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Helen Potrebenko

Helen Potrebenko

Former location, Muckamuck Restaurant, 1724 Davie Street

  • Author: peggywat
  • Date Posted: May 15, 2014
  • Category:
  • Address: Plaque is located in front of 1722 Davie St.
-Helen Potrebenko

Photo credit: Henri Robideau


Location: Plaque is located in front of 1722 Davie St.

Helen Potrebenko marked the second anniversary of her participation in a lawful strike at English Bay to earn a contract for SORWUC workers at Davie Street’s Muckamuck restaurant with the publication of Two Years on the Muckamuck Line (1981).

I’ll dream of full moon on Anderson Lake
and sing. I’ll dream of love
and picket lines, and sing.
Can I sing? Can I sing?

From “Job Interview” in Riding Home.

Potrebenko was born in 1940 in Woking, Alberta. After arriving in Vancouver to attend university, she documented the experiences of a female cab driver in her novel Taxi! (1975). “It just never occurs to them we’re people and not zoo animals to be stared at,” the narrator writes, “and that we have feelings and don’t like being prodded and mauled by thirty different guys in one day.” Potrebenko’s second book, No Streets of Gold (1977), is a social history of Ukrainians in Alberta. Her collection of fiction and other writings, A Flight of Average Persons (1979) voiced her pride in the dignity of working class lives. The title poem of Potrebenko’s first book of poetry, Walking Slow (1985), affirmed her continued commitment to organized labour. Sometimes They Sang (1986) is Potrebenko’s novel about a picket line as well as a dissertation about displaced rural populations. Life, Love and Unions, in 1987 was another book of poetry. In 1989, she published Hey Waitress and Other Stories, following in 1999 by Letters to Maggie, a series of letters about work, aging, literature, culture, and homelessness.

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Potrebenko was born in 1940 in Woking, Alberta. After arriving in Vancouver to attend university, she documented the experiences of a female cab driver in her novel Taxi! (1975). “It just never occurs to them we’re people and not zoo animals to be stared at,” the narrator writes, “and that we have feelings and don’t like being prodded and mauled by thirty different guys in one day.” Potrebenko’s second book, No Streets of Gold (1977), is a social history of Ukrainians in Alberta. Her collection of fiction and other writings, A Flight of Average Persons (1979) voiced her pride in the dignity of working class lives. The title poem of Potrebenko’s first book of poetry, Walking Slow (1985), affirmed her continued commitment to organized labour. Sometimes They Sang (1986) is Potrebenko’s novel about a picket line as well as a dissertation about displaced rural populations. Life, Love and Unions, in 1987 was another book of poetry. In 1989, she published Hey Waitress and Other Stories, following in 1999 by Letters to Maggie, a series of letters about work, aging, literature, culture, and homelessness.

I’ll dream of full moon on Anderson Lake
and sing. I’ll dream of love
and picket lines, and sing.
Can I sing? Can I sing?

From “Job Interview” in Riding Home.

 

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