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!