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Rungh Readings at Full Circle: First Nations Performance

Indigenous and South Asian women poets in conversation.

Rungh Cultural Society, in partnership with Full Circle: First Nations Performance hosted an afternoon of poetry readings at the Full Circle Studio on Sunday, August 18, 2019. This Rungh Readings event featured readings by Jessica Johns, Sana Janjua, Fauzia Rafique and Wanda John-Kehewin. All four women poets from Indigenous and South Asian communities, as they self identify in the each of their readings.

In the Roundtable conversation which follows after the readings, the artists explore themes related to their creative process, inter-generational transmission of knowledge, connection to land, struggle and identity.

"Rungh Readings being relaunched at this event, with Full Circle, is a part of Rungh's local, regional, and national commitment to creating 'new' intersected communities and stories", noted Zool Suleman, Rungh's Executive Director, in the Press Release for the event. These readings are part of a longer history of Rungh featuring new and established voices", stated Suleman. "Since 1992, Rohinton Mistry, M.G. Vassanji, George Elliott Clarke, Surjeet Kalsey, Shayam Selvadurai, Shani Mooto, and many others have been a part of these readings." Rungh expresses its thanks to Full Circle: First Nations Performance for partnering on this event.

Full Circle: First Nations Performance

Thanks to Metro Vancouver for funding this project.

Metro Vancouver

Fauzia Rafique - Rungh Readings at Full Circle: First Nations Performance

Fauzia Rafique at Rungh Readings with Full Circle

Fauzia Rafique, a poet and organizer, begins her reading by making sure that the audience understands that "KGB" in her poem Good News (2015) references "King George Boulevard" in Surrey, British Columbia (her home) and not the Soviet secret police, which immediately makes the audience laugh. Sharia Complaint Bra is a conversation between a mother and daughter that references a 2011 public conversation in Pakistan – social commentary in a humorous poetic form. More poetry, humour and social commentary follow.
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Wanda John-Kehewin - Rungh Readings at Full Circle: First Nations Performance

Wanda John-Kehewin at Rungh Readings with Full Circle

Cree poet Wanda John-Kehewin, reads from her powerful writing which moves the listener with deceptive simplicity and reflective insight. It takes your breath away. No artifice, just the real goods laid out in poetry, prose and commentary that is hard to forget, once experienced. Listen to Walk a Mile in my Moccasins, Prayers for our Daughters, Pretty and Pink with New Shoes and other poems.
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Jessica Johns - - Rungh Readings at Full Circle: First Nations Performance

Jessica Johns at Rungh Readings with Full Circle

Jessica Johns locates herself by stating that she is a ‘nehiyaw aunty and member of the Sucker Creek First Nation in Treaty 8 territory in Northern Alberta, currently living, working and learning on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples'. Her work with Room Magazine as the Managing Director has had a significant impact upon the literary and arts communities. She reads from her debut chapbook, How Not to Spill, which is, in part, her navigation of family and relationships to land/territory – where she comes from and where she is. Responsibility, and ways of knowing and being, are interwoven within her creative work and her lived practice. Listen to her new work Stubborn Blood.
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Sana Janjua - Rungh Readings at Full Circle: First Nations Performance

Sana Janjua at Rungh Readings with Full Circle

Sana Janjua is one of the founding members of Surrey Muse. Her work as a front line mental health worker informs her creative practice. Socio-economic conditions, health, membership in a persecuted minority community, and migration/geography/gender are some of the themes in her work. Her commentary between her readings is a rich source of context and focuses the listener.
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Roundtable - Rungh Readings at Full Circle: First Nations Performance

Roundtable at Rungh Readings with Full Circle

Listen to the post-readings Roundtable conversation between Fauzia Rafique, Sana Janjua, Wanda John-Kehewin and Jessica Johns. Hosted by Phay Moores.
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