Heather Giles is a Vancouver-based cook who has been working in kitchens since she was seventeen. She graduated from the Culinary Institute of Canada in 2009 and has worked as a cook at notable Vancouver restaurants Crow Bar, The Acorn, and Wild Rice, where she eventually ran the kitchen. Room's Rose Morris spoke to Heather about her career, vegetarian food, and working with younger cooks.
After being shortlisted for Room's Annual CNF Contest in 2015, Sarah Kabamba won the Fiction Contest in the same year with “They Come Crying.” Subsequently, the writer was published again in Room—this time with her poetry, “Dust”, in the Women of Colour issue. Room's Kayi Wong talked to Sarah about her motivation and diligence when it comes to multiple genres of writing.
The Offing is an online literary magazine that publishes "work that pushes literary and artistic forms and conventions" and seeks out and supports work by and about those often marginalized in literary spaces. Their new editor-in-Chief, Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, is one of fewer than 100 Black American women to ever earn a Ph.D. in Physics. She is an expert in theoretical cosmology and is also internationally recognized for her anti-racist, feminist, and pro-queer writing and activism.
Carmen Aguirre is an author, actor and playwright living in Vancouver. Her book Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter won CBC Canada Reads 2012 and is a #1 national bestseller. Mexican Hooker #1 and My Other Roles Since the Revolution, a Globe and Mail bestseller, was published in April 2016. Room’s Taryn Hubbard had the chance to ask Carmen a few questions about her writing practice and what she’s looking for in a CNF contest submission.
Nav Nagra, who has been an editorial board member and the advertising coordinator at Room since 2014, will be editing an upcoming issue of the magazine on migration. Nav has written poetry and reviews for Project Space, Sad Magazine, Lemon Hound, Room, and the New Vancouver Poets Folio. Kayi Wong spoke to Nav about why she chose migration as a theme, and how reading submissions have changed the way she reads and writes.
Poet and essayist Nicole Breit is the winner of Room's 2016 CNF contest. Her piece, "An Atmospheric Pressure," is published in our most recent issue—Room 39.4 "This Body's Map"—and explores the complex emotional ground that accompanies the death of a first love. We recently had the chance to chat with Nicole about her writing process for "An Atmospheric Pressure," what it means to excavate a memory, and the revelations that can come from writing about the self.
Eden Robinson is a Haisla/Heiltsuk fiction writer known for her haunting, dark, and beautiful portrayals of contemporary Indigenous life in Northern B.C. and Vancouver. Robinson grew up in Kitamaat Village on Haisla territory where she now lives and writes. She received her BA in Victoria, and lived in Vancouver where she earned an MFA in Creative Writing at UBC. In the following interview, originally published in issue 39.3 "Canadian Gothic", Room's Taryn Hubbard had the chance to ask Robinson about the Canadian Gothic theme and how she sees it playing out in her past and current work.
Erin Wunker is Chair of the Board of the national non-profit organization Canadian Women in the Literary Arts, a teacher of Canadian Literature and cultural production, as well as co-founder, writer, and managing editor of the feminist blog Hook & Eye: Fast Feminism, Slow Academe. Room’s Geffen Semach spoke to Erin Wunker about her new book, the act of refusal, self-care, and what it means to take on the figure of the feminist killjoy.
Natalie Wee is the author of Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines (Words Dance Publishing, 2016). Her first book is now available at Amazon and on Goodreads. Room’s Chelene Knight spoke with her about her putting together her first book, and her experience publishing in both the US and in Canada.
Jen Sookfong Lee, this year’s short forms judge, was born in Vancouver, where she now lives with her son. Her books include The Conjoined (ECW, 2016), The Better Mother (Knopf, 2011), and The End of East (Knopf, 2007). She is a columnist for The Next Chapter on CBC Radio and teaches writing in the Continuing Studies department at SFU. Room’s Nav Nagra spoke with Jen to learn more about her work and the writing process.
Jillian Tamaki, who will judge our 2016 Cover Art Contest with Hangama Amiri, is a professional illustrator who has contributed artwork to The Walrus, The New Yorker, The New York Times, National Geographic, Drawn & Quarterly, and other publications. She is the co-creator of two award-winning and critically acclaimed graphic novels with her cousin, Mariko Tamaki, SKIM and This One Summer, and the author of SuperMutant Magic Academy. Jillian was kind enough to answer questions about her work in the following interview.
Originally from Belgium, Anne Maizia has spent much of her life in the art centres of the world, developing her artistic style. During her seventeen years living in the New York, she studied mainly at the Art Students League of New York City. Now based in Toronto, Anne is a figurative and abstract painter, who had her first solo show in 2011. Lindsay Glauser Kwan, Room’s art coordinator, spoke to Anne about the many moods of her work.
Hangama Amiri, one of this year’s cover art contest judges, is an Afghan-Canadian artist. She was a Canadian Fulbright and Post-Graduate Fellow at Yale University School of Art and Sciences and has exhibited her painting nationally as well as internationally in such cities as New York, France, Italy, and London. Room’s Geffen Semach spoke with Amiri to learn a little more about her work and her expectations for the contest.
Originally published in Room Issue 35.2 "Shaping the Spark" (June 2012). Room would like to congratulate Madeleine on being short-listed for The Man Booker Prize for her latest novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing (2016).
An interview with indie-comics pioneer and Canadian Comic Book Hall of Fame inductee Deni Loubert.
Our Annual Cover Art Contest has officially opened again! We took the opportunity and spoke to our first ever winner, Tiffany Mallery, whose winning piece was published recently on the cover our last issue—Room 39.2, Between Shadows. She told us about her life after art school and books that inspire her work. Aside from Room, she has also been published in American Illustration, and Uppercase magazine.
In the lead-up to Room’s food issue we feature an interview with dee Hobsbawn-Smith, award-winning writer, poet, and local food advocate, whose first published poem debuted in Room in 2007.
We’re willing to talk about how snowflakes are unique, and we’re way more complicated than snowflakes.
Joyce Fossella is the Executive Director of the Warriors Against Violence Society (WAVS), where she co-facilitates group sessions, working with men and women addressing family violence. She is a member of the Lil'wat nation in British Columbia. Terri Brandmueller interviewed her for issue 39.2 "Between Shadows."
"I read once that to be born Indigenous is to be born an activist – just the state of being and existing is a form of resistance to oppression. It’s unfair pressure to put on people, but as an artist I can transform that injustice into something larger than myself. Being an artist and an activist is basically being an optimist."
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.