Jane Eaton Hamilton

"She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."

“Alice began to undress the past.”

Here, then, from 2011, Jeanette Winterson peeking in at the cows between Gertrude and Alice. How, precisely, did Gertrude bring Alice to her bovine pleasures? Did Gertrude, too, have cows, whether self-administered or Alice-administered? From what acts did cows materialize? How often did they find each other? Did sex wane over the years as Gertrude took lovers?

I traveled to Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and after I had run my palm over the red kisses on Oscar Wilde’s grave I strolled around the corner to Gertrude’s grave, which seemed immense. I thought about fat corpses needing fat coffins needing wide graves, and I thought about how small the eventual skeleton would be underneath. I thought that when Alice, years later, was interred and recognized on the back of Gertrude’s gravestone, she could easily have fit, by then, into Gertrude’s box, with Gertrude, there to produce bubbles of heavenly cows for the rest of eternity.

Granta

Do blue butterflies eat parts of the sky?

NY Times

This stunning piece of filmmaking brought me to tears. I hope you’ll watch this and be as moved as I was. Answering these questions is one of our most sacred trusts.

“What is kind?”

“Can girls be robots?”

“How do you make water?”

“Why do boys cut their hair?”

 

Many Gendered Mothers: Ntozake Shange

I’m not sure Ntozake Shange would be thrilled at being my literary mentor, but nevetheless, she was my first and I honour her every writing day.

Many Gendered Mothers

Lady Liberty Lit

I used to skate when I was a kid, and over the winter, I wrote a piece about skating and resistance, which Gayle Brandeis has been kind enough to publish at the new Lady Liberty Lit. Thanks, Gayle!

P.S. Gayle’s first novel ‘The Book of Dead Birds’ thrilled me. If you too are pelican-crazy, and want to understand more about the mother/child bond, and just admire great stylists, you should read it.

Lady Liberty Lit

“On Assault and Harassment in the Literary World”

After Bonne Nazdam’s recent article in Tin House (Experts in the Field) today’s compilation on LitHub talks about the murky, damaging world of sexual assault and harrassment in the US lit world, with writers like Anna March, Roxane Gay and Porochista Khakpour.

Lit Hub

 

So You Want To Write About Life

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Gillian Jerome is a poet and essayist from Vancouver, British Columbia and a contributing editor at GEIST. Her work has appeared in GEIST, New Poetry, Colorado Review, Malahat Review, Canadian Literature and elsewhere.

Life Writing

March 25 @ 2:30 pm7:30 pm

“I write to define myself—an act of self creation—part of the process of becoming.”
–Susan Sontag

“This workshop is designed for people who aren’t professional writers, but who have something meaningful to say about their lives. We will learn how to discover our stories and to focus our material using techniques of creative nonfiction and Life Review, an educational process that enhances our understanding of ourselves and our lives through storytelling. By reading, writing and participating in interactive exercises, we will be guided toward finding new ways to write about our lives, for ourselves and/or for others.”

Life Writing

“George Saunders: What writers really do when they write.”

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If George Saunders is a word, I am a letter. Here, he waxes enthused about Lincoln in the Bardo, his new and first novel.

What Writers Really Do

Read Your Way Back to Wholeness

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Emily Temple has gathered LitHub’s 10 Great Essays That Should be Made into Films

I look forward to making my way through these essays, some of which are familiar already, and some of which I’ve read recently, including Carmen Maria Machado’s fine ‘A Girl’s Guide to Sexual Purity.’

Making Room: Room Magazine’s celebration of 40 years!

I’m reading at the Saturday BFFF, and the Sunday Insert Innuendo Here and the poetry bash. Please consult the website for change of venue.

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Help me celebrate Room Magazine’s 40th annniversary anthology, Making Room! If you are looking for a comprehensive cross-section of feminist literature in Canada, you’ve come to the right place. The Growing Room: A Feminist Literary Festival comes to life in early March.

