All for One & One for All
Poet Elee Kraljii Gardiner is the subject of the interview in this issue. She talks about both the DTES Thursdays Writing Collective and her own collaborations with musicians and composers. “It’s fascinating to see what somebody makes of your work, and then to watch them change and transform it.”
Collectives, collaborations, communities. In the last few years, I’ve deliberately joined various communities—a couple of choirs, a community garden, a group of five collaborative poets, not to mention the collective of wonderful women who produce Room. As I contribute my ideas and experience to my community, I make a connection that changes me.
Much of the work in these pages celebrates the magic of these connections. Our beautiful cover, Perennial, by Laurie Near, evokes the link between artist and nature. Yoko’s Dogs, four poets who write together via email, give us “Yellow,” in which they say, “Rishis tell us / surrender the fruits / of our labours.” Surrender is crucial for me in collaboration, the willingness to give my work over to someone else instead of grasping it greedily to myself. This is how seven of the artists in The Full Circle Art Collective created In Wait, a series of more than 200 images inspired by the long wait of Penelope, in Homer’s Odyssey. Other communities and collaborations in this issue include families, villages, towns, works of art, shared writing, even group therapy, and of course the winners of our 2012 writing contests.
Back to Elee Kraljii Gardiner, who says, “I really believe in that notion that Borges has, that every reader becomes a writer every time they read a text.” So, now it’s your turn. Join the community of writers and artists in these pages. Do your part in this particular collective effort.
The Full Circle Art Collective is a group of Vancouver-based professional visual artists who originally met at the Malaspina Printmakers Society. As a collective, they now pursue art ventures and projects, and are actively involved in exchanging ideas and experiences with the purpose of planning conceptually ambitious exhibitions that resonate with their individual and collective sensibilities.
Kaitlyn Nafziger Jantzi recently returned from living and volunteering for two and a half years in South Sudan. Her writing has appeared in The Common Place and Dreamseekers. She works for a non-profit organization and writes when moments of inspiration and/or dedication are found. She lives with her husband in Kitchener, Ontario.
Born in Chatham, Ontario, and currently residing in the Quinte region, Canadian painter and teacher Laurie Near has held a life-long interest in the visual arts. Laurie is an Elected Member of the Society of Canadian Artists, and her artwork hangs in a number of galleries and in private collections across Canada, the U.S.A., and the U.K.
Clélie Rich is a freelance editor. She was part of Room’s editorial collective in the 90s and is happy to be back for a second time. She lives in Vancouver with her herb garden, far too many books, and one small but enthusiastic cat.
Lenora Steele’s writing has been published in such journals as The Fiddlehead, Event, The Antigonish Review, Room, The New Quarterly, and Wow. She has won awards from The Hawthorne Society (Victoria, B.C.) and Amnesty Int’l. Her first full-length play garnered a spot at the Banff Theatre Colony in 2009. She lives in Truro, Nova Scotia.
Hannah Stephenson is a poet, editor, and instructor living in Columbus, Ohio. She earned her M.A. in English from The Ohio State University in 2006. Her poems have appeared recently in Huffington Post, Contrary, MAYDAY, qarrtsiluni, and The Nervous Breakdown; her full-length collection In the Kettle, the Shriek is forthcoming from Gold Wake Press. www.thestorialist.com.