Hiromi Goto

We're thrilled to have the multi-genre author judge our Short Forms Contest this year (open now until November 1, 2018!) and took the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her award-winning novels, using magic to explore the construct of gender, and the genre-blurring qualities in her work.

Reading Room

My mother asks why I cry

I tell her the world is so sad so unfair so far too much

And my words are not enough

I cannot hold the tears back

So I fill buckets and lakes and moats

Everything’s late this year.
Nothing’s dissolved since my last visit to Waterloo—
an evening at the park staring at geese
and we took turns
pushing each other on swings,
pretending we were children.

today breaks open

in a sudden rain

on hot asphalt

every drop distills into

vapors.

504

Gymnasts are brave and like to brag about how much pain they can take. Girls who couldn’t handle it were pulled out of class and enrolled in ballet. They were going to be disappointed when they learned the truth about that one, too.

Strip the skin off my body and hold
me tight. Take this ugly brown shell, burn
scar, thrown to sea. Let waves batter
me against rocks, shark teeth ravage carcass,
oil spill on pale water.

Currently on Newsstands

  • Queer Issue
    Room 41.3, Queer
    Edited by Leah Golob

    In this issue:

    Adèle Barclay, Joelle Barron, Nicole Breit, Mary Chen, Lucas Crawford, Jen Currin, Pamela Dodds, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Jess Goldman, hannah harris-sutro, Leah Horlick, Sam Jowett, Ness Lee, Annick MacAskill, Alessandra Naccarato, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Marika Prokosh, Amal Rana, Siobhan Roca Payne, Leah Sandals, Hana Shafi, Arielle Spence, Samantha Sternberg, Sanchari Sur, K.B. Thors, Corey Turner, Jackie Wykes

    .

Interview Room

Vivek Shraya

Vivek Shraya's new bestseller, I'm Afraid of Men, was called "cultural rocket fuel" by Variety—and for good reason. On this episode, Vivek chats with Mica about what inspired the book and its attention-getting title, why toxic masculinity isn't a very productive term, and how the pursuit of self-love can be exhausting and even demoralizing.

Rebecca Salazar

In this episode, Rachel Thompson interviews Rebecca Salazar, poetry editor with Plenitude magazine, a publication that aims to promote the growth and development of LGBTTQI literature. We talk about how she’s turning to her peers for mentoring in light of the abusive culture of mentoring unearthed in CanLit (Canadian Literature) in the past few years, how two-spirited writers in Canada are having a sort of coming into one's own, and there's this community that's basically springing out of places we neglected to look, with so much power in their words and their writing—the fire that editors like Rebecca appreciate in submissions! And she shares much more love about queer and trans writing. (Spoiler alert: RuPaul’s Drag Race comes up!)

Adele Barclay

The radiant poet Adèle Barclay is here to discuss furry armpits, fuzzy legs, pretty pubes, and why having hair makes her feel feral and alive! Adèle is all about the pursuit of joy, and shaving just doesn't factor into that joy. We also chat queerness, the politics of hair care, and why grooming in service of a partner can be soul-crushing, totally fun, or somewhere in between. If you love discussions that overcomplicate issues of beauty and womanhood, then oh boy oh girl you're in for a treat.

Reviews

Melanie Mah The Sweetest One Cover

What if three of your older siblings died at age eighteen after they left town? The narrator of Mah’s first novel, Chrysler Wong, longs to leave the fictional town of Spring Hills, Alberta, but is paralyzed by her belief in a curse against her family.

Gyasi’s debut novel, Homegoing is a timely and important contribution to literature, and to conversations about anti-black racism in popular culture . . . This novel should be read within this context, giving pause for reflection and examination on how we allowed ourselves to get here, and how we can move forward.

Many of Thom’s poems deploy this bold, storytelling voice, foregrounding the wisdom of what is said, experienced, lived, rumoured, and gossiped in lieu of traditional history with its myopia of normativity. a place called No Homeland consistently examines the collisions that marginalized identities encounter.

Room with a View

Working on a laptop at a cafe

Room's Poetry and Fiction Contest 2018: The Shortlists

After much deliberation, our poetry and fiction judges, Vivek Shraya and Zoe Whittall, have determined the shortlists of our 2018 Poetry and Fiction Contest! Congrats to the following thirteen writers whose work—or works—have been chosen.

Fiction Shortlist

writing laptop

Announcing the Long Lists for our 2018 Poetry & Fiction Contest

Room's Annual Poetry & Fiction Contest 2018: The Long Lists