Jane Eaton Hamilton

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

Category: articles by others

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


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


At Her Feet by Rebekah Weatherspoon


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


Savor Her by Zee Giovanni


The Night Off by Meghan O’Brien


Scissor Link by Georgette Kaplan


Tell Me What You Like by Kate Allen


Older Queer Voices: an online anthology

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

Fifteen Works of Contemporary Literature By and About Refugees

The Heart-Work: Writing About Trauma as a Subversive Act by Melissa Febos


sketch: Jane Eaton Hamilton after Shiele unknown date

The terrific Melissa Febos asks the question: If writing about trauma happens to be therapeutic, does that make it worthless? Or particularly valuable?

A great essay at Poets and Writers.

Pixar pretty much sums it up: how to give good story


Emma Coats from the Pixare team has summed up what makes a great story. You don’t have to telling stories for kids to realize the value in this advice.


What Being an Editor Taught Anna Pitoniak About Writing

Anna Pitoniak on the Inside Tricks of the Trade


“I’m an editor at Random House, but for the last several years I’ve been writing around the edges of my day job: mornings, nights, weekends, wherever I can grab the free time. I began my first novel (which is publishing today) while I was working as an editor, and I credit my job with giving me the courage, and the tools, to tackle writing a book. The truth is that spending one’s life reading good writing—not just reading it, but thinking about what makes it so good—is the best way to teach one’s self how to do it. For some people, this might mean enrolling in an MFA program. For me, I was lucky enough to learn by observing the other editors around me, and working on manuscripts as they went from rough drafts to finished books. It was the best writing education I could have received.”


Julie R Enszer

“[Weekend] is the best book I have read this year. Hamilton brings us four wonderful characters who live and grapple with lesbian/queer/women’s contemporary experiences. The sex is hot; the characters are wonderfully flawed, human, and relatable. This is the book to beat for the 2016 Lammy in Lesbian Fiction. Buy it. Read it. Love it.

My review at Curve: http://www.curvemag.com/Reviews/Weeke…”


27 Books Every Person In Any Country Should Read

…but especially if you’re attending one of the hundreds of Women’s Marches around the world this weekend. Or should I say especially if you’re not?


“These novels, essay collections, memoirs, histories, and more will help you understand why there is no feminism without intersectionality, why we should remember our history before we repeat it, and why Roe v. Wade is a lot more tenuous than you might think.” -Doree Shafrir

Buzzfeed Books

Sara Holbrook Can’t Answer These Texas Standardized Test Questions About Her Own Poems


This is very funny and at the same time sad. Poet Sara Holbrook, alive and kicking, was not asked to tell examiners the answers to questions about her own poetry.

Bogus Standarized Testing


The fleet-footed thing among us


you cannot lock it out,
nor bar the door against it.
like the midnight cinnamon
and ginger wafts
from the kitchen
of the insomniac
finnish woman one floor
down, sleepless and dour,
prone to nocturnal baking,
it simply arrives,
happiness, that is,
through the vents,
the radiators,
the small cracks
in the parquet or plaster.
it goes from room to room,
examining your favourite things,
touching them, gently,
not saying why it’s come,
where it’s been,
who it’s seen.
genial, uncritical,
it overlooks the dust,
the lingering odours
of squander and rancour.
astonishing how much
space it claims, something
so small as this happiness,
so small and so demure.
it does not want you to fuss,
not even to fill the kettle
let alone put it on.
what would be the point?
it won’t be staying long enough,
not long enough for tea.
there’s somewhere else it’s going,
it has someone else to see.
goodbye, goodbye, till next time.
it’s come and gone before.
its bags are packed and ready.
they’re waiting by the door.

–Bill Richardson

Good Bones by Maggie Smith

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 1.24.18 PM

Another of my favourite poems is Good Bones by Maggie Smith.


Writing the body body body


sketch: Jane Eaton Hamilton 2016

Michele Filgate talks to Anna March, Ruth Ozeki, Eileen Myles, Porochista Khakpour, and Alexandra Kleeman about writing the body. I so wanted to attend this panel, so I’m glad to be able to read it and share it now. Writing the body fantastic, folks. From LitHub.

Writing the Body: Trauma, Illness, Sexuality, and Beyond



‘Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something. This seems so clearly the case with grief, but it can be so only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact. One may want to, or manage to for a while, but despite one’s best efforts, one is undone, in the face of the other, by the touch, by the scent, by the feel, by the prospect of the touch, by the memory of the feel.’ -Judith Butler’s essay “Violence, Mourning, Politics” from Precarious Life

Master Class with Jill Soloway

nude1_oct_2016art: Jane Eaton Hamilton 2016

“Protagonism is propaganda that protects and perpetuates privilege.”

