Harold Rhenisch will bring Jena: The University and the Garden to the UBC Okanagan campus Oct. 26, noon to 2:30 p.m., in Arts building (room 204).
The acclaimed Canadian poet and writer is nearly finished writing the story of the German stretch of the 1,000-year-old pilgrimage road from Spain to the Ukraine.
He will bring his photos, research and stories from two long trips through East Germany to tell the story of the vital role of gardens and German literature in the creation of the modern university, the modern state and even Disneyland and Scandia Golf and Games.
Rhenisch is a long-time resident of the Okanagan, and is celebrated for his pioneering work of Okanagan literary non-fiction Out of the Interior.
“We could say Harold Rhenisch is our W.G. Sebald, except that it would do injustice to both authors. Rhenisch takes the deeply personal and weaves it into a magically dreaming and tactile challenge to live among the gods, God and the land,” said Claude Desmarais, Reichwald professor of Germanic Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus.
Desmarais recently heard Rhenisch read from his A Recipe for Perry at the inaugural Okanagan Pear Festival at the Bohemian Café earlier in October.
Rhenisch is the author of 27 books of poetry, fiction, essays, translation and a memoir.
He has won national and provincial awards for his literary nonfiction, journalism, poetry and drama, and works as an editor of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.
His most recent books are Motherstone: B.C’s Volcanic Plateau, A Recipe for Perry (The Okanagan Institute), and a new book of poems, The Spoken World (Hagios).
Rhenisch, a resident of Vernon, is the author of the blog Okanaganokanogan, which re-imagines the Okanagan as one country across Canada/U.S. and settler/Aboriginal borders.
Rhenisch’s speaking engagement is sponsored by the UBCO Reichwald Professorship in Germanic Studies, the Department of Critical Studies, and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.