Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature winner
Lambda Literary Award finalist
Longlisted for Canada Reads
As a writer, musician, performance artist, and filmmaker, Vivek Shraya has, over the course of the last few years, established herself as a tour de force artist of the highest order. Vivek's bodyof work includes ten albums, four short films, and three books, including the YA book God Loves Hair (A Quill and Quire and Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Book of the Year) and the adult novel She of the Mountains (a Lambda Literary Award finalist).
Vivek's debut collection of poetry, even this page is white, is a bold, timely, and personal interrogation of skin--its origins, functions, and limitations. Poems that range in style from starkly concrete to limber break down the barriers that prevent understanding ofwhat it means to be racialized. Shraya paints the face of everyday racism with words, rendering it visible, tangible, and undeniable.
Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, literature, visual art, theatre, and film. Her books include I'm Afraid of Men, The Subtweet, even this page is white, She of the Mountains, Death Threat, and The Boy & the Bindi, and her album with Queer Songbook Orchestra, Part-Time Woman, was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize. She is one half of the music duo Too Attached and the founder of the Arsenal Pulp Press imprint VS. Books. A six-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, Vivek was a Pride Toronto Grand Marshal, was featured on The Globe and Mail's Best Dressed list, and has received honours from the Writers' Trust of Canada and the Publishing Triangle. She is a director on the board of the Tegan and Sara Foundation and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Calgary.
This brave and very contemporary lyrical collection dares to ask the unspoken yet screaming questions, to finish the sentence that hurts, that reveals, that provokes, that celebrates. Like a Durga goddess, Shraya juggles with deft hands the multiple aspects of desire, race, gender, queerness, and contemporary pop culture. -Shani Mootoo, author of Moving Forward Sideways like a Crab and Cereus Blooms at Night
even this page is white illuminates the beauty of a life lived on the edges of whiteness's blank page. -Plenitude
This debut poetry collection beautifully illuminates everyday racism across a multitude of spaces, and explores color and identity. -Autostraddle ("Best Queer and Feminist Books of the Year")
even this page is white is a provocative meditation on what it means to grow up anything other than white in Canada, tackling institutional racism and sexual identity from a unique viewpoint, all delivered with astute observation and trenchant insight. -Rollie Pemberton, former Edmonton Poet Laureate
It's not hyperbolic to say that this is a book everyone should read. It's the kind of poetry collection that makes you feel privileged just to have read it.
-Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian
even this page is white demands that all of us account for our visions of 'colour' and/or 'race' frontally and peripherally, with ocular proofs. Shraya is the poet-optometrist, correcting our vision and letting us see our identities without rose-coloured glasses, but with naked optics. Her book isn't even-handed, but dexterous and sinister, in demonstrating, in revelatory poem after revelatory poem, why "often brown feels like but" and why even a good white person--with a 'golden heart' -- 'can be racist. ' Reader, you have work to do!
-George Elliott Clarke, Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate
Vivek Shraya radically centres radiant darkness in even this page is white. In and around and between the lines I see multi-dimensional reflections of myself; all the possibilities of my becoming. Beasts are everywhere, outside and in, and Vivek's words root my courage to face them in love-a-lutionary soil. -d'bi. young anitafrika, Canadian Poet of Honour
Every poem tells a story, breathlessly unfolding . .. Shraya beautifully and brutally explores the landscape of the racialized body, both as a question of colour and outward identity and also what is internalized. -This Magazine
A stark, bold poetry debut. Shraya writes on, through, and about skin and color -- and the meanings we make of both. This beautiful collection is the rawest consideration of race, racism, and identity that I've read in a while.
With her debut poetry collection, Shraya applies her keen intelligence and awareness of positionality to white privilege and systemic racism. The book's accessibility and attention to everyday racism will undoubtedly elicit comparisons to Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric.