Thursday, June 3, 2021

issue seventeen : guest-edited by Melanie Dennis Unrau

edited by Melanie Dennis Unrau

typeset in Garamond by C. McNair, editor’s devil (retired)

design by r. mclennan

see here for Melanie Dennis Unrau’s introduction and biography

published simultaneously with a folio supplement, energy stories, also edited by Melanie Dennis Unrau, at periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics

with an online launch today at 2:30pmCDT



featuring new work by:

Yvonne Blomer
Kiran Malik-Khan
Peter Christensen

K.B. Thors
Nicholas Molbert

Rina Garcia Chua
Tawahum Bige

Julia Spicher Kasdorf
David Martin

Ross Belot
Bola Opaleke

Adam Dickinson
Lindsay Bird

Kelly Shepherd
Maya Weeks

Lisa Mulrooney
Rita Wong

$5 + postage / + $1 for Canadian orders; + $2 for US; + $6 outside of North America

Canadian/American/International rates (including shipping

Author biographies:

Yvonne Blomer is an award-winning poet, and author of the critically acclaimed travel memoir Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur. Her collection In Ruins will be published with Caitlin Press in 2022. Yvonne’s most recent books of poetry include As if a Raven and the anthologies Refugium: Poems for the Pacific and Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds, which she edited for Caitlin Press. She is the past Poet Laureate of Victoria, B.C. and lives, works and raises her family on the traditional territories of the WSÁNEĆ (Saanich), Lkwungen (Songhees), Wyomilth (Esquimalt) peoples of the Coast Salish Nation.

Kiran Malik-Khan is the Communications Manager for the Fort McMurray Public School Division, and a national award-winning communications professional. She is a freelance journalist, a social media consultant, and a poet. She loves sharing stories about unique people, events, and organizations.

Kiran is the co-founder and volunteer public relations director for NorthWord magazine, Fort McMurray's first and only literary magazine. She is also the President/Co-founder of World Hijab Day Fort McMurray, a group that has brought the conversation about the Hijab, the Islamic headscarf, front and centre in the community. A proud Pakistani-Canadian who grew up in New Jersey, she is a fierce advocate of Fort McMurray, multiculturalism, women's rights, and equality/equity for all. Follow her on Twitter @KiranMK0822.

Peter Christensen has published five books of poetry—Hailstorm, Rig Talk, To Die Ascending, and Oona River Poems—as well as chapbooks and a bestseller book of short stories, Wilderness Tales. He edited the poetry magazine Canada Goose and the poetry anthologies Ride Off Any Horizon I and II. He organized, hosted, and produced Headwaters International Mountain Writers Conference I and II. Peter’s writing has been published in North American and European journals, and he has given many readings of his work. He worked with new music composer Robert Rosen to write and produce Canyon Shadows, an opera and butoh dance performance in a natural setting. Peter's librettos have been performed in international concert halls, most recently Carnegie Hall, New York. Peter has worked as a writer for industry, and as a horseman, guide, and ranger. He was Writer in Residence at Banff Centre, Okanagan University College, and Wallace Stegner House. A new poetry collection, Birds of Prey, has just been completed.

K.B. Thors is the author of Vulgar Mechanics (Coach House Books), the Icelandic-English translator of Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir’s Stormwarning (Phoneme), nominated for the 2019 PEN Literary Award for Poetry in Translation and winner of the Leif and Inger Sjöberg Prize, and the Spanish-English translator of Soledad Marambio’s Chintungo: The Story of Someone Else (Ugly Duckling Presse). Born and raised on Treaty 6 & 7 land in what’s also known as Alberta, her/their next projects include a collection of poems about fracking, water, and intergenerational mental health, and a tv series about gender diversity on the frontier.

Originally from Louisiana's Gulf Coast, Nicholas Molbert now lives and writes in Cincinnati, Ohio. His chapbook, Goodness Gracious, won Foundlings Press's 2018 Wallace Award, and other published poetry and prose can be found at “The Prophet of Spindletop Gives Thanks after the Lucas Gusher Strikes Oil” is part of a series of poems which takes Pattillo Higgins as their center. A self-taught geologist, Higgins was convinced crude could be found on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and didn't stop until he found it in southeastern Texas. More generally, the series explores the roles of religiosity, masculinity, and entitled desire in the 20th-century quest for crude oil in the United States.

