Interviews

Author photo of andrea bennet on the playground with their son.

From October 19-25, the Vancouver Writers F

Author photo of Farzana Doctor standing outside in front of a bushel of snake plants.

This month saw the release of Farzana

Get Some Lit Mag Love: A panel from Growing Room 2020, moderated by Rachel Thompson, and featuring panelists Manahil Bandukwala, Jasmine Gui, Doretta Lau, and Shashi Bhat.

Watch the replay of our Growing Room 2020 Festival Panel and learn how to get published in literary magazines.

[Lydia, a young East Asian person, sits outside on wooden steps in front of a clapboard building. They have long hair on one side and a shaved head on the other. They are wearing glasses, a navy blue blazer, blue paisley necktie with tie clip, collared shirt, and dark dress pants. They look pensive. Photo by Gabriella Demczuk.]

Here is our full interview with disability justice advocate, excerpted in our issue 43.3, Neurodivergence.

Cover photo of Kama La Mackerel's book: an artistic collage of a human standing as a tree in front of mountains and the sky

ZOM-FAM, Kama La Mackerel’s debut poet

A black and white photo of Canisia looking at the camera, wearing round studs on her ears, with a slight smile.

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.

Image is a drawing of an Indigenous femme's side profile and two antlers around her head

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.

Emily posed next to a painting on the ground

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.

Jenny's photo on the left next to book cover on the right

Jenny Heijun Wills was born in Seoul, South Korea and was adopted and raised in a white family in Southern-Ontario, Canada. In 2008, she reunited with her family in Asia.

Jenny has lived, studied, and worked in Toronto, Montreal, Boston, and Seoul. Her debut memoir, Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related., published in 2019 with McClelland & Stewart, won the 2019 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and is shortlisted in three categories for the 2020 Manitoba Book Awards. She teaches at the University of Winnipeg.

She is the commissioned author for the upcoming Room issue 43.4, edited by Geffen Semach.

On the left is Beauty in a Box, Dr. Thompson's book. And to the right is Dr. Cheryl THompson standing next to a full length glass window smiling, and with her arms crossed.

Dr. Cheryl Thompson is a writer, author, and academic. She is an Assistant Professor at Ryerson University in the School of Creative Industries. Her book, Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture, was published with Wilfrid Laurier Press in 2019. Her next book, Uncle: Race, Nostalgia, and the Politics of Loyalty, will be published in 2020 with Coach House Books.

Geffen sitting on a couch reading a book

Molly Cross-Blanchard sits down with Room editor of 43.4 Geffen Semach to chat about the issue, the world of publishing, and what Geffen has been reading lately.

Profile view of Whitney French in front of green background

We are thrilled to announce Whitney French as Room’s Mentor-in-Residence!

Room’s mentor-in-residence program is a brand new program designed to pair established mentors with emerging writers. This year’s mentor, Whitney French, will mentor about eight students (free of charge to the student) over the year of the residency, including manuscript feedback and career advice and support. Publisher, Nav Nagra, will act as the coordinator of this program, and as the mentor’s assistant and mentor-in-training.

Naava at a reading on the left, novel cover on the right

Naava Smolash is a white settler from a working class immigrant family. Her writing appears in Studies in Canadian Literature, West Coast Line, LitHub, Everyday Feminism, Briarpatch, and the University of Toronto Quarterly. Her essay "The Opposite of Rape Culture is Nurturance Culture" went viral in February 2016 and grew into a book, Turn This World Inside Out, published by AK Press in 2019. She was a member of the No One is Illegal-Vancouver collective from 2005-2009, and the Media Democracy Day-Vancouver collective from 2008-2010. Originally from Montreal, she lives in Coast Salish Territories, also known as Vancouver, British Columbia, where she teaches in the English department at Douglas College. She holds a PhD in English Literature from SFU, and is a 2018 graduate of The Writer’s Studio.

Collage of the six interview and interviees. Top row: Isabella, Golsa, Kathy. Bottom row: Neko, Raquel, and Elliot

To celebrate the upcoming Growing Room Festival 2020, we are chatting with a few festival authors to learn more about them and their work until the festival rolls around. Isabella Wang chats with some of the talented young writers who will be performing at this year's annual youth reading on March 9. She asks them about their experiences and backgrounds with writing, the communities they're a part of, and what they are most looking forward to.

Picture of Liz on the left and on the right is the cover of her book: Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent

In the following interview, Manahil Bandukwala chats with poet and fellow festival author, Liz Howard, whose debut poetry collection, Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent won the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2016. The author spoke about contamination and poisoning in northern Ontario, developing an ecological consciousness, and being a citizen beyond citizenship.

Pages

Currently on Newsstands

  • Devour cover: Pink background with 3 arms. One each lighting a candle, holding a vibrator, holding a tea bag over a cup
    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

    .