This is about story, kids. This is about the poems we write. The short fiction. The novels. The plays. The TV shows. The films.

What work we support and why we do it.

Check her out. The Female Gaze. The Feminist Gaze. Gazing on. Empathy generator. Fucking yes, finally. Bringing it into literature.

You get the idea that the world might be okay after all.


More from Dorothy Palmer, the wisest person speaking to ubcaccountable

“Dear ubcaccountable signatories,

Having read all your statements, I believe a blend of friendship, good faith, and loyalty, led you to sign what you honestly saw as a call for “due process.” No one could anticipate the uproar or the union, legislative, cultural, legal, and liability ramifications. Today, you’re drowning in them. You’re clinging to deflated arguments. Please swim yourselves to shore by examining them now.

1. Can the letter ever produce “a public inquiry”? No

Addressed to UBC the letter reads, “We therefore request that the University of British Columbia establish an independent investigation into how this matter has been handled by the Creative Writing Program, The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and the senior administration of UBC.” As I detailed in previous posts, the call for “a public inquiry,” the expensive, time-consuming body once called a Royal Commission, requires a petition legal in form and content, addressed to the government, containing signatures and addresses, and directing its scope and report. If signatories want a real “public inquiry,” please do your homework and create a legal petition.

2. Can the letter ever produce an “independent inquiry” No.

Word choice matters. The letter does not call for a “judicial inquiry,’ or even an “independent third-party inquiry.” It asks UBC to “establish” an investigation into itself. It does not direct who should be on it, what should be its focus or parameters, or how, when, to whom, or even if, it should report. It asks only that UBC inquire “into how this matter has been handled.” UBC could meet this vague demand today by issuing its own one word report: “Properly.”

3. Even if, by some miracle, UBC launched another independent third party or judicial inquiry, would it generate more public information? No

A second inquiry would be a most unlikely, expensive, and redundant choice, since UBC already hired an independent third party: Justice Boyd. Any new third party would likewise report to UBC. They would still be bound by all contractual, provincial and federal privacy laws currently prohibiting the release of information. Ironically, since many signatories appear to rely on details from the leaked Boyd report, (to which by “due process” they do not legally have access), any new independent inquiry would give them even less information then they currently have.

4. Does the ubcaccountable website model their call for “due process”? No

In a previous post, I outlined how the letter misrepresents and disrespects the democratic due process of unions. Now the website repeats those errors. A true “due process” site would permit the free speech of comments. It would not be registered anonymously and would name its owner when asked. It would repudiate anonymous twitter accounts such the ironically named, “Free Speech Zone.” It would not spin the truth, would not claim Mr. Galloway has been “forbidden to speak,” when he signed a confidentiality agreement with the advice of UBCFA. It would not cherry pick the leaked Boyd Report, would not shout that Justice Boyd dismissed all but one claim, without acknowledging that “one” claim based UBC’s decision to make a “Breach of Trust” dismissal. In short, any sincere demand for due process begins with the use of it.

5. Does the ubcaccountable website model the call for “justice for all.” No.

The website gives no voice to the complainants. It does not post articles supporting them, by them or their counsel. It is totally illogical not to strengthen their call for “due process” with the process concerns of the complainants. It would only be entirely logical not to include their voices if the real goal of both letter and website is to strengthen Mr. Galloway’s grievance defense.

6. Do any sincere advocates of “due process,” demand one-sided silencing? No.

The letter triggered immeasurable stress for many, including complainants and survivors. The letter focused on one person’s well-being, then blamed critics of the letter for his health. Some insisted their letter would “save him.” What true friend would broadcast private health concerns online? Who has the meta-ego to see a letter with their name on it as a substitute for medical care? Whether from true concern or emotional blackmail, critics were told to self-silence. This is illogical. The letter caused the stress and pain. The obvious answer to both is to send the letter to UBC, take down the website, and stop hurting all concerned. You cannot burn down your house and then demand sympathy on the grounds you are homeless.

