Georgia Straight: Historic Joy Kogawa House is “Best New Place to Get Writing Done”

Joy Kogawa House is:

BEST NEW PLACE TO

GET WRITING DONE


Pictures:
Joy and brother Tim and Kogawa House circa 1944, chery tree and house
2007, Joy Kogawa and children from Thomsett Elementary School, Joy
Kogawa and house photo by Dan Toulget/Vancouver Courier
, Joy & brother Tim with school friends circa 1944

When I joined the “Save Kogawa House” campaign in September 2005, I
just knew it was something that had to be done. Three years later we
now have our first writer-in-residence program with the arrival of
Madeleine Thien and a grant from the Canada Council. 

The
House was purchased by The Land Conservancy of BC in May 2006, and we
have since had readings by Ruth Ozeki, Shaena Lambert, Sharon Butala,
Heidi Greco, Marion Quednau, and Vancouver’s poet laureate George
McWhirter, as well as Joy Kogawa herself.  We have also had musical
performances by opera soprano Heather Pawsey, flautist Kathryn
Cernauskas and pianist Rachel Iwaasa. 

It's an amazing
story that this house has survived not only the WW2 Internment of its
previous owners, but also rising real estate prices and the threat of
demolition.  It was a vision that we had to create a home for writers,
to both recognize the accomplishments and life of Joy Kogawa, as well
as to provide a place for them to hone their craft, and hopefully
inspire them to their own greatness.

Check
out page 77 of the Sept 18-25 / 2008 issue of the Georgia Straight. 
Kevin Chong writes that “Madeleine Thine will take up residence at a
retreat dedicated to Joy Kogawa”


Historic Joy Kogawa House

1450 West 64th Avenue

Now
that Joy Kogawa’s childhood home has been purchased and saved from the
wrecking ball after years of struggle, it’s set to become a writer’s
retreat for visiting authors, starting in 2009. (The first author to
arrive in the house, located in leafy, sleepy Marpole, will be
Madeleine Thien.) Hopefully, the house, which celebrates the
contributions of one of B.C.’s best-known authors while reminding us of
a regrettable episode in our nation’s history—the internment of
Japanese Canadians during World War II—will inspire new books in the
years to come. More info is available at www.kogawahouse.com/ .

Page 77

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