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.
This is a reminder to all my Victoria-based friends and fellow poetry lovers that I’m reading at Planet Earth Poetry this coming Friday, March 22.
I’m especially pleased to be reading at Planet Earth Poetry because this long-standing reading series was the very same one that I regularly attended once upon a time when I was a wee baby poet doing my undergrad studies at the University of Victoria (where I had the pleasure of working with Lorna Crozier, Carla Funk, Steven Price, and Tim Lilburn, among others). To return to Planet Earth Poetry now, this time as a featured reader with my own book, feels very exciting. Please come join me for this special evening. The full details are below:
♥ Planet Earth Poetry Featuring Ruth Daniell, Bonnie Nish, & Jude Neale Friday, March 22, 2019 at 7:15pm Hillside Coffee and Tea (across from Bolen Books) 1633 Hillside Ave, Victoria, BC Free event. Please show up early if you wish to put your name in the hat for the open mic reading that precedes the featured reader(s). Books will be available for purchase. You can RSVP to the Facebook event or, if you prefer, check out the Planet Earth Poetry website here.
I’ll also be hanging out at Munro’s Books earlier in the day that same day. I would be thrilled if you planned to stop by in the afternoon and chat and/or buy my book in advance and have me sign it for you. (I’ll also doodle a rose and/or a frog wearing a crown, if you like! Maybe even a castle turret?)
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!
On Sunday, March 3, I had the pleasure of doing the Edmonton launch of The Brightest Thing. We had a wonderful, intimate conversation about fairy tales, fictional and real-life horrors, love, and what feminism and “strong female characters” mean today. My thanks to everyone who braved the cold to join us for a cozy Sunday afternoon book launch, and of course to Audreys Books for hosting the event!
My one-year-old, who wants nothing more than to be read to all day long every day, is thrilled to be on on a book tour. She was most impressed by the castle in the downstairs of Audreys Books and–since castles are fairy tale-related, and her face isn’t visible in the photo–I’m letting myself indulge in sharing a photo of her the day of the Edmonton launch. May your next adventure in a bookstore bring you even half the joy that my little one enjoys.
Prince George and Edmonton were both lovely: next up, I’m bringing The Brightest Thing to Vancouver and the Growing Room Festival. I hope to see you all you Vancouverites there!
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.
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.