MAI introduces PODIUM (foot of a vase)


a lecture series that encourages speakers to hold forth on a broad range of issues
and in manners that deviate from convention,
the speaker choosing how you will ‘hear’ and/or experience their words.  

For your ‘listening’ or otherwise pleasure.

Billy-Ray Belcourt
April 8 2022

New Work

Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation in Treaty 8 territory. He lives in Vancouver, where he is an Assistant Professor in the School of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. His books are THIS WOUND IS A WORLD, winner of the 2018 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, NDN COPING MECHANISMS, longlisted for Canada Reads 2020, and A HISTORY OF MY BRIEF BODY, winner of the 2021 Hubert Evans Prize for Non-Fiction and a finalist for a 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award.

Alok Vaid-Menon
October 2021

Alok, a Live Performance

ALOK (they/them) is an internationally acclaimed gender non-conforming writer, performer, and public speaker. As a mixed-media artist ALOK’s work explores themes of trauma, belonging, and the human condition. They are the author of Femme in Public (2017) and Beyond the Gender Binary (2020). They are the creator of #DeGenderFashion: a movement to degender fashion and beauty industries and have been honored as one of HuffPo’s Culture Shifters, NBC’s Pride 50, and Business Insider’s Doers. They currently serve as a Contributing Editor to the White Review.


hailing from backgrounds that make life vibrant, complicated and juicy,
our speakers will make it known that the gender binary isn’t real and that justice will never
and has never come from policing and prisons.

or maybe they won’t.

we don’t know – that’s the whole point.
we trust them to choose,
and we’ll be there to listen.

you should be too.

it’s called taking up space honey,
and don’t you forget it!

Adapted from a text by Rain Hye