Roy Miki – activist, poet, scholar and teacher – was born in Ste Agathe, Manitoba, on a sugar beet farm where his parents were forcibly located during World War II. Miki grew up in Winnipeg, receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba, and then moved to Vancouver where he received his Masters of Arts from SFU and his PhD from UBC. He then taught at SFU’s English Department until he retired in 2007, leaving a legacy of students who he inspired with his conscientiously exemplary pedagogy.
Nationally, Miki is most known for his social and literary work, both of which have earned him considerable distinction. Motivated by the injustice that his family and other Japanese Canadians suffered during internment, Miki was instrumental in the lobbying of the federal government for a Redress Settlement (1988). In 2006, Miki received the 20th annual Gandhi Peace Award for the truth, justice, human rights, and non-violence exemplified in his redress work. Further recognition came with his membership in the Order of Canada (2006) and his Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada (2007).
Meanwhile, issues of identity and injustice reoccur in his non-fiction work, Justice in Our Times (co-authored with Cassandra Kobayashi), Broken Entries, and Redress, as well as his creative poetic work. His book of poetry, Surrender, affirmed Miki’s already acclaimed literary talent when it won the prestigious Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2002. Miki is also known for his prominent work within the literary community as editor of West Coast Line, author of an annotated bibliography of George Bowering, and editor of two books on poet bpNichol.
The Tracing the Lines Symposium will address the challenges of linking intellectual and political work while imagining spaces of freedom and production.
Watch this space for more information on the symposium and reactions from Roy Miki's community.