Throughout my tenure as the December Writer-In-Residence, I will be assembling a list of 17 must-read-books for 2017. To accomplish this numerically satisfying task, I have asked 17 people whose work I adore to suggest one title for the list. Consult the end of each post for the growing list of recommendations!
Trish Salah is an assistant professor of Gender Studies at Queens University, as well as a poet, activist, and cultural critic. Her first volume of poetry Wanting in Arabic won the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction in 2014, and her more recent collection, Lyric Sexology Vol 1 was published by Roof Books in 2014. Recently, I had the pleasure of Trish’s intellectual company at the Toronto Public Library, where we were in conversation with long-time Toronto-based activist, Tim McCaskell. There, I listened as Trish masterfully navigated cross-disciplinary conversations, offering incisive and necessary commentary about the intersections of race, class and gender in our work. Pivoting from questions of art and aesthetics to activism and back again, Trish stirred and encouraged a conversation that has left us all rightfully ruminating.
For a little while Marie Annharte Baker sat in on one of my seminars, on psychoanalysis and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, at the University of Winnipeg. I like to think she found it entertaining. From the Little Saskatchewan First Nation, Annharte is the author of four poetry collections; in her "essay" collection AKA Inendagosekwe she poses the question "what's a poor Coyote girl to do?" In the process she advances her own decolonial feminist poetics and psycho-social analysis of ndn culture and consciousness, one that insists that an author's best tricks are played on herself, and blows off reductive binaries between political and experimental writing as well as the prestige game of model minority exceptionalism and multiculturalism. In dialogue with Paula Gunn Allen, Frantz Fanon, Gerald Vizenor, and more, her AKA Inendagosekwe collects together history, criticism, story, script, journal, manifesto and brilliantly thinks and rethinks Anishnaabe, Métis, and settler/Canadian literatures and literary history, among other things that catch her eye.
Stay tuned as we build the ultimate 2017 reading list!
17 for 2017:
Chase Joynt is a filmmaker and writer. His latest two films Genderize and Between You and Me are now streaming live online with CBC Digital Docs. His first book, You Only Live Twice (co-authored with Mike Hoolboom) was published by Coach House Books and just named one of the Best Books of 2016 by The Globe and Mail and CBC. His second book The Case of Agnes (co-authored with Kristen Schilt) is forthcoming from Duke University Press.
The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book.
Chase Joynt is a Toronto-based moving-image artist and writer who has exhibited his work internationally. He recently received a Mellon Fellowship in Arts Practice and Scholarship at the University of Chicago.
You can write to Chase throughout the month of December at email@example.com.