Food literacy is a growing concern for industrialized nations such as Canada and the U.S. Today’s children are the first generation whose life expectancy is less than that of their parents. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, sugary drinks such as soda “are the top calorie source in teens’ diets,” followed by pizza. In Vancouver, a new citywide project is inviting writers of all stripes–new immigrants, students, and seniors—to focus their artistic attentions on their favorite local chefs, urban farmers, food bank workers, beer makers, bakers, café owners and beekeepers, by interviewing them, photographing them at work, and then writing poems about the experience, as well as poems about their own food legacies. Rachel Rose will discuss how what we write and teach about food has broader implications for social well-being, and how these lessons might be transported to Iowa
Canadian poet and nonfiction writer Rachel Rose is a recipient of the 2013 and 2016 Pushcart Prize, and of the Pat Lowther Poetry Award and the Andre Lorde Poetry Award for 2013. Her poetry books include Notes on Arrival and Departure and Song and Spectacle. Her creative nonfiction essays have appeared in a number of anthologies, including Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood. She regularly contributes to Malahat Review and Prism International. She is participating in the International Writing Program’s Fall Residency Program courtesy of the British Colombia Arts Council and Canada Council.