Creative Non-Fiction

Do you wonder if the people who assaulted you ever think about it?

Created in 1995 in the pre-digital video days of A/B roll editing, this educational video about media literacy examines the media's shaping of the Montréal Massacre to deconstruct media representations of violence, trauma and gender. Created with the financial support of the Canadian Studies Directorate and the Ministere de culture du Québec. Included here as part of our No Comment project.

Nothing that bad happened to me. Certainly nothing out of the ordinary. I was lucky. I wasn’t raped. I wasn’t sexually assaulted. At most, I was sexually harassed. Cross out at most. I was. And even that is so complex and equivocal and tenuous.

If I had to describe myself at twenty, this is what I would write.

A hyper-verbal, defensive, funny, and skinny skate betty. A poet, thin-skinned and capable, ambitious and in love with the idea of love. A lonely girl from a big family who was open to everything and acutely aware that, at any moment, the next man I met could be the one to change my life.

Before reading this essay about accessing appropriate health and wellness care as a sex worker I’m going to ask you to reflect on your own relationship to othering—perpetuating, witnessing and surviving it—and how it has impacted your health.

I attended the University of British Columbia from 2008-2014. I spent four of those six years in the Creative Writing Department, first to get my Bachelor’s degree, then my Master’s. I was raped twice during my time at UBC, once by one of my classmates in the Creative Writing program.

Our 2015 CNF Contest Honourable Mention.

Mom says she doesn’t know how to twist her tongue in half.

Read the Honourable-Mention Winning Entry From Our 2015 CNF Contest

Any writer can give you an angst-filled list of reasons why writing didn’t happen (again) today: there were the kids. Or a special meeting, or the first sunny day in months, or … Rarely do we mention, “Oh yes, and I was afraid.”

In truth, I’m not a poet. Nor do I, as a rule, pester strangers with chitchat.

The honourable mention entry in Room's 2014 Contest Creative Non-Fiction category.

I learned how to pick locks in prison.

I ate my first raw peanut a few months before we left for Sudan.

Fifty years married, devoted to Jesus and family, Mom and Dad had remained your protectors in spite of your adult status and incessant lying, your manic highs and pitiful lows.

The honourable mention in Room's 2012 creative non-fiction contest, judged by Kathy Page.

The honourable mention for Room's 2011 creative non-fiction contest, judged by Susan Juby.

I never expected there would be music at this funeral.

It was a day at the dead end of February that showed all variations of the colour grey: ashen branches stripped of leaves, cement-coloured clouds, steely frost, the opaque pane of ice under my feet, a window into the river translucent enough to suggest its gunmetal current.

Our water flows from an unnamed, underground spring. It flows downward from a point about a kilometre north-west of our home.

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  • Room Vol 40.1: Food
    Room 40.1, Food
    Edited by Rose Morris, Kayi Wong

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