Rita Wong BC Book Prizee winner for Poetry will be our featured poet for Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2009 dinner.
Children's author finalist Meg Tilly and Poetry Prize
winner Rita Wong shared a story about reading one of Rita's poems
together during the BC Book Prize tour in the Kootenays – photo Todd
I first got to know Rita Wong around 2002, when I helped organize the first Asian Writers' Workshop Community Dinner. We recognized Rita then as a past winner of the ACWW Emerging Writer Award, which helped he unpublished manuscript become the award winning book of poetry titled Monkey Puzzle.
I think it is fitting that Rita Wong will be our featured poet for the 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner. In many ways, we can find similarities of the themes and social conscience between Robert Burns and Rita Wong. Burns is often said to have been ahead of his time in promoting social justice, equality, and women's rights. Rita certainly lives these issues, and is always pushing the boundaries.
Past featured authors at Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinners have been George McWhirter 2008, Lensey Namioka 2007, Joy Kogawa 2006, Fred Wah 2005, Fiona Tinwei Lam 2004,
At last year's dinner, her newest book Forage – was a prize donated by Harbour Publishing (which has been a continual supporter of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner).
Forage was nominated for the the 2008 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize at the BC Book Awards. We caught up with Rita at the BC Book Prize Soiree and gave her the lastest copy of Ricepaper Magazine, which featured some of her poems. Rita then went on the BC Book Prize tour and read her “duet” poem published in the magazine with her new friend and fellow award nominee Meg Tilly – nominated for the Children's Book Prize.
Forage went on in April to win the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize at the BC Book Awards.
Marisa Alps, Megan Lau, Rita Wong, Walter
Lew, Todd Wong, Leanne Riding.
Details for 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner here: