Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, visual artist, activist, curator, educator, and the judge for Room’s Annual Cover Art Contest (which closes January 15, 2019). To learn more about Ware's diversity of works, we invited Toronto-based artist Ojo Agi to chat with Ware about the different hats he wears, his contribution as a Toronto documentarist, and how makes his work accessible to communities that don’t always have access to mainstream institutions.
Mica discusses the recent passing of one of her all-time favourite patriarchs, Donald, aka her grandfather, aka "the charismatic misogynist," who is proof that you can love some wholeheartedly while still being somewhat critical of their behaviour. Mica also chats about the concept of grief, cliches in the face of death, drunken emotional outbursts, and looking for signs in the wake of devastation. Tangents include a teaser for Netflix's The Princess Swap (the perfect bereavement film!) and pretentious quotes from Gwyneth Paltrow, who should not be a role model to anyone ever. Also, love you, Gramps.
I am, and I am becoming.
—Oubah Osman, “Periphery”
I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of emerging writers and artists—how it’s vital to make space for new creators and marginalized voices. They are the artists who are shaping the way we see the world and the writers who are changing our literary landscape. We need these fresh perspectives to shake us out of complacency and sameness.
We're thrilled to have the multi-genre author judge our Short Forms Contest this year and took the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her award-winning novels, using magic to explore the construct of gender, and the genre-blurring qualities in her work. DEADLINE EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 15, 2018!
When Room [of One’s Own] launched into the Vancouver literary scene in 1975, lesbian members of the collective steered the magazine to create greater visibility of lesbian art, writing, and criticism. Gayla Reid, one of Room’s co-founders, said members challenged themselves to take stock of how their own homophobia, internalized or otherwise, was inadvertently influencing decision-making about the publication.
“The burden of opening up the definition of good writing should be placed on editors.”
—Ijeoma Oluo at Growing Room 2018
As I write this, I’m thinking about Growing Room 2018—the annual feminist literary festival Room started in 2017, which wrapped up last month—and how it has informed my treatment of 41.2. To no one’s surprise, there was discussion among panelists and audiences about the conventions of storytelling—what kind of stories are being told and who has the authority and audacity to tell them at all.
Announcing the Winners of our Winter 2017-18 Short Forms Contest!
The long-awaited Short Forms Shortlist is here! We'll be announcing the winners—as chosen by judge Jane Eaton Hamilton—in the coming week.
I’ve shared my family secrets in journals and dark cafes, in psychoanalysis, and finally in verse. Until I discovered I could write about growing up with narcissists, I didn’t actually know if some of the more ludicrous events of my childhood had really happened. To me, nothing is brighter than the black and white of the printed page. Writing truly saved my life, my sanity, and my sense of self by allowing me to turn off the gaslights and stand in a pool of truth-light.
Currently on Newsstands
Room 41.4, Emergence
Edited by Alissa McArthur
In this issue:
Tharuna Abbu, Farah Ali, Kristin Bjornerud, Michelle Chen, Nomi Chi, Morgan Christie, Kim Fu, Hannah Graff, nancy viva davis halifax, Ceilidh Isadore, Liz Kellebrew, Jo Lee, Kris Ly, Melanie Mah, Sara Mang, Katie McGarry, Estlin McPhee, Triin Paja, Loghan Paylor, Nagmeh Phelan, Oubah Osman, Lisa Rawn, Yvonne Robertson, Erika Thorkelson, Cara Waterfall.