Hello and welcome to this new segment on Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian! In response to reader feedback asking for more news posts and cause it would be nice to share all the little tidbits of information about queer and trans bookish things I encounter often, I’ve decided to start a monthly-ish column sharing any kind of news about stuff that’s happening in the Canadian and/or Indigenous LGBTQ2IA+ literary world. Got a tip for me? Send me an email at stepaniukcasey [at] gmail.com. Here’s some fun stuff that’s happened recently or is still happening in queer Can lit.
Did you know Zoe Whittall, whose most recent novel The Best Kind of People was a Giller finalist, wrote and published a short story called “Half Pipe” this summer? On Twitter she said that she rarely writes short stories and that “I think it’s the first thing I’ve written that I really, really like (w/ no reservations or editorial ?s) in years.” It’s a pretty great story—“Now that strangers have seen me naked, I can move on to worrying about getting into college or my inevitable death.”—and it’s pretty great that you can read it for free at Hazlitt. Did you also know that the film version of The Best Kind of People is going to be adapted and directed by Sarah Polley?
Vivek Shraya recently announced that she has a forthcoming book in fall 2018 titled I’m Afraid of Men to be published by Penguin Canada. The extended essay will “shine new light on the reach of toxic masculinity and its many guises, from sexism and sexual harassment to homophobia, transphobia, and bullying.” Pretty sure the world needed this book yesterday.
For you lucky folks in the Toronto area, Naked Heart Festival, an LGBTQ Festival of Words, is hosting its third annual event November 10-12th. Holy smokes are a ton of amazing Indigenous and Canadian queer and trans writers going to be there, including Casey Plett, Farzana Doctor, Kai Cheng Thom, Amber Dawn, Gwen Benaway, Catherine Hernandez, Sky Gilbert, and SO MANY MORE. Y’all I love living on the west coast but events like this make me wish I still lived in Southern Ontario even though I kind of hated it there.
The festival has three types of sessions: “PANELS: A panel is a group of speakers who discuss a topic with a moderator and some audience participation. WORKSHOPS: Our workshops focus on building skills, insight and knowledge. They are often interactive and are led by someone experienced and skilled on their topic. READINGS: This is your classic literary event – it is a gathering of writers reading brief selections of their writing. There may be time for audience questions at the end.” Check out the website to see which of your favourite writers is doing which type of session (many seem to be doing more than one)!
But it’s not only TO that has some cool queer stuff happening. For those of you in the Vancouver area, did you know an LGBTQ2IA+ library that is co-coordinated by yours truly just (re)opened??? I am so happy and excited and proud that my and a lot of volunteers’ hard work over the past year has resulted in our precious little library actually being open to the public! The Out On The Shelves library used to be downtown off of Davie St, which some of you may remember, and we are finally open at our new location on the west point grey UBC campus on Musqueam territory! If you went to the old Out On The Shelves, we would love to have you back. If you’ve never heard of Out On The Shelves, we would love to sign you up for a library card for the first time.
It’s free for anyone to get a library card (you don’t have to be a student at UBC; we are located there but not affiliated with the university library). We are open 5 days a week (closed Wednesdays and Saturdays for now). We have some pretty rad books, including some you can’t find anywhere else in Vancouver. If you enjoy the reviews on Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, hot tip: I donate a lot of the review books I get to the library so you can find some of those hard-to-find queer Canadian books at Out On The Shelves. Check out our catalogue here to see what we have. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram! I would love to see some of you in person at the library soon!