7. Are the signatories leaving themselves open to charges of hypocrisy? Yes.

If you continue to demand the release of other people’s information protected as private by contract, and/or provincial and federal legislation, then you should be willing to also sign this: “Should I ever be dismissed, or ever make a submission that results in a colleague’s dismissal, I request, no I demand, that my employer shall immediately release all personal and private details of my dismissal and/or submission to the press immediately. I hereby waive all rights to protection, indemnify my employer, and will assume full personal liability when this information violates the privacy and contractual rights of students, co-workers or colleagues.”

You can’t ask that UBC do this unless you’re willing for every future employer to do it to you. You can’t ask for something that you know an employer is prohibited by contract and law from doing, and then blame them for not doing it. Please stop misrepresenting laws that protect us all.

8. Signatories, do you understand how your personal liabilities may be escalating?

On social media, many signatories confuse slander and libel. Slander is spoken, libel is written; one cannot commit slander on Facebook. In a move from open letter to a website, to personal statements on a website, are legal liabilities escalating? Letter, website, and authors’ responses, all use the same critical language as the defense team. UBC lawyers might have legal grounds to see collusion, a coordinated public defamation campaign, one with deliberate malice to malign UBC, to interfere in a contractual labour process, to pressure a public institution into an expensive settlement, a campaign that continued even after on line exchange made it clear their letter could not achieve “due process.” I do not know what legal risks any of this presents. Signatories, if you have not already done so, please consider legal consult.

9. Will ubcaccountable continue the fight for “due process” after the grievance settlement?

Here is the very heart of the matter. Given the impact of the letter, settlement may be imminent. UBC may agree with a defense team argument that it’s in everyone’s best interests to settle before the winter holiday. But, if they don’t want to be called hypocrites, ubcaccountable cannot be summer soldiers. They must not fold their tents. They must remain vigilant, keep demanding “due process” until they win that all-important “independent inquiry.” They cannot withdraw the letter or take down their website simply because one grievance ends. They can’t call the process “flawed,” but accept it when it suits them. Now that they have seized the high ground, they must keep defending it. They must not do anything to suggest that the call for “due process” was a cover or a sham. No one wants to believe we’ve been flimflammed, hornswoggled, and bamboozled.

This will become clear as soon as the grievance is settled. It will be private. We have no right to know anything about the settlement. We have every right to ask what ubcaccountable will do next. That will be the proof of sincerity or the lack of it.

10. Lastly, after this thorough debate, do we all understand there are only two choices left: laziness or lies?

Given the diligent attempts by so many to jump into the water, to float the research and do the stroke by stroke emotional labour that every signatory should have done before they signed anything, after all that work. learning and unlearning, there are only two choices. Signatories: today, either you are too lazy to understand your own letter or you always knew its call for “due process” was a lie. Which is it?

Please swim away from the sinking ship. Please don’t swamp this post with hot air, with the red herrings of personal attack and provocation. Please don’t waste your last gasp of air on “due process.” No one believes you. How can you possibly still believe it yourself?

If you swim to shore, thank you Please explain how you goth there and take your name off the letter. And because you’re not some frail Can-Lit couch-fainter, because you know the difference between democratic discussion and a witch hunt, please continue to use your voice. I began by saying I believe most signed in good faith and still believe it. Now it’s time for all of us to act in good faith. Will you do so now?”

The Sellout by Paul Beatty


The Sellout won the Man Booker Prize in 2016 and in light of what the US is facing down now, I think we all need to read it if we haven’t already.

The Sellout

Published by Oneworld 

Born in the ‘agrarian ghetto’ of Dickens on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles and raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realises there never was a memoir. All that’s left is the bill for a drive-through funeral.

Fuelled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town’s most famous resident – Hominy Jenkins – he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school which lands him in the Supreme Court.

What follows is a remarkable journey that challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement and the holy grail of racial equality – the black Chinese restaurant.

Elizabeth Bishop’s last lover


Megan Marshall has written beautifully for the New Yorker about the last love of Elizabeth Bishop.

CWILA: Canadian Women in the Literary Arts


“CWILA (Canadian Women in the Literary Arts) is an inclusive national literary organization for people who share feminist values and see the importance of strong and active female perspectives and presences within the Canadian literary landscape.”

What is the story for 2015? After months of counts and compilations by hard-working volunteers, the counts have been released here.

Thank you to CWILA.

Benedict Cumberbatch reads letter, Sol LeWitt to Eva Hesse


Eva Hesse

Gish Jen said we must watch and heed. As I listened to the first part, I wondered if ever I’d had such a loss of control, if I’d ever made art, whether written or visual, with the untormented mind.

If you are a creative person, please listen. You won’t regret the time.

Benedict Cumberbatch


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