April 24, 2023

How Covid Affected Librarians, Authors & Poets/Performance Artists on May 25, 2023

Register in advance for this meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0pdOGtqT0jE9TOoaZcYKCeewqguYAaRVGS

The pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus has posed many challenges for libraries and the lives of authors and poets/performance artists. Academic librarians from The University of Toronto and Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) will discuss the disruptions they have faced and how libraries have responded to the pandemic. Author Dan K. Woo and Poet/Performance Artist Johnny D Trinh, will share how the pandemic has affected their writing life and what opportunities were missed or gained. These writers will also read from their works.

Please join us and bring your questions for the guests! We will have a Q&A after their talks.

Event schedule:Introductions – JF Garrard
Librarian talk (U of T) – 10 min
Author talk (Dan K. Woo) – 10 min
Librarian talk (TMU) – 10 min
Poet/Performance Artist talk (Johnny D Trinh) – 10 min
Informal conversation – 20 min
Reading (Dan K. Woo) – 10 min
Reading (Johnny D Trinh) – 10 min
Q & A with audience – 10 min
ACWW KingSumo raffle draw reminder, Dark Helix Press eBook download reminder

Please note that this event will be recorded and produced as a future Artsy Raven podcast, the audience will be asked to mute themselves and to turn off their cameras.


Val Ken Lem is a liaison librarian and collections lead for Arts at Toronto Metropolitan University Libraries. He makes purchases supporting English, French, Spanish, History, Caribbean Studies, Music, and Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Val has a large personal collection of material on Asian Canadians and manages the Asian Heritage in Canada website hosted by the TMU Library. The largest portion of the site is devoted to bio-bibliographical entries on Asian Canadian literary writers. At present about 650 authors are profiled. Val is also a regular reviewer for CM: Canadian Review of Materials, an online reviewing journal of books and media for children and teenagers. In a reviewing career spanning over 30 years, he has published close to 200 reviews.

Hana Kim is the Director of the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library at the University of Toronto (U of T). Previously, she was the Head Librarian of the Asian Library at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Hana has a Bachelor of Education from the Korean National University of Education and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from McGill University.  Hana has published and presented on various topics, including East Asian studies librarianship, Asian Canadian heritage, diversity, equity, and access. She initiated the Korean Canadian Heritage Archives Project, a nationwide effort to document and preserve the history and contributions of Korean Canadians in collaboration with UBC. At the University of Toronto, she has led initiatives to promote and engage with Asian Canadian heritage through library programs and activities.  Hana is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2018 Korean Canadian Heritage Award. She has held various leadership roles in organizations such as the Council on East Asian Libraries, where she served as President, and the Pacific Rim Research Libraries Alliance Steering Committee. Hana has also participated in several international organizations, such as the Association of Research Libraries Kaleidoscope Program Task Force and the portal: Libraries and the Academy Editorial Board.  In her spare time, Hana enjoys writing poetry and translating modern Korean poems. Her translations and original poems have been featured in various publications, including Variety Crossing and Han Kŭt: Critical Art and Writing by Korean Canadian Women (Inanna Publications). Her most recent work, “The Perpetual Foreigner,” was featured in Ricepaper Magazine in 2023.

Johnny D Trinh is the Artistic Director of Vancouver Poetry House. Johnny is also the founder and Artistic Producer of Stage to Page Performance Society, and current Write-in-Residence at the Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre, and an Artist-in-Residence at the Lionsgate Community Centre in North Vancouver.  Johnny’s pedagogy is rooted in deepening the connection and intercultural exchange as uninvited settlers on this Indigenous Turtle Island, with Indigenous peoples through understanding shared and contemporary history.  Johnny holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Regina, a diploma in Music Theatre Performance from the Randolph College for the Performing Arts, and Hon. BA in Drama from the University of Waterloo. Johnny is member of the League of Canadian Poets, and alumni of the Banff Spoken Word Residency and Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre Summer Intensive, and a TEDxSurrey Speaker and Coach. “It takes a community to build an artist … whether we are nurtured by it, or resist against it.”

Dan K. Woo is editor of the anthology, The Spirits Have Nothing to Do with Us, forthcoming in Spring 2023 from Buckrider Books. He was winner of the 2018 Ken Klonsky Award, a literary prize for a novella with a social justice theme and author of Letters to Little Comrade (2023). His recent collection, Taobao: Stories, was featured on the Chicago Review of Books most anticipated reads of 2022. He also works full time as a Senior Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers and occasionally teaches at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.

As a sponsor, ACWW will be holding a raffle for a $50 Indigo bookstore in the form of a physical gift card. The winner will be announced Friday, May 26, 2023.  Click here to enter the online prize draw from May 1-25, 2023. (LINK FORTHCOMING)

Another sponsor, Dark Helix Press, is offering a free eBook sampler featuring a number of Asian Canadian authors. Click here to download the book excerpts in pdf, mobi or epub formats.