Announcing the Recipient of the 2021 Fresh Pages Editorial Mentorship in Creative Nonfiction: Poonam Dhir!

carte blanche is pleased to announce that Poonam Dhir has been named the recipient of the 2021 Fresh Pages Editorial Mentorship in Creative Nonfiction. Congratulations!

As a poet, storyteller and longtime member of QWF, I am delighted to be the recipient of the 2021 Fresh Pages Editorial Mentorship in creative nonfiction. A heartfelt thank you to everyone at QWF and carte blanche. With guidance from Jenny Ferguson, CNF editor, and support from the carte blanche team, led by Greg Santos, I hope to contribute to another compelling issue of carte blanche.

I have learned from reading powerful creative nonfiction by writers such as: Audre Lorde, Claudia Rankine, Roxane Gay, Zadie Smith, Elisa Gabbert, Bhanu Kapil, Ivan Coyote, CAConrad, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Kai Cheng Thom and David Sedaris. What is common to many of these writers is how they (re)interpret form and challenge boundaries. Writing that cannot be easily categorized inspires me.

I am looking forward to this experience and excited to read your submissions: work that is non-linear, fragmented, intersectional; pieces that make bold syntactical choices and showcase code-switching and hybridity. I am particularly interested in experimental forms, invented forms and (soma)tic rituals; interviews, memoir and lyric essays that defy convention. Brevity of language is appealing to me, as is humour and empathy.

It would be a privilege to help feature emerging writers of all ages, folks who are traditionally underrepresented/marginalized, BIPOC writers, LGBTQQIP2SAA writers, non-binary & gender non-conforming writers, differently abled writers, disabled writers and all who are affected by structural inequality.

CNF I encourage you to read:

Alycia Pirmohamed and Pratyusha, Sue Goyette, Kirin Khan, Joshua Whitehead, Sandra Cisneros, erica hiroko isomura, Ocean Vuong, Lisa Whittington-Hill, Lisa Factora-Borchers interview with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, and Esmé Weijun Wang.

And of course, read carte blanche, including: Yilin Wang, Shazia Hafiz Ramji, Kaveh Akbar in Conversation with Tess Liem.

Most importantly, I am interested in words, ideas and perspectives that will deepen our understanding of what resilience (this issue’s theme) is and can be. I recognize this is a significant opportunity. I will treat the role and your work with the utmost respect.

Just days ago, I activated my twitter account, do get in touch @pnmdhir

Poonam Dhir (she/they) is a queer diasporic Punjabi poet, storyteller and settler currently based in Tiohtiá:ke (Montréal), on the traditional, unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka people. Their work explores identity, trauma, memory and the relationship between belief and belonging. She aims to contribute to conversations around accessibility, abuse and mental health. As a non-traditional emerging writer and editor, Poonam seeks to create a larger space for underrepresented artists and those who are on non-traditional journeys. They contemplate themes of migration, displacement and loss. They live with non-visible disabilities and use storytelling as a means for healing, to reconcile and reimagine outcomes. You can read her latest piece in Vallum 18:1 “Invisibility”.