BWS 08.09.21 report: “Messing with the Pipes: Writing Sex with Substance” with Tamara Faith Berger

Tamara Faith Berger writes fiction, non-fiction and screenplays. She is the author of Lie With Me (2001) and The Way of the Whore (2004) which were republished together by Coach House Books as Little Cat in 2013, Maidenhead (2012) which won The Believer Book Award, and Kuntalini (2016). Her fifth book, Queen Solomon, was published by Coach House Books in October 2018 and it was nominated for a Trillium Book Award. Her work has been published in Apology MagazineCanadian Art, Taddle Creek and Canadian Notes and Queries. She has a BFA in Studio Art from Concordia University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She lives and works in Toronto where she co-runs the literary speaking series Smutburger. 

Messing with the Pipes: Writing Sex with Meaning

The main points I tend to speak about around writing sex are: 1) employing the first-person point-of-view, the “I,” which I find is really instructive in order to get close to what a character is experiencing and 2) the possibility of threading in thinking to our sex scenes, which can be vital, and sort of liberating for people who want to include sex in their work, whether its poetry, fiction or non-fiction.

I think we have to shift focus away from psychology when we are thinking about writing sex scenes as a part of our work. The question is not really why any of us want to write about or include sex, it is more so (and there is a lot of meaning in) how we chose to do it. How do we create something bubbling underneath or threaded through our sex scenes? How can we write in an effective way about sex?

The answer is likely going to be different with every person, but employing the I to narrate a sex scene immediately gets you, your narrator and your reader close, sometimes uncomfortably close. I call this the sexually active point of view. Very generally, the sexually active POV is about telling us something that happened, perhaps even as it is happening in a tone that works for your piece. Stripped down, the I says: I did this (or I’m doing this.) I saw this. I smelled this. I sucked that. I felt it. I was there. That was me.

This “I”functions as a harbinger that the private will be made public. I have a secret, but it’s not a secret anymore.

*

I think that sex scenes, in general, and no matter the genre, sort of volley between a kind of high art and low art vibe. You can call this: erotica versus porn or you can think of it as a meshing of a literary or narrative urge with a more body-based, anal-oral-genital urge. Mixing the high and low, using the sexually active POV seems to work. It accesses the age-old technique of the confessional, which is a well-worn way in literature to access sympathy, arousal, feeling. In a more contemporary way of thinking about things, the “I” gets us into a kind of radical subjectivity. And with sexual subject matter, this can be political. Ultimately, the personal is political in this “I”: radical subjectivity about erotic experience. Especially erotic experience we may not have heard from so often before.

*

The second craft piece that I want to talk about is thinking. That old chestnut: the mind/body split. How can we thread thinking into our sex scenes, which might feel very much either locked in the body or the mind? I think it’s important, even if you’re writing Romance or Erotica, where the story is about emotional justice, i.e., a happy ending, to admit or include that negative, boring, traumatic, uncomfortable or fearful sexual experiences and thoughts are a fact of life. Sometimes, bad sex experiences and/or banal thoughts function as the shadow side of joy, pleasure, ecstasy, connection.

One way I’ve found to think about writing sex is to think about how or where your character finds themselves in the unstable lines between fantasy and reality in a scene. For example, in my past work, I have been really interested in my character’s experiences between horror and arousal: between the worst thing happening and the best thing happening, between being in pain and being in pleasure. Put another way, between what a character wants to happen to her and what is actually happening. I have found that writing on the continuum between fantasy and reality, or to put it very simply, between good sex and bad sex, has overall, really deepened my experience of representing sex. Writing sex where there is always something else happening for the narrator than just what is going on in front of them, i.e., there is something in the body and something in the mind. Sometimes these ‘somethings’ merge in text, which is ideal.

So, this is my how, how I approach sex writing. I approach it as an unstable scene. Unfixed. Things move and feelings change. Ultimately, I think that writing (and reading sex) is about a willingness to enter the murkiness of our desires, to explore the shadows of desire, to get a feel for the chaos inside us. To stay there, too. To take a look around. To enter the disjunction, the contradiction.

I think literature is really a great place to experience this.  

*

I think that writers should also feel really free to mess around with language when working with a sex scene. What happens to language in sex? I feel like this is a kind of an underground, ‘messing with the pipes’ kind of practice. It’s also, quite often, about having a female eye in sacred or closed male spaces. In my case, writing sex has been an urge to participate in traditionally male spaces like pornography and religion. Sometimes, the only way to enter forbidden spaces is to be stealthy, fiddle around with the pipes, and leave a mess.

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BWS 08.09.21: In case you missed it!

Click here to see the recorded live stream of our September 8th event featuring Jónína Kirton, Antonio Michael Downing, Fonda Lee, C. L. Polk, and guest speaker Tamara Faith Berger who explored, “Messing with the Pipes: Writing Sex with Substance”.

Stay tuned for our next event on Wednesday, November 10th at 6:30pm!

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BWS 08.09.21: Fonda Lee

Fonda Lee is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of the Green Bone Saga, beginning with Jade City and continuing in Jade War and the forthcoming Jade Legacy, as well as the acclaimed science fiction novels ZeroboxerExo and Cross Fire. Fonda is a three-time Aurora Award winner and a multiple finalist for the Nebula and Locus Awards. Find her online at www.fondalee.com.

Ahead of her appearance on September 8, Fonda Lee shares her Guest of Honour Speech that she delivered at When Words Collide. Read more to find out why she loves being a novelist!

Ten Reasons I Love Being A Novelist

I initially thought that for this speech, I would talk about the challenges of being a creative professional during the pandemic. The importance of being resilient, adaptable, and so on. But then, it occurred to me that it’s so rare to be unabashedly happy these days. It’s almost as if every time we talk about things going well, we must add the caveat, “given the circumstances.”

I’m launching Jade Legacy, the final book in the Green Bone Saga on November 30, and what I truly want is to be unreservedly happy about it. Writing this trilogy has been a passion project that’s consumed more than six years of my life, and it’s been wonderful to see fans getting excited for the conclusion to the series. So decided instead that I want to take this opportunity to talk about why I love my job. Writing is not my first career. Ten years ago, I decided to transition out of my corporate job in order to pursue a dream of writing science fiction and fantasy novels. There have been plenty of challenges along the way, but I have no regrets.

