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Nominations for the 2017 Pushcart Prize!

Our Poetry and Prose editors had a difficult time sifting through all this past year’s fantastic writing in search of our six nominees for The Pushcart Prize, but reminiscing about all of their favourite pieces was a bonus! Thank you to all the contributors who made the task both difficult and rewarding. Below is our list of nominations for the 2017 Pushcart Prize.

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Everything is Something Else: In Conversation with Billy-Ray Belcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation and is a PhD student in the Department of English & Film Studies at the University of Alberta. His work has been widely published in magazines across Canada, and he has been named by Tracey Lindberg as one of six Indigenous writers to watch. In Billy-Ray Belcourt’s debut poetry collection with Frontenac House, This Wound is a World, love answers heartbreak, “history lays itself bare” (42) and a world glimmering with decolonial love and queer, Indigenous possibilities is split open. This is poetry at its brightest. It is electric, profound, necessary work. Belcourt bends genre, challenging the cage of colonialism through a poetics of intimacy. It is a collection unafraid to ask questions, exploring grief, desire, queer sexuality and Indigeneity with tender honesty. Belcourt asks us to consider the ways Indigenous bodies can be simultaneously unbound and “rendered again,” (40) how worlds can be made and unmade. These are poems to be returned to again and again with reverence. PRISM editors, Jessica Johns and Selina Boan were thrilled to be able to sit down with Billy-Ray during his Vancouver book launch and chat about Indian Time, queer Indigenous futures, and the armpit as heaven’s wormhole.

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Jessica Westhead photo by Derek Wuenschirs

Search for the Humour: 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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Kia Miakka Natisse Selfie

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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