Examining the Cultural Reputation of Poet and Performer, E. Pauline Johnson


Know by the thread of music woven through
This fragile web of cadences I spin,
That I have only caught these songs since you
Voiced them upon your haunting violin.

– Autumn’s Orchestra by E. Pauline Johnson

On Thursday, September 14, the Museum of Vancouver will take in depth look at the legacy and reputation of poet, performer and controversial figure, E. Pauline Johnson (1861-1913).

In the collaboratively authored text Legends of Vancouver (1911), Mohawk writer E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) composed a series of Coast Salish legends based on the oral stories of Squamish Chief Joe Capilano (Sahp-luk) and his wife Mary Capilano (Lixwelut). These stories first appeared in periodicals such as Boys World and Mother’s Magazine (1909-1911), before undergoing significant revision for the weekend edition of the Vancouver newspaper The Daily Province (1910-1911).

City of Vancouver Archives.

Considered a classic of Vancouver literature, and in publication for 100 years, no edition of Legends of Vancouver has yet to include sufficient biographical information for or images of Chief Joe or Mary Capilano. Instead, the original 1911 book and each subsequent edition positions of E. Pauline Johnson as the sole writer.

Join Carole Gerson and Alix Shield as they trace the evolution of the Legends of Vancouver text over the past century by examining the changes made across different editions, ultimately arfuing for an updated critical edition of Legends that properly acknowledges the contributions of the Capilano family. With this, the duo will analyze the packaging and design of several of her first books as well as the content of some of her most outspoken poems.

For more information, visit museumofvancouver.ca

E. Pauline Johnson: Texts and Stories
Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 7:00pm
Tickets available online.

*Adults: $19; seniors and students: $15; MOV Members and individuals who self identify as First Nations: Free. Gallery admission included with event ticket. Come early and explore.