On March 15, Dionne Brand will be in St. John’s to give her Pratt Lecture “A Hidden Verb Takes Inventory” at the LSPU Hall. Brand is an internationally acclaimed writer, and has been most recently been honoured with a Griffin Poetry Prize for her 2011 Ossuaries. She was Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto from 2009-2012 and she presently teaches at the University of Guelph’s School of English Studies.
Brand has authored both award-winning poetry and fiction, and her non-fiction books are noted contributions to scholarship on Black Diaspora. Across genres, Brand’s work is deeply engaged in social justice. Her novels star those whose stories are often ignored, such as immigrant cab drivers. Her poetry takes on violence, displacement and environmental destruction. In her 2006 book Inventory, she writes of “the militant consumption of everything, the encampment of the airport.” The image seems incredibly timely, considering the scene at many American airports in the first few days of Trump’s Muslim ban.
The Pratt Lecture series is Memorial University’s oldest public lecture, known for bringing major-league authors to the island to speak. Last year’s lecturer was Anne Carson. Given that the event was established to honour Newfoundland poet E.J. Pratt (1882-1964), many of the lecturers have been poets, such as Seamus Heaney, Don McKay and the aforementioned Carson. The series has also featured distinguished theorists like Northrop Frye and Terry Eagleton.
“A Hidden Verb Takes Inventory” will take place at the LSPU Hall on Wednesday, March 15 at 8 pm with a reception to follow the presentation. Admission to the event is free. For more information visit http://rca.nf.ca/event/pratt-lecture-2017-dionne-brand/.