My short story, “Groota Pieter” based on my experiences in Southeast Manitoba, is included in this thoughtful, important conversation on forced migration. In 1873, my great-great-grandfather, Cornelius Toews, was one of a group of 12 delegates to travel to North America to scout locations for a mass migration as Russia constricted around their Mennonite villages in the Molotschna region of Ukraine. This historical connection, plus my life in a Canadian diaspora community that now sees others arriving as they once did—scared, unfamiliar, poor, and without a choice—makes the story personal for me.
I’m pleased to be a part of the book and if you happen to be in Melbourne, September 16…
We Refugees is now on the shelves in Readings bookshops across Melbourne, and it will be launched by Julian Burnside at Readings Hawthorn next Monday 16th September at 6.30pm.Two contributors, Kirsty Anantharajah and Akuol Garang are able to be here for the launch, which is very exciting.The launch details are available via the link below:
Now available in Australia… For release September 27, 2019 in the U.S.
The Regal House Initiative, together with Pact Press, is proud to bring you an anthology of writing by and about refugees, asylum seekers, and other forced migrants. We Refugees is intended to amplify the voices of displaced people and bring their experiences to the awareness of readers. The lead editor for this anthology is Dr. Emma Larking.
Our aim is to provide insights into the lives of the displaced, insights that are often ignored in contemporary media accounts of the global refugee crisis. Rather than present a vision of crisis, we would like to present a vision of hope and energy, to celebrate the resilience of people who have been forced to leave their homes and seek new ones. We sought contributions that may discomfort or challenge readers, presenting the experience of displacement in a manner at odds with more typical representations.
Proceeds from the publication of We Refugees
Editorial work will be provided free of charge by the Pact Press editorial team, lead by Dr. Emma Larking, and all net proceeds from the sale of the anthology will go to support the work of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC).
Based in Melbourne, Australia, the ASRC describes itself as:
…both a place and a movement. We are an independent not for profit organisation, whose programs support and empower people seeking asylum to maximise their own physical, mental and social wellbeing. As a movement, we mobilise and unite communities to create lasting social and policy change for people seeking asylum in Australia. We are proud to be owned and run by our community of volunteers and supporters.
Interview with Artist Virginia Ryan, Contributor to our forthcoming Pact Press Anthology, We Refugees.
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“Groota Pieter” is also a part of the 2018 Lilly Press publication (U.S.), “The Immigrants” by The River Poets Journal.