Welcome to this second installment of my new monthly-ish column news about stuff that’s happening in the Canadian and/or Indigenous LGBTQ2IA+ literary world. Have something you think I should cover next time? Send me an email: stepaniukcasey [at] gmail.com.
Did you love jia qing wilson-yang’s debut novel Small Beauty? I know I did, and you probably did too, so while you’re waiting for her next full-length work, you should read her short story “Rewinding” which was recently published in Rice Paper magazine. The story also features illustrations by Jesse Zhang. To give you a taste, here’s how the story begins:
She couldn’t sleep. It had been a horrible day. A day that felt like it was going out of its way to tell her that she wasn’t right for the world. As if she had been the subject of a poorly lit reality show about Asian transsexuals, as if the movements of her day had been broadcast on television for the world to judge. Which, if she was being honest, was the kind of show she would watch.
In case you missed my original review of Sigal Samuel’s debut novel The Mystics of Mile End, I should tell you that I LOVED it and it was one of my favourite reads last year. The novel is about a Jewish family and is set in Montreal (the Mile End neighbourhood, specifically) so it’s especially apt that a translation of the novel into French just came out! It’s exciting that a novel set in a diverse neighbourhood full of Yiddish, English, and French speakers is going to be newly available in one of those languages. (There’s also an Italian translation coming up).
Speaking of Anglophone queer Canadian books being translated into French, Amber Dawn’s debut novel Sub Rosa – which was the first novel I ever reviewed for this blog! — recently got picked up to be translated into French too. Also in Amber Dawn news: her latest novel Sodom Road Exit is set to come out from Arsenal Pulp Press next year and the cover is BEAUTIFUL. Check it out:
Feminist literary mag Room Magazine has an upcoming issue that is going to be particularly up the alley of anyone who reads this blog, whether you’re a queer reader or queer writer. Their current call for submissions is for issue 41.3, “The Queer Issue.” The full call reads:
Room magazine invites women and genderqueer folks who identify as part of the LGBTTQIA+ spectrum to submit their best poetry, fiction, CNF, and art to our first queer-themed issue. We especially encourage submissions from writers affected by multiple intersections of oppression, such as racism, classism, ableism, fatphobia, ageism, and transphobia.
This issue is a celebration of emerging and established queer writers and artists; the creative work itself does not have to be queer in focus. Do you want to queer genre? Create a poem about the corporatization of Pride? Or just write microfiction on the minutiae of daily living? All types of submissions are welcome.
New work by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha will also be featured in this issue, which will be edited by Leah Golob, and assistant edited by Arielle Spence and Rebecca Russell. The call for submissions is open until January 31st.
Have you heard of Billy-Ray Belcourt (Driftpile Cree Nation)? I hadn’t until I went to a reading featuring his debut poetry collection This Wound is a World (shame on me) and I was so moved and impressed. He calls the book an “instruction manual for a queer Indigenous future” in this CBC interview. You all should really get this book in your life. Look for more on This Wound is a World on this site in the future! The publisher describes the book as “scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where ‘everyone is at least a little gay.’” To quote from my memory of the event, one of the lines in a poem is “I’m a hopeless romantic who hopes every blow job is transformative.”
Are you a trans feminine writer who writes fantasy? You should definitely submit a pitch to Maiden, Mother, and Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes! It’s being published by Bedside Press in Winnipeg, edited by Gwen Benaway ,and will include written work by Kai Cheng Thom, Casey Plett, and Gwen Benaway and art by Alex Morris. I am eagerly awaiting this collection!! Bedside Press is the same publisher who put out Love Beyond Body, Space, & Time: An Indigenous LGBT Anthology, which I review here. Given how great that collection was and my love for the work of all those authors who are already included, I have very high hopes for Maiden, Mother, and Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes. Also, that title! And this beautiful cover (art and design by Annie Mok)!