K. S. A. Brazier-Tompkins is an import from out east (or down east, or whatever you want to call it). She has lived in Saskatoon for 10 years, making this the longest she has lived in one community. She has recently completed her PhD at the University of Saskatchewan. She teaches English and Interdisciplinary Studies and is a fierce defender of the Oxford comma.
She is also the only person who has answered our request for a ‘photo of literally anything’ with not a picture of herself (so you’ll just have to come to the launch to see her in person!)
Taidgh Lynch hails from the Southwest of Ireland and tells Canadians to pronounce his name “like ‘tiger’ without the ‘-er’.” He claims to be the only poet in the MFA first-year cohort, but we have no evidence of this as he’s been forced to write fiction and creative non-fiction and has two pieces of fiction in antilang., “The Knock” and “Collecting a Coffin.” Actually, come to think of it, Taidgh read at The River Volta Reading Series a few months back, and he did read some poetry there. You can find Taidgh’s work in Bare Hands Poetry, The Ofi PRess, Boyne Berries, and The Poetry Bus (more evidence to support his assertion of being a poet).
Besides being a poet recently sentenced to the structure of sentences, Taidgh dabbles in photography and advocates for the fair treatment and de-stereotyping of pet rats (which he says get a bad reputation from films).
Nicole Haldoupis is the co-creator and editor of untethered (checkout the website: https://alwaysuntethered.com/), editor of Grain, and on the editorial board for JackPine Press. Allie met Nicole over drinks in September where they got talking about lit mags (because obviously). Nicole is a huge reason antilang. got started as fast as it did because she encouraged Allie to forget about practicalities and just go for it (the work didn’t seem too monumental after several $4 long island iced teas). (Jordan had already been pushing to get started as the ideas behind antilang. had been in the works for a while.)
Thank you, Nicole, for supporting us to get this thing off the ground!
Nicole’s work can be found in a few Canadian journals and anthologies, most recently in The Feathertale Review (for a longer list, check out the MFA awards and publications page: http://artsandscience.usask.ca/english/graduates/mfa.php#MFAinWritingAwardsandPublications where Nicole’s successes are listed alongside those of other MFA Writing grads).
The photo of Nicole shown here was taken by Geoff Pevlin (another contributor we’ll be featuring later this week!)
Jaclyn Morken is solidly Saskatchewan. While other Saskatoon-based contributors hail from outside the province or frequently leave for other places (mostly Calgary, interestingly enough) Jaclyn is born and raised just outside of Saskatoon, attended the University of Saskatchewan for a BA in English (hons), and is still there for her MFA in Writing (where she met Allie). As you can tell from her two flash-fictions in antilang., “Nowhere” and “Hidden,” Jaclyn writes fantasy and speculative fiction.
The youngest of the first-year MFAs, Jaclyn is somewhere between excited and nervous about the antilang. launch, as it will be her first public reading! We love the support of our established writers, and we’re so happy when we can pay that support forward by supporting newly emerging writers both in print and person! Come help us support Jaclyn at our launch on Thursday!
Jeanette Lynes provided us with two bios–one that conformed to the 30-word max that appears in antilang. and the one for this blog post that actually tells us the names (of some) of her books. Jeanette’s second novel, The Small Things That End The World, is forthcoming in May 2018 form Coteau Books (and we hear the Saskatoon launch will be late June)! Her first novel, The Factory Voice, was long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and a ReLit Award. Jeanette’s seventh book of poetry, Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems, received the 2016 Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award. Her previous poetry collection, Archive of the Undressed, was shortlisted for two Saskatchewan Book Awards.
Jeanette has directed the MFA Writing program at the University of Saskatchewan since 2011 and has been surprisingly present despite being on sabbatical this year. Not only is she digitally present through facetime on the projector and emails, but she’s always “present in spirit” which the MFA group appreciates. She has also taught writing and mentored writers at Sage Hill, The Banff Centre, and Saskatoon Public Library in her capacity as Writer in Residence. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. And if she doesn’t sound busy enough, fear not, she fills her free time by playing the drums badly!
