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.
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.”
Hi, friends! Just a reminder that I’m going to be in Vancouver all this week, ready to talk poetry, process, fairy tales, feminism, and the joys and pitfalls of searching for happily ever after. On March 14, I’m throwing the Vancouver launch of The Brightest Thing, and I’m super excited about this event: Vancouver is the city where I really grew up as a writer, and I’m looking forward to seeing a whole lot of my fellow writers there, as well as old and new friends–you, I hope!
♥ The Brightest Thing Book Launch – Vancouver Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 7:00pm nə́ c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona Branch – Vancouver Public Library 730 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC Free event. No need to register, but you may RSVP (through Facebook events) here. Books will be available for purchase.
I’m also really excited to be participating in Growing Room 2019. Room Magazine has been one of the most supportive magazines to me as an emerging writer and I’m really proud to be a part of their feminist literary festival this year. I’m over the moon that the workshop I’m leading, Speech Arts for Writers, is sold out; it promises to be a really fun afternoon of learning and performing and talking about process with the fellow writers who signed up. If you missed out, don’t worry: I’ll be participating in two panels/readings that are going to be super fun: “Mother Goose Was a Feminist: Crafting the Modern Day Fairy Tale” and “Close-Up Magic: Launch of Room Issue 42.1.” Registration is now closed for those events, but you can still show up. According to the Growing Room organizers, there’s space for walk-ups at all of their panels and readings (with the exception of “Funny Feminists”)–so even if you didn’t register, I hope you’ll consider coming out! Both events are going to be magical. Here are the details below.
♥ Mother Goose Was a Feminist: Crafting the Modern Day Fairy Tale part of Growing Room: A Feminist Literary Festival Friday, March 15, 2019, 7:30-9:30pm Annex Performing Arts Theatre 823 Seymour, Vancouver, British Columbia Free event. Registration closed. Walk ups welcome!
♥Close-Up Magic: Launch of Room Issue 42.1 part of Growing Room: A Feminist Literary Festival Saturday, March 16, 2019, 7:30-9:30pm Red Gate Revue Stage 1601 Johnston Street, Vancouver, BC Free event. Registration closed. Walk ups welcome!
I had a great hometown turn-out for The Brightest Thing launch. I will always love Prince George–it’s where I grew up, and it has proper, snowy winters–and it was very special that my first public reading of this book was in the city where everything started for me.
The book launch itself was held on Wednesday, February 27 at Books and Company. I performed some poems from the book and then my lovely audience joined me in a great discussion about fairy tales, poetry, and life–thanks to everyone who asked a question and added to the evening with their thoughtfulness. I hope everyone is happy with the doodles I made in their copies of the book!
My thanks to Lana Ryan and Darrell Johnston for the photos from the evening, and to my one-year-old for staying up past her bedtime and remaining cheerful the entire time. Thanks, as always, to Caitlin Press, to the fine folks of Books and Company for hosting the launch, and to everyone who came out to help me celebrate the publication of this book!
Prince George! My beloved hometown! I’m coming to YOU to share my book, The Brightest Thing. Please come and celebrate with me next Wednesday, February 27, 7pm, at Cafe Voltaire. Everyone is welcome–please bring your family and friends, and spread the word! I’m looking forward to saying hi to so many of you!
Here’s the Facebook event link, so you can RSVP (then I can eagerly anticipate your presence) and invite your friends. Feel free to share the poster on Twitter, email, owl post… See you there!
And you can also check out this handy list of my upcoming appearances. I’ll soon be making my way to Edmonton, Vancouver, and Victoria.
Oh, how lovely—my book, The Brightest Thing (available for purchase now!), gets a generous shout-out this week by Read Local BC as one of their recommended reads. Be sure to check out their recommended books; many of them were already on my “to read” list!
The Brightest Thing is definitely appropriate reading for Valentine’s Day (or any day): love! heartbreak! magic! renewal! I hope you find something beautiful and/or useful in these poems: it was my hope you would.
I’m in the midst of finalizing some upcoming appearances and book launch events for The Brightest Thing, so do please keep in touch! I’m excited to share this book with the world.
My piece “Poem for a Protective Brother” is available in issue 24 of Gingerbread House Literary Magazine. I’m particularly pleased that this poem–based on the “Hansel and Gretel” fairy tale–made it into this magazine. I couldn’t help submitting my Hansel and Gretel poem to a journal entitled Gingerbread House. Actually, I’ve been watching Gingerbread House for awhile now (as I do all fairy tale journals) and I think they publish some really neat stuff–take a look at the rest of the issue, and the archives, if you’re curious for some magical literature. The editors pair each literary work with visual art, and it’s obvious how much attention goes into the curation.
My thanks to the editors for including me in their very pretty journal, and especially to Christine Butterworth-McDermott for her care. You can start here to read my poem, but be sure to check out the entire journal for good stuff!
Rose Red Review, which previously published some of my poetry in their spring 2015 issue, now features some of my visual art in their newly-released spring 2016 issue!
The paintings are from a series exploring fairy tale animals. “Swan Prince” is, I am delighted to report, on the cover of the new issue. You can find “Bear King” elsewhere in the issue!
I hope you’ll check out the whole issue. The editor, Larissa Nash, curates a lovely collection each issue. My thanks for her continuing support. Also shout-out to Alexis Oak, who’s been prodding me not to neglect my visual art projects. Thanks!
Alright, back I go to my many writing projects. I hope to see all of you in Vancouver on April 29 for the launch of Boobs.
In the creepy fairy tale “Bluebeard,” his wife is condemned to die because she discovers the ghastly evidence that confirms he murdered his previous wives. Bluebeard decides to kill her because she knows his terrible secret. But what brought about his decision to kill his first wife, who had no previous wives’ deaths to unearth in the bloody chamber? What is her story?
“Bluebeard’s First Wife,” one of my spooky folk tale poems, is going to appear in the Halloween-themed issue of The Quilliad, a Toronto-based small press that you can support through Kickstarter. Follow this link to find out more about what Sarah Varnam and her editorial team are trying to accomplish with their very last crowdfunding campaign. They are committed to paying and promoting Canadian writers and artists AND they have a clever, punny name. What more do you need to know?
You can check out the early acceptance announcement over here, on The Quilliad website. The issue in which my poem will appear will be available to order in print and online before the end of October. Check back soon!
While we’re talking about great horror stories and fairy tales, I must recommend The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. If you haven’t discovered it yet, I encourage you to pick it up. It’s a great October read, full of intelligent, rich retellings of fairy tales, both macabre and erotic in the best ways.