Momentum

When you have momentum, things feel weightless, or at least, less weighty. This year, I have felt the help of some strange shifts in the air—I submit less and am asked for work more, I can sail a little on the strength of relationships built and fed with the tinder of common interests. To gain momentum as a writer means gathering strength from the slow accumulations and conversations and work and blind efforts of the past. So here are some of the things I’ve gathered in the past few months:

  1. An online interview with Prism Magazine‘s Poetry editor, Dominique Bernier-Cormier, last summer (read in full here)
  2. A brief paragraph in response to Blair Trewartha, who’s currently poet-in-residence at Open Book: Toronto and a poem from my MS, Admission Requirements, as a part of his ‘Poet in Preview‘ series (check out his whole series as it includes profiles on many of the Toronto poets I feign as friends)
  3.  New work in Project 40’s magazine, Looseleaf Magazine, edited by a stunningly hardworking and ambitious collective of young Asian Canadian artists and writers. I had a wonderful time at the launch at Beit Zatoun in early December, and was it felt both historic and extremely meaningful to read alongside several other female Asian Canadian poets and writers. Issues of the Volume 1 can be purchased here. My work in the magazine is a series of ‘annotations’ on each of the pieces of art throughout the issue.
  4.  A new poem, “Sunrise with Sea Monsters” on Paul Vermeersch’s ekphrastic online blog, where every poem responds to Turner’s 1845 painting of the same name. The blog has 14 poems so far from Canadian poets such as Susan Glickman, Stevie Howell, Sylvia Legris, Tanis MacDonald, Pearl Pirie and others who seem to find the golden-hued oil work a rich mine of suggestiveness. I came across this wonderful 2012 short film, “The Last Fisherman,” which is based in Margate, the same coastal town where Turner created the painting. You can see the early dawn lights, it hasn’t changed at all.
  5.  My 2016 is already promising: I will have a cache of new poems in the Winter issue of Ricepaper Magazine, in Canada and Beyond: A Journal of Literary Studies, and BookThug Press’s newest volume of BafterCAs well, reviews of Raoul Fernandes’ Transmitter and Receiver, Soraya Peerbaye’s Tell, Lee Maracle’s Talking to the Diaspora and I just successfully pitched a long essay on how poetry can help newcomers to Canada to Arc Magazine; I only hope that I can write the piece that’s still hanging in cloud bubble form somewhere in the ether.

Let us wish for the good fortune to carry out the work we are meant to do and the courage to fulfill the beliefs that others have for us.

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