In this new interview, some kind people at refer to me as “rad” (!) and let me talk about my love of poetry and fairy tales. And one of the poems I’m most proud of from my book The Brightest Thing is included in this feature on All Lit Up Canada–the first time that “Fitcher’s Bird” has appeared online. Please have a read and feel free to share widely!
Please also check out the other featured poets and books over on the All Lit Up Canada blog. For the entire month of April–National Poetry Month!–they’re featuring women poets in their series Poetry Grrrowl and you can get 15% OFF all of their featured collections until April 30th, including my book The Brightest Thing!
Oh, you know me, someone asks me about my writing and I respond by asking really easy questions like, “how do we love each other, and love each other well, in a world that’s damaged?”
Thanks to Malcolm Curtis of talking about strawberries all the time for taking the time out of his strawberry time to talk to me about how I came to poetry, about my first book, and what’s next for me (aside from another baby)! In the interview–the art of writing #2–I talk about my book The Brightest Thing, and my current working manuscript, Dear bird, two poems from which recently appeared in talking about strawberries all the time.
I sat down and answered some questions for the kind folks over at All Lit Up Canada for their Writer’s Block column. If you’re curious about why I wroteThe Brightest Thing, what my next book is going to be about, what advice I have for other writers, or what kind of adorable novelty drawer knobs are on my writing desk… Well, this is the interview for you. Here’s a short excerpt to get you hooked:
Because everyone is familiar with fairy tales to some extent, they provide a good common ground for us to engage in conversation about the unhealthy expectations held up by romantic love. I want to show that the fairy tale pursuit of “happily ever after” can be problematic in the contemporary world, I want to be really honest about the harm it can cause—how rape culture is normalized and restricted gender expectations hurt us—but I also want to be really honest about how truly wonderful love can be.”
Ruth Daniell, in conversation with All Lit Up Canada (March 2019)
I’m back in home in Kelowna now, after making stops in Prince George, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Victoria performing poems from The Brightest Thing, and now I’m excited to finish planning my book launch here and then settle in for some much-needed writing and painting time before I’m too busy for awhile to make much time for my creative life: at the end of April, my second child is due! I’m very round these days, very resentful of shoelaces, and very grateful for my healthy, growing family.
I got to talk about what home means to me with the kind folks of Synaesthesia Magazine. Read the short blog piece here, if you like! I definitely mention snow.
Synaesthesia Magazine is a fantastic, beautifully-curated online journal based out of the UK. I’ve been lucky enough to work with them a couple of times, with fiction in their EATissue and more recently with my poem “Love and Impatience” in their BODY&SEX issue this past spring. They’re currently accepting submissions for their upcoming HOME issue, and they’re especially looking for more work by PoC and LGBTQ writers. Send your best work!
Me with my strawberry lemonade at Burgoo Bistro on Main St. in Vancouver on July 12. Photo by Mallory Tater, via the Glamato blog.
I was recently back in Vancouver for two weeks to run some teacher training workshops for BASA (the beloved speech arts school where I used to teach and for which I still design curriculum), and while I was back in my old neighbourhood I ate a lot of ice cream, dipped my toes in the ocean, visited the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, toured around Stanley Park, and just tried to soak up as much Vancouver-in-the-summer time as I could.
I also had the pleasure of chatting about feminist literature with the lovely Mallory Tater, who is running Glamato, a new summer-themed interview series. The idea is that Mallory meets up with female-identifying and genderqueer folk of the Can Lit scene and engages them in conversations about inclusion, literature, creativity, and process. And she does so while sipping Caesars on the best patios in Vancouver!
I opted for a strawberry lemonade instead of a Ceasar and thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Mallory. You can read the full interview (and many more, with other smart folk) over on the Glamato blog.
The New Quarterly awarded me first prize in the 2016 Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest for my poem, “Wedding Anniversary,” which is published in Issue #140: In Appreciation of Our Spots. Now, a conversation I had with the wonderfully kind and intelligent Kim Jernigan of The New Quarterly is published on the magazine’s website: Memory, Desire, and the Aural Imagination.
