Jordan Abel to read at Kootenay Gallery

For Immediate Release

Jordan Abel Reads at Kootenay Gallery of Art

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Castlegar, 09/08/2017 – The Kootenay Gallery is pleased to say that noted poet, Jordan Abel will give a reading at the Gallery on August 24 at 7:00 pm. Abel recently gained national attention when he won the prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize this June. Jordan Abel is a Nisga’a writer currently completing his PhD at Simon Fraser University, where he focuses on digital humanities and indigenous poetics. Fortunately for the community, he currently lives in Robson.

Abel’s website describes his latest work, Injun as “a long poem about racism and the representation of Indigenous peoples. Composed of text found in western novels published between 1840 and 1950 – the heyday of pulp publishing and a period of unfettered colonialism in North America – Injun then uses erasure, pastiche, and a focused poetics to create a visually striking response to the western genre.” To construct his poem, Abel downloaded 91 novels in the public domain and searched for the term “injun”. He used the instances of the word and the surrounding text to create one long poem which was published as a book by Talon Press in 2016.

Jordan Abel’s approach to poetry complements the research style of Stephen Foster who is currently exhibiting at the Kootenay Gallery.  A Haida/European artist, Stephen Foster’s show was constructed in response to the visual images of Edward Sherriff Curtis. At the turn of the last century, Curtis travelled around North America taking photos of indigenous people. Curtis staged these photographs in a manner that was constructed and sometimes inaccurate. Many of Curtis’s photographs shaped the main stream image of what indigeous culture is. His influence remains even to contemporary times, as seen in Johnny Depp’s costuming in the film The Lone Ranger and in the toys Foster used to create his work. Remediating Curtis consists of 3-D photographs of toys poised to mimic Curtis photos. There is also an interactive video that includes a collage of Hollywood films and film footage staged by Curtis. There are 3-D glasses available at the Gallery to view the exhibition. The show continues until September 16.

Everyone is welcome to attend the poetry reading on August 24. It begins at 7:00 pm and is free, although donations are welcome. While Abel resides in Robson, he is “in demand” at the moment so this is a great opportunity to hear him read.

For more information, please contact the Kootenay Gallery at 250 365 3337 or email We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.


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Maggie Shirley, Kootenay Gallery of Art


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