Here’s why.

1. I Get to Be A Control Freak.

So much in the world feels entirely out of control right now. But in my job, I get to be in complete control. I create entire worlds, populate them with people, and determine what happens. I’m the god of my story. My vision is paramount and my authority is absolute.

Other types of media require a collaborative creative effort. I’ve written for comics. I’ve seen the Hollywood scriptwriting process up close. It can be a lot of fun to work with a team in someone else’s fictional world. But for me, nothing beats being a novelist when it comes to the gratification of knowing that what you’re putting on the page is as purely yourself as can be.

2. I Get to Build Worlds.

I’m a worldbuilding junkie! It’s why I love being a science fiction and fantasy writer.

What I enjoy most about worldbuilding isn’t the setting, but the society and culture. Characters and the decisions they make are a product of the societies they inhabit. Creating the complicated interplay between character, world, and plot is one hundred percent my jam.

Many people have asked me if the Green Bone Saga is based on a place in the real world—whether that be Japan, China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan. The answer is that it’s based on all and none of those places. I built the fictional island of Kekon and its capital city of Janloon from the ground up, striving to create a place that was both recognizable and entirely different. For me, that’s where the fun lies. My goal with worldbuilding is always to create a sense of versimilitude. I want the reader to feel like this place exists, that they could get on a plane to visit it. It’s why I love coming up with the specific details: the names for streets, restaurants, even luxury cars.

3. I’ll Always Have the Perfect Book On Hand.

I wanted to read a story that blended inspirations of epic fantasy, kung fu flicks, and gangster movies. I wanted a family saga featuring Asians who weren’t funny and wholesome model minorities, but sexy, dangerous alpha Asians. I couldn’t find that book. So I wrote it.

Most people who have to search for a book. I can simply spend years writing it. Ha!

4. I Already Work From Home.

Even before the pandemic and its lockdowns, I was already accustomed to working on the sofa in pajama pants. Way ahead of you all!

(Unfortunately, I didn’t account for having the whole family in my office…)

5. Anything I Learn Might Be Story Material.

My day job as a corporate strategist at Nike wound up inspiring me to write Zeroboxer, my debut science fiction novel about an athlete competing in zero gravity. My decades training in martial arts have gone into the fight scenes of the Green Bone Saga. Hawk walks I took in Ireland while on vacation went into the novella I just turned in to my publisher.

My advice to teen writers has always been to go out and live life as much as as possible. Everything you experience is fodder for storytelling.  

6. I Can Justify All My Entertainment Choices as Research.

I watched so much UFC while writing Zeroboxer. All these yakuza movies were definitely Green Bone Saga research. Reading books—in fact, consuming stories in any form—is a necessary part of my job, because I need to stay well informed about the industry. I’ve watched a lot of anime during this pandemic and I see it as 100% tax deductible professional development.

7. No One Can Fire Me.

Bad things could happen. My books could sell poorly, my publisher could drop me, I could fail to sell my next novel. All of those things have happened to authors I know. But at the end of the day, the only person who can stop me from writing is myself.

This job is filled with disappointments, but very few of them are fatal if you refuse to let them be. You can come back after a dry spell. You can self publish. You can write in a new genre or in a new category with a new name. If you’re a writer, you’re the only one who can fire you.

8. I Have Really Cool Colleagues.

When I left my office job to be a writer, I worried I might be lonely. I haven’t missed a single day in the office.

That’s because I’ve found the community of writers to be a lot more fun and interesting than any other workplace. Writers come from all walks of life—ages, places, backgrounds—but we all share a passion for storytelling. I have good friends, whom I’ve known for years, and I still don’t know what they do in their day job or even their real name.

Word of advice to up and coming authors: Find your community. With fellow writers to lean on, cheer you, and lift each other up, this isn’t a lonely profession at all.

9. I Put A Morally Good Product Into the Universe.

My former corporate jobs were enjoyable enough at the time and paid well, but I essentially helped billion-dollar companies sell more stuff. You’ve got to wonder sometimes: How many sneakers do people really need?

I have zero guilt about putting more books into the world.  Especially with so much of the market now in ebooks and audio, books are non-polluting, low carbon footprint products that bring only happiness and greater knowledge. How could we have gotten through this pandemic without the entertainment and solace of stories?

Books aren’t a one-size-fits-all widget. Your book doesn’t need to sell a ton of copies to be meaningful. It may be the perfect book for a few readers who don’t even know they need it yet.

10. My Book Could Be Someone’s Favorite Book.

Books are small potatoes compared to blockbuster movies and other more popular forms of media. Science fiction and fantasy is only one genre within the marketplace of books. And my books are just a tiny piece of that pie. And yet, I know my work is nevertheless meaningful because every once in a while, a reader will contact me to say, “You wrote my favorite book.”

Their favorite book. There are a lot of books in the world, but I wrote that person’s favorite.

In this industry, there are many external markers of success: big book deals, sales, awards, and so on. It’s easy to become fixated on them, and to forget that there’s always another human being on the other end of the relationship between writer and reader. I tell aspiring writers: Never try to write a book that will please everyone. That is impossible. Write the book that’s perfect for you. Then go out and find the readers for whom your book might be their favorite.

One of the hardest things about the pandemic for me has been missing events, book signings, and cons. Those are my opportunities to see my readers, to be reminded of the fact that when a book I wrote reaches someone, a special bond is formed between strangers. I may never meet or speak to that person. They might never contact me. But I gave something precious to someone else, and that is really, really cool.

It’s why I love being a novelist.

Fonda Lee visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 starting at 6:30pm alongside Jónína Kirton, Antonio Michael Downingand C. L. Polk . Our guest speaker Tamara Faith Berger will talk us through, “Messing with the Pipes: Writing Sex with Substance”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:30.

