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 the author of the young-adult collection God Loves Hair, the novel She of the Mountains, the poetry book even this page is white, and the children's picture book (with Rajni Perera) The Boy & the Bindi (all published by Arsenal Pulp Press), as well as I'm Afraid of Men and What I Love About Being QUEER. She is editor of the Arsenal Pulp Press imprint VS. Books, dedicated to work by young black, Indigenous, and writers of colour. Vivek was the 2014 recipient of the Steinert & Ferreiro Award for leadership in Toronto's LGBTQ community, the recipient of Anokhi Media's inaugural Most Promising LGBTQ Community Crusader Award in 2015, a 2015 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award finalist, and a 2015 recipient of the Writers' Trust of Canada's Dayne Ogilvie Prize Honour of Distinction. Originally from Edmonton, she now lives in Calgary, where she is an assistant professor in the University of Calgary's Department of English.
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
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.
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
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
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