There are a lot of exciting things happening in the queer can lit world! Let’s get to them:
Did you know Casey Plett has a new novel called Little Fish coming out? If you’ve been reading my blog, then yes you do! If you don’t know, here’s the blurb. Did you also know Amber Dawn has a new book out, her second novel called Sodom Road Exit? Read about it here. What about Joshua Whitehead’s debut novel Jonny Appleseed? All three books are published by Vancouver’s Arsenal Pulp Press, which publishes so many great queer books, and are either just released or coming very soon!
Now that you know these three writers have exciting new books being published this spring, you will also want to know that you can see all three of them at two events in April happening in Ottawa and Montreal. In Ottawa on April 29th at the Writer’s Festival, all three of them will be reading on a panel called “This Is Us.” Also with a host of other great LGBTQ writers (Daniel Mendelsohn, Kamal Al-Solaylee, Catherine Herandez, Christopher DiRaddo, and more!), the three Arsenal authors will be participating in The Violet Hour Reading Series on April 27th.
Speaking of Joshua Whitehead, you may have heard that his debut book of poetry full-metal indigiqueer was a finalist in the Lambda Literary Awards in the category of Trans Poetry and that he decided to withdraw. This is my favourite part:
I dream of the day when award cultures, especially settler queer award institutions, etch out space for 2SQ capacities and oratories. So in nehiyawewin fashion, I animate myself: nehiyaw iskwewayi-napew, Cree femme-man, one who works like nîpiy, like water, because I come from the land of straits—I take a lesson from the land, manitowapow, and learn to eddy and etch, learn to break rocks and get them off, learn to carve out space from boulders that may consolidate in the wake. I remind myself that sometimes inclusivity can be spelled as accountability, sometimes literature sounds like “letting go”. I hear Beth Brant when I write this speaking to me, that “we do our work with love,” as much as I hear Chrystos’ cry that we are “not vanishing”.
You can read the beautiful full letter here.
Other than reading in Ottawa and Montreal, Amber Dawn is also going to be at FOLD (Festival of Literary Diversity) in Brampton, ON on May 3rd and 6th. Check out more details about FOLD here. Other LGBTQ2 writers Joshua Whitehead, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Kai Cheng Thom, Catherine Hernandez, and possibly others I don’t know are going to be there too! Want to know more about Amber Dawn’s new book? Read this interview with her from Guts Magazine where she talks about disrupting the idea that queer lives are urban only, subverting ghost tropes, and what novels she thinks we should all be reading.
The 2018 BC Book Prize Finalists were announced earlier this month, and there are a few familiar queer names on there. Daniel Zomparelli’s debut short story collection Everything is Awful and You’re a Terrible Person and Zoey Leigh Peterson’s Next Year, For Sure are up for the Ethel Wilson Fiction prize. Anne Fleming’s first book for young people, The Goat, is up for the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize (I don’t think the book has queer content, but I could be wrong! I love her queer adult fiction anyway so I’m sure The Goat is great). Winners will be announced May 4th in Vancouver.
One last event in Montreal that you should go to if you can: McGill is hosting The Arts of Trans, Gender Diverse and Two-Spirit Lives Conference April 5-7th. Creative writers/poets who are going to be there include Trish Salah, Kama La Mackerel, and Lindsay Nixon. Find more info about the presenters here.
Have something you want me to include in the next Queer Can Lit Newsflash? Email me at stepaniukcasey [at] gmail.com.