November 29, 2023 (Zoom): Cross-Pollinations

Join the League of Canadian Poets, the Health Arts Research Centre, and the Canadian Association for Health Humanities for the next iteration of the Cross-Pollinations Virtual Rounds Series.

November 29, 2024

The November 29 Cross-Pollinations event featured poets Elee Kraljii Gardiner and Isabella Wang on the theme of their poetic expressions of medical events. In this conversation between long-time friends of different generations, Elee and Isabella discuss what happens when we shift the paradigm from the idea of "dying for one's art" to ideas of agency and care, creating art that takes care of its maker. Elee will read from her award-winning collection Trauma Head about vertebral artery dissection and stroke and Isabella will share excerpts from her manuscript in-progress, Subscript: Annotating Long-Illness, a creative auto-theoretical work that speaks to her cancer diagnosis, sifting through her medical documents and the writings of Roland Barthes to express her experiences of navigating the health system as a whole.


Isabella Wang is the author of the chapbook,On Forgetting a Language, and her full-length debut, Pebble Swing, shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Among other recognitions, she has been shortlisted for Arc’s Poem of the Year Contest, The Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Contest and Long Poem Contest, and was the youngest writer to be shortlisted twice forThe New Quarterly's Edna Staebler Essay Contest. She is in her Masters of Sociology at SFU. An editor on the Room collective, she is also a youth mentor with Vancouver Poetry House, poetry mentor with the UBC Learning Exchange, web coordinator with poetry in canada, and directs her own non-profit editing and mentorship program, 4827 Revise Revision St.

Elee Kraljii Gardiner is an author, editor, and creative mentor whose award-winning books of poetry include Trauma Head, which investigates the experience of vertebral artery dissection and stroke through textual interventions and experimental poetics, and serpentine loop, which considers gender and physicality through the idea of ice. She is editor of two acclaimed anthologies, Against Death: 35 Essays on Living, a sibling book to Trauma Head, and V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Her poem “Doppelgänger” about medical cadavers was the first poem to be published in Harvard Medicine Journal in forty years. A frequent collaborator with choreographers, musicians, and visual artists, Elee is currently collaborating with nature via a series of durational art installations that investigate the law of thermodynamics and cultural ideas regarding the passing of time. Originally from Boston, Elee lives in Canada where she directs Vancouver Manuscript Intensive, a program pairing authors with mentors to work on their writing projects.

Recordings from past events can be viewed on YouTube.