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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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The Deep Cove

“To Love the Coming End:” An Interview with Leanne Dunic

Interview by Mikaela Asfour.

Leanne Dunic is a writer, multidisciplinary artist, singer/guitarist of The Deep Cove, and winner of the Alice Munro Short Story Prize in 2015.

Her poetic travelogue, To Love the Coming End, was published in 2017, and takes place in Singapore, Japan, and Canada. The narrator, thrown off balance by a personal loss, deftly juxtaposes the impact of grief on the human body and psyche with the patterns and rhythms of historical and natural disasters— all the while haunted by the “curse of 11.”

Leanne is featured in two upcoming events at the Vancouver Writer’s Festival. She will be reading and performing with her band, The Deep Cove, at Dance to the Coming End on Thursday October 19th at 8:30 PM at Performance Works, where the Open Book Art Collective will be showcasing their artworks inspired by To Love the Coming End.

Leanne will also appear on the True Confessions and Tall Tales panel with Hera Lindsay Bird, Dina Del Bucchia, and Zoey Leigh Peterson on Friday October 20th at 8:30 PM at the Revue Stage, where they will discuss the line between fiction and nonfiction.

The Deep Cove’s release show for their first upcoming album, To Love the Coming End of the World—a companion to Leanne’s book— will take place on Saturday November 4th at the Fox Cabaret, with a solo guest performance by José Miguel Contreras (By Divine Right).

Three tracks from The Deep Cove’s upcoming album can be downloaded for free at bookthug.ca/thedeepcove.

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Mark Jordan Manner

Most Perfect Things About People: An Interview with Mark Jordan Manner

Interview by Matthew Walsh.

Mark Jordan Manner’s debut novel, Most Perfect Things About People, was published this year by Tailwinds Press. After a few publications in literary journals for his short fiction, it only seemed inevitable that a novel would be on the way. Told through various narrators, the story is a sprawling account of family secrets and memories, told over years by characters who are separated by geography and connect again through their own recollections of childhood memories. I was so happy to be interviewing Mark, whose stories were some of the weirdest, loveliest pieces of fiction I had read in a while.

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Jen Sookfong Lee bio photo no photog credit (1)

Constantly Chipping Away At The Mainstream: An Interview with Jen Sookfong Lee

Interview by Matthew Walsh.

Jen Sookfong Lee’s new book, Gentlemen of the Shade: My Own Private Idahois part film analysis and part cultural commentary, with glimpses of memoir. The book focuses primarily on My Own Private Idaho, Gus Van Sant’s 1991 film about two drifters—but there are asides that delve into 90s pop culture in general, with mentions of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana’s Nevermind album. My 90s memories returned to me through my reading of this short, precise analysis of 90s art and culture—a period when “our connection to beauty [was] universal, as [was] our search for identity.”

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Yumna Al-Arashi bio photo no photographer credit

Get To Know: Yumna Al-Arashi

Interview by Kyla Jamieson.

Get to Know is an 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 emerging artists.

This week it’s our pleasure to introduce you to our summer cover photographer Yumna Al-Arashi, a Muslim American who was raised in Washington, DC, and holds a degree in International Politics with a focus on the Middle East. Al-Arashi’s work often focuses on the self-expression and strength of women—from North African matriarchs with face tattoos to nude women in a Beirut bathhouse. This October, her work will be projected onto the International Center of Photography Museum’s windows as part of “Projected,” a series that focuses on photographers “exploring empowerment, catalyzing social change, and giving voice to the unheard.” Scroll down for morning routine inspiration and some stellar music recommendations from this visionary artist.

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