Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sept 23m 2010: The Calls for Submissions Show!

OMG! So many great projects happening! Check these out and get to work!

1. Studio 303 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS : Edgy Women
Deadline : October 1st 2010
Studio 303's annual feminist fiesta presents a programme of politicised, experimental, and playful performance and workshops, lectures.
Edgy Women presents performance work with a feminist flavour by emerging and established professional artists of any gender. While the festival spotlights work by women, we are keen to show work which whether overtly or not, addresses contemporary and ever-evolving issues around gender and/or feminism.
Edgy highlights new artistic practices, non-verbal expression, and content-driven work. For artists who have not yet presented work at Edgy, we recommend that you submit finished pieces vs. new creations. Honourariums are paid, but there is no budget at this time for travel or hosting expenses. The La Centrale program is by invitation this year, but we are accepting submissions for the following 4 categories :
-Edgy Cabaret (Sala Rossa, March 19): 5-7 min. works in a bar atmosphere);
-Tangente programme (stage work, March 24-27): 15 to 30 min. works, dance-friendly venue;
-Mainline (stage work, March 30-April 1): 40 min. to 1h piece (important : the MainLine has a cement floor, audience on 3 sides and a low ceiling) ;
-Edgy Boum (Mainline, April 2nd): party with performances or installations (mostly interactive site-specific performances)
How to apply
We must receive your submisson by the deadline by email including the following documents:
- MANDATORY : application form
- Biography (max. 1 page)
- Project Description (max. 1 page)
- Link to an online video and viewing notes. NO DVDs ACCEPTED.
Please send your submissions by EMAIL ONLY at
Note : We aim to give an answer within 3 months after the deadline.
On the edge of arts, disciplines and gender politics, Edgy Women (is) Studio 303's annual celebration of boundary-pushing artists.
- Lina Harper, Montreal Mirror, March 2009
Audacious entertaining art.
- Hour, March 2009
Runs the gamut from video and performance to intervention, installation, theatre and dance. Or, most often, a hybrid of all possible forms.
- Montreal Mirror, March 2009
Studio 303
372 Sainte-Catherine Ouest Montreal, Qc, H3B 1A2 514.393.3771,

2 .Polyamory and Patriarchy Zine Questionnaire

These questions are for a zine I’m writing about polyamory and patriarchy. So often, people feel either that polyamory is the only revolutionary way to be intimate, or the worst way. I’d like to hear what you’ve learned from polyamory – ways it felt liberatory, and ways it may have felt like familiar oppressive gender roles dressed up in revolutionary language. My agenda isn’t to discredit polyamory, but to identify how much we have to learn about truly liberatory relationships.
These questions are fairly personal and ask you to revisit some painful memories, so please take your time, answer only what you feel comfortable answering, and let me know how you want your anonymity protected. Please use pseudonyms! Do give me contact info, though, if you want to review how I use your material before the zine is published. Please send your stories to:, or mail them to 4951 Catharine St., Philadelphia, PA 19143.

(you can read the questions at:

3. It’s Down to This” is a new zine compilation that aims to give space to step back, take a deep breath and reflect on where we’re at.

Reflecting on our experiences with community accountability processes, survivor support, or general efforts to cultivate community response to sexual violence- this is a space to talk about our experiences with this work, what we have learned, where we want to go from here, what we feel, what we want others to be able to hear, see, think about, engage with.

It is an attempt to further give voice to our efforts and experiences in doing this work, to give space and voice to silence. To know and hear how we have survived in this work, how we have sustained this work, or why we burned out. To further document our attempts at figuring out what community accountability looks like, or what it even is. To be able to reflect and grow from our mistakes and epiphanies.

SEEKING: stories, essays, interviews, comics, artwork and thoughts reflecting on working around accountability and community response to sexual violence:

What has it looked like? What has it entailed? What could it look like? Who does it involve? In what ways? How is a community responsible? How is a community involved? What can an accountability process look like? What has it looked like? What works? What doesn’t? What were the fuck-ups, the successes?

*These questions are asked with the assumption that confidentiality will be respected and that stories will not be shared if they are not yours to share.

*The word ‘community’ is used with the awareness that it is often used problematically.

