Thursday, April 22 19:00 PDT / 22:00 EDT
Zoom // Free
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Join us for an evening of readings & discussion with poets Cecily Nicholson, Mercedes Eng, and Stephen Collis, who will be sharing work that speaks to the events and spirit of 1871. The poets were three of the writers (along with Clint Burnham, Ray Hsu, Reg Johansen, Kim Minkus, and Rita Wong) who collaborated in the performance of a group poem, “La Commune—To the Barricades,” marking the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the Paris Commune in 2011. The poem was later published in the Fall 2011 issue West Coast Line (now Line). 

This will be a virtual event held over Zoom Webinar. Attendees will not be visible, but they may submit questions and comments through the Chat and/or Q&A function. Live Closed Captioning and Live Transcription will be available through Rev Live Captions. For additional enquiries related to access and accessibility, please email

Cecily Nicholson is the author of TriageFrom the Poplars, and Wayside Sang. She volunteers with community impacted by carcerality and works in museum and gallery education. Cecily is the 2021 Writer-in-Residence for the University of Windsor.

Mercedes Eng is the author of Mercenary EnglishPrison Industrial Complex Explodes, winner of the BC Poetry Prize, and my yt mama. Her work has appeared in Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ PoetryJacket 2Asian American Literary ReviewThe Abolitionist, r/ally (No One Is Illegal), and Surveillance and M’aidez (Press Release).

Stephen Collis is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including The Commons, the BC Book Prize winning On the Material, Once in Blockadia, and Almost Islands: Phyllis Webb and the Pursuit of the Unwritten. In 2019 he was awarded the Latner Writers’ Trust of Canada Poetry Prize in recognition of his body of work. His latest poetry collection, A History of the Theories of Rain, appeared in 2021. 

This event is part of La Commune 2021, a virtual free school focused on the Paris Commune of 1871 created by writer and scholar Roxanne Panchasi, in collaboration with UNIT/PITT Society for Art and Critical Awareness. More information: