May 8, 2013
Well hello. I am currently typing with one hand, but not for the usual internet reason (sorry! was raised by salty english people). I fell off a longboard on Sunday. Wanna see my cast? If I don’t end up needing surgery, I’ll get a fancy new fibreglass one next week, and maybe I can go swimming this summer after all.
In other less itchy news, I’m a finalist for this year’s National Magazine Awards in the Politics & Public Interest Category, for “Unmasked,” a piece that appeared in Maisonneuve, issue 46. And I’ve been longlisted for House of Anansi’s Broken Social Scene short story contest. Also, I am drawing drawings for Nathaniel Moore’s Savage: A Novel, which is exciting.
April 17, 2013
My poem “Beaches” appears in the newly minted anthology Alive at the Centre from Ooligan Press, alongside my friend-colleagues Kim Fu and Kevin Spenst, and famous poet-y people like Evelyn Lau, Heather McHugh, and Paulann Peterson. Pick it up at Powell’s.
Also, in honour of being underemployed for the first time in my life, I made a list of all the places where I’ve worked (as everything from a shoe cobbler/janitor to a bike mechanic to a research assistant to an editor) since I was 14, freelancing gigs excluded: Ambulatory Orthotics & Footwear, Tim Hortons, Dundas Valley Produce, Jumbo Video, Hamilton Parks and Recreation, A&P, YMCA, Curry in a Hurry, Value Village, Subway, The University of Guelph, thecannon.ca, The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre, The Cornerstone, The University of British Columbia, the Bike Kitchen, PRISM magazine, This magazine, and Adbusters. I’ve also interned/volunteered/been otherwise involved with The Art Gallery of Hamilton, Highland Secondary School’s Arts Council, The Human Rights and Equity Office at the University of Guelph, OPIRG-Guelph, The Guelph Union of Tenants and Supporters, The Dundas Youth Soccer Club, Kazoo, the Bike Co-op at the University of British Columbia, and Geist magazine. The longest job I held was at Curry in a Hurry for three or four years in undergrad, where I worked with close friends n’ bosom buddies, and once found a raccoon drowned in the “Rothsay Recycles” oil bin out back. This is what happens when you compulsively work/volunteer simultaneously at multiple places, and it’s very odd to be untethered and out in the world for pretty much the first time ever.
April 6, 2013
Well hello. It’s sunny today and I finally finally finished a (belaboured if brief) review of Donato Mancini’s You Must Work Harder to Write the Poetry of Excellence for Arc. Later this afternoon I’m heading to a poet friend’s house to check out the vegetable garden space in her backyard. So things are good and stuff or whatever. … While we’re here, chatting over our internet hedges or coffee cups or whatever, can I (over)share with you a mid-level secret, internet? I didn’t cry for over four years (2008-2012, RIP), but that’s no longer a problem. Lately, I feel like a real (if a wee bit sad and fragile) human being.
March 16, 2013
It’s springtime and my dreams are so vivid I lose some sleep here and there. Lately I’ve been dreaming of tornados and Siberian tigers; being (very, like beach-ball-style) pregnant (working on a story about the Canadian prolife movement with Kim Fu may have something to do with this); and all the physical feats – like doing many chin-ups and climbing crazy upside routes – that seem impossible in waking life.
… Anyways. Recently I wrote a short piece about Chris Kyle but it scratches the surface of what I really wanted to say. I suggest checking his autobiography out. I also just finished reading Nick Turse’s book about the Vietnam War, Kill Anything That Moves, and it was amazing and difficult. We’re excerpting a few bits in the next issue (my last issue as associate editor) of Adbusters. That’s right: it’s time for me to move on from the ad-bustin. Though working with Darren and Ellen and Abdul and Ben and Stef has been amazing and I would eat nachos with them or help them bike-shop or bike-tune anytime/at the snap of an ad-bustin finger.
There are about a hundred other things to say, but I think I’ll go take a nap and then get back to work. I’m doing a few illustration and web design projects and they all have due date of –yesterday.
January 11, 2013
Bonjour allo. So the new issue of Maisonneuve is out, and I really love Brett Gundlock’s G20 photo series, which accompanies my feature, “Unmasked: Searching for lessons in Toronto’s G20 debacle.” Also, my father realized that I’ve inherited his widow’s peak, and I reminded him that I inherited his ears. Source of discovery? I was on TVO’s the Agenda with Steve Paikin last night to talk about stuff and things, AKA consumerism. My grandma garcie is very proud of me. Also I’m headed to the library after work today to find my fellow panelist Anthony P. Graesch’s book, Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century. If you watch the video… yes, I do look a little bit like a plump soccer hooligan who may flap her ears and fly away, far away. At least Will cleaned up my undercut this week.
December 5, 2012
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea for the book come from?
