The Writer's Studio (Creative Writing Certificate), 2009
Renee Saklikar, who was introduced to the writing life through The Writer’s Studio, a creative writing program at SFU Continuing Studies, is making an unforgettable contribution to Vancouver's writing communities. In addition to sharing her work in publications throughout the city, she also shares herself, helping other poets find their voices.
Saklikar helps coordinate Lunch Poems @SFU, a monthly poetry reading series at SFU’s Vancouver campus. She sees Lunch Poems as a way to enjoy the music of poetry, but also as an opportunity to bring people together—it’s one way to address the isolation people feel within the city.
Saklikar is firm in her belief that writing and poetry are not just about feeling good, however. “It can also have an edge,” she says. “Poetry has an important response to injustice and social issues.”
This belief is evident in her first book of poetry. Called children of air india (launching in November 2013), it is a series of elegies about the 1985 tragedy of Air India Flight 182, in which her aunt and uncle, in addition to 327 others, died when a bomb went off mid-flight.
Saklikar is also a mentor in another one of SFU’s creative writing programs, the Southbank Writer’s Program, which gives emerging writers access to published authors in a space where they can learn and grow.
Submitted by: Amy Robertson