“to put presence into absence”: on the occasion of the 2019 Booker Prize Awarded to Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo

I wanted to put presence into absence. I was very frustrated that black British women weren’t visible in literature. I whittled it down to 12 characters – I wanted them to span from a teenager to someone in their 90s, and see their trajectory from birth, though not linear. There are many ways in which… Continue reading “to put presence into absence”: on the occasion of the 2019 Booker Prize Awarded to Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo

First Friend

20 May 2019 I moved to Edmonton in 1987 and Myrna Kostash was the only person I knew beyond several UofA colleagues. I knew of her through some feminist artist and writers friends in Toronto. Myrna was most welcoming and through her I met other socialist-feminist Ukrainian friends who lived in a wonderful collective community… Continue reading First Friend

“i feel like a stranger” (my mother’s brain)

22 September 2018 When you’re drunk it’s so much fun—Your stories don’t make sense. An early fall has strung The elms with yellow flags.Anna Akhmatova "i feel like a stranger" says the woman across the tablewhose glass of wine is alwaysthe first of the evening. The second evaporatesin the mind before the swallowof her "disappearing… Continue reading “i feel like a stranger” (my mother’s brain)

Mothering and Women’s Words

3 June 2013 Last night I launched a co-edited volume of 75 voices celebrating the 20th anniversary of Women's Words. My daughter was in the audience. I thought of this moment not long ago when she was too shy to stay in the audience and came up to the front to stand with me while… Continue reading Mothering and Women’s Words