Although Jeanette lives in Saskatoon, she will be out of the city at the time of our launch, but has given us the go-ahead to read her work ‘in absentia.’ We also want to give her a huge shout-out for her support of antilang.! She’s responsible for connecting us with Jessica Klein, who posted the feature of us on the USask MFA page yesterday, even though this project is not affiliated with any institution (we just happen to meet writers at universities). Thanks Jeanette!
Our last reader feature for today’s launch is Larissa Lai. Fragments from her work-in-progress Maenad Martyr appear in antilang. Through the lens of affect, this project engages with the issues impacting Turtle Island literatures with the hope that playing with language will create “new and better ruptures.”
Larissa is the author of five books, with a sixth, The Tiger Flu, forthcoming. A CRCII in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary, she directs The Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing. See the TIA House website for critical reflections on creative works, writing workshop events, talks by visiting authors, and more: https://www.tiahouse.ca/ .
Whenever she is asked to comment on history, particularly (auto-)biography, Aritha opts for an incorrigible answer.
Nearly none of these words are ours.
Aritha van Herk is the alibi for a woman who pretends she is constantly busy, constantly travelling, or constantly reading. In truth, she is a female version of Leonard Cohen’s “lazy bastard living in a suit,” while she pretends to be industrious, diligent, and unflaggingly sedulous.
Whenever she is asked to comment on history, particularly (auto-)biography, Aritha opts for an incorrigible answer. Hence, for the Anti-Languorous Project, she would like to claim that languor is a wonderful ruse. She comes by this position literarily, citing the immortal words of Edgar Allan Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin, the brilliant mind whose gift of “ratiocination,” intellect combined with creative imagination, modelled the first detective stories: “I . . . called one fine morning, quite by accident, at the Ministerial hotel. I found D– at home, yawning, lounging, and dawdling, as usual, and pretending to be in the last extremity of ennui. He is, perhaps, the most really energetic human being now alive –but that is only when nobody sees him” (“The Purloined Letter”). Beware of languor; it disguises a powerful energy.
Like all the contributors, we told Mikka Jacobsen we wanted concise bios. We said 30 words, or so (which is a fair bit shorter than the usual 50 words). Mikka read that email and said ‘30 words? That’s still too many!’ And sent us a 20 word bio instead. She is a Calgary-based writer, editor, and teacher while pursuing her PhD at the University of Calgary. Recently, her work received subTerrain’s 2017 Lush Triumphant Award for creative nonfiction. (If you count the words in that bio you will find more than 20, that’s because we added a few tidbits–if you get the issue at our launch on Sunday you can compare her bio to this one!)
Lisa Murphy-Lamb and Allie met during a one-year-long creative writing manuscript class. The manuscript Lisa produced in that class became her novel, Jesus On The Dashboard (Stonehouse Publishing), which came out in 2017. Lisa now writes in solitude in an old log cabin in the Crowsnest Pass whenever she can escape the city. She is the Director of Loft 112, a literary creative space in Calgary’s East Village. Loft 112 hosts many events and reading series, such as The Tent Peg Reading Series, Inner City Stories, and Long Lunch Quick Reads, and is associated with Loft on 8th, a press that handprints and binds chapbooks for the Inner City Stories and Long Lunch Quick Reads events. For more information on Loft 112 and Lisa’s role in it, check out their website: https://www.loft112.org/ or visit them on Facebook at Loft 112!
Weyman & Jordan have sifted through stacks of pointedly non-experimental literature together while sipping whiskey from snifters in Sunnyside.
Weyman Chan is a poet. As such, Jordan knows him as well as anyone can know a poet, that is, spectrally—through a haunted haze of words. Weyman is the poetry editor at filling Station, Canada’s experimental literary magazine, where Jordan is the outgoing fiction editor, and so they have sifted through stacks of pointedly non-experimental literature together while sipping whiskey from snifters in Sunnyside (Weyman often comments on the sound of poetry, hence this meek homage).
Weyman’s fifth book of poetry, Human Tissue—a primer for Not Knowing— was published in 2015 by Talonbooks. His poetry is complex and defamiliarising, seemingly abstract on the surface, yet grounded in contemporary issues and discourses. You can find three new poems by Weyman in the inaugural issue of antilang.