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Jessica Westhead photo by Derek Wuenschirs

Between Us: An Interview with Jessica Westhead

Interview by Sonal Champsee.

Jessica Westhead’s fiction has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards, selected for the Journey Prize anthology, and nominated for a National Magazine Award. She is the author of the novel Pulpy & Midge (Coach House Books, 2007) and the critically acclaimed short story collection And Also Sharks (Cormorant Books, 2011), which was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book and a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Short Fiction Prize. Her new short story collection is called Things Not to Do.

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Photographer credit: Esther Kabamba and Will Fraser

Between Us: The Language of Home

Interview by Emma Cleary

Welcome to the first installment of Between Us, a conversation series by, for, and between immigrant/first-gen Canadian writers. We’re featuring writers who move back and forth across the hyphen, straddling old country and new, negotiating ideas of home-place, belonging, and identity. Writers who create within and beyond the categories of “Canadian literature” and “Canadian immigrant literature.”

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Get to Know: Kia Miakka Natisse

Interview by Kyla Jamieson.

Hey, hi, come in, meet Kia Miakka Natisse, a writer and artist from Buffalo, New York, whose nonfiction piece, “I Have a Brother Named Jamaal,” about growing up alongside her autistic brother “before [autism] was a movement, before it was a puzzle-patterned bumper sticker and spectrum of disorders,” you can find in our Liminal issue, PRISM international 56.1 (but read an excerpt here).

Kia Miakka Natisse studied journalism at Howard University, where she earned her BA, and went on to get her Master’s in transmedia studies from NYU. Now based in Chicago, Illinois, she self-publishes text-based works through her website, kiamiakkanatisse.com. She was recently part of a group show titled “Front & Center” at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago and is working on completing a chapbook titled American.


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Any Way I Want: An Interview with Alan Woo

Interview by Tze Liew

Alan Woo is a lively, open-hearted Asian Canadian author who was born in England and grew up in Vancouver. Disguised as a lanky, pink-bellied rabbit, he read his award-winning children’s book, Maggie’s Chopsticks, at Chosen Family Story Hour, a Vancouver Queer Film Festival event. His book paints a heartwarming picture of learning to find strength in your own unique nature, even when everyone is telling you to do something their way. Woo graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Master’s in Library Studies and a Minor in Creative Writing, and has written for Ricepaper, Vancouver Magazine, Arc, and Xtra. He is currently a teen services librarian at Surrey Libraries, where he often works with LGBTQ+ youth and youth of colour.

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Get to Know: Jan Zwicky

Interview by Claudia Wilde

Our next Get to Know (with a few bonus added questions!) features Jan Zwicky, a poet, philosopher, essayist, and musician who will be appearing at this year’s Writers Fest in Vancouver. In 1981, Zwicky earned her PhD at the University of Toronto specializing in Philosophy of Logic and Science. Jan Zwicky has published over a dozen books of poetry, and was the recipient of the Dorothy Livesay Prize and the Governor General’s Award for poetry. After teaching for a number of years, she has finally settled on Quadra Island. Last year she came out with a collection of poetry called The Long Walk.

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“The Dark and Other Love Stories:” An Interview with Deborah Willis

Deborah Willis is one of the most exciting and original talents to emerge in the last ten years. Her first short story collection Vanishing and Other Stories (2009) was nominated for the Governor General’s Award and earned several rave reviews. Her most recent collection The Dark and Other Love Stories (2017) was longlisted for the Giller Prize. Her fiction has appeared in Event, PRISM international, The Walrus, The Virginia Quarterly, The Iowa Review and Lucky Peach. Deborah is currently working on a novel and is the writer-in-residence at MacEwan University. Prism international was excited to have the opportunity to discuss with Deborah her most recent collection of unforgettable short stories. Be sure to see Deborah Willis at the Vancouver Writers Fest for How This Story Began and The Sunday Brunch. Check it out at http://writersfest.bc.ca/.

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