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"The geo-politics of empire had already prepared me for this...coloniality constructs outsides and insides, worlds to be chosen, disturbed, interpreted and navigated - in order to live something like a real self." Internationally acclaimed poet and novelist Dionne Brand reflects on her early reading of colonial literature and how it makes Black being inanimate. She explores: her encounters with colonial, imperialist, and racist tropes; the ways that practices of reading and writing are shaped by those narrative structures; and the challenges of writing a narrative of Black life that attends to its own expression and its own consciousness. Co-published with Canadian Literature Centre / Centre de littérature canadienne CLC Kreisel Lecture Series