Erica H Isomura

Residency: June 20 – August 1, 2023

Erica H Isomura is a poet, essayist, and multi-disciplinary artist of Japanese (yonsei/四世) and Chinese descent. Erica’s layered work complicates ideas of language and inheritance, while addressing relationships to land and identity. Their work has appeared in Open Space’s Open Word, The Fiddlehead, Vallum: Contemporary Poetry, and Room Magazine, among others.

Born and raised on Qayqayt, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh territories beside the Stó:lō (New Westminster, BC), Erica currently resides in Tkarón:to/Toronto, ON. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Guelph and is at work on a graphic memoir.

About the residency

This residency facilitated place-based and archival research into Erica H Isomura’s family history as fishermen and survivors of the Japanese Canadian internment era on the west coast. More broadly, the work engaged with and deepened the artist’s understanding of multi-generational stories of Japanese, Chinese, and Indigenous cannery labourers along the Stó:lō (Fraser River). This research contributed to Isomura’s graphic novel project, which explores themes of silence, fragmented memory, and hauntings through Japanese Canadian internment and Chinese Canadian migration stories in BC.

Residency programs

July 15, 2023
Writing Workshop: Re-making Memory: Exploring Family, Ancestry, & Origin Stories (Session 1)

July 22, 2023
Artist Talk: How Erica H Isomura writes into the gaps of family history

July 29, 2023
Writing Workshop: Re-making Memory: Exploring Family, Ancestry, & Origin Stories (Session 2)

Related press

“Steveston’s Blue Cabin welcomes new artist in residence” (The Runner)

Photo of Erica H Isomura. Courtesy of the artist.

This residency is presented in partnership with The City of Richmond and Branscombe House. Click here to learn more about Branscombe House and this partnership.