The Counterfactual: A Workshop with Rhea Tregebov

(February 19, 2013)

Posted in Past Workshops, Rhea Tregebov

19 February 2013, 6-8:30pm

Location: 401 Richmond Street West, Studio 408

** This Workshop is Full **

The counterfactual – what didn’t happen, the path not taken or the path not there – can be a fundamental source of creativity. This workshop will examine how departures from our own, or world, history generate writing. What is the mindset that fosters imagination? Whether we are writing poetry with autobiographical sources, or speculative fiction that builds invented worlds, one of the more alarming aspects of writing is the pressure to “make something up.” Iconoclastic micro-fiction writer Etgar Keret has said that he is interested in writing stories that are fundamentally true, not factually true. How do we separate the facts from the truth of our writing, and how do the facts, as well as alternatives to the facts, interact with what we have to say?

Rhea Tregebov’s seventh collection of poetry, All Souls’, was released by Signal Editions/Véhicule Press (Montreal) in September, 2012. Maisonneuve writes of All Souls’ that Tregebov’s “use of language is effortless, allowing the book to contemplate – sometimes quietly, sometimes more forcefully – the way in which small moments speak to a larger human consciousness.” Anne Michaels writes: “For decades, Rhea Tregebov has been writing poems of penetrating honesty. At their core is a deep familiarity with the necessities of love; inconsolable loss, inconsolable hope…” Tregebov’s poetry has received the Pat Lowther Award, the Malahat Review Long Poem prize, Honorable Mention for the National Magazine Awards and the Readers’ Choice Award for Poetry from Prairie Schooner.

Tregebov is also the author of an historical novel, The Knife-Sharpener’s Bell (Coteau 2009), which won the Segal Prize in literature and was shortlisted for the 2012 Kobzar Prize. In addition to her poetry and fiction, Tregebov has also published five children’s picture books, including The Big Storm and Sasha and the Wiggly Tooth. She also has edited numerous anthologies, including a collection of translations from Yiddish, Arguing with the Storm: Stories by Yiddish Women Writers (Sumach Press, 2007; The Feminist Press CUNY, 2008).

Before being hired by the Creative Writing Program at University of British Columbia in January 2005, Tregebov taught Creative Writing for many years in the Continuing Education program at Ryerson University in Toronto. She also worked as a freelance editor of adult and young adult fiction as well as poetry. She is now an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program at UBC.

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