On a pink background, a dark maroon icon of a microphone and the text, Bridges Literary Festival.

Book Celebration

Join us for an author reading, Q&A, and book signing with Shashi Bhat, Jen Currin and kitchen mckeown. Jen and Shashi are New Westminster-based authors and have new books are launching this spring! kitchen is an emerging poet with a unique voice. This event is hosted by Junie Desil and we will celebrate the new books and engage the authors in conversation about writing that envisions other worlds and ways of being.

Please register for this event (below) so we can accommodate numbers.

About the Books

A realistic painting of two peach halves and some plums on a branch with a wasp crawling on the table in front of them is the background for the title and author, Death By a Thousand Cuts, Shashi Bhat.From the Governor General’s Award-shortlisted author Shashi Bhat comes Death By a Thousand Cuts, a breathtaking and sharply funny collection about the everyday trials and impossible expectations that come with being a woman. What would have happened if she’d met him at a different time in her life, when she was older, more confident, less lonely, and less afraid? She wonders not whether they would have stayed together, but whether she would have known to stay away. 
A writer discovers that her ex has published a novel about their breakup. An immunocompromised woman falls in love, only to have her body betray her. After her boyfriend makes an insensitive comment, a college student finds an experimental procedure that promises to turn her brown eyes blue. A Reddit post about a man’s habit of grabbing his girlfriend’s breasts prompts a shocking confession. An unsettling second date leads to the testing of boundaries. And when a woman begins to lose her hair, she embarks on an increasingly nightmarish search for answers. With honesty, tenderness, and a skewering wit, these stories boldly wrestle with rage, longing, illness, and bodily autonomy, and their inescapable impacts on a woman’s relationships with others and with herself.

On a turquoise blue map, bright pink grid of streets and waterways is behind the words, Disembark, Stories by Jen Currin.


Award–winning author Jen Currin presents remarkable and sometimes magical new stories of queer friendship and love, against the backdrop of city life.

The stories in Disembark feature queer characters navigating new worlds, new circumstances, and new methods of relating to the people around them. With resonant imagery and clear, lyrical prose, Currin weaves vibrant narratives showcasing queer relationships—be they platonic, romantic, or somewhere in between. A banshee shacks up with a lesbian couple in a rocky relationship, a lonely teen is gifted a knife by their mother’s boyfriend, a queer woman finds herself heartbroken when her best friend fails her at a crucial moment, and a young alcoholic hashes things out with their mother in the afterlife. In modes both realist and fantastic, the profound and eloquent stories in Disembark provide a glimpse into the unexpected, offering insight into the ways we relate in this world and in worlds beyond.


About the Authors

Against a grey backdrop, a south Asian woman with long dark hair smiles into the camera.

Shashi Bhat is the author of the story collection Death by a Thousand Cuts, and the novels The Most Precious Substance on Earth, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for fiction, and The Family Took Shape, a finalist for the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Her fiction has won the Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize and been shortlisted for a National Magazine Award and the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, and appeared in such publications as The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Best Canadian Stories, and The Journey Prize Stories. Shashi holds an MFA from the Johns Hopkins University and a BA from Cornell University. She lives in New Westminster, BC, where she is the editor-in-chief of EVENT magazine and teaches creative writing at Douglas College.

Against a dark backdrop, a white woman with short blonde hair stares intently into the camera. She wears a light pink shirt.


Jen Currin’s Hider/Seeker: Stories won a Canadian Independent Book Award, was a finalist for a ReLit Award, and was named a 2018 Globe and Mail Best Book. They have also published five collections of poetry, most recently Trinity Street (Anansi, 2023); The Inquisition Yours (Coach House, 2010), which won the 2011 Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry and was a finalist for a LAMBDA, the Dorothy Livesay Prize, and a ReLit Award; and School (Coach House, 2014), which was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award, the Dorothy Livesay Prize, and a ReLit Award. A white settler of mixed, mostly western European ancestry, Currin lives on unceded Qayqayt, Musqueam, Kwikwetlem, and Kwantlen Nation territories in New Westminster, BC and teaches creative writing and English at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.


in a black and white photograph, a white person with short dark hair looks into the camera with a tilt to their head.

kitchen mckeown’s debut chapbook i need not be good was published in February 2022 by Rahila’s Ghost Press and shortlisted for the 2023 bpNichol Chapbook Award.​ Their poems are forthcoming or have appeared in SAD Mag, Poetry Magazine, Room, Peach Mag, Poetry is Dead, The Ex-Puritan, and Bad Nudes. They were awarded the George McWhirter Prize for Poetry in Winter 2020. ​


About the Host

Against a black background, a black woman with long hair looks sideways into the camera.Born of immigrant (Haitian) parents on the traditional territories of the Kanien’kehá:ka in the island known as Tiohtià:ke (Montréal), raised in Treaty 1 Territory (Winnipeg), Junie Désil brings a wealth of experience and an unwavering passion for effecting positive change. With a career spanning over two decades in the non-profit sector, Junie has consistently dedicated herself to uplifting and empowering communities made vulnerable and marginalized. Most recently, Junie worked in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES) in various roles from frontline support worker to director of operations and everything in between, in support of women living and working in the DTES. Junie’s knowledge extends to critical areas such as human resources, leadership, strategic planning, organizational change, and governance. Her expertise spans various aspects of community engagement and development, encompassing workshop design, training initiatives, project management, and program implementation.

Junie also finds time to write, coach, and consult. Her first book released in 2020, Eat Salt | Gaze at the Ocean, received wide acclaim. She also serves as a mentor in The Writer’s Studio program at SFU. Currently residing on the traditional territories of the Homalco, Tla’amin and Klahoose, Junie works for Vancity as manager of diversity, equity, inclusion and reconciliation, and she is working on her second poetry collection.

About Wildfires Bookshop

On an orange background the text in pale pink, WildFires Bookshop.

Wildfires Bookshop is a queer + south asian owned space, located on the stolen and occupied territories of the Halq’emeýlem speaking peoples. We curate books that celebrate both historically and presently excluded voices and stories, and serve as a community-building space that encourages the joy of learning, connection, and care. 


May 11 2024


7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Wildfires Bookshop
712b 12th Street, New Westminster, BC, Canada


Adult Programs
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