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BWS 08.09.21: Antonio Michael Downing

Antonio Michael Downing grew up in southern Trinidad, Northern Ontario, Brooklyn, and Kitchener. He is a musician, writer, and activist based in Toronto. His 2010 debut novel, Molasses (Blaurock Press), was published to critical acclaim. In 2017 he was named by the RBC Taylor Prize as one of Canada’s top Emerging Authors for nonfiction. He performs and composes music as John Orpheus.

“I’ve been travelling for so very long. Trying to find some place that feels like home. And there are many things that you can take from me. But what you can’t take away, is the love that is found, In our sweet destiny.”


– John Orpheus on Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You)

FELA AWOKE (I WILL MISS YOU) is the first single from my album SAGA KING which is the companion to my memoir SAGA BOY (Penguin Random House). I consider them two parts of one work of art: the book is the journey of the boy, the album is the celebration of the arrival of the man. It celebrates sovereignty over oneself. 

Fela Awoke (I Will Miss You) tells the story of the death of Nigerian music legend, Fela Kuti, Jamaican icon Bob Marley and my own Grandmother, who features prominently in the first 100 pages of the memoir. It ends by repeating the Yoruba phrase Madele (which means ‘I will find my way home’), as the theme of  a quest for a spiritual home while drawing from hope, history and Black resilience runs through both the book and the album.

Click here to hear Fela Awoke

This song means everything to me. It’s a deeply personal story and it’s reaching for something more profound than I’ve ever tried to say in a song. My people are Yoruba from West Africa and, when I grew up in Trinidad, we still spoke some words after 150 plus years. So, as a grown musician, I always felt connected to Fela Kuti. In a year where life has been so fragile, this is my response. It is unique to me but feels somehow universal. 

Antonio Michael Downing visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 starting at 6:30pm alongside Jónína KirtonFonda Leeand C. L. Polk . Our guest speaker Tamara Faith Berger will talk us through, “Messing with the Pipes: Writing Sex with Substance”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:30.

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BWS 08.09.21: Jónína Kirton

Jónína Kirton, a Red River Métis/Icelandic poet was sixty-one when she received the 2016 Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category. Her second collection of poetry, An Honest Woman, was a finalist in the 2018 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. 

“We don’t always get to choose what we write about…this piece definitely choose me and I am so glad it did,” says Jónína about her latest work, A Story Within Many Stories.

A Story Within Many Stories

Every word I select is at the expense of others. – Betsy Warland, Bloodroot: Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss

Much of my writing has been about loss and intergenerational trauma from the perspective of a mixed race, settler/Indigenous woman. As I tried to tell my story, the question of ‘whose story is this to tell’, presented itself over and over and yet I was obsessed with understanding/uncovering all that my family preferred to hide. Born in 1955 to an Icelandic/Irish mother and a Métis father I was a curious child and often considered ‘too sensitive’.  I had no one to tell me that my curiosity was a good thing or that my sensitivity was empathy and that this was a gift. There was no one to help me learn how to live with gifts that can make it hard to be in this colonized, patriarchal world so when my niece, Gabby was born in 2004, I knew I needed to be there for her. Sadly, economics and distance made this impossible so I wrote books thinking of her, hoping that one day she would read them.  I wanted to tell her the truth of what life is like for mixed blood women and part of this truth telling included the abuse I had suffered at the hands of my own father (her grandfather whom she loved deeply). It made me want to be even more careful, and fair, to my father. For a time, I felt like a declawed cat, but I still had my mouth, my words became sharp teeth, pointed so that they could sink deeper into the truth. So rather than scratching or clawing, creating disorganized chaos, they were like arrows landing deeply inside. Unquestionable. They became unquestionable offerings detailing abuse without an opinion about my abusers, whoever they were.  Like so many limitations, it brought creativity that I might not have been able to come to otherwise.

I am happy to say that now that my niece is seventeen, we connect regularly via social media. We have been getting to know one another. She speaks to me about her thoughts on things like social justice and has become interested in poetry. In one of our last communications, she sent me a Virginia Woolf quote that inspired this poem:

rooted

for my niece Gabby

I am rooted, but I flow.
– Virginia Woolf, Waves

I am a story within the stories of many

I am a paradox

one thing and then another

parts of a whole

that does not know itself

turning towards the invisible

I can see the limits of knowledge

the places where formulas dissolve

into knowing that can only come

when quiet and walking in a forest

where the standing ones watch and wait

for us to return to ourselves to the new stories that are waiting to unfold

I pray daily to the Ancestors and ask them to help me walk in a good way so that I can be there for my niece, for all who come behind me. One way I know of ‘being there for others’ is to be honest. I focus on this so much as it was the one thing I most wanted from my mother, my father, my aunts, and uncles. I don’t want to be one of those that bury natural curiosity and talents or gifts under a blanket of misinformation that can take a lifetime to unravel. If honesty/truth is there, we can then properly assess what is needed. That was why they called it Truth and Reconciliation. There can be no reconciliation or healing without truth. There can be no new stories until we face the past, accept the truth and then together find our way forward. ~ All my Relations

Jónína Kirton visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 starting at 6:30pm alongside Antonio Michael DowningFonda Leeand C. L. Polk . Our guest speaker Tamara Faith Berger will talk us through, “Messing with the Pipes: Writing Sex with Substance”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:30.

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Brockton Writers Series 08.09.21

Wednesday, September 8, 2021 – 6:30pm

Brockton Writers Series presents readings by:

Jónína Kirton

Antonio Michael Downing

Fonda Lee

C. L. Polk

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:30.

The reading is PWYC (suggested $3-$5) and features a Q&A with the writers afterward. Books are available for sale.

 If you’d like to donate, please do so here.

Many thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for their support.

OAC_REVISED_NEWCOLOURS_1805c

 —

GUEST SPEAKER

“Messing with the Pipes: Writing Sex with Substance”

Tamara Faith Berger writes fiction, non-fiction and screenplays. She is the author of Lie With Me (2001) and The Way of the Whore (2004) which were republished together by Coach House Books as Little Cat in 2013, Maidenhead (2012) which won The Believer Book Award, and Kuntalini (2016). Her fifth book, Queen Solomon, was published by Coach House Books in October 2018 and it was nominated for a Trillium Book Award. Her work has been published in Apology MagazineCanadian Art, Taddle Creek and Canadian Notes and Queries. She has a BFA in Studio Art from Concordia University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She lives and works in Toronto where she co-runs the literary speaking series Smutburger. 

