Interview: 5 Q’s w/International Festival of Authors

~ I blame logic class and computers-in-french class for a lot of things, including my forgetting to post this. ~

IFOA: Please tell us a bit about your debut book of poetry, ^^^^^^[Sharps].

© Neil Harrison

Stevie Howell: Sharps is my first book of poetry and emerged indirectly out of working in a hospital and beginning to study psychology. Those experiences gave me the tools to look at my life and issues around gender, class, trauma, faith and death.

I think of the book as grounded in the living city, but influenced by myth. It draws some inspiration from The Last Unicorn, in which the unicorn protagonist had to hide in female form to get her work done. It also draws inspiration from ancient Egyptian mythology of the afterlifefor example, the concept of ma’at, in which, when you die, your heart is weighed against a feather. A heavy heart, it was said, would be fed to a lion-hippo-crocodile hybrid. I write to try and prevent that!


Read the rest here.


Reading: Poetry Gala April 9, 2016

12th Annual Poetry Gala 2015 – Saturday April 9th – 1 – 4pm
Richmond Hill Public Library
(SW corner of Major McKenzie and Yonge St.) / Free Admission, Refreshments, & Book Signing

Celebrate National Poetry Month when the Richmond Hill Public Library joins libraries across Canada in celebration of poetry and its vital place in Canadian culture. Hosted by Barry Dempster. Poets include:POETRY GALA 2016 (1)-page0001

Reading: March 12, 2016

I’m doing a double-rare reading: it takes place on Saturday night, & it features two American writers. They are: Sean Labrador y Manzano (a poet, McSweeny’s columnist, & reading series organizer) and Robert Yerachmiel Snyderman (an itinerant farmer, poet, & playwright). Shane Neilson, a fine poet and critic, is also reading.

Saturday, March 12, 2016
7pm, The Belljar, 2072 Dundas West (around the corner from Roncesvalles)


More details on the Facebook event page.

Criticism: “Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent” by Liz Howard


It’s been said that a book review is an exercise in both sympathy and competition. That is a combination that’s inherently fraught, and one that’s high among the reasons I’ve considered no longer reviewing books—but that was before I encountered Liz Howard’s first book of poetry, Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent. It’s in the most sympathetic and non-competitive spirit that I say you should read this, and it.

Part of Infinite Citizen’s success is the way it mends tensions: Howard is from northern Ontario, and moved to Toronto to obtain a degree in cognitive neuroscience. She moves between both systems with the trademark ease that comes from expertise: “If you are in need of an answer/consult ajiisakiiwinini/scientific rigor/psychoanalysis/the unconscious a construct.”


Read the rest here.

 (Co-published in The Winnipeg Review, September 15, 2015 & CV2 #38, Fall 2015).



                                                                                You can love a man


           more than he’ll ever love back or be able to, you can confuse


           your understanding of that


                                                                   with a thing like acceptance or,


          worse, all you’ve ever deserved.


—Carl Phillips

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