interview

Defying Genres with Hiromi Goto, Room's Short Forms Contest Judge

Hiromi Goto

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!

Interview with Naava Smolash: Author of Turn This World Inside Out: The Emergence of Nurturance Culture

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.

In Conversation with Our Future: Six Young Writers on Their Creativity and Communities

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.

Liz Howard: Interrogating the Climate Crisis through Poetry #GrowingRoom2020

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.

Jillian Christmas: The #GrowingRoom2020 Curator and Author on Impostor-Syndrome, Poetry, and Joy

Picture of Jillian on the left with artful makeup on her face and decolletage. She's wearing a flower crown made up of orange, red, and white flowers. She's looking down. To the left is the cover of her poetry collection.

Next up, Chimedum Ohaegbu chats with Jillian Christmas, who is—in addition to being a festival author—one of the programming committee members of Growing Room 2020 and the host and curator of the opening night event at Fox Cabaret. The writer and artist is a force in the spoken word/slam poetry community as a performer, facilitator, anti-oppression advocate, and former Artistic Director of the Vancouver Verses Festival of Words. Read what Jillian has to say about being afraid of the internet, her highly anticipation book of poetry coming out, and page vs performance poetry.

Cassandra Blanchard: On Her “Love” Poems and Writing Her First Poetry Collection #GrowingRoom2020

Cover of Fresh Pack of Smokes next to a picture of Cassandra, who's standing and smiling at the camera.

Cassandra Blanchard’s debut poetry collection, Fresh Pack of Smokes, is an immersive, intimate account of drug addiction, love, sex work, and survival on the streets of Vancouver. These are prose poems that shake with urgency, deftly stacking vivid imagery which twists to the emotional core of the book. Her work is unflinching, tender, and fierce. In the following interview, Selina Boan speaks to Cassandra Blanchard about her “love” poems, the biggest challenge in publishing her debut poetry collection, and the community she found because of it.

Kai Cheng Thom, Growing Room 2020’s Keynote Speaker, on Transformative Justice and Writing Different Genres

Picture of Kai Cheng Thom standing next to a window and looking into the camera, next to the cover for I Hope We Choose Love

Kai Cheng Thom’s latest book, I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl’s Notes From the End of the World (Arsenal Pulp, 2019), is an expansive and intimate collection of essays and poetry on transformative justice and radical love, both in and beyond queer activist communities. Read what the multi-genre writer thinks about choosing love, writing in different genres, and the ideal secret society.

Rebecca Fisseha: On Community Silencing and Believing in Your Work #GrowingRoom2020

Head shot of Rebecca Fisseha (looking into the camera and in front of a white background), next to the cover of her book, Daughters of Silence

Our 2020 Fiction Contest judge and Growing Room Festival author, Rebecca Fisseha, is the author of Daughters of Silence (Goose Lane Editions), which was listed among the most anticipated fiction titles of Fall 2019 by CBC Books and 49th Shelf, and one of Quill & Quire’s breakout debut novels of 2019. Room editorial board member, Lue Boileau, took the opportunity to chat with our fiction judge and festival author about why she chose to write Daughter of Silence before any other book, writing difficult truths, and the faith she has developed for her writing process.

Pages

Currently on Newsstands

  • 43.1 Hair cover
    Room 43.1, Hair
    Edited by Chelene Knight

    In this issue:

    Sonja Boon, Kat Cameron, Jhilam Chattaraj, Chelsea Comeau, Nikka Cornelio-Baker, Unnati Desai, Kimberly Edgar, Sherine Elbanhawy, Kim Fahner, Chantel Gibson, Ali Jo, Tamara Jong, Samantha Jones, Angélique Lalonde, Shelby Lisk, Asli Mahdi, Hannah McGregor, Téa Mutonji, stephanie roberts, Zoe Imani Sharpe, Mallory Tater, Délani Valin, Cara Waterfall, Adrianne Williams, Susan Wismer

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