Rina Garcia Chua is currently a PhD Candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies in the University of British Columbia Okanagan. She is the editor of Sustaining the Archipelago: An Anthology of Philippine Ecopoetry (2018), and is working on an edited collection, Empire and Environment: Confronting Ecological Ruination in the Transpacific, with Heidi Hong, Jeffrey Santa Ana, and Xiaojing Zhou, forthcoming with the University of Michigan Press in 2022. She is also the Diversity Co-Officer for the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE), and Poetry Editor of The Goose: A Journal of Arts, Environment, and Culture in Canada.

Tawahum Bige is a Łutselkʼe Dene, Plains Cree poet and spoken word artist from unceded Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-waututh Territory (Vancouver). Their Scorpio-moon-ass poems expose growth, resistance & persistence as a hopeless Two Spirit Nonbinary sadboy on occupied Turtle Island. In typical Aries-sun fashion, Tawahum completed the first-ever Indigenous Spoken Word residency at the Banff Centre in 2018 while completing their BA in Creative Writing from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2019.

He's performed at Talking Stick Festival, Verses Festival of Spoken Word, Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, and at over 50 different venues from Victoria to Toronto with his mixture of poetry & hip-hop. Past the stage and onto the page, Tawahum has been published in over a dozen different lit journals & magazines including Red Rising Magazine, Prairie Fire, CV2, Arc Poetry Magazine and, most recently, the anthology Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight! A prolific word-artist, Tawahum has three self-published chapbooks with poetry collections on the way, including a collection-in-progress funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Beyond the page, Tawahum has battled the (in)justice system of BC and was eventually incarcerated for a 28-day sentence after a 2-year battle for his land protection work against Kinder Morgan/Trans Mountain’s pipeline expansion. Of course, this doesn’t stop him from grabbing a boom mic to amplify his words of resistance & resurgence at front-line rallies, street performances and more. Follow Tawahum on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook: @Tawahum.

With Steven Rubin, Julia Spicher Kasdorf is the author of Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields. Prior, she published three books in the Pitt Poetry Series, most recently Poetry in America. She also published an essay collection, The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life, and the biography Fixing Tradition: Joseph W. Yoder, Amish American. A Liberal Arts Professor of English, she teaches creative writing at the Penn State and is currently working on documentary poems about farm crisis and resiliency within 30 miles of her home.

David Martin works as a literacy instructor in Calgary and as an organizer for the Single Onion Poetry Series. His first collection, Tar Swan (NeWest Press, 2018), was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and the City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Book Prize. David’s work has been awarded the CBC Poetry Prize, shortlisted for the Vallum Award for Poetry and PRISM international’s poetry contest, and has appeared in numerous journals across Canada.

Ross Belot is a poet, photographer, documentary filmmaker, and energy and climate change columnist. He previously worked for a major Canadian petroleum company for decades before retiring in 2014 to obtain an MFA in eco-poetics from Saint Mary’s College of California. Ross’s work was a finalist for the CBC Poetry prize in 2016 and longlisted in 2018. His latest poetry collection is Moving to Climate Change Hours from Wolsak and Wynn. He lives sometimes in Hamilton, Ontario, where he has lately been making videos out of his poems.

Bola Opaleke is the author of Skeleton of a Ruined Song, winner of the 2020 Thomas Morton Prize in Poetry. His poetry has appeared in Frontier Poetry, Rattle, CBC Books, The Nottingham Review, The Puritan, Literary Review of Canada, Sierra Nevada Review, Canadian Literature, and many more. He is currently Arts Community Director with Winnipeg Arts Council Board of Directors.

Adam Dickinson is the author of four books of poetry. His latest book, Anatomic (Coach House Books), which won the Alanna Bondar Memorial Book Prize from the Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada, involves the results of chemical and microbial testing on his body. His work has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, and the Raymond Souster Award. He was also a finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize and the K.M. Hunter Artist Award in Literature. He teaches Creative Writing at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Lindsay Bird is a poet, journalist and documentarian in Corner Brook, NL. Her first collection, Boom Time (Gaspereau Press, 2019) was long listed for the Winterset Award, the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and the Raymond Souster Award. Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including The Fiddlehead, Event, The Newfoundland Quarterly, CV2, and Geist.

Kelly Shepherd has done a number of stints in Fort McMurray and other northern locations: construction, pipelines, environmental cleanup, and work on what is now the Long Lake site. The latter experience inspired the poetry chapbook Fort McMurray Tricksters (The Alfred Gustav Press, 2014). Kelly's second full-length poetry collection, Insomnia Bird, won the 2019 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize. Kelly has written seven chapbooks in all, and he is a poetry editor for the environmental philosophy journal The Trumpeter. Originally from Smithers, British Columbia, Kelly currently lives and teaches in Edmonton.

Maya Weeks is a settler artist, writer, and geographer who grew up in coastal California and works on oceans, waste, climate, and gender. She is currently working on a Ph.D. in Geography examining marine debris as capital accumulation at the University of California in Davis.

Lisa Mulrooney is the first Poet Laureate for the Town of Stony Plain (2019-2021). She is also the President and co-founder of Parkland Poets' Society. Her work has been featured in The Maynard, shortlisted for The Malahat Review's Open Season Award for Poetry, and longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize (2019). She has a master's degree in Education from the University of Alberta and is currently working on an MA in Creative Writing at Teesside University (UK). Lisa is currently seeking a publisher for her full-length poetry manuscript, “We, the Cross-Shift,” which gives voice to the spouses and partners of workers in Canada’s petroleum industry.

Rita Wong lives and works on unceded Coast Salish territories, also known as Vancouver. Dedicated to questions of water justice, decolonization, and ecology, she is the author of monkeypuzzle (Press Gang, 1998), forage (Nightwood Editions, 2007), sybil unrest (Line Books, 2008, with Larissa Lai), undercurrent (Nightwood Editions, 2015), and perpetual (Nightwood Editions, 2015, with Cindy Mochizuki), as well as the co-editor of downstream: reimagining water (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016, with Dorothy Christian). Beholden (Talonbooks, 2019), co-written with Fred Wah, was short-listed for the 2019 BC Book Prize and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. For more information on the 1308 Trees project, against the removal of trees for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Burnaby, BC, visit

G U E S T #17 : Melanie Dennis Unrau: Introduction


This issue of g u e s t is grounded in my past work as an editor of activist poetry, environmental humanities scholarship, and post-Christian mischief, as well as my present work on a book about oil-worker poetry in Canada. It convenes a somewhat unusual gathering of poets who write about oil, energy, and climate change from different angles and perspectives.

My recent scholarship, teaching, and poetry focus on the relationship between culture and energy. Whereas petrofiction has been a gathering point for conversations in the energy humanities for some time, I am excited to take part in emerging conversations about petropoetics in the field. I use petropoetics in a broad sense, to describe material, cultural, and relational processes that range from the extraction of fossil fuels to artistic production and the making and unmaking of petro-cultures and worlds.

I consider oil-worker poets to be practitioners and theorists of petropoetics. Something I like to keep in mind while researching and writing about oil-worker poets, however, is that in the contexts of global warming, fossil-fuel dependency, the Anthropocene, and modern life as what Stephanie LeMenager has called “living oil,” we are all oil workers and petropoets. From our different social locations and experiences in a colonial petrostate like Canada, petropoetics looks like oil work, anti-oil work, and a whole lot of other things including everyday life, land and water protection, and decolonization.

What this issue attempts to do is to open the concept of petropoetics outward from more direct oil work and toward indirect, mundane, oppositional, and overlooked forms of petropoetics. I say that it attempts to do this work because I came up against limits of space, time, imagination, and budget and did not get to carry it as far as I would have liked. This is an incomplete glimpse into the practices, power dynamics, and politics of petropoetics—one that I hope to revisit, complicate, and expand over the coming years.

The poets featured in this issue are oil workers, relatives of oil workers, residents of the oil patch or the petrostate, activists, environmentalists, cultural workers, researchers, concerned citizens, and artists. They write lyric, documentary, concrete, ghazal, language, and tweet-poems that participate in and respond to petropoetics with mourning, irony, playfulness, criticism, fascination, dismay, refusal, and love. The resonances and dissonances between them are where the interest in this project lies for me. I hope you enjoy reading these poems as much as I do.

For more petropoetry, read the “energy stories folio” in periodicities, with poems by Kathy Fisher, Dymphny Dronyk, Arleen Paré, David Brydges, and Sarah-Jean Krahn.

It has been a real pleasure to work on this g u e s t issue through what were otherwise some of the bleakest (and coldest) months of the pandemic. How nice to alternate between days of online teaching and days of reaching out to poet-friends, familiar poets, and poets I had just heard about. How sweet to be back to editing poetry.

Thanks to rob for keeping the lights on and the printers whirring at g u e s t and above/ground press, despite lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, and while juggling parenting and writing. Thanks to the University of Manitoba Institute for the Humanities for funding and supporting this project as part of my research affiliateship. Thanks, likewise, to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for its support.





Melanie Dennis Unrau respectfully acknowledges the original caretakers of the land known as Treaty 1/Winnipeg, where she lives as a settler of mixed European ancestry on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples and the homeland of the Métis Nation, with water from Shoal Lake in Treaty 3 territory and with electricity from Treaty 1,3, and 5 territory, where the Northern Flood Agreement has never been implemented. Melanie is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a Research Affiliate at the University of Manitoba Institute for the Humanities. She is the author of Happiness Threads: The Unborn Poems (Muses’ Company, 2013), a co-editor of Seriality and Texts for Young People: The Compulsion to Repeat (Palgrave, 2014), a former editor and poetry editor at Geez magazine, and a former co-editor of The Goose: A Journal of Arts, Environment, and Culture in Canada.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

issue sixteen : The FANGIRL issue : guest-edited by Kirby

The FANGIRL issue
edited by Kirby

see here for Kirby’s introduction and biography

featuring new work by:
Norma Cole
Stephen Collis
Karen Mac Cormack
Zoe Imani Sharpe
Dale Martin Smith
A. F. Moritz
Phillip Crymble
Ayaz Pirani
Maureen Scott Harris
Sarah Pinder
Canisia Lubrin
Bardia Sinaee
Mark Truscott
R. Kolewe
Anne Michaels

$5 + postage / + $1 for Canadian orders; + $2 for US; + $6 outside of North America

Canadian/American/International rates (including shipping

Author biographies:

Norma Cole
is a poet, translator and visual artist. Recent works include a book of poetry, FATE NEWS (2018), a film, At the Turning Bridge (2019) and Drawings (Further Other Book Works, 2020). She lives in San Francisco.

Stephen Collis is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including The Commons (Talonbooks 2008), the BC Book Prize winning On the Material (Talonbooks 2010), Once in Blockadia (Talonbooks 2016) and Almost Islands: Phyllis Webb and the Pursuit of the Unwritten (Talonbooks 2018). In 2019 he was awarded the Latner Writers’ Trust of Canada Poetry Prize in recognition of his body of work. In 2021 Talonbooks will publish A History of the Theories of Rain. He lives near Vancouver, on unceded Coast Salish Territory, and teaches poetry and poetics at Simon Fraser University.

Karen Mac Cormack is the author of fifteen books of poetry, most recently RECHELESSE PRATTICQUE (Chax Press, Tucson/Victoria, 2018). Other titles include AGAINST WHITE (Veer Books, London, 2013), TALE LIGHT: New & Selected Poems 1984–2009 (BookThug, Toronto, 2010) and Implexures (Chax Press, Tucson/West House Books, Sheffield). Her poems have appeared in a number of anthologies including Moving Borders, Out of Everywhere, Another Language, and Prismatic Publics. Her texts have been translated into French, Portuguese, Swedish and Norwegian. The poem in this issue of GUEST is from her new work Quaquaversal, to be published by Dr. Cicero Books in 2021. Of dual Canadian/UK citizenship she currently lives in the USA and teaches at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Zoe Imani Sharpe is a poet and essayist, with recent work in The Puritan and MuseMedusa. She was shortlisted for the Writer's Trust 2020 Bronwen Wallace Award.

Dale Martin Smith is the author of Sons (2017), Slow Poetry in America (2014), Black Stone (2007), and American Rambler (2000). A new collection, Flying Red Horse, will be published by Talonbooks in fall 2021.

A. F. Moritz has written more than twenty books of poetry, and has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award in Literature of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and the Ingram Merrill Fellowship. His collection, The Sentinel, won the 2009 Griffin Poetry Prize, and a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. His most recent collections are The Sparrow (2018) and As Far As You Know (2020). He lives in Toronto, where he is serving as the city’s sixth Poet Laureate.

Phillip Crymble is a physically disabled writer and literary scholar living in Fredericton, New Brunswick. A poetry editor at The Fiddlehead and a PhD candidate at UNB, he received his MFA from the University of Michigan and has published poems in The Literary Review of Canada, The Forward Book of Poetry, The Malahat Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and elsewhere. In 2016 he won The Puritan’s annual Thomas Morton Poetry Prize. In 2017 he was voted the Reader’s Choice Award winner in Arc Poetry’s poem of the Year contest.

Ayaz Pirani’s books include Happy You Are Here (The Word Works, 2016), Kabir’s Jacket Has a Thousand Pockets (Mawenzi House, 2019) and Bachelor of Art (Anstruther Press, 2020). His work recently appeared in The Malahat Review, ARC Poetry Magazine and The Antigonish Review. He lives near Monterey, California.

Toronto poet and essayist Maureen Scott Harris has published three collections of poetry: A Possible Landscape, Drowning Lessons (awarded the 2005 Trillium Book Award for Poetry), and Slow Curve Out. With the River Poets she leads poetry walks through Toronto parks.

Sarah Pinder is the author of Cutting Room (Coach House Books, 2012) and Common Place (Coach House Books, 2017). Her writing has been shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Awards, and included in magazines like Geist, Arc and Poetry is Dead. She lives in Toronto.

Canisia Lubrin is the author of Voodoo Hypothesis and The Dyzgraphxst.

Bardia Sinaee was born in Tehran, Iran, and lives in Toronto. His first book is Intruder (Anansi, 2021).

Mark Truscott’s most recent book, Branches, won the inaugural Nelson Ball Prize. Newer poems appear in Fiddlehead and Posit, and others are forthcoming in Grain, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, New Quarterly, and Oversound.

R. Kolewe lives in Toronto.

He has published two collections of poetry, Afterletters (Book*hug 2014) and Inspecting Nostalgia (TalonBooks 2017) and several chapbooks, most recently The Wild Fox (Knife | Fork | Book 2021) and Like the noises alive people wear (above/ground 2019). A book-length poem, The Absence of Zero, is forthcoming from Book*hug later in 2021.

Anne Michaels is a novelist and poet. Her books are translated into more than fifty languages and have won dozens of international awards, including the Orange Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, and the Lannan Award for Fiction. Among many other honours, she has served as Toronto’s Poet Laureate. Her novel FUGITIVE PIECES was adapted as a feature film. Her most recent books include ALL WE SAW and INFINITE GRADATION.

G U E S T #16 : Kirby : The FANGIRL issue : Introduction

When is the last time you’ve been giddy?

An unanticipated well of joy WHOOSH! followed by laughter, glee. A smile meets my forefinger. Your face pictured in front of me.  Relief.  Delight.

It’s not always an easy thing to ask. Simple, yes. Find it helps to be decisive, clear, upfront.

Still, it’s an ask.

Like most of you, I’m a giver. To ask is rarer, a chip I hold close, especially when asking for something you value from someone you cherish.

“I would love to include a piece of yours in this anthology. Do you have?”

Time. Work. No money.

Not a small ask. It helps that I can hear no.

Thankfully, I gave myself full permission to ‘go big.’ Why else do it?

I’m calling this my FANGIRL issue. I could tell a personal story of each of these poets, their work, how/when we first met, mostly through KFB, our ongoing relationships.

One thing I can share, I am forever changed by our having met.

There’s more, many more, much more, and here’s what fit in twenty-four exceedingly abundant pages.   

Did she say thank you?

With special thanks to rob for the ask.

