Join us for an evening with Lisa Robertson and her book Anemones: A Simone Weil Project (2021), published by If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, The Netherlands.
Robertson’s research wide rime on troubadour poetry — the first European poets to write in their spoken regional vernacular — yields this experiment in thinking ‘near and with’ philosopher and political activist Simone Weil. Moving between the epistolary, poetry, performance, and scholarly research, Anemones is centred on a new translation of Weil’s 1942 essay ‘What the Occitan Inspiration Consists Of’ (1942) that elevates the troubadour concept of love to a practice of political resistance rejecting force in all its forms. Robertson dwells on the transhistorical potential of this concept from the violent context in which it emerged to the troubling conditions of the present. Embracing actualised and suppressed histories, the work testifies to words, friendship, and readership as resistance across distances.
The event will begin with a conversation with Yoon Sook Cha, a Vancouver-based writer, photographer, and scholar of Simone Weil, and will be followed by a reading by Robertson of her translations of three troubadour poems and a Q&A period with the audience.
The event will be livestreamed here.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event or can be pre-purchased when registering your attendance.
Lisa Robertson is a poet who moved from Vancouver to France in 2004. Until then she was a resident of East Vancouver, a collective member of the Kootenay School of Writing, a board member of Artspeak, for a number of years the poetry editor of Front Magazine, and the proprietor of Proprioception Books, an independent bookshop specializing in poetry. Her current work with communities and language extends in a few directions—she teaches writing occasionally in art schools across Europe, she continues to write essays for the contemporary visual arts, a practice she began in Vancouver in the early 90s, and she furthers her study of the culture, politics and poetics of the medieval troubadour poets of the Aquitaine, the region of France where she has lived since 2005. This open-ended project, called wide rime, attends to bird calls, site, translation, and the history of rhyme and lyric form, sometimes in collaboration with the poet sabrina soyer.
Yoon Sook Cha is a writer and photographer whose work examines the iterations of the self at the site of its inscription and decreation. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program for Structured Liberal Education at Stanford University and was most recently an artist at the Winter Writers Residency 2023 at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity. Her published work includes Decreation and the Ethical Bind: Simone Weil and the Claim of the Other (Fordham University Press, 2017). She lives and works on the unceded and ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.
The Grand Luxe Hall is located on the second floor, which is accessed by a flight of 26 stairs. The second floor is not currently accessible to wheelchair users. Further details about accessibility at Western Front can be found here.
Presented in partnership with If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution.