bring different generations of women together in a recording like this and doing this kind of interpretive work together, and such a privilege to listen in the archive with you. Sharon, I want to thank you for permission for putting this online. [Music overlaps] and also to the Tallman estate for permission as well to put this out there on the world wide web.
[00:40:09] KS: You've been listening to episode three of SoundBox Signals with a recording by Sharon Thesen from 1986. You can find full-length recordings on our website at soundbox.ok.ubc.ca. I'm your host Karis Shearer, and I'll see you for episode four.
[00:40:25] [Music continues].