READERS

Jónína Kirton, a Red River Métis/Icelandic poet was sixty-one when she received the 2016 Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category. Her second collection of poetry, An Honest Woman, was a finalist in the 2018 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. 

Antonio Michael Downing grew up in southern Trinidad, Northern Ontario, Brooklyn, and Kitchener. He is a musician, writer, and activist based in Toronto. His 2010 debut novel, Molasses (Blaurock Press), was published to critical acclaim. In 2017 he was named by the RBC Taylor Prize as one of Canada’s top Emerging Authors for nonfiction. He performs and composes music as John Orpheus.

Fonda Lee is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of the Green Bone Saga, beginning with Jade City and continuing in Jade War and the forthcoming Jade Legacy, as well as the acclaimed science fiction novels Zeroboxer, Exo and Cross Fire. Fonda is a three-time Aurora Award winner and a multiple finalist for the Nebula and Locus Awards. Find her online at www.fondalee.com.

C. L. Polk (they/them) wrote the Kingston Cycle, including the WFA winning Witchmark. The Midnight Bargain was a Canada Reads, Nebula, Locus, Ignyte, and WFA finalist. Mx. Polk lives in the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, and the Métis Nation (Region 3).

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BWS 14.07.21: In case you missed it!

Click here to see the recorded live stream of our July 14th event featuring Kiran Bhat, Kamila Rina, Prakash Krishnan, Carrianne Leung, and guest speaker Sonia Vaillant who talked us through, “Audio books 101”.

Stay tuned for our next event on Wednesday, September 8th at 6:30pm!

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BWS 14.07.21: Kiran Bhat

Kiran Bhat is a global citizen formed in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, to parents from Southern Karnataka, in India. He has currently traveled to over 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. He is primarily known as the author of we of the forsaken world… (Iguana Books, 2020), but he has authored books in four foreign languages, and has had his writing published in The Kenyon Review, The Brooklyn Rail, 3:AM Magazine, and several other places. His list of homes is vast, but his heart and spirit always remains in Mumbai, somehow. He is currently traveling around Mexico, but you can find him virtually on @Weltgeist Kiran.

Around the World in 365 Places: Kiran Bhat


BY VEENA RAO*

It was all because of a vision. Then student Kiran Bhat had been visiting a cathedral that is also part synagogue and mosque in Segovia, Spain, when he suddenly realized he wanted to write the narrative of the world. A life of journey and travel led Kiran Bhat to create his fascinating new literary project, Girar. Set in 365 places, Girar, which means ‘to turn’ in Spanish, is essentially the story of Earth and the thousands of cultures on it. Each digital instalment will unfold in a different corner of the planet until the end of 2029. The story itself is a compilation of many stories at once. This is ultimately the story of Mother and Father. They live a settled and suburban life, but their son is gay, and has migrated continents away from them. They yearn for him to be home.

Exploring the Earth as setting comes naturally to this young author who has visited over 132 countries, lived in 18 places around the world, speaks 12 languages and writes in several of them. “Girar is the concept of the world-in-a-book taken to its extreme,” he says in this Q&A.

What better way to travel the world and get a unique glimpse into diverse cultures and communities?

What was the initial spark or thought or impulse that created Girar?

Read this interview to find out more. 


Veena Rao: Girar is a novel concept that unfolds in real-time. Tell us more about it.

Kiran Bhat: Girar is a digital web project, in which people who subscribe to the webpage get stories about an archetypal mother, father, and son being reimagined into a new cultural context and nationality in each installment, between now until the end of 2029. The general gist of the stories is that Son is gay, but his parents have never taken the time to accept it. After a homecoming thanks to COVID turns dramatic, Son once more leaves his parents. The central drama is how the three of them learn to eventually make space for each other after a decade of fighting. At the same time Mother, Father, and Son have very rich exterior lives, and so the novel also explores the many different ways their outward relationships are not only affected by the passing of time, but how the reimagining of the story in a new cultural context in each installment creates a new way to perceive these relationships as a whole.

VR: What made you want to write something like this?

KB: The impulse behind Girar came to me due to a trip I took to Segovia, while I was a junior studying abroad in Madrid. We were visiting a cathedral that was part synagogue and mosque,

learning about the histories of the Visigoths, Jews, and the Moors. In the same way this building collapsed the histories of so many peoples inside of one building, I suddenly started imagining what it would be like to collapse the narrative space of our planet into a novel. It was something akin to a darshana, or a vision. I didn’t know how I would ultimately write this novel, but after spending twelve years of my life travelling, I felt like I started to get this idea of a book that would in fact take place in as many parts of the world as I could imagine. we of the forsaken world… was also an attempt at this, but Girar is the concept of the world-in-a-book taken to its extreme.


VR: What were the challenges of unfolding a narrative as ambitious as this?

KB: For me the biggest challenge of the project has been the web development. I can control my research into other cultures and countries, I can control my narrative arcs and understanding of my characters, and I can control how well I write. What I cannot control is how well the firms that I am paying to transfer this vision onto a webpage are going to do. The world of web development and IT is very different than the world of artistry. Most web developers don’t have much of an aesthetic eye and are only there to code. They don’t necessarily care about your aesthetic demands; they just want to get paid and stop their coding when the hour has ended. So, getting http://www.girar.world up and running has been a lot of work, and sadly it’s work that I can’t control.

Unfortunately, when you try to do something really out of the norm, it’s hard to get it right. There’s just not a lot of infrastructure for global-serialized-novels-told-over-the-Internet, the way that there would be for a traditional print novel. There’s a lot that is hard to anticipate because there’s so few models for what works. And because there’s a lot to get wrong, there’s also a lot of places to stumble, and that ultimately detracts from the reader experience.

I haven’t fully lost hope. I’ve hired a new web team to revamp the project, with hopes of relaunching in August. I do very much believe in the storytelling and world building of the project, and I hope that once the story platform has been improved, my readers can get lost in all of the exciting ways Girar innovates.

