Community Classroom

Listening to the World and Storying a Place

Craig Taylor and Dr. Sonnet L'Abbé.

Colloquium Series lecture features compelling live performances

Vancouver Island University’s second spring Arts & Colloquium Series lecture of 2022, which took place on February 11, featured performances by two of VIU’s Creative Writing & Journalism professors – Dr. Sonnet L’Abbé and Craig Taylor.

Poet and singer-songwriter L’Abbé discussed their impulse to decolonial balladeering and performed some of their new songs, while writer, playwright, journalist and Malaspina University-College alum Craig Taylor read selections from his work.

L’Abbé is a VIU Creative Writing & Journalism Professor and Chair of the department, as well as a poetry editor at Brick Books. Their third published collection of poetry, Sonnet’s Shakespeare (2019), is a political engagement with the literary canon that takes aim at Shakespeare to express their disaffection for Britain’s colonial legacy in Canada. They are currently exploring song writing and performances as a form of community storytelling and activist poetics on Snuneymuxw territory. 

Taylor is the author of the best-selling Londoners, as well as Return to Akenfield and One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, which began as a column in the Guardian Weekend magazine. His most recent book, New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time, was longlisted for the Brooklyn Public Library Prize. Taylor’s writing has appeared in the New York TimesThe Guardian, the Globe & MailVancouver SunGranta and McSweeney’s, while his plays have been professionally performed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. 

Watch L’Abbé’s and Taylor’s presentation:

Since its beginning in 2009, the Arts and Humanities Colloquium presentations have facilitated conversations about ideas among members of the Arts and Humanities faculty and their communities both at VIU and in the mid-Island region. Presenters have shown how important the arts and humanities are to understanding today’s world.


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