Looking for submissions that:

- explore the importance of accountability and support work as an act of community building and collective liberation, that express the importance of this work within social justice movements.

-reflect on the support, empowerment, recovery and growth that have come out of this work

-reflect on the pain, trauma and frustration of this work or which is inherent in this work.

-develop ideas and methods of sustainability around this work

-look at the social and political contexts in which community accountability and response to sexual violence and partner abuse grows and exists.

-share our stories

Anonymity and confidentiality will be respected.

DEADLINE: October 22nd, 2010

For info and submissions contact:

Feel free to send in ideas/proposals and ask for feedback!

4. call for submissions - Substance: on addiction and recovery

Substance: On Addiction and Recovery is a collection of peoples’ experiences with addiction and recovery in radical and/or marginalized communities. Not just a text to break the silence, Substance is an opportunity for those affected by substance abuse to make meaning of our lives and create opportunities for lasting social change. Substance: On Addiction and Recovery will be a book that transcends the mainstream discourse regarding addiction and recovery and forges new pathways towards healing and the reclamation of our lives.

I am open to essays, poetry, personal narratives, photography, art, comics, collage, and more.

Please be in touch with questions and submission ideas: substancebook at gmail dot com!

Potential topics:
• personal narratives of addiction and/or recovery • support groups • radical sobriety • harm reduction • silence and stigma • withdrawal and detoxification • the intersections of race/class/sexual orientation/gender identity/disability status and addiction • creating and sustaining community support networks • how addiction intersects with activism, sexuality, health, sexual and intimate partner violence, mental illness, privilege, oppression, identity, capitalism, the state, work, and
creativity • current or historic examples of community-based groups that focus on the politics of addiction or support of community members • healing from addiction • self-medication • overdose and death • incarceration and criminalization •

In addition to pieces by individuals, I'd like to include a few pieces about the work that community-based groups have done to address the politics of addiction and recovery and to support those dealing with substance abuse. If you are a member of such a group, please feel free to write.


Additionally, if you know anyone who would like to donate funds of any amount to support the printing of this book, please have them contact substancebook at gmail dot com!

Please forward this message on, and spread the word!

5. Graduating into Unemployment
We’re creating a zine collecting art and writings on feelings, struggles, copings with adjusting from student life into unemployment, or into unstable employment (i.e. being in and out of work, or on
temping contracts).

Submissions can be personal stories, artwork, comics, poetry, political discussions, or whatever else you can manage to get on paper.

We would like to encourage submissions on topics that relate to identity, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship, colonisation, ethnicity, and dis/ability. Submissions should be no longer than around 1000 words.
Anonymous entries are welcome.

Submission deadline: 30 NOVEMBER 2010
Send your submissions, questions, and thoughts to

6. Rare and Raw Exhibition:

7. Canadian Gay and Lesbian Archives First Person Narrative Project:

8. The Molotov Rag:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sept 16, 2010: When I Grow Up!

Jae Awmack went to an independent bookstore in Vancouver looking for a book about being a transboy, so that he could share it with his young cousins. The store owner said they didn't have any and maybe he would have to write one himself. This seems like a cheesy story. A DIY story where we create the world we want to see with black jeans, thread and duct tape. Sometimes thats what you have to do, though. Sometimes you have to create the resources you can't find, as cheesy as it sounds. Jae wrote a cute, beautiful story about a young transboy who goes for a walk to find some acceptance when his parent's don't understand him. The illustrations are done in plasticine. The words and story are not complicated. Sometimes things don't have to be complicated, even though adults tend to think issues of gender identity are complicated, and tend to think children will not understand transexual, intersex and transgendered identities. In my experience, its never the kids who don't get it, its the adults who have lived in the world long enough to fear it. Jae is currently looking for a publisher for the book. I'll let you know when it comes out, and how you can find it. Jae is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sept 9, 2010: Debbie Power is the Happiest

Debbie Power created the International House of the Happy Face above her Husband's Garage in downtown Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.Debbie is geniunely happy. Not fake. Not over the top in personality, but definitely over the top in collections. Her mueseum is a challenge to describe with any accuracy. She has shelves and shelves of toys and objects of ALL kinds that have happy faces on them, albums with images of happy faces. Thousands of happy faces. She has a garden filled with rocks she has painted with quotes to inspire happiness. Debbie Power and her International House of the Happy Face are truly unique and amazing. I'll be back to visit her again for sure. Find her at 22 Wentworth St. Call to make an appointment: (902) 463-6287

Sept. 2, 2010: Two Rivers Neighbourhood Group Daycamp Audio Collages!

I had the pleasure of spending time with the Two Rivers Neighbourhood Group Daycamps this summer. Participants learned how to use audio recorders, and made their own sound collages. This show featured the collages they made! Great Work!

For More info on the Two Rivers Neighbourhood Group, visit:

Aug. 19 and 26: Independent Book Culture in Toronto: an interview with Charlie and Jesse Huisken of This Ain't the Rosedale Library

Toronto has money. But no money for small bookstores. Pages bookstore has recently closed. The Toronto Women's Bookstore has been calling for support to stay afloat, as well as Glad Day Books.

Toronto has money from developers and rich professionals moving in, and rent going up. Independent bookstores can't pay high rents created by condo developments.

We need small publishing houses. We need small independent bookstores. What does it say about Toronto's priorities (and Canada's priorities?) When writers can't make any money from writing, where there is very little financial support for writers, small publishers and small stores? Its looking bleak.

I met up with Jesse and Charlie Huisken of This Ain't the Rosedale Library - a great independent bookstore that has recently been forced to close (at least temporarily). We drank coffee, and sat outside in the extremely hot sun and talked about the history of This Ain't the Rosedale library (around since 1979), modernism and literature, lack of places for book events, for readings for people to meet, what it means for readers in Toronto if we can't find books we're looking for (or that we don't know exist yet?), or develop a sense of bodies of work. Ideas suffer,grass roots politics suffer, we aren't learning from eachother as much as we could be (in a big way),amazing writer's work goes unread and unknown because its just not being distributed, its all very frusterating and depressing.... and yet....talking about this with Jesse and Charlie I can't help but feel encouraged and inspired by their dedication, by their ability to reflect on, and sum up book culture, gentrification and the value of books. I have met like-minded people who have worked so hard for things I believe in too.

Since conducting this interview, I keep talking about this. I wonder about calling on our municipal, provincial and federal government, and arts councils to consider a responsibility to book and literary culture, not through sponsoring once in a while big flashy festivals, but investing in the people who really put the work in. Not just people who are famous for the moment. Not just people who get 15 minutes on the CBC.

I don't know. I don't trust the federal government. I don't trust the province of Ontario. I don't know how much I want them involved in independent bookstores. But I wonder about what could be done. Maybe rent for small bookstores could be subsidized, or maybe there could just be far better rent control for all small businesses.

When only big stars of writing are celebrated. When we have a few big festivals and awards, and those are the books that people buy, theres all this other stuff authors are making... how do we find it? How do we support authors doing this exciting and essential work? When big corportaions (like Chapters) control book distribution, consider big store's political priorities, consider what books would be threatening or challenging to this big power in various ways. Think about all the books on your shelves and where you found them, or how you learned about those authors and think about how to support small bookstores, small publishers, earnest amazing writers, how can we support all of this more? We benefit from all of this. This is how we learn about ourselves. This is how we learn about our culture and our history. this is how we continue the conversation.

Check out:

August 12, 2010: Replayed interview from the World Famous Gopher Museum

Oh my Gosh!
Taxidermied Gophers Representing the town of Torrington Alberta!
I replayed this interview I originally played on June 17 because it is so great!

Monday, September 6, 2010

August 5, 2010: Mary Beth Thomas aka Head Brew Mother at the Speckled Trout Brewery

My Aunt Mary Beth makes the most delicious beer and cider at her home in the Adirondacks (New York State), where she lives with my fabulous Aunt Elizabeth who is an amazing cook, photographer, and painter. They are fabulous, very in love and so easy to be around.

I visited them with my friends Lizzy Brockest, and Beth Sweeney to celebrate my 29th birthday. My Aunt Miriam came down from Pennsylvania. We ate amazing food, swam in a river, hiked up a small mountain, discussed queer and lesbian identities, played ping pong, danced, and had fires in their backyard.

I did this interview with my friend Beth Sweeney helping with the questions. While listening to this interview, imagine you
are walking around Mary Beth's Shop with us. She's running around showing all the things she uses to make beer. Theres all these steps and ingredients I would never have been able to predict - I know nothing about how to make beer - there's a lot of steps. Theres a lot of choices to make along the way. Theres nothing like standing under a sky full of stars. Standing with your queer family - chosen and by blood, drinking homemade beer you know your Aunt has worked so hard at - thats a lot to feel lucky about.

July 29, 2010: The Public Exposure Collective: Issue no. 1: For Your Safety

The Public Exposure Collective is a newish illustration art collective based in Toronto. They've recently launched a collaborative zine project under the same name. I interviewed Dmitry Bondarenko and Kassem Ahmed two of the members of the Public Exposure Collective. I find the use of police imagery just after the G20 particularly interesting.

Its mostly a zine without words, not necessarily planned to be narrative, but there is definitely at least one narrative implied. This may be because the members of the collective all graduated from OCAD in the same year, and know each other's work intimately. You can really feel the relationship of the images, even though a lot of different styles are used, which is not easy to do.

They put together this whole pretty zine in just one month. Quite Impressive

July 22, 2010: Max Stein! Richard Hunt! re-telling Amazing Parts of Muppet Making History!

I grew up on the Muppets, and Fraggle Rock and Sesame Street. Jim Henson's characters actively lived in my subconscious, and peppered my dreams. Fast forward 20 years to present day, and my friend Jeff Miller comes to town and tells me about this amazing event happening in Toronto: a presentation on a gay muppeteer: Richard Hunt, by writer Max Stein.

I love the muppets, and I love queer things. I was so pumped to hear about this event, but I couldn't make it last minute into Toronto to see the presentation so I got in touch with Max, and asked if I could interview her about her writing and research about Richard Hunt (Gay Muppeteer) for this show.

Jessica MAX Stein is a friendly, smart, and dynamic freelance writer and teacher. She's written a whole bunch of exciting things (check out . We talked to about the Rainbow Connection, her zine about Richard Hunt, who was a gay Muppeteer. Max kept making changes to the zine, additions and corrections until she realized the zine was growing into a book. I'm excited for this project.

We talked about the Sensibility and Humor of the muppets, Richard Hunt's charisma, courage, Richard's overwhelming generosity, the assimilation of gay marriage, and assimilation of gay people (acceptable gays), puppet work as acting, the enthusiastic response of all kinds of people to this project (because the muppets spoke to so many people), how truth is so often more surprising and awesome than fiction.

check out (and buy) her work at

July 15 2010: Jennifer Code: accidental, revelation,craft.

Jennifer Code is a great writer who is becoming my friend, and thats so exciting. Jennifer Code is a dreamboat.

I met her at a bonfire in my backyard. She told me she wrote poetry. Two years later I spent time with her newest book, Necessary Reservations. Mostly hearing it read aloud, and reading it aloud. I bumped into her briefly at a couple shows at the Transac in Toronto (where she lives). And then one day I gmail chatted with her and asked her if I could interview her about Necessary Reservations. She replied that she doesn't really do interviews, and she definitely does not read aloud. but she said yes to both things any way.

She gave a lovely, insightful and generous interview, that left me feeling more inspired and excited about writing (and about talking about) than I had felt for a long long time.

Jennifer Code's poems have to do with body parts and experiencing specific interactions. Emotions, memory, and details so specific that they are not type cast or stock images, but very brief, unrepeated moments. There is a visceralness that i often expect from more extreme work, or work about gore or melodramatic. And Jennifer's work is intense, but not the ways we are used to. Subtly off-putting by how real to life they feel. No, not quite like that, really like, like this. Her word choices (and rhythm and order) is deliberate and clear, metaphoric without being overly general, or grandeous.

We also talked briefly about whether or not Henry Miller is a lesbian.

We talked about a lot of other things too. Jennifer's writing process, the Humber writing program, editing, writers she loves.

Find her work and buy it (and then don't just put it on your shelf, read it!) .

Jennifer's first book: rough draft
Jennifer's second book: necessary reservations