VR: Authors traditionally set their novels in one or two places. Girar takes place around the world. Can you talk a little bit about the world as a setting in Girar?


 KB: Well, in reality, because Girar is almost a compilation of many stories ultimately being framed together to tell a greater one, each of the installations, whether set in rural Costa Rica or Hokkaido in Japan, becomes an exercise in scene building. I don’t know if I get each story right, but I try to make sure that with each installment I find a sensitivity reader from that city or culture, and make sure they approve of what I’ve written. There are times I really screw up, but most of the time, they help me find better words to show how people in that country speak, or correct me on slip-ups on body language or place description. I usually try to write out of places that I have at least visited, so I can also draw on my own memories or experiences being in that place. I also mostly make it about my characters, and the experiences they are going through. I think the rich interiority of the worlds that I have created for my characters serves to propel a lot of the pathos, and can make up for even when I don’t necessarily write about a culture well.

As per the world as a setting, that is interesting. I often tell people that I’d like to imagine literature if the source of a story did not come from a community or a nation, but from planet Earth itself. However, the Earth, just like a community or a nation, does not have one singular voice. In reality each person on this planet is their own narrative, with thousands of thousands of experiences which form their sense of being. So, if I were to capture the Earth as a literary concept, I would not be able to base it out of one place. In the same way that our current digital communication networks are fusing milliseconds of thought and being at all of the different nodes of the planet at once, a style that capture the planet would have to be a little bit everywhere. It would have to be like the many heads of the hydra flinging around at once, or the cacophony of a million sounds somehow bleating together into harmony when heard at once.

That is how I view global narrative, and the perspective from which I believe a global aesthetic could be produced.

VR: An author’s perspective of globalization, I am sure, is a bit different from an economist’s perspective. You’ve lived in several countries, speak many languages, and even write in several of them. Girar is the outcome of your travels. Can you talk a little about what globalization means to you?

 KB: It depends. There are many different ways to talk about globalization, some good and some bad. A lot of the globalization of the 90s – McDonalds, global capitalism, etc – were objectively bad for the planet. When I think of my experience with globalization, I think of the Internet, and how it’s created a generation that, no matter born in Kenya or Turkey, Kazakhstan or Argentina, seems to be reacting to a similar way of thinking and feeling. And now the Internet makes us see everything at once when it’s happening. We have information about everywhere in the world whenever we feel like it, we attend digital events partly being hosted in Hong Kong, India, and Canada. People are slowly starting to feel like they belong to one space, which is a global one, and I think that’s the one I want to carve a literature for.

VR: The publishing world is not known to readily embrace change. Do you think the reading world is ready for out-of-the-box reading concepts?

 KB: It’s hard to say. I think readers are used to traditional novels, and this act of reading something serially, and having to pay a nominal amount for it, isn’t something people are used to for novels. For journalism, sure, or for literary journals, sometimes. Ironically, I think that this piecemeal approach of reading a novel works a lot for our hustle-and-bustle lives. I also think it’s exciting to read something set all over the world. While I’d say my work isn’t necessarily for people who want a deep look at a culture, it might spark curiosity in a place that people haven’t thought much about. And then there’s just the narrative of it, the ambition, the rush of finding something new.

So I think it’s hard to generalize. I think some people are, and some people aren’t. It’s mostly about finding the right reader, which I assume is true for any project.

VR: Your first traditionally published novel, we of the forsaken world…, was hailed for its genre-defying originality. How is Girar different in concept, themes, and narrative style?


 KB: Veena, that’s so nice of you to say. 🙂 I think we of the forsaken world… is the inverse of Girar. In we of the forsaken world… I wanted to really exhaust the concept of the multitude. I wanted it to feel like sixteen people speaking out from four varied corners of the world as an attempt to be heard against the static of globalization. The stories of the four regions are quite topical, ranging from sexual trafficking to eve-teasing, from the after-effects of an industrial spill to the destruction of indigenous land from logging. The stories are also told in first person, and are stitched together by poetic interludes interrupting the flow of one narrative and transitioning into another.

For now, Girar is much more seamless and traditional in narration. The installment approach gives every piece a clear beginning, middle, and end. Both are story sequences (ie short stories being framed together to cohere into a novel), but Girar has a much more obvious direction it is going in. I also think Girar is much better storytelling, and gets across what we of the forsaken world… was trying to do in a much clearer form.

But we of the forsaken world… was an attempt to have multiple voices cohere into one aesthetic sound, whereas Girar is certain fixed voices hopping all across the globe, or finding a new form for themselves. So, I definitely think they have a lot in common, but are also quite different.

VR: Do you hope to ultimately take the traditional route for Girar?

KB: Yes! The ultimate goal was to have Girar pieced into a series of multiple books and published in that format. I’m shopping the first book to publishers already. Some are quite eager to see it, so I’m hoping for the best. 🙂

VR: What else are you working on?

KB: I’m taking my first foray into translation currently. I’m currently living in San Cristobal de las Casas, in Chiapas. Chiapas is the territorial stronghold of the Mayan peoples (I say peoples because there was no contingent Mayan civilization, but multiple civilizations and heritages which were called by outsides as the Maya). It’s a place with 12 indigenous languages strongly spoken by its citizens, where Spanish is a second language for most. So, I met a collective of poets here I like. One of my goals is to try to translate their writings in Maya Tsotsil into English using Spanish as a medium. I’ve never translated before so I don’t know how it will go. I am also trying to do a lot of events and cross-collaborations here. One of the beauties of the globalized world is the ability to connect with anyone regardless of physical distance, and so I’m trying to connect indigenous communities here with the indigenous communities of other countries and cultures, with which they are normally not connected. I’d love to see some chapbooks come out of these inter-lingual connections, but we’ll simply have to see how it goes!

VR: Thanks so much for your time. I hope the best for your work.

KB: Same!

* Veena Rao was born and raised in India but now calls Atlanta home. A journalist by profession, she is the founding editor and publisher of NRI Pulse, a popular South Asian newspaper. She is recognized by the Limca Book of Records as the first Indian woman to edit and publish a newspaper outside of India. Purple Lotus, her debut novel, is a Georgia Author of the Year 2021 Finalist and an Award-Winning Finalist in the International Book Awards. Her manuscript for Purple Lotus won the She Writes Press and SparkPress Toward Equality in Publishing (STEP) scholarship in 2019.

