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Poetry Reading with Elee Kraljii Gardiner and Ali Blythe

TRAUMA HEAD: Reading the Medical File

PAST - Thursday, November 30, 2017 at noon

In this reading of the chapbook Trauma Head by Elee Kraljii Gardiner, the author is joined by poet Ali Blythe to enact the disorientation and dissonance of Kraljii Gardiner’s experience with vertebral artery dissection and brainstem stroke. These visual poems, bound as a medical file, were created with only scissors, double-sided tape, a photocopier and a Sharpie as a low-fi response to high tech medical testing. Kraljii Gardiner’s actual test results layered with poetic interventions resist simple reading: Kraljii Gardiner’s and Blythe’s joint – and sometimes simultaneous reading— engages the confusion of brain injury. Half of the chapbook poems will appear in the long poem memoir by the same name, Trauma Head, which is forthcoming in Spring 2018. The reading is approximately 20 minutes and will be followed by conversation and response.

The granddaughter, niece and daughter of surgeons, Elee Kraljii Gardiner’s poetry was the first in 40 years to appear in Harvard Medicine. She is the author of the book of poems serpentine loop (Anvil Press, 2016), nominated for the 2017 Raymond Souster Award, and co-editor with John Asfour of V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012), a City of Vancouver Book Award finalist. She is the founder of Thursdays Writing Collective as well as editor and publisher of eight of its anthologies. Her second book of poetry, Trauma Head (forthcoming spring 2018), has already been shortlisted for the Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry.

Ali Blythe is editor-in-chief of the Claremont Review, an international magazine for young writers. His first book of poems, Twoism (2015, icehouse poetry), was a finalist for the BC Book Awards. In 2016, Blythe received an honour of distinction from the Writers Trust of Canada for emerging LGBTQ writers, and in 2017, he won the Vallum Prize for Poetry. Blythe’s poems are published in literary journals and anthologies throughout Canada, and in Germany and England.

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689