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.
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.
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.
Alicia Elliott (@WordsandGuitar) is our 2017 Nonfiction Contest judge and the first ever interviewee for our Get to Know series! This series will be dedicated to getting to know our contest judges, magazine contributors, and writers we love.
Alicia Elliott is a Tuscarora writer living in Brantford, Ontario, where she worries she may one day die. Her writing has been published by Room, Maisonneuve, Grain, The New Quarterly and The Malahat Review. She has a monthly column with CBC Arts, and her essay “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” won Gold for the 2017 National Magazine Award. She’s currently working on a collection of short stories and dealing with the fact that her only daughter is nearly a teenager.
Bad Ideas, Michael V. Smith’s newest collection of poetry was just released with Nightwood Editions this year. Described on the first inner page as a “book of anxieties,” the book is full of little things: prayers and dreams that examine identity, queerness, and politics. It was great to catch up with the Lambda Literary Award finalist about his new work, and all his bad ideas.
Photo Credit: Owen Leong Interview by Christopher Evans Tom Cho’s current project is a novel with the working title The Meaning of Life and Other Fictions. His full-length debut was Look Who’s Morphing, a collection of fictions released by...
Former PRISM poetry editor (2014-15) Rob Taylor sat down with Andy McGuire to discuss his debut poetry collection “Country Club“. Zero Experience – Andy McGuire The Agency tells us the world is our oyster. They say optimism is an...
If you haven’t picked up the latest issue of PRISM international and need another reason to, here’s an interview by Poetry Editor Dominique Bernier-Cormier in conversation with contributor Jacob McArthur Mooney. Mooney is is the editor of The Best Canadian Poetry...