Kiran Bhavisits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 starting at 6:30pm alongside Kamila RinaPrakash Krishnanand Carrianne Leung . Our guest speaker Sonia Vaillant will talk to us about, “Audio books 101”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:30.

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BWS 14.07.21: Carrianne Leung

Carrianne Leung is a fiction writer and educator. Her debut novel, The Wondrous Woo was shortlisted for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards. Her collection of linked stories, That Time I Loved You was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by CBC, shortlisted for the Toronto Book Awards 2019, long listed for Canada Reads 2019 and awarded the Danuta Gleed Literary Award 2019. She is currently working on a new novel, titled The After.

In 2019, I had the great pleasure of being the Writer in Residence at University of Toronto Scarborough. At the end of my term there, I was asked to speak about the “Creative Life”. I came up with this list and hope that it continues to be helpful, supportive, and funny for those of us who are committed to a writing practice. This was first published by Open Book in 2019.

The Creative Life

I was asked to give a keynote address at the launch of the student literary journal, Scarborough Fair at the University of Toronto Scarborough. The theme was “The Creative Life”. As their Writer in Residence, I wanted to give the students something practical. I didn’t want to wax poetic about a life that was frankly on most days, also kicking my ass.

So, instead of a talk, I shared a list of 70 things that I have learned so far as a writer.  Do not worry! The 70 are not so daunting, and nothing about this is prescriptive. I suppose this is the thing about having a creative life – there is no simple formula for you to follow. In the process of writing this list, I also crowd-sourced some of my writer friends, so I included their advice too. They are just tips for emerging writers that hopefully, will accompany them well along their journey.

