April 02, 2019
Poetry Au Naturel: Poets Tell us About Their Nature-Themed Favourites for National Poetry Month
The theme for National Poetry Month 2019 is "celebrate nature with poetry". While nature poetry might have a reputation as sleepy and traditional, great writers have often mined the natural world for ...
March 31, 2019
Writer at Work: Criticism is Care
When I began the “Writer at Work” series for Open Book, I wanted to explore what it means for me, a poet and a writer, to be at “work.” As a woman of colour and an emerging writer, I have many ...
March 30, 2019
Writer at Work: The Steadfastness of Beauty
Last fall, a few days after my book, Port of Being, was sent to the printer, I met with Juliane Okot Bitek, whom I had asked for a blurb. During that rainy day at a pub, Juliane and I shared our parallel ...
March 28, 2019
Writer at Work: “Identity is a pain in the arse” (On Zadie Smith)
Last month, Zadie Smith said: "identity is a pain in the arse." She said this at a festival in the context of a discussion about identity politics and her (white) partner, Nick Laird. Here's a snippet ...
March 24, 2019
Writer at Work: Speaking with the Dead
A couple of weeks ago, I had the honour of speaking on panels at Room Magazine’s Growing Room Festival. During a Q&A session with the audience after the intersectionality, diaspora, and Asian-Canadian ...
March 21, 2019
Writer at Work: A Book Is A Community
Yesterday, my first book of poems, Port of Being, was shortlisted for the 2019 BC and Yukon Book Prizes (BCBP), for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. I expected to feel happy but I feel disbelief. The ...
March 19, 2019
Writer at Work: Where I’m Writing From (On Dionne Brand, Black Earth Rising, and Writing with “Love”)
Books that change us challenge us and console us. They break our hearts, they make us think, but most of all, they make us see people as people. Aside from being a generalized and sentimental statement ...
March 11, 2019
Writer at Work: Journaling, Instinct, and Self-care
Before last week, it had been months since I cried. This is unusual for me. I cry often when I’m alone, especially when I’m writing. Last week, I opened the Word doc that is my journal. Counterintuitively, ...
March 05, 2019
Writer at Work: Reading Tarot for Story
You do not have to believe there is a divine order to read the Tarot. You do not have to believe that your future can be read to read the Tarot. You do not have to be spiritual to read the Tarot. You ...
March 01, 2019
"Your Work Will Guide You" March writer-in-residence Shazia Hafiz Ramji Takes Us Behind the Scenes of the Publishing Process
One of 2018's most notable poetry debuts, Shazia Hafiz Ramji's Port of Being (Invisible Publishing) is current, smart, and fresh, pulling vocabulary and tensions from urban environments, social media, ...