Shazia Hafiz RamjiTag
January 06, 2023
Abdulrazak Gurnah and the Rupture of Beauty
As snow fell over Vancouver and Calgary, it was hard not to think about beauty. When we see something beautiful, why do we become still? Why do we feel so calmed? What exactly happens in that moment when ...
December 09, 2022
On Orpheus & Eurydice, or the Inevitability of Timing
I’ve become superstitious about my novel. I believe that if I look back at the previous pages, I will not be able to write – not even one word to move it forward. After I finish writing for the day, ...
October 25, 2022
On Giving Yourself Room to Change (Or, Eros the Bittersweet)
A few months ago, I talked to someone on the phone. I didn’t know this person well and though I’d seen them over Zoom somewhat regularly for our work together, I never really noticed them too much. ...
June 30, 2022
Remembering Steven Heighton and the Vancouver 125 Poetry Conference
One of the jokes I have with myself is that my first exposure to the public world of poetry was so traumatizing that I had no choice but to accommodate what I saw, however subconsciously. Ten years ago, ...
March 15, 2022
Why Canada Reads Needs Unhappy Narratives
Each year on Canada Reads, five books of fiction and nonfiction are chosen by Canadian celebrities who advocate for their book of choice as one that “all of Canada should read.” One book is voted ...
January 14, 2022
Why 2022 Is a Year of Remembering
In the last week of December 2021, I tried to remember what I had done during the year. I couldn’t remember. I had life-changing experiences – started a PhD, completed my first term successfully, ...
September 10, 2021
What Big Open Spaces Taught Me About Finishing a Draft
Who doesn’t like writing at home, with the comfort of Maltesers, a perfect sound setup, and being able to write naked? Writing outside of your comfy space is much harder than it seems.In June this year, ...
July 06, 2021
The Listener in the Work: How a Sense of Address Can Transform Your Writing
Who is the “speaker” in your poems talking to? Is there a listener within your story? Who is the narrator’s confidante? I’ve been thinking a lot about a sense of address and I’ve come to believe ...
April 27, 2021
How Writing a Grant App Can Make You a New Person
This month I broke down while revisiting the statement for my Research and Creation grant app with the Canada Council for the Arts. I cried because I saw – for what felt like the first time in a while ...
March 12, 2021
Zoom Class: Omar El Akkad and the Challenges of Writing Resistance
Sometimes there are Zoom meetings that can break you. Last week it took me five days to recover from the nausea, headaches, and light sensitivity caused by one single day of back-to-back virtual meetings. ...