Hello all. I have two more days until my Covid quarantine is over and I can walk in the sun again. This bug is no joke! I can’t remember the last time I was this tired.
Still, it’s also National Poetry Month and I was fortunate enough to be invited to share some words with the League of Canadian Poets. The first piece is an essay, 18 Interpretations of Resilience. It’s an odd year to spend time thinking about resilience. I tried to be honest about the ways the concept has helped and hindered me. The second piece is a poem, Avocado. This is both one of my favourite poems and one of my most rejected. In retrospect, that feels right for the theme.
I’m off for a nap (lots of those right now). But be well, drink lots of water, and hug your humans.
I’ve recently had three poems published. The first, A Line From This Poem to Me, was published by Tealight Press. It’s about discovering my gender in a space that couldn’t even say its name. Two other poems, She Asked Me Why I Write Poetry and It Made Me Want to Sing, were published in issue 2 of Ghost Heart Literary Journal. This issue, called Transcend, is dedicated to the voices of creators who exist in the trans experience. If you’d like to read more of my poetry, you can find it on my Poetry page.
Centring our creative community
I usually feature writers, but we have the ability to work remotely during lockdown. Tattoo artists aren’t so fortunate. One of my favourite artists, the one responsible for the poppy tattoo on my arm, has started selling prints on Etsy. E.K. is more than an artist—they are also part of a community of tattoo artists that work to make their field more safe, equitable, anti-racist, and sustainable. Their work is bold, clean, and usually nature inspired. You can view their work and make purchases here.
Three of my poems were published in print journal The Avenue‘s sexuality and gender themed issue. They aren’t available online, but the issue can be purchased here.
If you enjoy my poetry, you can always find more of it here.
CENTRING OUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY
Author Dianna Gunn wears so many hats, I’m starting to think she’s a hydra. When she’s not prolifically penning stories, recording podcasts, or helping authors learn how to market their work, she’s busy creating virtual conferences. There’s one coming up on February 20th called Worldbuilding Deep Dive. I’m particularly jazzed for the Accessibility in Worldbuilding: Understanding How Disabled People Move Through Your World panel. All of the panels are free, though spaces are limited. Writers can sign up here.
Welp, for the first time ever I’m creating an awards eligibility post. Small but mighty, I’m proud of this list of what I’ve accomplished in my first year actively and consistently submitting. Thank you for giving my work a look! —H. E. Casson
Title: Wings Pulled To Body Genre: Poetry Publisher: Scifaikuest, August 2020 This is a short poem about reverse metamorphosis.
Title: 12 Tanzen Lane Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale Publisher: Cast of Wonders, September 2020 Published as an audio play, 12 Tanzen Lane is a queer retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses fairy tale, set in a group home. It explores gender, trauma, mental illness, and love. It’s informed by my own time spent in the group home system growing up.
Title: Weeding the Experiential Archives Genre: Speculative Fiction Publisher: The Quilliad, November 2020 In this experimental short story, you are cast as the archivist, deciding which experiences will remain in your collection and which will be discarded and sold. The experiences are gleaned from the near past, present, and near future.
My first published shape poem, The Labels on Shampoo, is in Ang(st)’s 4th issue, which can be read here. Ang(st) is a feminist zine with a focus on the body. The other works in this issue cover so many moods and styles. There’s likely something in there for every experience of hair. I’ve found some brilliant new writers to follow in this issue.
Funny side story: when I wrote this poem, I went to my local drugstore to take pictures of all the words used to sell shampoo (which, lets be honest, is just wet soap). I took so many photos, a guy at the store thought I was casing the joint. I had to explain that it was all for poetry. I’m not sure he bought it.
CENTRING OUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY
BTW, if you’re into zine culture, there’s some impressive work being done at the Wiggle Bird Mailing Club. There are a few different levels of support you can offer on their Patreon, but every level includes at least some of their bright, gloriously designed zines from trans and queer authors. If an ongoing monthly commitment isn’t feasible, you can also support them with one-off purchases at their Etsy shop.
I stumbled across a poem I wrote a full two decades before I was open about the queerness of my gender. I sometimes feel like I was leaving myself breadcrumbs so that when I finally realized how lost I was, I’d be able to find my way home. This is one of those breadcrumbs.
For folks using text readers:
The clothes, they feel wrong But the fault’s in the wearer In terror of being Exactly myself With the clothes That I chose From the piles on my shelf I’m pretending I’m someone I’m not Someone else Someone normal And happily lost in the crowd When I’m lost in this shroud In this lie Over-false Truer walls around feelings That don’t match my pulse
And I’ve twisted around From the me I should be That even my clothes Have rebelled against me
Saying, “There are some things That we have to discuss. For we’d rather you naked, Than fake it, With us.”
For the second time, the wonderful Kristin Garth has included one of my poems in her journal, Pink Plastic House. It was part of her 31-day collection of Halloween-hearted poems. You can read it by clicking here and scrolling down to October 17th, the day my poem was featured.
The Autumn issue of Thema Literary Journal features my poem, What Were You Wearing? I wrote this piece in response to the question inevitably asked by police, social workers, doctors, friends, and lovers when talking about sexual assault. You can purchase the issue here.
If you were a North American GenX kid who didn’t understand the appeal of sports where people hit things and didn’t wear sequins, you might enjoy my poem about figure skating’s most epic battle. It ‘s up now at The Daily Drunk.