Surrey's first Poet Laureate, Renée Sarojini Saklikar launches anthology, Surrey Stories Connect: Teens and Seniors Write Surrey on Friday May 12, 6:30-8:30 pm at the City Centre Library.
The book tells the lived experiences of Surrey residents from the Cloverdale and Strawberry Hill areas as well as from Historic Stewart Farm. "It's a time capsule, a snapshot of Surrey in the fall of 2016, written by seniors and teens, during afternoon writing workshops," said Saklikar. “I am very proud that this anthology contains a chapter of the oral stories of senior citizens, many of whom are women who worked on berry farms and in sawmills. Their stories are translated from Punjabi and Gujarati into English."
Surrey Stories Connect also includes responses to the writing prompt, “I remember when,” with reminisces of the Surrey of the past as written by participants. "The writing captures moments in time, created in one sitting, at three different locations, with stories that reveal the deep diversity of this complex city," explains Co-editor, Meghan Savage.
In the Preface of the book, Mayor Linda Hepner remarks that “Surrey Stories Connect: Teens and Seniors Write Surrey arrives at a time when we are celebrating the history of Canada as it officially turns 150… The stories serve as an example of Surrey’s rich cultural diversity and unique heritage in Canada.”
Since starting her role as Surrey’s Poet Laureate in October 2015, Saklikar has been working to create a legacy program of poetry-outreach that is multi-lingual and inter-cultural, in partnership with local organizations in Surrey. Her interest has been in furthering grass-roots connections with youth, seniors, and community groups. She has just recently accepted an extension of her position as Surrey’s Poet Laureate for another year and will be serving into the fall of 2018.
All are welcome to the book launch, which is part of the Surrey Poet Laureate legacy project, a collaboration between Surrey Libraries, the City of Surrey, and PICS Senior’s Care Facility. The book will be available free of charge. Light refreshments provided. Call 604-598-7426 to save your spot.
Renée Sarojini Saklikar
Poet Laureate, City of Surrey