Dear Friends &: D.M. Bradford, Danielle LaFrance, Jane Shi

Jul 6, 2023
Field:

Performance

Location:

Grand Luxe Hall, Western Front

Time:

7:30 p.m.

Description:

Produced in partnership with The Capilano Review, Dear Friends & is a monthly series showcasing the work of local and touring Canadian writers. Taking place on the first Thursday of each month, readings are hosted in the Grand Luxe Hall and made available to virtual audiences by livestream.

The series’ name draws inspiration from the salutations and sign-offs used by Roy Kiyooka in Transcanada Letters (1975), a collection which details the comings and goings of his literary sociality across Canada, the network of people and relations that enfold his writing, and the longings of his “Heart’s Geography” to be near the ones he loved. Kiyooka was an important figure for both Western Front and The Capilano Review, and this series invites his spirit of kinship, connection, and conviviality into the reading space.

Coinciding with the launch of the Summer 2023 issue of The Capilano Review titled “In(ter)ventions in the Archive,” the third event of the series included readings by Jane Shi, Danielle LaFrance, and D.M. Bradford. Each writer presented twenty-minute sets that included new work and selections from published texts.

Shi opened the evening with work drawn from her debut chapbook Leaving Chang’e on Read (2022); as well as her poem “before you were born,” which won The Capilano Review’s 2022 In(ter)ventions in the Archive writing contest and was featured in the Summer 2023 issue.

Combining poetry, correspondence, and autotheory, LaFrance shared excerpts from their books JUST LIKE I LIKE IT (2019) and #post-dildo (2022), as well as a selection of unpublished poems developed through their intertextual sound project Yes, Sydo with Josh Rose.

With accompaniment by Shi, LaFrance, and Adiran Ho, Bradford closed the evening with a polyvocal presentation of work drawn from their forthcoming book Bottom Rail on Top (2023), which was also included in The Capilano Review's newest issue. 

The readings unfolded against a projected image by resident artist Christian Vistan, who was invited to inhabit the peripheral spaces of Dear Friends & through a series of conceptual graphics, backgrounds, interventions, and ephemera reflecting on themes of friendship and correspondence through art. Vistan’s image was inspired by the previous Dear Friends & in which Leanne Dunic began her reading by gifting a calendar to an audience member. Vistan’s new work was conceived as a composite “calendar” of painterly sketches using water-soluble charcoal, graphite, and ink. Exploring interactions between the wet and the dry, the images evoke smoke, weather, and weathering—themes that are central to their practice, and serendipitously echoed across the reading series.

The evening was hosted by Deanna Fong, literary editor of The Capilano Review.

Presented with support from Kootenay School of Writing.
Dear Friends &: D.M. Bradford, Danielle LaFrance, Jane Shi, video documentation, Jul 6, 2023. 1 hr. 21 min. 39 sec. Camera by Qiuli Wu.
Deanna Fong stands facing the audience in the Grand Luxe Hall. Smiling, she holds a cordless microphone up to her mouth with her right hand, while her left hand holds her speaking notes. She is positioned in front of a projected image by Christian Vistan that presents a number of black-and-white abstract paintings arranged in a grid. Seated in rows, audience members can be seen from the back.
Deanna Fong at Dear Friends &: D.M. Bradford, Danielle LaFrance, Jane Shi, photo documentation, Jul 6, 2023. Photo by Alison Boulier.
Jane Shi stands at a lectern affixed with a microphone in the Grand Luxe Hall. She reads from a piece of paper held with both hands along its bottom edges. Jane is positioned in front of a projected image by Christian Vistan that presents a number of black-and-white abstract paintings arranged in a grid. The first row of audience members are seen from behind.
Jane Shi reading at Dear Friends &: D.M. Bradford, Danielle LaFrance, Jane Shi, photo documentation, Jul 6, 2023. Photo by Alison Boulier.
Jane Shi reads from a lectern affixed with a microphone in the Grand Luxe Hall. She is positioned in front of a projected image by Christian Vistan that presents twenty of black-and-white abstract paintings arranged in a grid of five columns and four rows. The first five rows of audience members are visible from behind.
Jane Shi reading at Dear Friends &: D.M. Bradford, Danielle LaFrance, Jane Shi, photo documentation, Jul 6, 2023. Photo by Alison Boulier.
Danielle LaFrance stands in front of a microphone in the Grand Lux Hall. They address the audience while holding a copy of their book #postdildo that is tabbed with blue sticky-notes.
Danielle LaFrance reading at Dear Friends &: D.M. Bradford, Danielle LaFrance, Jane Shi, photo documentation, Jul 6, 2023. Photo by Alison Boulier.
Standing behind a lectern affixed with a microphone in the Grand Luxe Hall, Danielle LaFrance reads from their book #postdildo. They are positioned in front of a projected image by Christian Vistan that presents twenty of black-and-white abstract paintings arranged in a grid of five columns and four rows. The first five rows of audience members are visible from behind.
Danielle LaFrance reading at Dear Friends &: D.M. Bradford, Danielle LaFrance, Jane Shi, photo documentation, Jul 6, 2023. Photo by Alison Boulier.
Standing behind a lectern affixed with a microphone in the Grand Luxe Hall, Danielle LaFrance reads from their book #postdildo. They are positioned in front of a projected image by Christian Vistan that presents twenty of black-and-white abstract paintings arranged in a grid of five columns and four rows. Seated in rows, the audience is visible from behind.
Danielle LaFrance reading at Dear Friends &: D.M. Bradford, Danielle LaFrance, Jane Shi, photo documentation, Jul 6, 2023. Photo by Alison Boulier.
Danielle LaFrance stands behind a lectern affixed with a microphone while reading in the Grand Luxe Hall. With their elbows locked, they grip the edges of the lectern as they cast their gaze downwards. Danielle is positioned in front of a projected image by Christian Vistan that presents twenty of black-and-white abstract paintings arranged in a grid of five columns and four rows. Seated in rows, the audience is visible from behind.
Danielle LaFrance reading at Dear Friends &: D.M. Bradford, Danielle LaFrance, Jane Shi, photo documentation, Jul 6, 2023. Photo by Alison Boulier.
D.M. Bradford stands behind a lectern affixed with a microphone in the Grand Lux Hall. Their fingertips rest on top of their reading material as they smile towards the audience.
D.M. Bradford reading at Dear Friends &: D.M. Bradford, Danielle LaFrance, Jane Shi, photo documentation, Jul 6, 2023. Photo by Alison Boulier.
Adrian Ho sits in the audience of the Grand Luxe Hall. They gaze towards a piece of paper resting on their knees as they hold a cordless microphone with their left hand.
Adrian Ho at Dear Friends &: D.M. Bradford, Danielle LaFrance, Jane Shi, photo documentation, Jul 6, 2023. Photo by Alison Boulier.
Danielle LaFrance sits in the audience of the Grand Luxe Hall. Holding a cordless microphone in their right hand, they read from a set of papers balanced on their knees.
Danielle LaFrance at Dear Friends &: D.M. Bradford, Danielle LaFrance, Jane Shi, photo documentation, Jul 6, 2023. Photo by Alison Boulier.
D.M. Bradford stands behind a lectern affixed with a microphone in the Grand Luxe Hall. They gaze down towards their reading material. The image frames D.M. between the backs of two audience members’ heads.
D.M. Bradford reading at Dear Friends &: D.M. Bradford, Danielle LaFrance, Jane Shi, photo documentation, Jul 6, 2023. Photo by Alison Boulier.

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Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.