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. ...
February 02, 2021
Why We Need to Question “Hobbies” in the Pandemic
On a rainy Thursday morning at the end of January 2021, I lay in bed staring at the ceiling for far too long... I couldn’t remember what I had done in 2020. I remember the past couple of years clearly: ...
December 16, 2020
Soundwalking Through the Pandemic
Every year, there are a few times I think I’m free from the grip of depression. And every year, there are a few times I realize that I’m not. Years ago when I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, ...