Welcome to GUEST 16

KIRBY’s work includes WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE CALLED? (Anstruther Press, 2020), THIS IS WHERE I GET OFF (Permanent Sleep Press, 2019), SHE’S HAVING A DORIS DAY (KFB, 2017), upcoming POETRY IS QUEER (Palimpsest Press, 2021) and editor NOT YOUR BEST No. 2 (KFB 2021). They are the publisher, book fairy at knife | fork | book [Toronto]

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

issue fifteen : guest-edited by David Bradford & Anahita Jamali Rad

edited by House House Press
: David Bradford & Anahita Jamali Rad

see here for
David Bradford & Anahita Jamali Rad’s introduction and biographies

featuring new work by: 

Lindsay Miles
Emma Brown Sanders
Ali Pinkney

Marcela Huerta
Steffanie Ling

Tara McGowan-Ross
Michaela Bridgemohan

Lauren Brown

$5 + postage / + $1 for Canadian orders; + $2 for US; + $6 outside of North America

Canadian/American/International rates (including shipping

Author Biographies:

Lindsay Miles is among the winners of the 2017 Blodwyn Memorial Prize. Her work has appeared in The Capilano Review, Grain, Frond, Poetry is Dead, Bad Nudes and elsewhere. With a Creative Writing MFA from the University of Guelph, Lindsay is the author of the digital chapbook, A Period of Non-Enforcement (The Operating System, 2019). She lives in Toronto.

Emma Brown Sanders is the author of A Fallow Channel (Gauss PDF, 2020) and co-edits the tiny with Gina Myers. Their work has appeared in Asterion Projects, bedfellows, Bone Bouquet, boneless skinless, Full Stop, Fungiculture, Prolit and Tripwire, among others. Their poems have been nominated for Pushcart and Bettering American Poetry prizes. They live in Philadelphia.

Ali Pinkney is a literary writer and graduate student based on Tiohtiá:ke/Montréal. Ali pursues a Master of Arts at Concordia University with a focus on the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her novella Roadkill Croque Monsieur will be released in a limited run with Bad Books Press in the near future.

Marcela Huerta is the author of Tropico, a collection of poetry from Metatron Press. Her work has been featured in Peach Mag, Leste, Bad Nudes, Montreal Review of Books, CV2, and more.

During her time as an Assistant Editor at Drawn & Quarterly, she worked on the award-winning graphic novels Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story, Rolling Blackouts, Uncomfortably Happily, and others. In 2018 she performed at the Festival Internacional de Poesía Rosario and was chosen to attend the Pink Door Writers Retreat. She is the daughter of refugees from the 1973 Chilean coup, and her writing centers a second generation Latinx experience.

Steffanie Ling is a producer of criticism, pamphlets, stories, essays, exhibitions, reviews, bluntness, anecdotes, shout outs, wrestling storylines, proposals, applications, jokes, readings, minimal poems, poems, dinner, compliments, and diatribes. She is a guest living on the unceded territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. Her books are NASCAR (Blank Cheque, 2016) and CUTS OF THIN MEAT (Spare Room, 2015).

Tara McGowan-Ross is an urban Mi'kmaw multidisciplinary artist. She lives and works in Montreal, where she is the store manager at the Concordia Co-Op Bookstore, a critic of independent and experimental theatre, and the host of Drawn & Quarterly's Indigenous Literatures Bookclub. Her work has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry, PRISM International, Maisonneuve Magazine, and elsewhere. She is the author of Girth and Scorpion Season.

Michaela Bridgemohan is an interdisciplinary artist of Jamaican and Australian descent who grew up in Mohkinstsis, also known as Calgary, located on the traditional territories of Treaty 7 Land. She is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. After receiving her BFA (with Distinction) from the Alberta University of the Arts in 2017, Bridgemohan continued her artistic research confronting criticism and concepts of Black biracial subjectivity and the visual ambiguity surrounding those kinds of bodies. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and Australia in gallery exhibitions reflecting various intersections of contemporary Blackness and Feminism. She was also a recipient of the Visual Arts and New Media Grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and has since been involved in numerous artist panels, publications, and engagements.

Writer and new media producer, Lauren Brown, an American woman of Indigenous and Afro-Caribbean descent, uses her journalism background and media production prowess to smudge the line between events and entertainment, creating custom, yet, immersive experiences driven by social technologies. Lauren takes great pleasure in designing and producing gatherings, online and off, with the ability to bring folks together around policy, action and change.

