FIRST WORDS is a literary podcast that asks poets, writers, and publishers how it all began.
EPISODE 6 - JM FRANCHETEAU
JM Francheteau was one of the first poets I met when starting out at open mics and launches nearly 5 years ago.
Inspired by heavy metal lyrics in his teens and Ottawa's young poets in his 20s, JM backpacked throughout Europe before settling in Toronto. He tells me about depression, characters in poetry, empathy, and meeting his father in the south of France.
EPISODE 5 - ELIZABETH BURNS & KAIT FOWLIE
Elizabeth Burns and Kait Fowlie talk intersectional feminism, health and wellness, tarot, and the horror of when your dad reads your diary.
Burns and Fowlie have created The Salvage, a new blog that tackles arts, activism, and mental health with a focus on intersectional feminism. They tell me how it began.
EPISODE 4 - JOSEPH IANNI
Joseph Ianni is a poet and community-builder who had plenty to say about what it means to be accountable as an artist, and the fluidity of meaning between writers and readers in a performance context.
There are many more strides to make in creating a stronger, more diverse literary community. Ianni tells us how intersectional conversation and a "infrastructure of forgiveness" are only the first steps.
EPISODE 3 - JAMES SOUTHCOTT AND CHARLOTTE VAN RYN
James Southcott and Charlotte Van Ryn have lived in rat-infested apartments, survived only on income-tax benefit cheques, and make a conscious decision everyday: write, read, and be happy.
They joined me to talk about moving to Toronto from Halifax, the ideal environment to write (sans literary community), and what defines exclusivity in contemporary literary scenes.
EPISODE 2 - JULIE MANNELL
Prolific writer Julie Mannell talks about academic elitism, being an outsider, and her greatest fear: not writing.
She has two forthcoming novels tentatively titled "little girls" and "Weekending in India". As well as a book of poetry, "Not Nice". Truly authentic, and an inspiring force in CanLit, Mannell is an author we'll be hearing more of in the years to come.
EPISODE 1 - NICOLE BREWER AND WILLIAM KEMP
Toronto-based writers and publishers Nicole Brewer and William Kemp talk Allen Ginsberg, Akana Schofield, and Toronto's ever-changing literary scene.
From their shared hatred of university courses to starting their own micro-press words(on)pages, literary magazine (parenthetical), and reading series words(on)stages, Brewer and Kemp have become some of the hardest working writers in Toronto.