I’m thrilled to announce that my poem “r u ok,” originally published in filling Station issue 69, has been chosen by editor Rob Taylor for inclusion in the Best Canadian Poetry in English 2019, published by Biblioasis. I will be participating in the book launch, which is part of the Toronto International Festival of Authors, on October 27.
I had the honour of being interviewed by Kayi Wong for Room’s blog a couple of weeks ago, as one of the previous winners of their Short Forms contest. Hajer Mirwali, Andrea MacPherson, and Cara Waterfall are also featured in the post!
I’m excited to announce that I have two poems in the current issue of filling Station magazine (Issue 69).
One of the poems, “The Root of Two is Irrational,” was originally written when I was a student in Tanis MacDonald’s creative writing class. It was one of the first poems I wrote that I actually liked! If that’s not enough to entice you, it contains a full mathematical proof and lots of fun symbols (because everyone loves math, right?).
The other poem, “r u ok,” is one of my favourite poems I’ve written. My friend Maria gave our writing group the prompt to write a poem that’s not supposed to be read from left to right. I got the idea to create a flow chart, and the result was this poem.
You can buy the issue online here!
I had a wonderful time, although I was pretty nervous. I felt like I bumbled through the whole thing, but Kim somehow managed to edit together a great episode. So, if you want to hear me read some of my published pieces and chat about math, GUSH, The Writer’s Studio at SFU, and more, you can listen on the Bookish Radio website!
For the past three years, I have participated in Contemporary Verse 2’s 2-Day Poem Contest, which takes place over a weekend in April. On Friday at midnight, a list of 10 words are released. Participants must write a poem including all 10 words and submit by Sunday at midnight.
There’s a great sense of community surrounding the contest, with lots of poets chatting on Twitter, Instagram, and the Facebook event page. The contest organizers also send out encouraging emails throughout the weekend.
I was extra-excited for this year’s contest, which was judged by Lisa Richter (last year’s winner). I met Lisa at the 2017 Wild Writers Festival, and loved her book Closer to Where We Began. This year’s words were: pith, commodious, transpire, feckless, roric, coifs, rust, tub, frisson, and judge. A challenging list, to say the least.
24 hours into the contest, I had… nothing. I started fresh on Sunday morning and somehow managed to scrape something together (with encouragement and feedback from my friend Ashley Hynd) to submit.
On July 6th, I was delighted to receive an email informing me that I won Editor’s Choice! You can read my poem, “Self Portrait with Snacks,” and the other winners on the CV2 website and in the Winter issue (41.3) of CV2.
I highly recommend this contest! It’s a lot of fun and I’ll definitely be participating again in 2019.
In June, I had the honour of reading at two exceptional events: the launch of the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of The Humber Literary Review, and the Toronto launch of the anthology GUSH: Menstrual Manifestos for Our Times (Frontenac Press).
The Humber Literary Review launch was held on June 11 at The Piston in Toronto. My fellow readers were incredible. First, the annual fiction contest winners Sanchari Sur, Adam Giles, Sadi Muktadir, Mason Hanrahan, and Carly Vandergriendt read excerpts from their prize-winning pieces. (Spoiler alert: they were all fantastic.) Next up were the supremely talented poets Phoebe Wang and Liz Howard. In addition to her own work, Phoebe read an erasure poem by recent Griffin-winner Billy-Ray Belcourt that also appears in this issue. Carmen Joy King shared her compelling essay on love addiction, and, lastly, I read my essay “The Fine Art of Online Reconnaissance: How to Creep Your Way Into His Heart.”
My former CNF teacher, and HLR essays editor, Eufemia Fantetti gave me a very generous introduction, saying I write “from the heart, about the heart.” I wrote my first draft of this essay in Eufemia’s class, and her guidance, encouragement, and kindness have had a tremendous impact on me.
I can’t believe that my first literary magazine publication was alongside so many writers I admire! I urge you all to get the current issue (Volume 5, Issue 1) of The Humber Literary Review–it’s absolutely fabulous.
My very first published poem, “A Call to Ovaries,” appears in GUSH. Tanis MacDonald, my former poetry teacher, is one of the co-editors of GUSH (along with Rosanna Deerchild and Ariel Gordon). I found out about the call for submissions from Tanis, and was absolutely thrilled to be accepted into such an important book. I think it’s lovely that my first poetry acceptance came about because of Tanis; her course helped me gain the confidence to start sending out my writing three years ago.
I shared the stage with other Southern Ontario GUSHers, including Natalee Caple, Paula Eisenstein, Nathalie Foy, Catherine Graham, Sonnet L’Abbé, Kateri Lanthier, Christine Minnery, and Catriona Wright. To end the night, Tanis brought down the house with her “Freebleed Rock Anthem (with Canadian Content).” All in all, it was a wonderful evening.
I’m very proud to be in GUSH. It contains so many perspectives (it’s a big book!) on a topic we don’t talk about nearly enough.
I had one other exciting writing milestone in June (who knew one month could fit so much?!). I handed in my final portfolio for The Writer’s Studio Online! I’m very proud of the work I completed during the 10-month program. I’ll definitely miss the workshops with my fellow poetry students (although I won’t miss staying up past midnight on Tuesdays for them–one drawback of an online program at Simon Fraser University is that everything is on BC time!).
I know I already have some exciting July news to share… stay tuned!