  1. Carry a notebook with you at all time. You can get very nice ones at Dollarama for $1.25. If you feel very precious about it, you can get a Moleskin for $30. But I assure you – your choice will not determine whether you produce $1.25 writing or $30 dollar. Go for Dollarama.
  2. Canisia Lubrin told me she once wrote on a banana leaf. She wants me to tell you, moleskin or no skin, just write.
  3. Forget the paper or banana leaf, the writing instrument is probably more important. I like those fine-liners that glide across the paper with hardly any drag, making that perfect little scratchy sound. That noise makes me feel serious. But in a crunch, anything will do. I have also used eyeliner, lipstick, kids’ crayon and soya sauce. The soya sauce was at a wedding banquet, and I dipped a chopstick in it like an inkwell. It worked ok, but the napkin that I used was a bit too eager for the stain, so it came out quite blurred.
  4. Now that you have spent enough hours procrastinating and looking for the perfect tools, you need to carry these items with you at all time. While you may prefer writing on a laptop, inspiration will hit you anytime and anywhere – standing in that long line at Tim Horton’s, riding the bus to campus, sitting on the toilet, even sleeping. You want to be ready to net all the words, images, ideas to develop more fully later. Also, the weight of those writing instruments in your bag will remind you of your purpose – to write.
  5. Consider the notes and fragments you write as evidence of a mind/heart/spirit wide-awake.
  6. I get asked a lot of questions, but people never ask the most basic one: Why do you write? You know it ain’t for the money. My friends hear me whine enough about how hard it is. So why? Here is the reason: I write because I am in love with the world and compelled to express this through language. Consider your own reasons and hang on to them as touchstones.
  7. I know for some of you, writing is survival. You write to see yourself emerge because nothing else shows you that you really exist and matter. I see you.
  8. Tell the truth even when you write fiction.
  9. Get rid of the romantic notions of writers who sit in Parisien garrets or New York lofts penning scripts that flow effortlessly out of feather quills or Macbook Airs. Writing looks more like this for me – bed head, sweat pants, coffee stains and the occasional howl of anguish.
  10. Most of the time writing is a slog. Expect slog. Writing is not for the faint of heart, but remember, you have a lion of one.
  11. Read. Reading will teach you how to write. Reading is also its own form of work and creativity. Excel at it.
  12. Reading for resonance is great. When you connect with something, you feel seen. But also read for dissonance. Dissonance will teach you about what you can’t yet see.
  13. If there are books you love, hold them close to you. Reach for them when you need inspiration. When I am writing, I stop reading books except for a select few that I reach for as reminder of how utterly magnificent the written word can be. Never stop marveling at art.
  14. Study writers you love. Deconstruct their texts to learn their particular mastery.
  15. But also, don’t try to be like them. Be you. There is only one you, and we need your stories and poetry and narratives. No one else can give that to us.
  16. Show up. When people learn that I am a writer, so many of them tell me that they have a book or two in them. I am sure they do. BUT. It’s not a book if it hasn’t been written. Writing is labour and attention and time. The difference between wanting to write and having written is in the showing up.
  17. Don’t fret over that thing called, “talent” too much. Just do the work. Remember, the most accomplished writers are probably also facing the slog this very minute, dressed in ripped PJs and sporting their own bed head. You can be sure that they are doing the work.
  18.  There is no wasted writing even if the majority of what you write will never make it to the final pages. It may take you 50 pages before you reach the one that gives you the beginning of the story. Still, the 50 were necessary.
  19. You don’t have to completely kill your darlings. Stuff the pages that don’t make it to the final draft in a folder on your laptop. Name it. I call mine the Parking Lot. Those storylines and that minor character or that beautiful imagery may get to live another day. If those darlings spark joy, it’s ok with Marie Kondo and it’s ok with me.
  20. Move if you can. Go outside and walk. Walking does something interesting and rhythmic with your brain. Or point your toes in your favourite direction or rotating your wrists.  Remind yourself that you are a body.
  21. Coming to voice is in the process. You have to keep writing to keep learning how.Cherie bookcase
  22. I heard Cherie Dimaline once say that writing is a kind of magic. There will be moments when you will be elevated. You will feel a kind of electricity that is only reserved for those who dare to be creative. Hold on to those moments and have faith that magic will touch you again when you doubt.
  23. In fact, maybe the craft of magic and the craft of writing are not so dissimilar. Both are going to require hours of mistakes and failures to make perfect. Everybody loves a magic show and want to be a magician, but you know that what happens behind the scene is what makes what happens on the stage possible.
  24. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube will not write your essay, story or poem for you. As far as I know, there is no app for that. Shut it down when you write.  Solitude is part of a writing life.
  25. There is a host of fears that comes with living on the page. The fear may come at the beginning, it can appear in the middle, or it can come with having written. If you are afraid, you are probably doing it right. Writing can be terrifying.
  26. Along with fear, other feelings will arise. Let the feelings come. There are no negative feelings or positive feelings. They are just feelings. Consider them all your teachers and write with them and through them.
  27. Be humble.
  28. You are not a machine. Productivity means different things when considering creative work. Reject the neoliberal definition of it and re-define what being productive means for you.
  29. I don’t believe in writer’s block. I think it’s an overgeneralized term that may mask what is really happening. Are you feeling tired? Hungry? Stressed out because you don’t know if you’ll make rent? Are you scared of the blank page? Are you consumed by self-doubt and worried your work will be “no good”? Are you constantly thinking about who will read it and how they will react? Are you writing to win the Giller, the Griffin or even the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature? All these things would trip someone up, but I wouldn’t call them writer’s block. Know with more exactness what is happening for you, and then start addressing it.
  30. Catherine Hernandez says, stop trying to prove you are a writer and just tell us the story.
  31. Sharon Bala says if you write, you’re a writer. Stop using the verb to describe yourself, take ownership of the noun!
  32. Even when you are not pen to page, you are still writing. Notice things in your surrounding; be curious about people, even those who annoy you. Learn the names of flowers and cloud formations. Read a newspaper, talk to cats, share a meal with a pigeon. Lean on a tree and ask it what it’s like being a tree. Invite things in. You will produce richer writing. And you will have a richer life.
  33. Being curious is one of our most useful traits. I hope I never lose my laptop because my search history would scare the hell of out of someone.
  34. Janie Chang says FINISH something. If you don’t finish something, all you have is potential, and an agent can’t sell potential.
  35. Open yourself to the human experience because whatever you write is a meditation on what it means to be human. Yes, even if you are writing about werewolves and aliens and teenage vampires.
  36. While craft is muscle building, there are moments of mystery in the creative process. Some people call it a muse, inspiration, even god. When I told Lee Maracle that sometimes I feel haunted, she said, of course. Writing is when her ancestors come to tell stories. So now, I accept that something sacred and divine is also at play.
  37. There will be ghosts too. Don’t be afraid. They just want to talk.
  38. Protect your writing time. It is as important as going to the dentist, showing up for a shift at work, going to class. Do not forsake it.
  39. Feedback will come in all forms. Some people may love your work while others will not. If everybody loved you, that would just be weird. You are not writing for everybody, and that is OK.
  40. I say this even as one bad reader’s review will feel like a knife in my heart making me forget all the good reviews and burrito myself in my duvet …. We do not have to be made of armor.
  41. Invest in a really good duvet.Leung, Hernandez, Chariandy
  42. Allow yourself to write shit. Seriously, write the shittiest shit you can. Writer, Anne Lamott says you must especially strive to write shitty first drafts. Shit makes things grow. Look at manure.
  43. You will feel vulnerable while receiving feedback. Take everything in and decide what you need and what you don’t. Some feedback will hit you hard. Some may feel unfair. All of it will strengthen your work because it will clarify your intentions.
  44. You may have created the work, but you are NOT your work. Learn to have a critical distance or else you will take everything personally as a comment on you and not be able to move on with using feedback as a writer.
  45. Not everybody will “get” it. Is it your writing that stands in the way of them understanding it? Or is it something else? Is it something about the position of where you are as a differently embodied person? Is it your gender, your race, your sexuality, your disability, your poverty? Your truth? That is another can of worms. If you are writing from a marginalized place, you may face walls. Learn to discern what feedback will help you and what is attempting to silence you. Always, always, hold on to the integrity of your own truth, and let that guide your process.
  46. I once had a mentor who refused to email and instead sent me his feedback on lavender pages of paper that smelled strangely of cinnamon. On these purple pages, he ripped my work to shreds, and I stopped writing for a while. I cried, I thought it was time to shelf my dreams and I tried to let it go. But I couldn’t. Much later, I read those pages again and did not find anything helpful or constructive in them. That was when I realized that some people are just assholes.
  47. There are conventions. You are allowed to break them, but do it well and no one will get on your case about it.  
  48. My first draft is for myself. You must allow yourself to be the gravitational force. Let the sun revolve around you. In the moment of fresh writing, you are the creator. Make your own weather.
  49. In the next draft, I write for the people I love. After that, I move onto strangers who I may possibly love if I knew them.
  50. The question of audience is not as cut and dry as you think. You will have people who you think should love your work who won’t and people you would never expect to connect with it, do.
  51. Also, don’t underestimate readers. They do not need everything spelled out for them. What you leave out is as important as what you put in. Leave the text porous because you do not know how a reader will enter it.
  52. Do not hover like a helicopter parent.  The writing will have to stand-alone sometime.
  53. When you publish your work, let it go. Let it have other lives as it is meant to with other people. They may not read it as you intend, but they will be read it as to how they need to. I accept that my books have lives after me and don’t truly belong to me anymore.
  54. If you embark on creative work, you will experience failure. Fail well. Fail spectacularly. David Chariandy writes like this. He relies on failing in order to get it right in the meticulous revisions.
  55. Do not forget about joy. I see a lot of emerging writers who seem to be in much pain while writing. Writing is painful sometimes, but it’s also an incredible joy. Please do not forget that.
  56. Sometimes, the story is stronger than you. Get out of its way and let it happen. Let the story have the space to find itself before you pre-judge it or give up. It may not take the shape you assumed it would or your characters will behave in ways you didn’t intend. But let it happen anyway. Marlon James talks about this as a duty to story. We serve the story. The story does not serve us.Marlon James
  57. The page is one of the few places where I can be free. That kind of self-sovereignty is rare. We should all be chasing our freedoms. Don’t let anyone take that away from you, including yourself.
  58. It’s not a race. You clock your own time. What the person beside you is doing is inconsequential to your own journey. Stay in your lane. You will get jealous and punch pillows because “other writers” are getting things done faster or more successfully than you. Give yourself a minute to feel the feels.  Go to the duvet, if you have to. When the rage has passed, congratulate them on their publication, their award or their new dog. There is a time and space for all of us. Eat a bowl of noodles followed by a bag of chips. That works for me.
  59. While it’s not a race, persistence is key. It’s not speed. It’s the audacity and patience and craft that matter. 
  60. Don’t worry about the imposter syndrome. We all have it.
  61. There will be good days and bad days in writing. Protect your mind and heart on the bad days. They will pass.
  62. To say, I am a writer is not to inhabit an identity. It’s a practice just like other practices. Don’t be too precious about it. It doesn’t make us any better or worse than anyone else. But know you have a special responsibility with words, to be artful and concise with language, to reflect back to people what you see. Honour that purpose.
  63. Most of us are not full-time writers. Lindsay Wong wants me to tell you it’s hard. If this will be your profession, know that you will always have to have a side hustle, a day job, be a member of the gig economy. It’s not a stable life, but its rewards can be measured by other metrics.
  64. You may find sometime in your life that you will work in a job that feels like it’s slowly killing your soul. You may feel too stressed or distracted to be a creator. You may think to yourself – “Why am I doing this? I should be a writer!” Have faith. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Keep carrying your notebook even if you can’t write in it every day. You do what you need to do to survive, and know that your words are waiting if you choose to pick up the pen again. Your readers will be here when you are ready.
  65. I have done a lot of things for pay besides from writing, and I still do. ALL of these things have contributed to my life as a writer. Even those jobs, experiences, relationships that sucked all poetry and beauty out of me made me a writer too.
  66. Go to literary events. Meet people. This does not mean you have to schmooze or “network”. People who attend literary things are some of the nicest folks you will meet. There are a bazillion things happening every week in the city. Soak up the writerly vibe. I guarantee that you will feel jazzed to write.
  67. If there is an open mic, jump on it. It’s a cheaper adrenalin rush than riding the rollercoaster at Wonderland and a lower risk than confessing love to your crush.
  68. Be generous. We do much of this work alone, but this does not mean that it doesn’t take a village. Be a good friend to other writers, be an ally, a contemporary, a mentor, a student and a reader. Build a sustainable community and uplift each other.
  69. Getting published is hard. If you don’t get published, it’s not always a comment on the quality of your work. There is a constellation of reasons why your work was not chosen. Maybe a particular editor didn’t connect with your work or it wasn’t a good fit with that lit magazine. Whatever the reason, know that this is just part of a writer’s life and rejections are a badge of honour. It means you did the work, you showed up, and you put it out there. There will be a next time and a time after that and even one after that. Just keep writing.
  70. Publishing will not solve all your problems, but I hope it makes you proud.
  71. Remember yourself as the reader. Think of what other writers’ work have meant to you – they made you laugh, they soothed, they expanded your mind to possibilities when you thought there was nothing left to discover. Don’t underestimate that your words will land where they need to. It is a worthy thing that we do when we endeavor to do the same for others.
  72. We create because we love something. Let love drive you. You may be thinking, OMG, Carrianne, how cheesy! You mentioned love so many times already! But listen, I’m not talking about some cheap Taylor Swift kind of love. I’m talking about love that swoops and thrums and heals. I’m talking about revolutionary love. Radical love. Deep and wide and expansive love. I believe in literature and its possibilities. I also believe in love.