Her past clients and media credits include Coca-Cola Enterprises, Upscale Magazine, Ebony Magazine, The Weather Channel, Georgia Public Broadcasting, NBC BLK, Blogher, The Democratic National Convention, Planned Parenthood, International Society of Africans in Wine (ISAW), MMTC Online, Jack and Jill Politics, The Young Turks, Huffington Post, and Huff Post Live.

Constantly foraging a career that fuses her love of culture, art and media with her passion for activism, Lauren led the Digital Moving Image Salon at Spelman College under the direction of Dr. Ayoka Chenzira, producing two Reel Women Film Festivals, Digital Doyennes: Wisdom from the Women who Lead in Social Media and Digital Innovation and the live social media portions of the National Visionary Leaders Project and the annual ARCUS Foundation Symposium. Continuing her work with Dr. Chenzira, Lauren provided outreach coordination and was Lead Installer for Ayomentary’s new media production, “Ordinary on Any Given Day”, which debuted in Istanbul during the 2011 ISEA Conference.

In 2018 Lauren presented your Lillith is showing as a part of the Feminist Art Collective residency on Toronto Island. Lauren continues to write and muse on afrofuturist themes, neurospeculative feminism and  exploring art as activism, the politics of technology, media, food, agriculture, and their continuous impact on rural and low income women.

G U E S T #15 : David Bradford & Anahita Jamali Rad : Introduction


Sentimentally, part of what we wanted, early in the pandemic, sitting in the park together in last winter’s last bit of cold, was for some poets to meet us before it got too cold again. Just poets with practices—personal, artistic, and critical—that we admire. Now on the edge of a new year, it’s funny what that ask, big and loose, managed to render.

We thought maybe these poems might meet us where we’re at, but maybe they’re having us meet them where they are. The hope was that it would be on the other side of a time we would have begun to put behind us, but it was always a hope troubled by what that shift might change, and what it might not change at all.

“New,” Lindsay Miles writes, “is horizontal with old,” as the historical present becomes more quotidian. We have forgotten how to relate to one another, or to “the you of me,” as Ali Pinkney writes. Instead, we may find our interactions becoming limited to household objects. “Entire days where i frown at the pots,” Emma Sanders reminds us.

We’re told it will be a La Niña year, meaning colder and wetter, and it feels like decades old info. The future has been here a while. Now, an unbelievably lovely September week in November feels disturbing and obvious. Numbers and fires are still on the rise, and “fatigue” colours every other word like it was there all along. “Against the pretense of personal growth,” Steffanie Ling writes, “we throw ourselves into the wear of it.” We try to emerge, somehow, and we think these poems might help with that.

“There are so many hours left in the day,” Marcela Huerta warns, “not to fuck anything up.” So, we are at work with the inevitable. “What I need places me alone in the world,” she continues, “so I try very hard to stop needing.” We read the words over a couple of times, because how could we not. In this ever-renewing disaster, Bridgemohan and Brown insist, “This opportunity is still available,” and we read into it as far as we can.





David Bradford is an interdisciplinary poet and a founding editor of House House Press. He holds an MFA from the University of Guelph and is the author of several chapbooks, including Nell Zink Is Damn Free (Blank Cheque Press, 2017), Call Out (knife | fork | book, 2017), and The Plot (House House Press, 2018). His poetry has appeared in Prairie Fire, Poetry Is Dead, Vallum, Carte Blanche, The Capilano Review, and elsewhere. Bradford’s first book, Dream of No One but Myself, is forthcoming from Brick Books. He lives in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal), on the unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation.

Anahita Jamali Rad was born in Iran and currently based in Tio’tia:ke on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka. Informed by anti-imperialist materialist theory, Jamali Rad’s work explores materiality, history, affect, ideology, violence, class, collectivity, desire, place, and displacement. They have published many chapbooks, and one full-length book of poetry, for love and autonomy (Talonbooks 2016). With Danielle LaFrance, they co-edited the journal About a Bicycle, of which there were 5 issues.

Anahita Jamali Rad is currently designing and co-editing a small press called House House Press with David Bradford.

issue seventeen : guest-edited by Melanie Dennis Unrau

NOW AVAILABLE: G U E S T #17 edited by Melanie Dennis Unrau typeset in Garamond by C. McNair, editor’s devil (retired) design by r. mclennan...