Jen Sookfong Lee’s new book, Gentlemen of the Shade: My Own Private Idaho, is 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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 Twistexhibition, 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.
Interview by Jasmine Sealy. Photo by Carly Shaia. Beasa Dukes writes ghost stories. But these stories are far from ephemeral. These stories are about spirits that are born of the earth, that inhabit bodies and influence our every waking...
Interview by Michelle Cyca. Photo by Red Works: Nadya Kwandibens
Joi T Arcand is a multidisciplinary artist from Saskatchewan, currently living in Ottawa. A nehiyaw iskwew from the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Joi’s body of work includes representations of the Cree language in photography and other mediums, and she has been exhibited across Canada, including at Vancouver’s grunt gallery. She co-created kimiwan, a quarterly publication for and by Indigenous visual artists and writers that published eight issues between 2012 and 2014. Her piece Northern Pawn, Southern Vietnam appeared on the Spring 2017 cover of PRISM international.
Catriona Wright, poetry editor for The Puritan, an online magazine based out of Toronto, came to Vancouver recently to promote her debut poetry collection, Table Manners, at the Tonic Reading Series in June. The poems in this collection move with amazing precision and never go stale, leaving the reader with a richer vocabulary. Wright is a poet with a sharp eye and endless imagination. In this interview, we talked about food, inspiration, and how this book came together in what can only be described as a poetic feast for the mind.
In her latest collection, Bicycle Thieves, Italian-Canadian poet, novelist, and essayist Mary di Michele examines the memories of her father’s life as an Italian in 1950s Montreal, and simultaneously reflects on what life is like after youth passes.