Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Small Arguments by Souvankham Thammavongsa

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Small Arguments by Souvankham Thammavongsa

Pedlar Press, Fall 2003

About the book:
Reminiscent of Pablo Neruda's Elemental Odes, Small Arguments is a stunningly original debut by a gifted young poet. The language of Small Arguments is simple yet there is nothing simple in its ideas. The work touches on the structures of argument, orchestrating material around repetition, variation and contrast. Thammavongsa's approach is like that of a scientist/philosopher, delicately probing material for meaning and understanding. The poet collects small lives, and argues for a larger belonging: a grain of dirt, a crushed cockroach, the eyes of a dead dragonfly. It is a work that suggests we can create with what we know and with that alone.

About the author:
Souvankham Thammavongsa was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and grew up in Toronto. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto. She has been an editor of big boots, a zine for and by women of colour. Thammavongsa was the 2002 recipient of the Lina Chartrand Award for poetry. Her first book of poems, Small Arguments, was published in the fall of 2003 by Pedlar Press, and went on to win the 2004 ReLit Award for Poetry. Originally published by the author over a series of small handmade chapbooks, Pedlar Press made every attempt to remain true to the spirit of those original, beautiful handmade works. Souvankham Thammavongsa has been invited to read at distinguished venues such as Harbourfront Reading Series, York University Writers Series, Emily Carr College of Art and Scream in High Park.