I really love books of poetry where the poems shimmy together to form a narrative. I love Ted Berrigan’s The Sonnets and Marilyn Hacker’s Love, Death and the Changing of the Seasons. For some reason, it never occurred to me to write a sonnet sequence (though I’m working on one now, a non-Canoodlers-related project) – but I did, however, pick up on the way that the narrative arcs of my favourite Berrigan and Hacker books are crafted, and I wrote an autobiographical loop of coming-of-age (guh) prose poems. So the idea came one part from Hamilton, Ontario (my hometown) and two parts from Berrigan and Hacker.
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Ben could play Ben and Kim could play Kim. I can’t tell you who would play me because my self-perception would probably lead me to cast an elephant with a diseased toenail that caused it to fall all the time and curse and only be happy while swimming. I won’t tell you who would play my mother because she already dislikes me enough. My nana can play my nana and my dad can play my dad, though he’d probably say we should put about eight hundred more hashtags in the movie.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Canoodlers = tomboy + formative life experiences.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Poets don’t get to have agents. We have to make it in the world all on our lonesome. Thankfully most of us are really good at making friends and tweeting and also playing sports. Novelists are usually jealous of us.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Ah. Um. I don’t really want to besmirch anyone’s lovely book by comparing it to my book.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Each of the poems was inspired by a specific thing. The titular poem comes from this time I was at a weird bar (okay, a normal bro-y bar – normal bars where men wear skads of cologne and women have shellacked hair and baubles on make me feel like an alien). It was a bar called Buffalo Bill’s in Whistler, BC. There were pool tables and bros dancing; there were no corners to hide in, really, and I didn’t really know the people I was there with super well. I thought I found an empty booth (finally!) but instead it was occuuuuuuppiiiied by two people canoooodling. And then I remembered that the antagonist in Silence of the Lambs is called Buffalo Bill. All that percolated in my head, alongside the normal stuff like gender identity and asparagus and then I wrote it and it was a poem.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
If you google image search Pique, you get pictures of an FC Barcelona soccer player who is Shakira’s boyfriend. Also, like 8 whole people have already read the book, and most of them are still friends with me. Does that help at all?
Okay I have to tag five people to do this Q&A now. Do you want to be tagged? It seems like most of my writer friends have already been tagged. Email me if you’re interested. I’m too shy to contact people I don’t know very well.
October 19, 2012
I should probably stop calling this a “news” page, right? Ah well. Here’s some useless news: this morning I bought a cream cheese muffin, and it was just a normal muffin with a globe (yes, globe! orb, sphere, tiny pluto) of cream cheese in the middle. Weird! In far more exciting (to me) news, Geist issue 86 just came through the mail slot of Adbusters, featuring a poem I wrote about visiting my nana in Florida, and another one about this hangout I had with Adorno where he sat on the edge of my bathtub. Also, I wrote a piece about power, vulnerability and the political situation in the US for Adbusters issue #104… it’s basically a love letter to Ray Gaster. Oh! Also! I interviewed Noah Richler about his balanced, well-researched critique of the refiguring of Canada as a warrior nation, What We Talk About When We Talk About War (Goose Lane, 2012), for This magazine. And I’ve been reading Sigal Samuel’s columns for The Daily Beast and they’re all effing awesome – read em read em!
August 30, 2012
Bonjour allo! It’s deadline day here at Adbusters, which means a lot of reading things until my vision goes blurry, and the spelling of words like “build” seems completely farcical to me (almost as farcical as the republican policy platform!). In the arena of Good News, I recently found out that a few of my poems are going to be published — “You can put your fingers on the feelings” in Canadian Literature, and “Theodor Adorno” and “A Bird on the Beach in Sarasota” in Geist. It’s going to be really, really exciting to see things I’ve written in both of those magazines.
July 31, 2012
Hey y’all! I’m going to be reading at MagScene on Main this year! I’ll be reading from a story about a card game named Spoons, as part of the Room & subTerrain Trivia Showdown at Rhizome, 6:30 – 8 pm. Come join! Also: I didn’t defriend you, I just deleted my Facebook account. It was time. G’bye, Facebook!
June something, 2012
I learned how to make peanut butter in my food processor, moved into a new place, painted four coats of chalkboard paint on one of the walls, started working at Adbusters and graduated from UBC! Six of my family members (the Bennett-Kidd-Koks) came out to visit me.
April 3, 2012
Hello internet. Long time no cat gif. Since winter break, I’ve finished the first draft of a novel, completed my thesis/poetry manuscript (it’s called Canoodlers and features meat lovers pizza and Buffalo Bill and my mom defriending me on facebook), ended one role at PRISM (the lovely Jen Neale, who was just announced as a finalist for the Bronwen Wallace award, will be taking over Promotion & Circulation) and started another (layout! design! purchasing Gotham from Hoefler & Frere-Jones!), annnnnd will be starting a new job at a place I’m too excited to mention quite yet. Also, I refurbished a bike last week that had the most persistent brake squeal ever. And I left my wallet, keys & cellphone 1000m up a mountain in west van (reconnaissance mission proved unsuccessful, but I did learn that I have some of the best friends/family everrr).
