Vivek Shraya

“for anyone who has lost / a friend / from saying the word / race”

even this page is white

Vivek Shraya’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 of what it means to be racialized. Shraya paints the face of everyday racism with words, rendering it visible, tangible and undeniable.

Featured in the CBC documentary Where Have All The Poets Gone? and longlisted for the 2017 edition of Canada Reads.

Essays by Vivek

#PublishingSoWhite: 13 Ways to Diversify Your Press

The Poetics of Racism

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50% off—“even this xmas is white” tote bags!

All tote bag proceeds will be donated to the Native Youth Sexual Health Network.

Finalist

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, Scotiabank Giller Prize–nominated author of Moving Forward Sideways like a Crab and Cereus Blooms at Night

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

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. even this page is white 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, Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada

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, Edmonton Poet Laureate 2009–2011

If there’s an award for the fusion of a book’s design with its content, surely it should go to even this page is white, the first poetry collection of author, filmmaker, and singer/songwriter Vivek Shraya. In even this page is white, Shraya offers an accessible and intimate primer on white supremacy, starting with the borders between internalized and externalized racism in embodied craving, and expanding to interrogate hierarchies of belonging, from anti-black racism among people of color to displacement and colonialism in everyday experience, activist spaces, cruising mentalities, families of origin, and families of choice. Shraya indicts not just the places and spaces where white supremacy makes itself visible and invisible, but also her own participation, guiding us through the pages, stages, and rages of awareness, inspiration, collaboration, and defiance.

— Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

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white dreams

A black-and-white photo of a brown-skinned trans woman with white eye makeup.

Every copy of even this page is white comes with a link to a free download of the exclusive single “white dreams.”

Listen to a clip of “white dreams”

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