I encourage you to read the entire interview; it’s some of the most fun I’ve ever had discussing the role of poetry in my life and talking through my writing process. It is so incredibly rewarding (and encouraging! and helpful!) to engage in conversations with other folk who are passionate about poetry. Kim was kind enough to engage me in questions about how oral performance and poetry intersect for me as a writer and an educator, and she also prompted a few admissions about my (nerdy) childhood, my writing process, the occasional poem, and my incurable romanticism.
My thanks to Kim Jernigan, Barb Carter, and everyone at The New Quarterly who have been so incredibly supportive of me and my work. My experience with the Occasional Verse contest has been an invaluable boost to my career right now and my confidence in my current project. Speaking of which–off I go!
I had the opportunity to talk to Candy on her CBC Radio One program, The Candy Palmater Show, on Wednesday (July 13, 2016). I had a blast! If you didn’t catch it on air, you can listen to it from the CBC website!
My thanks to everyone at CBC for their interest, and for all the listeners who tuned in!
The ever-lovely, ever-intelligent Claire Matthews of Loose Lips Magazine asked me some questions about Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts.
Claire, who wants push up against the “persistent patriarchal world we live in,” is a particularly astute reader of Boobs. Like me, she wants “to hear marginalized voices, specifically those who identify as women.” She writes: “I want to hear my voice echoed back to me to know I’m not alone, to know we’re no longer silenced.” Sound like a writer who would ask really engaging questions about Boobs and women’s voices? Yeah. I’m really pleased with the interview: you can read it here!
And while you’re on the Loose Lips Magazine website, stay awhile and read some other stuff. It’s a really cool Vancouver-based female-focused publication covering all things woman in the Pacific Northwest. Read about everything from rape culture (boo!) to brunch culture (yay!).
And just a reminder that I’m really hoping to see you at Book Warehouse Main Street this Wednesday at 7pm! I’ll be reading with Francine Cunningham and Miranda Pearson, who have fantastic writing in the anthology. RSVP on Facebook and come on to talk about Boobs.
I’m going to be chatting about Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts tomorrow May 13 on Roundhouse Radio 98.3 Vancouver. Tune in for the whole show between 3-6pm; I’ll be talking with Janice and Cory around 4pm. You can also listen in live via their website.
I’m looking forward to talking about how I got the idea for an anthology about breasts and female identity, the importance of telling and listening to women’s stories, and the horrors of bra shopping. I hope you’ll listen in!
Don’t forget that next Wednesday, I’ll be at Book Warehouse Main St for another celebration of Boobs, where I’ll be joined by Miranda Pearson (contributing poet), and Francine Cunningham (contributing prose writer), who will read from their fine work from the anthology. You can RSVP on Facebook to the event.
I had the privilege to hang out with dear friend and fellow poet Elise Marcella Godfrey and talk to her about poetry, process, and on the darknesses and brightness in art and the world. Does that sound too lofty? Don’t worry, we also talk about dessert. Read the whole interview over on the Swoon blog! Here’s a sneak peak at how lovely and intelligent Elise is:
I would say that that balance [of light and dark] is very important to me, because I find it hard to sustain any kind of consistent work if I am not able to find points of aperture into some larger sense of possibility, which is akin to hopefulness, I suppose … I think I am becoming more and more conscious of the way that I gravitate towards certain subject matter in my writing because I have become more aware of how writing can both disrupt and perpetuate patterns in our own lives as well as in the wider world. Choosing one’s subject matter (which narratives to interrogate or interrupt and which to build or propel forward) is thus not an off-hand process; it can affect both culture and community.
I would also like to mention how completely thrilled I am that I was able to catch this candid photo of Elise, with a boat named Twinkle in the foreground. It’s a perfect photograph and if you don’t agree then that is simply because I have a higher tolerance for cuteness than you happen to have and that is okay and we can probably still be friends.