The world is on fire. Whatever you write, whatever you do, I ask please, push love forward. Shift, conjure, manifest and make a good place, a better place with your words. And then, love the world some more.

Carrianne Leung, visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 starting at 6:30pm alongside Kamila Rina, Prakash Krishnanand Kiran Bhat. Our guest speaker Sonia Vaillant will talk to us about, “Audio books 101”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:30.

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BWS 14.07.21: Prakash Krishnan

Prakash Krishnan is an artist-researcher and cultural worker based in Montreal. He writes and publishes primarily in the genres of contemporary art and media criticism but occasionally forays into comedy and personal essay. He dabbles also in film, audio, and performance, and is the co-host of the weekly, anti-colonial podcast, Do The Kids Know.  

Ahead of his appearance on our virtual stage, Prakash shares the following media excerpts that comprise his contribution to Taking to Each Other: A Collective Sounding Project

Talking to Each Other is a multi-media, collaborative research-creation project directed by Simone Lucas, with Access in the Making Lab (AIM) and the Feminist Media Studio (FMS), in partnership with Accessibilize Montreal and Suoni Per Il Popolo. The project description can be read in full here.

For some context, I am a member of both AIM and FMS, two labs that share the use of one newly-acquired sound recording booth. Following my scholarly, artistic, and activist work around the politicization of soundscape and accessible description practices, I explored the use of poetic/performance aesthetics to describe the im/material components of the booth and its environment. The video includes a short descriptions of the booth followed by a narrated “production note” which provides more context for the piece. 

Audio Description: Sound Booth at the Feminist Media Studio.

The full suite of capsules within the Talking to Each Other project was streamed online at the Suoni Per Il Popolo festival (June 6, 2021) and was followed by a panel discussion featuring the project participants. 

An extract of my panel participation can be found here where I address the following questions: 

  • How is the form (audio, tech, subjects) in a transpiring relationship with the content of the piece? How is your creative process both an aesthetic, an ethic and a politic?
  • How can the technology itself reveal a network of relations that reflects on intersectional notions of access?
  • Can our collective research-creation process think through and emerge with any solutions towards making this booth more accessible? 

The full live stream of all videos as well as the panel can be found here. Please note, that due to technical issues, the audio during the much of the panel is not very audible and the audio and video are not synched. The panel, in its entirety, begins at 1:02:10. 

Prakash Krishnan,visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 starting at 6:30pm alongside Kamila Rina, Carrianne Leungand Kiran Bhat. Our guest speaker Sonia Vaillant will talk to us about, “Audio books 101”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:30.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized