Katherena Vermette is a Métis writer from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her collection of poetry, North End Love Songs, won the 2013 Governor General’s Award for Poetry, and her debut novel The Break has won numerous awards and was a Canada Reads 2017 finalist. Most recently, she won the 2017 Canadian Screen Award for her documentary This River.
This is an alarm clock of an episode because it will wake you up—especially if you've ever claimed to be an "Intersectional Feminist." Lutze Segu is a multi-issue social justice activist and practitioner of Black queer Feminism, who discussed the difference between presenting yourself as a feminist, and actually participating in social activism.
In this episode, Rachel talks with Maya Marshall, a self-described demanding and productive writer and editor with [PANK] magazine—yes, the magazine founded by Roxane Gay. Among much glorious and affirming advice she shares for writers, she is clearly someone who delights in language and craft, and cheers this enchantment—a word that comes up often in our interview—when she sees it in her submission inbox. They talk about mentoring and modelling, and about the risque words she does not want you to send into [PANK]—at least, not until you have a more mature revision practice.
In this absurd and sensual episode, dear friend and performance artist Alexandra Bischoff joins Mica to chat about her former job at The Fantasy Factory (Canada's oldest sex shop franchise) and how it influenced her latest performance art pieces: "Peep Show Pop-Up" and "egg shells, egg shells." Ali also discusses her love of embroidering vintage porno mags, a practice that pays homage to two very traditional forms of female labour: embroidery and sex work.
Today we're talking bodies. Friends of the podcast Jocelyn Tennant (a screenwriter and short fiction writer) and Megan Jones (a model and poet)join Mica in a conversation about how our experiences with fatness and thinness intersect. We also chat about body dysmorphia, binge eating, that preposterous new show "Insatiable," and how nice it would be to live in a world where "fat" doesn't mean "bad."
Mallory Tater's debut novel, The Birth Yard, has just been contracted by HarperCollins and she's here to answer the question of HOW DO YOU DO THAT? She's also here to remind us that just because The Handmaid's Tale was a big deal, doesn't mean that feminist dystopia (and other genres related to #MeToo) have "had their moment." Also included: why you shouldn't listen to publishers who tell you to "put your novel in a drawer" because ahem THEY ARE WRONG.
For better or for worse, it's wedding season! This love fest features Dina Del Bucchia, a writer, rom com expert, and self-identified small town bitch. Dina chats with Mica about how romance is represented on screen (and all the problems with that), how romance is represented in real life (and all the problems with that) and why marriage just isn't for her. Also included: jokes about penises, why "whimsy" is such a misunderstood concept, and why smart people can still enjoy stupid TV.
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"?
This episode features an interview with Spanish filmmaker and documentarian Alba Sotorra. Alba's latest film, Commander Arian, follows the title character and her journey alongside the Women's Protection Unit in Syria (the YPJ)—an all-female militia fighting to liberate the city of Kobane from ISIS. Alba chats with Mica about how these women are fighting for their right to exist, how they earn freedom on the frontlines, and why it's so important to solidarize with Syrian women. As Alba says, their fight is our fight, too.
This episode features Mozhdah Jamalzadah, an Afghan-Canadian pop-singer and talk show host deemed "Afghanistan's Oprah" by Time Magazine. In this interview, Mozhdah chats with host Mica about what it's like to prioritize social issues over your own safety (Mozhdah was forced to leave Afghanistan in 2012 because her talk show, which tackled taboo subjects like divorce and domestic abuse, made her vulnerable to extremist threats) and how her singing career was inspired by her political beliefs as opposed to an inherent love of music.
Currently on Newsstands
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.