And Tomorrow, I’m Somewhere Else: Destabilization and Dispossession in the Vancouvers of Lisa Robertson and Mercedes Eng

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick Simon Fraser University


In this article, I read the poetry of Lisa Robertson and Mercedes Eng, both of whom stage, confront, and critique the capitalist and colonial processes that stabilize and destabilize the material relations that compose Vancouver in the 21st century. As processes, stabilization and destabilization involve both the ways a space is subject to change and the ways that individual actors can affect those changes. Both Robertson and Eng respond to a city that is repeatedly hailed both as one of the world’s most livable cities and as one of the most unaffordable – a city of condos and cranes, scaffolds and tent encampments. When we read Robertson’s and Eng’s texts together, a potent tension emerges between the theoretical possibilities and material realities of instability – a tension that can help us think through the potentials of poetry to transform spaces and spatial relations.

Author Biography

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Simon Fraser University
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a PhD candidate Simon Fraser University where he works on Canadian poetry after the spatial turn. He is the author of two books of poetry: Fortified Castles (Talonbooks, 2014) and Fake Math (Snare, 2007). With Jonathan Ball, he edited Why Poetry Sucks: An Anthology of Humorous Experimental Canadian Poetry (Insomniac, 2014). With Deanna Fong and Janey Dodd, he worked on the Fred Wah Digital Archive.