January 13, 2012
Hey y’all. I recently found out that my story, “Spoons,” which was published in issue 34.4 of Room magazine, has been nominated for the Journey Prize. Also, Maisonneuve has nominated my piece “In the House of the Lord” (which appeared in their Winter 2011 issue) for a National Magazine Award. Lucky lucky lucky. In other news, I have $78 in my bank account to get me through the next two weeks. If you need me, I’ll be rooting through my cupboards to see if there’s any booze left in them (partially fermented fruit will do).
December 31, 2011
Hey sports fans. If you haven’t gotten yourself a copy of Maisonneuve’s Winter issue yet, I suggest you find your nearest dealer of fine magazines and right that terrible wrong. Featuring a peek into the seedy belly of bid-rigging in Montreal, as well as a non-fiction piece about Fernie, BC by Kaitlin Fontana and an article I wrote about landlord/tenant issues at a Christian housing co-operative in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, accompanied by Nick Westover’s amazing photography.
I’ve just joined the editorial team at This Magazine, as their news columns editor. And I think I can now say, without jinxing something, that my poetry will be appearing (sometime in 2012 or 2013) in anthologies from McGraw-Hill Ryerson and Ooligan Press.
I’m currently holed up in Summerland, BC, taking care of an orange-and-white cat, working on a novel, and reading year-end lists (This one from Vice is probably my favourite). I feel incredibly lucky and privileged for a whole ton of reasons, and I’m sure I’d feel that x 12 if I could only parse my look-ahead horoscope.
December 13, 2011
I’m really excited to have work coming out in Maisonneuve and Room magazine this winter. The Maisonneuve piece is non-fiction, and concerns a Christian intentional community that runs a housing co-op in the downtown eastside. It was an incredibly challenging article to write, and I hope I was able to do the issue justice. The Room piece, entitled “Spoons,” is a story about best friends, slushies, and cats who wear earrings. Also! I’m super excited that I’ll be appearing between the covers with fellow MFAs Kaitlin Fontana in Maisonneuve, and Emily Davidson in Room.
November 7, 2011
Got any plans for next Friday, November 18? I’ll be reading with Jordan Abel, Michal Kozlowski and Chelsea Novak for Geist at the Memory Festival. We’ll be celebrating the launch of Geist 82 by reading and discussing pieces we chose from Vancouver’s literary archives.
October 30, 2011
Oh hey! As the former poetry editor of PRISM, I recently got the chance to select the winner of the 2010 Earle Birney award for poetry. I read and re-read (and re-re-read) all of the issues I was lucky enough to edit, and ended up resting on Lorna Crozier’s “Duet.” It’s a really good poem! About doorknobs, of all things. Oh man I love that poem.
September 20, 2011
Congrats to Krissy Darch and Chris Donahue, who won EVENT’s nonfiction contest this year. I’m down there on the shortlist with some pret-ty fine folks… not a bad place to be at all, really. In other news, you should come visit me & PRISM at Vancouver’s Word on the Street. I’ll be introducing George McWhirter at the Poetry Tent at 1pm, checking out readings by Jordan Abel and Kevin Spenst, and hawking PRISM buttons & back issues for the better part of the day. Oh, yes: your mom wants me to remind you to dress for all kinds of weather.
August 29, 2011
Hey y’all. I’m reading some poetry at Trout Lake in Vancouver this Saturday, and it’d be lovely to see you there. Ch-check out the FB page for details — there are lots of folks playing lots of music. I’ll be inching my way through some odd prose styling around 4.
August 10, 2011
Yay! I’ve been shortlisted for the Event Magazine nonfiction contest. Glad to be sharing the shortlist with Krissy Darch and Kari Lund-Teigen, two other UBC MFAs. I was also shortlisted for the Matrix Litpop Awards again this year. And didn’t win, part II. Imma keep entering that one until someone breaks down and flies me out to MTL, y’all. Or until Chris Urquhart takes pity and shares some of her contest-winning juju.
July 14, 2011
I just received my first manuscript rejection ever! And then a friend of mine suggested the most audacious thing I’d ever heard: pulling quotes from the rejection letter. So here goes. Brick Books says of Canoodlers, my manuscript-in-progress: “There’s a strong imagination at work here, an unpredictability that at its best feels like real discovery.” Ha!
July 10, 2011
So many things! I’m double-plus stoked to be in the newest issue of Grain magazine with my friend Benny, and I’m in seriously good company in the “poetry only” issue of CV2. Also, I’ll be rejoining the team at PRISM, this time as circulation editor.
June 15, 2011
I just saw the new hockey issue of Matrix magazine, and I’m double-plus stoked to be the featured poet. Peep the cover here & pick yourself up a copy! Seriously. It features contributor hockey cards.
May 2, 2011
PRISM announces our poetry and fiction contest winners! Congrats to poetry winners Pamela Porter, Sheryda Warrener and Scott Ramsay, and fiction winners Erin Frances Fisher, Robert James Hicks, and Mark Jacquemain. My goodness did we ever have a good time reading through the bazillions of entries we received this year. (PS. Keep an eye out for upcoming interviews with some of the winners.)