Ian Williams and Desmond Cole in conversation

Cover art of Ian William's book "Disorientation: Being Black in the World', a black background with white squiggly lines horizontal across the cover, with the book title and author name in white text.

Image courtesy of Penguin Random House


@ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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Ian Williams and Desmond Cole in conversation

Tuesday, September 28, 7 pm

Join award-winning writer Ian Williams in conversation with journalist, activist, and author Desmond Cole about Disorientation: Being Black in the World, Williams’ new collection of startling, illuminating essays that grow out of his own experience as a Black man moving through the world. Williams explores such things as the unmistakable moment when a child realizes they are Black; the ten characteristics of institutional whiteness; how friendship forms a bulwark against being a target of racism; the meaning and uses of a Black person's smile; and blame culture—or how do we make meaningful change when no one feels responsible for the systemic structures of the past.

Copies of Disorientation: Being Black in the World are available for sale at Another Story Bookshop.

Ian Williams was born in Trinidad and raised in Canada. In 2019 he won the Scotiabank Giller Prize for his first novel, Reproduction, which was published in Canada, the US, and the UK, and translated into Italian. His poetry collection, Personals, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award. His short story collection, Not Anyone's Anything, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada. His first book, You Know Who You Are, was a finalist for the ReLit Poetry Prize. Williams holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Toronto and has recently returned to that university as a tenured professor, after several years as a professor of poetry in the Creative Writing program at the University of British Columbia. His third poetry collection, Word Problems, was published by Coach House Press in the fall of 2020.

Desmond Cole is a journalist, activist, and author. He has spent the last ten years reporting and commentating on politics and social justice. He is especially interested in the struggle for Black liberation within Canada. Desmond's work includes ten years of local and national news coverage, five years of radio broadcasting at Newstalk 1010, a disruptive opinion column with the Toronto Star and an award-winning magazine feature. He is the author of the number one national bestseller The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power.

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