In celebration of our 2020 poetry contest, Room editorial board member, Hope Lauterbach, had the opportunity to ask Lubrin a few questions about her book-length poem, The Dyzgraphxst, writing craft, and what she looks for in a poem.
The first emotion I remember feeling was anger. Then anxiety. Then determination. I was in Toronto, attending a concert with a friend I had met online years earlier. It was the first time that we had occupied a public space together in person; the first time I could really see the ways that she navigated life as a legally blind person. The few hours that we had spent together, seeing our favourite musician in concert, had been amazing, but exhausting for both of us as we had to maneuver our way through spaces filled with people who did not operate in the world the same way that we do.
After the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Rayshard Brooks—unarmed African Americans killed by white police officers—the protests that followed, and all in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the time for a global reckoning for centuries of anti-Black racism is now. Canada is no exception.
Many Canadian institutions are no longer willing to risk being on the wrong side of history. They are responding to calls for change and addressing anti-Black racism in ways that they might not have prior to the moment.
What else did Barthes write? I cannot decipher you because I do not know how you decipher me. I learn to pull the signified from the mouths of other women who once looked like me.
“Good Friends We Have” is the honourable mention for Room’s Fiction Contest 2020.
Currently on Newsstands
Room 43.2, Devour
Edited by Jessica Johns
In this issue:
Manahil Bandukwala, Dessa Bayrock, Megan Beadle, Brandi Bird, lue boileau, Rachel Burlock, Justina Chong, Mollie Cronin, Marilyn Dumont, Edzi'u, Ashleigh Giffen, katia hernandez velasco, erica hiroko, Jessica Johns, Shaelyn Johnston, Yume Kitasei, Mica Lemiski, Jessie Loyer, Annick MacAskill, Callista Markotich, Sonali Menezes, Kai Minosh Pyle, Natasha Ramoutar, Carmina Ravanera, Rohsni Riar, Jessica Rose, Rowan Siah, Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch, Kelly S. Thompson, Arielle Twist, Phoebe Wang, Yu-Sen Zhou.
We are so excited to announce our upcoming special “Growing Room” issue of Room magazine, which will be an issue dedicated entirely to the writers and artists intended to feature at the 2020 Growing Room Literary & Arts Festival. This issue will be an homage to the festival as we intended it to be: a place to come together and celebrate one another as writers, artists, and creatives. Here is an interview between the issue’s editors, Jessica Johns, Selina Boan, and Mica Lemiski.
This episode is the creation story of the Indigenous Brilliance Collective: a collective partnere
We need books now, more than ever. Reading, by nature, is a solitary activity, but sharing stories is a shared tradition. Since book delivery was declared an essential service, local bookstores have continued to make sure that the public has access to books. I got a chance to speak with Emily Dundas Oke, the media manager and curator at Massy Books, about the store, community and favourite reads. Massy Books has been offering free local book delivery for orders placed on their online store since mid-March when their storefront closed.
Packed with action and intrigue, and impeccably paced, Hannah Brown’s debut novel Look After Her is a gripping, accomplished piece of feminist historical fiction that provides insight into
Thank you so much to Room magazine for inviting me to put together a list of new books I'm excited about this spring and summer. These wonderful authors put so much into their work, so let's give them some love and celebration.
Manifest by Terese Mason Pierre (Gap Riot Press)