Three people standing in front of buildings

This episode features Alea Rae Clark, a singer, lyricist, and guitarist in the band Douse. Alea chats with Mica about why they transitioned away from their image as "front-woman" and how identifying as non-binary has helped Douse become more unified as a band. Alea and Mica also discuss whether sadness is necessary to create art, whether lyric-writing robots are a useful tool or a disgrace to humanity and the songwriting process, and what, exactly, is "art rock"?

Reading Room

“The calm lunatic—now that is something to aspire to.”—Mary Ruefle, “On Fear”

I learned to skip this year. I use a heavy, knotted rope that thwacks the ground and burns my shoulders and whips my bare toes raw when I stumble. In the early days I’d walk around with welts on my forearms, too, but the self-flagellation has waned with practice. I’ve learned to tread water, to let my feet track familiar patterns—forward and back, side to side, in and out, one to the other—freeing my mind up to notice things.

Well, “freeing” might be an overstatement. 

Writing about us is a way to finally claim what happened as my truth, a space which is mine, where he can’t tell me what to feel. A moment, two years too late, of recognition. To say, without compromise or shame, I loved him. And he abused me. You don’t have to believe me. I don’t need him to read the emails. I just want to look in the mirror, see the girl staring back at me, and let her know that I’m sorry.

The Honourable Mention in our Winter 2017–2018 Short Forms Contest.

Picture the girl. See her pull the black cardigan closed in a tight fist as she shoves the heavy door open with her shoulder. The warm evening air hits her like a slap in the face. As she steps out onto the sidewalk and sees the sunset bleeding orange and pink, broad streaks of red and purple, she thinks, That’s it. Childhood is over.

Currently on Newsstands

  • Room 41.2, Changing Language
    Edited by Kayi Wong

    In this issue:

    Manahil Bandukwala, Fang Bu, Allison Graves, Kadijah Guillaume, Ava Homa, Ashley Hynd, Amy LeBlanc, Vanessa Lent, Tasslyn Magnusson, Chloe Yelena Miller, Amy Oldfield, Alycia Pirmohamed, Mia Poirier, Victoria Prevot, Michelle Purchase, Jade Riordan, Ellie Sawatzky, Bren Simmers, Dahae Song, Anne Stone, Susie Taylor, Katherena Vermette, Kayi Wong, Hiba Zafran, Shellie Zhang

    .

Interview Room

Justin Ducharme and Amber Dawn

Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry, edited by Amber Dawn and Justin Ducharme, will be a trailblazing collection in which sex workers share their experiential knowledge through the expressiveness, nuance, and beauty of poetry. Currently, Dawn and Ducharme are calling for self-identified sex workers from any part of the industry (survival or trade, past or present) to submit. Poems specifically about sex work are strongly encouraged, though writing about relationships, healing, identity, and other themes that may overlap. The book will be published by Arsenal Pulp Press in the fall of 2019. With the submission deadline nearing, Jónína Kirton caught up with the co-editors for an interview.

Dainty Smith

To celebrate the launch of Room 41.2 Changing Language, we would like to share the portion of the BackRoom and RoomMate interviews that didn't make it to print. First up, it's Nav Nagra's interview with Dainty Smith, whose work we discovered on Instagram last year.

An Interview with Vivek Shraya, Room's 2018 Poetry Judge

Vivek Shraya is an artist. Fluent in many mediums including music and the written word, Shraya is also the author of even this page is white, She of the Mountains and her upcoming book I’m Afraid of Men. Shraya released her album Part-Time Woman in 2017 and is one half of the music duo Too Attached, who blew the roof off Room Magazine’s Growing Room 2018 Festival Launch Party earlier this year. I had the pleasure of meeting the powerhouse that is Vivek Shraya at that launch party and jumped at the chance to speak with her again.

Reviews

Shit, like its protagonists, is imperfect and unapologetic—and fantastically entertaining.

You may not attend a comedy show in hopes of being taken on an emotional ride other than that of laughing so hard you cry; however, The Lady Show delivers powerful performances filled with commentary and satire.

Echoing the cinematic flare of films like Me, Earl and the Dying Girl, Handsome Devil shows the complicated nature of being a teenager without overplaying its hand.

Room with a View

CNF Contest 2018 Winners

Announcing the Winners of our 2018 Creative Non-Fiction Contest!

We are thrilled to announce the winners of our 2018 Creative Non-Fiction Contest, as selected by our esteemed judge Stacey May Fowles—novelist, sportswriter, and the author of essay collection, Baseball Life Advice. Please join us in congratulating the writers!

2018 Creative Non-Fiction Contest

Announcing Our 2018 Creative Non-Fiction Contest Shortlist!

We're excited to announce the shortlisted pieces from our 2018 Creative Non-Fiction Contest! Here is the shortlist of essays, as determined by our esteemed judge Stacey May Fowles.