CSULA Department of English | Events

The multi-talented Afro-Canadian
poet-performer-songwriter-filmmaker Vanessa Richards will be the
next visiting artist at CSULA. She will be giving two
presentations, scheduled for the evenings of Tuesday, January 20
and Wednesday, January 21. On January 20 at 6:30pm, she will present
"The Potluck of Possibilities" in Engineering and
Technology A126. On Wednesday, January 21 at 6:30pm, she will
participate in "Northern Witness: An Evening of 

Image of Vanessa Richards

photo credit: Shannon Pawliw

Poetry and
Songs with Vanessa Richards" to be held in the Los Angeles
Room (308A) of the University Student Union.

Vanessa Richards, born in Vancouver, is
an interdisciplinary artist with a foundation in writing, music, live art,
theatre, and collaboration. Her interests include
participatory process, leading edge practices in community-based arts and the
role of the arts and artists in urban regeneration. She was actively engaged in
developing policy and platforms for Canada’s largest civic party, Vision
Vancouver in their November 2008 landslide civic victory.

While resident in London from 1992 to
2004, she was Founder and Artistic Director of performing arts company
Mannafest. There her work toured premier clubs, concert halls and galleries
including The Jazz Café, Tate Modern, and South Bank Centre. She also designed
and delivered socially-engaged projects with and for The UK Design
Council, The Live Art Development Agency, London Education Authority and HRH
Queen Elizabeth II.

Since returning home to
Vancouver she has worked with and for Emily Carr University of Art and
Design, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver International Writers Festival,
Hollyhock Leadership Institute and CBC-ZeD TV. As Artist-in-Residence at Public
Dreams Society in 2005-2006, she conceptualized and developed Mountain Mardi
Gras, the first intercultural winter carnival project in North Vancouver.

In 2007 Richards was nominated for a
Jessie Richardson Theatre Award and in April/May 2008 she appeared in The Violet Hour by Richard Greenberg at
the Belfry Theatre, Victoria.

She sings in a quartet called Radiant
Sound. They make spare and luminous interpretations of mid-century and modern
song. She is an active member of the Robson Park Community Garden and Chair of
the Working Arts Society.

earned an MPhil in Creative Writing from Cardiff University, UK. Her poetry and
critical works are anthologized internationally in anthologies including
Velocity: The Best of Apples and Snakes (Black Spring
Press/Arts Council Of England), Bluesprint:
Black British Columbian Literature and Orature
(Arsenal Press, Canada),
Guerrilla Performance and Multimedia (Continuum,
London), Step Into A World: A Global
Anthology of the New Black Literature
(John Wiley and Sons, U.S.A.),
The Fire People: an Anthology of
Contemporary Black British Poetry
Bittersweet: Contemporary Black Women’s Poetry (The Women’s Press,
London), IC3: The Penguin Book of New
Black Writing in Britain
Hamilton, London), 360*: A Revolution in
Black Poets
(Alexander Press, USA) and West
Coast Lines: New African Canadian Writing ,
(Simon Fraser University,
Canada). Her current writing is available online at


For more information, call the Cal State L.A. English Department at (323) 343-4140.

Back to Department Home Page

Vanessa Richard's visit is made
possible by the Center for Contemporary
Poetry and Poetics
, the
Department of English, and the National Endowment for
the Arts.

NEA logo

Vanessa Richards at CSULA

Tuesday, January 20, 6:30pm
Location: E&T A126
"The Potluck of Possibilities"

Wednesday, January 21, 6:30pm
Location: Los Angeles Room (308A), University Student
Union (map)

Northern Witness: An Evening of Poetry and Song with Vanessa Richards