After seven years of being Poetry Editor, I am thrilled to share the news that I have accepted the Editor-in-Chief position of carte blanche.
I find myself stuck on nineteen words these days, repeating in my mind, filling every last inch of space. They have bonded themselves to my TO-DO LIST, like cloud to sun, blocking out encroaching deadlines, commitments, the need to buy milk on my way home. They have raised themselves like a wall around my mind… a blockade between me and my own words.
Nineteen words said Wednesday night by a very dear friend, over dinner in this broken city:
carte blanche, founded in 2004, is the official online magazine of the Quebec Writers’ Federation. We are celebrating over 14 years of promoting poetry, creative nonfiction, comics, translation, photography, fiction, and literary commentary from Quebec, Canada, and around the world. With ongoing support from the Canada Council of the Arts and private donations, carte blancheis able to pay all of its contributors, and maintains a dynamic and unique niche online.
Back in the summer, when reading outside was a thing, I was sitting on my stoop, engrossed in Tommy Orange’s There There, when an older white woman interrupted to inform me that she’d quit reading the same novel a quarter of the way through because it was “too sad.” She said it like, How could I be expected to digest such a thing? Like, Isn’t reading supposed to be a pleasure and what was this, some kind of tricky trick to make me feel bad? And then she asked me, dubiously, whether I liked it and whether I was going to finish it.
Crossing an international boundary in the current social climate is not easy for anyone, but when you’ve got a Native man, woman, and two-spirit trying to cross in a borrowed car using only the Indian status card of the driver, things get complicated fast. As my friends and family who make the point of using their tribal ID at the airport know all too well, asserting Indigenous sovereignty in the face of settler colonial bureaucracy is a tricky thing
I don’t know exactly when I started being exploited…At the time, I worked in the most absurd and fucked up place in the whole universe: a large industrial factory. The owners were related to each other, a nepotistic mess. It was a father and son team. The son was a forty-year-old man who was brought up to feel entitled to everything. He sort of ran the show or aspired to. His parents had both been abusive to each other and their children. There was no such thing as boundaries or professionalism in this job. They brought all their internal drama to work, and yelled and screamed at each other in front of me. I was the only administrative staff. The rest of the workers were in the back. Read more →
Trans girls have surgery for many reasons. People often think of our surgeries as horrible experiences that rupture your life apart, but they can also be moments when you give birth to another world. It’s possible to hold two thoughts in your head at once. You can say this is hard and I’m so happy now at the same time without either one being untrue. Some of the reasons trans girls decide to have surgeries make more sense to people than others, but they’re all valid because we’re all valid. Read more →
The world of The Blue Clerk comes alive in colour. It is all “violet toll roads, freezing violet, museums of blue, violet turbines, blue vistas,” (211) all “the sense of orange” (209), all “the escarpment of a yellow house” (209). This world is moving like the water by the wharf where the Blue Clerk lives, a space of experience and texture, rather than time and place. The text is urgent and it is contemplative, it is stressed and unstressed, it lives in the complexity of difference and duality. Within the narrative, the main fixed points are the conversations between the Clerk and the Author,
What does it mean to be a publicist? I’ll be thinking about this question a lot as I start in this position, filling the shoes of a dear friend, and collaborating with so many great editors and authors in my future at carte blanche! I’m so excited that I get to help people discover this journal daily, and see the progress we make as we grow, as we highlight important literature and art, and as we continue to work towards something we can be proud of.