The Convergence Series brings together widely varied streams of intellectual and spiritual knowledge within the context of open-heartedness. As converging creeks create a mighty river, this integration of different ways of knowing yields something that is stronger, deeper, and more complex than any single watercourse. Convergence wisdom is creative, rooted in relationship, and designed to change individuals, inspire communities, and help heal the world.
Here’s the chronology for Convergence Writers’ Weekend since 2012:
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!
Registration is now open for the 6th annual Convergence Writers’ Weekend, this year featuring author Joy Kogawa. All events take place at the Silverton Gallery, Highway 6th and 4th St., Silverton, B.C., on June 7 and 8.
This year’s theme is “Writing Toward Forgiveness.” Friday evening will open with a 7 p.m. performance entitled “Big Water Coming,” presented by Marya Folinsbee & the Valley Gems Theatre Troupe. Following this will be the public lecture by Kogawa on the weekend theme. Saturday will feature writing workshops with instructors Leesa Dean and Keith Liggett during the day and an evening integration session with Joy, Leesa and Keith. While the Friday evening event is open to the public, all other events are for registered participants only.
Kogawa is a national figure whose writing has explored this year’s theme in considerable depth over decades, most recently in her 2016 memoir Gently to Nagasaki. Author of the 1981 Canadian classic novel Obasan, based on the author’s internment at Slocan, B.C. during World War II, Kogawa is a member of the Order of Canada and Order of British Columbia. In 2010 she received the Japanese government’s Order of the Rising Sun for her contribution to preserving Japanese-Canadian history.
The Vancouver Sun’s Douglas Todd called Kogawa’s most recent book, Gently to Nagasaki, “a mature work of history and spirituality, bravely detailing the intersection between mass global evils and those perpetrated intimately by members of one’s own family.
“Kogawa’s memoir deeply explores how denial works in regards to racism, paedophilia, nuclear power, Canadian internment camps and Japanese war atrocities,” Todd said. The Toronto Globe and Mail praised Gently to Nagasaki for “breaking the us/them dichotomy of victimization.” For more on Joy, see this link: Joy Kogawa Biography
On Saturday June 8th, Convergence registrants have the choice to attend one of two writing workshops offered concurrently. Starting at 9:30 and ending at 5 p.m. (time out for lunch!), the writing workshops will be led by Slocan Valley author and Selkirk College writing instructor Leesa Dean and Fernie, B.C. author and veteran workshop convenor Keith Liggett.
The 2016 debut short fiction collection by Dean, Waiting for the Cyclone, was shortlisted for both the Trillium and ReLit awards. According to the Trillium Award jury, Leesa Dean’s book “effortlessly—or so it seems—grabs the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go, revealing the comedy, cruelty, tenderness and shame native to every human relationship.” For more on Dean, see Leesa Dean.
The writing of workshop leader Liggett, a long-time Kootenay resident, has appeared in major ski journals and more than 75 newspapers. He has published an award-winning cookbook, two collections of poems, and, in 2015, The Fernie Originals, a series of profiles of Fernie, B.C. businesses and essays about the town. For more on Liggett, see Keith Liggett.
Cost for the weekend is $50 plus GST. More information, including how to register, is available on the Convergence Registration page.
NEW THIS YEAR! PRE-EVENTS FOR WRITERS!
This year, Convergence is sponsoring four “pre-events” for writers and cultural aficionados. Come see the performance of “Dead Crow,” music and dramatic spoken word, on April 26th at 7 p.m. at the Langham Cultural Centre in Kaslo (http://thelangham.ca/). Or you can join the one-hour “Coffee with a Writer” at the Outlet Youth Centre in New Denver at noon on May 4th (led by Galadriel Watson); in Nakusp on May 18th at noon at the Nakusp Library (led by Keith Liggett), https://nakusp.bc.libraries.coop/; or on May 25th in New Denver at the Outlet Youth Centre at noon (led by Claire Paradis). All “Coffee with a Writer” events are free of charge. For more information, see the Calendar page of this website. https://widespot.ca/coming-events/
Collaboration at work in the Kootenays:
This year, a number of local societies are collaborating to help give people the chance to hear Joy Kogawa. On Saturday, June 8th at 2 p.m., Joy will be speaking at the Nikkei Centre in New Denver; on Sunday afternoon, she will be at Nelson United Church; and on Monday evening, Joy will be speaking at the Langham Cultural Centre in Kaslo. See the Events Calendar for more information. https://widespot.ca/coming-events/
This year’s Convergence Writers’ Weekend and associated events are the result of collaboration between Convergence and Selkirk College’s Mir Centre for Peace, as well as the Nikkei Centre, Nelson United Church, and the Langham Cultural Centre. Other support to date has come from Regional District of Central Kootenay’s Area K director Paul Peterson and Area H director Walter Popoff; Columbia Basin Trust (direct grant); Columbia Basin Trust Direct Sponsorship; and Community Initiative Program grants from the Village of Silverton and the Village of New Denver.
The Village of New Denver
Recreation Commission, Area 6
Central Kootenay Cultural Association
Coffee donated by Oso Negro
READ THIS REVIEW OF CONVERGENCE 2018:
Check out page 7 in the June 28th, 2018 Valley Voice: WebPage
READ COMMENTS FROM PAST PARTICIPANTS:
“Convergence 2018 sparked completion of my long abandoned book project. Publication bound!”
-Susan Dunnigan, Convergence 2018 participant
“Here’s the heart of what I want from any workshop, and what I got in this one. I want a chance to meet good words written or spoken by others, and to take away something—large or small—that will help me live my own life more fully.”
—Anne Voegtlen, Convergence 2016 participant
“The Convergence 2016 Writers’ Workshop in Silverton has been a high point in a year of many memorable occasions for me. The theme, The Spirit in the Landscape, was a draw for me to the workshop. It is a theme that has pleasantly haunted me for a long while… I will return for more of the way of the Convergence next year.”
—Richard Peppinck, Convergence 2016 participant
“I didn’t know what to expect, but this has exceeded any expectations I might have had. Excellent all the way round.”
—Verna Relkoff, Convergence 2012 instructor
Or read what Carolyn Pogue, a Convergence registrant one year and instructor another year, had to say on her blog: ucobserver.org/pogue_blog/2016/06/mothers_calling