Vivek Shraya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Vivek Shraya
Born (1981-02-15) February 15, 1981 (age 38)
Edmonton, Alberta
GenresElectro, dance, rock
Occupation(s)Musician, Writer, Visual Artist

Vivek Shraya (born February 15, 1981 in Edmonton, Alberta) is a Canadian musician, writer, and visual artist. She currently lives in Calgary, Alberta,[1] where she is an assistant professor in the creative writing program at University of Calgary.[2]

Shraya is currently a director on the board of The Tegan and Sara Foundation, which fights for health, economic justice and representation for LGBTQ women. [3][4]



Shraya began writing songs at the age of 13 and released her first album, THROAT, in 2002. Since then, she has released a dozen solo albums in a range of genres, including If We're Not Talking (2007), Keys & Machines (2009) and 1:1 (2011). Shraya has also created two albums, Bronze (2015) and Angry (2018), with her band, Too Attached, which she and her brother, Shamik Bilgi, formed in 2015. She has toured extensively in North America, both as a solo artist and with Too Attached, sharing the stage with Tegan and Sara,[5] Dragonette, Melanie C, Team Dresch, Melissa Ferrick, Brian Byrne, Greg MacPherson and Bonjay.[6]

Shraya's 2017 album, Part-Time Woman, a collaboration with the Queer Songbook Orchestra, was named one of the 17 best Canadian albums of 2017 by CBC Arts[7] and longlisted for the 2018 Polaris Music Prize.[8]


In 2010, Shraya published her first book, God Loves Hair,[9] an illustrated collection of twenty-one linked short stories about a brown, genderqueer child growing up in immigrant family in Alberta. God Loves Hair was nominated for a 2011 Lambda Literary Award in the Children's/Young Adult category. Shraya's second book, She of the Mountains, a lyrical novel consisting of two intertwined love stories, was named one of The Globe and Mail's Best 100 Books of 2014,[10] and nominated for a 2015 Lambda Literary Award. Shraya was awarded the Honour of Distinction at the 2015 Dayne Ogilvie Awards.[11]

In 2016, Shraya released her debut poetry collection, even this page is white, an incisive exploration of the effects of everyday racism and colonialism in Canada[12] that won a 2017 Publishing Triangle award[13] and was longlisted for CBC's Canada Reads.[14] The Boy & The Bindi, a children's picture book about a young boy's fascination with the dot on his mother's forehead, was also published in 2016. Shraya's first non-fiction book, I’m Afraid of Men, was released in August 2018.[15]

In 2017, Shraya partnered with Arsenal Pulp Press to create an imprint, VS. Books.[16] Through VS. Books, Shraya supports young writers of colour by providing mentorship though the writing and editing processes and publishing a book by a different emerging artist every year.

Media and Visual Arts

Shraya has created five short films that have screened at festivals across Canada and internationally.[17][18] In 2016, she released a photo series, Trisha, featuring old photos of her mother displayed alongside contemporary re-creations of the images with Shraya herself as the subject.[19][20] This project has been shown in galleries across North America[21] and a digital version of Trisha has circulated internationally.

Personal life[edit]

On February 15, 2016 Shraya came out as trans[22] and announced via her Facebook account that she is now using the pronouns she and her.


  • Samsara: The Sketches (2002)
  • THROAT EP (2003)
  • A Composite of Straight Lines (2005)
  • If We're Not Talking (2007)
  • If We're Not Talking Single (2008)
  • Keys & Machines (2009)
  • Part Time Woman (2017)



  1. ^ "Joy and rage meet in Anger, the second EP of sibling duo Too Attached". Calgary Herald. 2018-03-01. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  2. ^ "Working It: Canada's best dressed 2018". Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  3. ^ "About TSF". Welcome. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  4. ^ "About • Vivek Shraya". Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  5. ^ "Vive Le Shraya". SEE Magazine, August 24, 2006.
  6. ^ "Bonjay and Too Attached on the limits of 'diversity'". Now, May 23, 2018.
  7. ^ "The 17 best Canadian albums of 2017". CBC Music. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  8. ^ "2018 Long List - Polaris Music Prize". Polaris Music Prize. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  9. ^ "Vivek Shraya launches his first collection of short stories". Xtra!, May 5, 2010.
  10. ^ "The Globe 100: The best books of 2014". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  11. ^ "Alex Leslie wins 2015 Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers". Quill & Quire, June 8, 2015.
  12. ^ "Review: Vivek Shraya's even this page is white".
  13. ^ "Vivek Shraya wins Publishing Triangle Award | Quill and Quire". Quill and Quire. 2017-04-28. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  14. ^ Taunton, Paul (Dec 19, 2016). "CBC Canada Reads 2017 announces longlist, including Katherena Vermette, Vivek Shraya, André Alexis". National Post. Retrieved Feb 2, 2017.
  15. ^ "Vivek Shraya's new book I'm Afraid of Men set for fall 2018 | The Star". Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  16. ^ "Vivek Shraya gives writers a path through barriers with VS. Books – Broken Pencil Magazine". Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  17. ^ "Toronto artist Vivek Shraya asks an important question in 'What I Love About Being Queer' | NIGHTLIFE.CA". Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  18. ^ "Screening: Canadian Shorts". OUTeast Film Festival. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  19. ^ "Why this trans artist is recreating photos of her mother | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  20. ^ "On Becoming My Mother". Canadian Art. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  21. ^ "Vivek Shraya's "Trisha" Blurs the Past and the Present". Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  22. ^ "Girl, It's Your Time: Trans Artist Vivek Shraya On Finding Freedom and Wholeness". Autostraddle. 2016-05-19. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  23. ^ "Death Threat • Vivek Shraya". 2019-05-07. Retrieved 2019-03-19.

External links[edit]