Poem included in Poetry in Voice anthology


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I grew up performing other writers’ work in speech arts festivals, nursing the hope that one day I would be a published writer like those whose work I knew by heart. It means so much to know that today there are young performers who are performing my poetry. Truly, one of the things I’m most proud of since the publication of The Brightest Thing is the inclusion of “Poem for My Body” (from The Brightest Thing) in the international online anthology curated by the kind folks of Poetry in Voice. Students across Canada have chosen my poem, connected to it, and helped connect it to even more audiences through their memorization and performance of it. I can’t think of many better things than to know that someone–multiple someones!–thought enough of my poem to learn it by heart. Oh, by heart! My heart! Thank you!

You can read the entire poem online as part of the Poetry in Voice anthology, as well as a mini-interview with me, in which I share a little bit about how important poetry, and the performance of it, has been to be since I was a child, then a teen, performing in speech arts festivals and aching to be an author. If you like the poem and you haven’t picked up your copy of The Brightest Thing yet, please consider doing so: I wrote these poems for you to read them!

Wearing Tiaras: new essay on fairy tales & feminism up on All Lit Up Canada


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I’ve got a new essay on fairy tales and feminism up on All Lit Canada. In it I tell all of you to read Amanda Leduc’s excellent book on fairy tales, disability, and making space… and quietly hope you’ll also read my book on fairy tales, contemporary rape culture, love and healing. I also tell you why I (a feminist) wore a tiara on my wedding day nearly eight years ago.

I don’t tend to publish a lot of my prose, so I’m extra excited that this essay has a home and that I can share it with you. It’s such a pleasure to get to dive into the reasons I love fairy tales, the way I distrust some of the ways they’re handled by patriarchal models, and the ways in which I believe we can make the sharing of them a community-building, joy-affirming activity.

“If the power in fairy tales lies in their ability to connect and build communities, we need to think about ways to make communities that support everyone. Who gets to have a happy ending?”

Read the whole essay over on All Lit Up Canada: “Wearing Tiaras: On Fairy Tales, Community, and Happiness.” And if you enjoy it, and especially if you’re into fairy tales and feminism and you haven’t got your copy of The Brightest Thing yet, I hope the essay will entice you into buying, too.

In this new decade, as in any other, love makes sense


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Heading into a new decade, I’m looking back, & looking forward. Time passes so quickly. It was only yesterday I was a child playing make believe with my brother. Today my 8-month-old son pulled himself to standing for the first time, & my 2-year-old daughter announced, loudly, at dinner, “I’m a sweetheart!”

Happy New Year, friends. Here’s a poem (originally showcased as part of The Games We Play exhibit at the Kelowna Art Gallery in summer 2017) about Mario Kart 64. Out of everything in this hard & beautiful world, it still makes most sense to love each other.

For more of my love poetry, please check out my book, The Brightest Thing.

The Brightest Thing in Ontario


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This is one of my favourite photos taken of me in 2019 (you’d be right to guess that all my other favourites also feature Henry and/or his big sister Rose), and as this decade comes to a close I thought I’d share it. This is me wearing Henry (then 6 months old) onstage the main event on November 2 at the Words Aloud Festival in Durham, Ontario. I’m performing poems from my book The Brightest Thing, and Henry is napping. Typical.

I hope the next year, the next decade, will offer me more moments like these ones, and I hope, too, to share them with you.

Thanks to Greg Santos for the photo. (Please read Greg’s poetry. It’s phenomenal.)

The Brightest Thing reviewed in The Ormsby Review


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My book, The Brightest Thing, gets a lovely review by Myshara Herbert-McMyn of The Ormsby Review. You can follow the link to read the entire review.

“By using the princess’s silenced voices, Daniell gives the nameless young woman a voice more powerful than the suffocating prince in the tales … She also shows us the mind of a survivor: someone who found herself in the throats of all of those princesses and saved their voices, too, when she clawed her way out. This beautiful collection shows both fragility and resilience in the face of trauma. It tells a story about both sides of real love – not fairy tale love – through the young woman’s reality: the dark, lying excuse and the safe, comforting embrace.”

I’m humbled by the care and attention that this reader gave my work. And I love the old postage stamps illustrating fairy tales with which they accompanied the review, too. Check them out!

Upcoming event December 1 – Fairy Tales for the Winter with Ruth Daniell & Kerry Gilbert


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Join Ruth Daniell & Kerry Gilbert for readings from their new poetry collections, The Brightest Thing (Caitlin Press), and Little Red (Mother Tongue Publishing).

Sunday, December 1, 2019
1:00 p.m.
Okanagan Regional Library, Kelowna Branch

• free
• all are welcome
• classroom 1, upstairs
• books for sale

Ruth Daniell to perform in Words Aloud Festival in Durham, Ontario November 2


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I’m very pleased to say this BC-based poet is finally making it all the way to Ontario, and it’s for the Words Aloud Festival based in Durham. If you’re nearby, I do hope to see you there. I’ll be performing work from my book The Brightest Thing and travelling with my newest (won’t-take-a-bottle) baby. I’ll let you tell me how cute he is!

Ruth Daniell interviewed by Rob Taylor for Read Local BC


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I’m (re-)posting this interview that Rob Taylor did with me at the end of April as part of National Poetry Month. It was published with Read Local BC, but I must confess that I did not do much to spread the word about it at the time–because it was published the day that Henry was born (I first shared the link on Twitter while I was in early labour). It’s kind of funny, because Rob and I talk about that during our interview: his wife and I shared the same due date for our babies #2… Rob and I were each scrambling to finish our (lovely!) conversation about poetry between the anticipated–and actual–arrival of new babies.

Anyhow: please read and share, if you like. Rob took such careful attention with my book, The Brightest Thing, and asked really smart, sometimes difficult, always thoughtful questions, and I’m very pleased to share this (again) with you.

“Perhaps that’s the truth the book is pursuing. Love is good. I want that to be true. It is true. But how we define love is not always good, and how we pursue it is not always good. That’s getting to the narrative truth of the fairy tale.”

Read more here: “Love is not all: An interview with Ruth Daniell.”