Monthly Archives: February 2017

BWS 08.03.17: Casey Plett


Casey Plett wrote the short story collection A Safe Girl To Love and is the co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction & Fantasy From Transgender Writers. She lives in Windsor, Ontario, and submitted the guest blog post below.


For like a good seven years through my high school and college years in Oregon, I was best friends and mutual close confidantes with a lady I’m gonna call Alice. We broke apart around the time I transitioned at 23, for unrelated, stupid reasons.

Last year, we made up and re-connected, both of us re-encountering each other as adults and very different humans. During one phone call, she said, “I have to tell you something I’ve always felt guilty about…”

One day, Alice and I were out in Portland and riding the MAX. I still called myself a boy back then and I wasn’t on hormones but I was in girl clothes all the time. Some guys on the train were pointing at me and laughing and calling me a fag etc. I just stood up and quietly told her hey, let’s move over here. She wordlessly and meekly followed me to the other end of the car and all was fine.

Or so I heard. I don’t remember this. Alice did. I’ve always felt so bad I didn’t say anything, she said. But I’d forgotten, I don’t think it even made it out of my short-term memory, it didn’t jog anything when Alice told me. In a certain sense, this is weird–I guess at that time in my life it was so common I just didn’t really register it as notable. Back then (and it wasn’t that damn long ago), I took every transphobic whatever that was not physical violence or the explicit threat thereof as solace, as luck that such threats or violence weren’t coming. I felt that way though (at the time) I had not experienced violence since middle school.

Two days ago, I heard Kellyanne Conway on CBC talking about how she hated feminism. (I tuned in midway through and thought she was Kellie Leitch, but I digress). She said:

“My mother didn’t feel sorry for herself, she was left with no child support, no alimony at a very young age, with a child to raise, a high school education and she just figured it out. She didn’t complain, she didn’t rely upon government, she relied upon her own skill set, her own self confidence, her own drive and moxie and her own duty to me and her and she relied upon her family and her faith.”


Her own skill set.

I think very much about the necessity for writers to draw from memory the things that aren’t being remembered, to resist our personal and cultural amnesias that flow graceful and sinister as wind. Troubles aren’t forgotten but the memories of troubles do get warped. That is always in the nature of things, but we tend to think we can trust our recollections of past difficulties. What I’m trying to say is: when I hear someone with the ear of evil like Kellyanne Conway make these claims of not relying on anybody and I wonder what she and her mom aren’t remembering, I too, as a writer, wonder what all I’m not remembering.

Casey Plett visits Brockton Writers Series on International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in our new home, Glad Day Bookshop, 499 Church St., Toronto, at 6:30pm (PWYC) alongside Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Manasi Nene, Giovanna Riccio and a special guest talk, “Breaking the Constraints of Form: There Are Many Ways to Tell a Story” by Teva Harrison!


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Brockton Writers Series 08.03.17

WEDNESDAY, MAR. 8, 2017 – 6:30pm

In honour of International Women’s Day, Brockton Writers Series presents:

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
Manasi Nene
Casey Plett
Giovanna Riccio

and special guest speaker

Teva Harrison


Glad Day Bookshop

499 Church St., Toronto

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

The venue, including its bathroom, is fully accessible. Please refrain from wearing scents.

Many thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for their support.


And to the Canada Council for the Arts for travel funding!


“Breaking the Constraints of Form: There Are Many Ways to Tell a Story”


Teva Harrison is an artist, writer and cartoonist. She is the author of the
bestselling, critically-acclaimed hybrid graphic memoir, In-Between Days,
published by House of Anansi Press. The book was a national bestseller,
shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction and
named a best book of the year by The Globe and Mail, The National Post, CBC, iBooks, KOBO, The Walrus and Quill & Quire. Numerous health organizations have invited her to speak publicly on behalf of the metastatic cancer community. She lives in Toronto.


img_0054Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm is Anishinaabek from the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, Saugeen Ojibway Nation, in Ontario. Kateri is an internationally acclaimed writer, spoken word poet, Indigenous arts activist, publisher and communications consultant. She and her sons live in their community at Neyaashiinigmiing on the traditional territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. Kateri has two collections of poetry, a collection of short stories, and two CDs of spoken word poetry. Her CD “A Constellation of Bones” was nominated for an Aboriginal Music Award. She is the founder and Managing Editor of award-winning publisher Kegedonce Press, which publishes and promotes some of the most beautiful, challenging, celebrated Indigenous literature in the world. Kateri’s first collection of short stories, The Stone Collection was recently shortlisted for a Sarton Literary Award.

259408_10200167724741825_2025039434_oManasi Nene is a writer and performance poet from Pune, India. She founded the Pune Poetry Slam at 17, and it has emerged as one of the leading literary communities and spaces in the country. Her work deals with sexuality, power politics, anxiety and what it is to be a young adult today. Halfway through a degree in Literary and Cultural Studies, she is currently in Toronto on an exchange program. Hopefully, you’ll be reading more of her work soon.

casey-plett-headshot-1-1500pxCasey Plett wrote the short story collection A Safe Girl To Love and is the co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction & Fantasy From Transgender Writers. She lives in Windsor, Ontario.


Giovanna Riccio is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she studied Philosophy and English Literature. Her poems and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines, journals and anthologies. Her work has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Slovenian, French and Romanian. She is the author of Vittorio (Lyricalmyrical Press, 2010) and Strong Bread (Quattro Books, 2011).  An Italian anthology that includes translations of her poems will be published in Italy this year. Giovanna co-organized the Toronto reading series, Not So Nice Italian Girls, for three years and is now part of the team that organizes  Shab-e She’r, Toronto’s most diverse monthly reading series.

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