Episode 27: Ian Williams


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This week, GBR has the great honour of sharing the recording of one of this year’s most memorable LitFest events: a conversation between the Edmonton Poetry Festival’s Shima Robinson and Ian Williams, author of DISORIENTATION: BEING BLACK IN THE WORLD.

Shima Robinson (also known as Dwennimmen) is the Artistic Producer of the Edmonton Poetry Festival, a graduate student at the University of Alberta, and an amiskwaciy-wâskahikan born poet and spoken word artist who embodies, with every literary and scholarly effort, the ancient meaning of her chosen pen name. Dwennimmen is the name of an ancient African Adinkra symbol, which means strength, humility, learning and wisdom. For Dwennimmen, poetry has long been a compass, a salve, an anchor and guiding light.

Ian Williams is the author of six books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. In 2019 he won the Scotiabank Giller Prize for his first novel, REPRODUCTION, which was published in Canada, the US, and the UK, and translated into Italian. His poetry collection, PERSONALS, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award. His short story collection, NOT ANYONE’S ANYTHING, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada. His first book, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, was a finalist for the ReLit Poetry Prize. Williams holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Toronto and has recently returned to that university as a tenured professor, after several years as a professor of poetry in the Creative Writing program at the University of British Columbia. His latest book, DISORIENTATION, was published by Random House Canada this past September.

You can order DISORIENTATION here.

Where to find Shima (Dwennimmen): on Instagram @dense_verse; on Facebook; or on her website.

Where to find Ian: on Twitter @ianwillwrite; on Instagram @notianwilliams; or on his website.

You can find Glass Bookshop on all social platforms @glasssbookshop and you can check out previous episodes of the show on the Glass Bookshop Radio website.

Transcript to come.

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