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How to Review: Starting Out + Pro-tips from Carleigh Baker

Are you looking to get into the review game? Are you a seasoned reviewer and want to hone your skills? Wherever you land on the review spectrum, PRISM has put together five simple starting-out steps to make the task of reviewing a book a little less daunting. Additionally, Carleigh Baker, author of Bad Endings and bad-ass reviewer for The Globe and Mail, shares some insider pro-tips.

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Catherine Hernandez photo by Zahra Siddiqui makeup by Charm Torres

Open-Hearted At All Times: An Interview with Catherine Hernandez

Interview by Jennifer Amos. Photo by Zahra Siddiqui. Makeup by Charm.

Catherine Hernandez is a proud queer woman of colour, radical mother, activist, theatre practitioner, and writer. She is also the Artistic Director of b current performing arts. Her plays include The Femme Playlist, a one-woman show; Singkil; Eating with Lola (first developed by fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre); Kilt Pins; and Future Folk, which was collectively written by the Sulong Theatre Collective. She is the author of the children’s book M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book and her plays Kilt Pins and Singkil were published by Playwrights Canada Press.

Hernandez recently received the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop Emerging Writers’ Award and was shortlisted for the Half the World Global Literati Award for her debut novel, Scarborough, which was written after she spent years working with Scarborough children as a home daycare provider. Scarborough is currently a Toronto Book Award Finalist, and Hernandez will be in Vancouver for LiterAsian and Word Vancouver events this September.

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Chafe - cover - press quality-page-001

Hot-tempered Divinity: A Review of Aidan Chafe’s “Right Hand Hymns”

Review by Annick MacAskill

Right Hand Hymns

Aidan Chafe

Frog Hollow Press

Last October, my friend David Alexander (Modern Warfare, Anstruther Press, 2016) and I went to an Anstruther Press and Baseline Press chapbook launch to see a few poets we knew. When I heard Aidan Chafe read from his debut chapbook, Sharpest Tooth (Anstruther Press, 2016), I immediately wanted to buy his collection. I was drawn by Chafe’s strong imagery and measured, almost laconic consideration of the destructive ferocity and violence of the natural and human worlds.

When I saw that Chafe had released a second chapbook, Right Hand Hymns (Frog Hollow Press, 2017), I was eager to read his new work. The theme of violence continues in this collection, but instead of exploring this theme in poems about hunting, woods, and wolves, Right Hand Hymns evokes a similar wildness and chaos in poems about family, religion, and mental health.

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Issue 55:4 Flashback: “The Heart-Hum” by Beasa Dukes

We’re holding onto summer with a flashback to our Summer Issue 55:4, which was stacked with amazing contributors. Among them was Beasa Dukes, author of “The Heart-Hum.” Read the first of the three sections of this amazing piece below, and check out our interview with her here. Weren’t able to pick up a copy of the issue during the summer? No worries, you can order one here!

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Jessica Bebenek photo by Joanna Gigliotti

Get to Know: Jessica Bebenek

Get to Know is a new PRISM interview series dedicated to introducing you to our favourite writers and contributors by way of a range of questions that touch on quotidian details, public spaces, risk-taking, and advice for young writers. This week it’s our pleasure to introduce you to Jessica Bebenek (@notyrmuse), a writer and transdisciplinary artist currently pursuing an MA at Concordia University in Montreal. Her non-fiction piece “For J appeared in PRISM’s Spring 2017 issue after being shortlisted for our Non-Fiction Contest; this piece is part of Writing for Men, a non-fiction collection she’s currently working on.

Bebenek’s poetry chapbook Fourth Walk was released this Spring by Desert Pets Press, and she is currently completing her first full collection of lyric poetry, No One Knows Us Here. This Fall, the knitted tapestries in Bebenek’s k2tog series, which explore how women speak to each other through both ‘art’ and ‘craft,’ will be displayed at The Gladstone’s Hard Twist exhibition, alongside the launch of her accompanying chapbook of knitting patterns (k2tog), forthcoming from Berlin’s Broken Dimanche Press. You can find further info on publications and readings on Bebenek’s website.
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