“Making Room: Forty Years of Room Magazine celebrates the history and evolution of Canadian literature and feminism with some of the most exciting and thought-provoking fiction, poetry, and essays the magazine has published since it was founded in 1975 as Room of One’s Own. This collection includes poems about men not to be fallen in love with, trans womanhood, the morning-after pill, the “mind fuck” of being raped by a romantic partner, and a tribute to the women who were murdered in the Montreal Massacre. In one story, a group of sexual assault survivors meet weekly and come up with an unique way to help police capture their assailant, while in another a dinner party turns to witty talk of racism, sexism, pornography, and time travel. One author recounts how she learned multiple languages in order to connect with her father, another reluctantly walks down the aisle in order to stay in Canada with the man she loves.” -from the website

Growing Room: A Feminist Literary Festival

MAKING ROOM: Forty Years of ROOM Magazine

“Writer Roxane Gay on Speaking Up, Female Friendship and ‘Difficult Women’”

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Here’s Roxane Gay, author of ‘Ayiti,’ stories, ‘An Untamed State,’ a novel, ‘Bad Feminist,’ essays and the new short story collection ‘Difficult Women,’ in conversation with Mina Kim at KQED Radio in SF.

To riff on Time Magazine (2014): Let every year be the year of Roxane Gay.

Roxane Gay interview

Re: Simon and Schuster: Roxane Gay on Tumblr

 

 

Chronic pain and disability: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s So Much Time Spent in Bed

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Sketch: Jane Eaton Hamilton

This wonderful article by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha on coping and dreaming with disability as a writer of colour. Coincidentally, when this article came to me, I had just started reading Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home.

So Much Time Spent in Bed

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Open Letters and Closed Doors by Jen Sookfong Lee

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Over at the Humber Literary Review, you can find Jen Sookfong Lee’s rivetting piece about surviving as a writer in a Canlit world of white male entitlement, systemic racism and sexism.

Open Letters and Closed Doors

“Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The ConjoinedThe Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of East, and Shelter, a novel for young adults. She appears regularly on CBC Radio One as a contributor for The Next Chapter. Jen teaches writing at The Writers’ Studio Online with Simon Fraser University. You can follow her on Twitter @JenSookfongLee.”

CBC Books: Weekend

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CBC Books

8 Lesbian BDSM Novels to Curl Your Toes (and Maybe Melt Your Heart)

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Weekend made this fun list by Casey Stepaniuk over at Autostraddle! Catch what Casey has to say about them here.

The Collectors by Lesley Gowan

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At Her Feet by Rebekah Weatherspoon

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Owning Regina: Diary of My Unexpected Passion for Another Woman by Lorelei Elstrom

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Savor Her by Zee Giovanni

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The Night Off by Meghan O’Brien

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Scissor Link by Georgette Kaplan

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Tell Me What You Like by Kate Allen

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Older Queer Voices: an online anthology

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This anthology of older queer voices. Authors Sarah Einstein and Sandra Gail Lambert, thank you, and thank you to the contributors, too.
 

Am I Too Embarrassed to Save My Life? My essay in the NY Times

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Am I Too Embarrassed to Save My Life?

NY Times

I’m told it had over a hundred thousand hits. I hope to have a few things to say here that answer some people’s questions. If you would like to leave additional questions or remarks here, I will try to include them.

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Fifteen Works of Contemporary Literature By and About Refugees

Standing Against Hate

I despise what’s going on. I stand against it without reservation. I support the LGBTQIA, disabled, women’s and POC communities, and call for y/our lives to be made safer by the continuation of legal protections, Planned Parenthood and the ACA, and the de-militarization of police. So much has gone wrong in a week’s time, but most of it was well seeded earlier.

We feel anxious, frightened and uncertain about what’s coming next. On Friday, immigrants and refugees from seven targeted countries were banned from entering the US, throwing individual lives and entire communities into crisis and destabilizing the planet. My Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has spoken of Canada’s open shores, and I trust that he and his ministers will work tirelessly to ensure refugees and immigrants already in detention in Canada are released into community, and new refugees and immigrants are welcomed immediatey.

Tonight terrorists opened fire at a mosque in Québec City, killing five. I send condolences to the victims’ families and friends and to their religious community, and continue to stand against violence and hatred. Muslims are important and welcome members of my community.

I am buoyed by the push-back of citizens. Protesters are marching, lawyers and protesters are occupying airports, airlines are reversing ticket charges, companies are taking stands to hire refugee workers, and thousands of people on social media are decrying these regressive, dangerous acts and thinking up new ways to make global citizens safe. Each one of us will play a part in de-activating the virus spreading through N America.

We are stronger together, just as Hillary said. Join hands, my friends, and join solutions.

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