In the Peel River Watershed. The Matriarchs is about rivers, and also about mothers (duh).
I’m very honoured to have been chosen by Thomas King for a Writers’ Trust Rising Star Mentorship. There’s never a bad time to receive some mentorship from one of your heroes, but I have to say the timing on this is really wonderful, as I’ve been struggling with my current work-in-progress, The Matriarchs, for long enough, and I’m eager to move ahead!
“Baker is blessed with an exacting eye for the disturbing and humorous detail and an ability to hear pain and sorrow, joy and delight, a rare talent who can make you smile and cringe and think in the same sentence.” -Thomas King
A short excerpt from the Matriarchs manuscript was recently published in the Hairstreak Butterfly Review, a journal out of Colorado College. I was lucky to get to work with Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer as my editor, she is positively brilliant. Have a look!
Drafting Tales is an author simulator game (yep, those exist) available on Steam. Josh at Let’s Game it Out plays sim games badly to create tragic consequences, but the writing life is so inherently tragic he just played the game normally. The resulting video is my gift to you this holiday season.
If you enjoy the video, remember to like it and subscribe to the channel. It’s how these folks keep producing content.
I’ve been very busy, and neglecting the website! Here’s a little catch up.
Last winter, while in Dawson City for the Berton House Writer Residency, I was thrilled to also serve as a judge for the Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize, along with Catherine Hernandez and Joshua Whitehead. Reading the stories and assembling the anthology was an intense and amazing experience! Congrats to all the writers, and to the finalists!
I’m incredibly lucky to have been able to do some international travel this year, for the Hay Festival in Querétaro, Mexico and Arequipa, Peru. Secwepemc poet Garry Gottfriedson was with us for the Peru leg of the festival, hanging out with him and Cusco poet Jorge Alejandro Vargas Prado was definitely a highlight. And of course, Sean Cranbury!
Sean and I were also at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference this year. This is a gathering of writers like no other. The sense of community was really impressive, and folks were very friendly and welcoming. In addition to a keynote speech, I sat on a couple of panels, and gave workshops on writing autofiction, and navigating social media as a writer.
For the 2019/2020 school year, I am serving as the Writer in Residence at Simon Fraser University, in the Brutalist Rain Palace up on Burnaby Mountain. It’s been a wonderful term meeting with SFU writers and discussing their work. Next term I am honoured and excited to be one of the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellows in the Humanities at SFU, working with SFU Galleries to build and foster relationships between visual arts and the humanities.
Amidst all this excitement, I also plan to finish my novel, The Matriarchs, by spring 2020. Better get on that.
I’ll be doing a lot of coastal travel this spring! Very excited to read with Charles Demers and Roger Farr at the Isle of the Arts festival on Gabriola Island from 7:30-9:30PM on April 9th. Check it out here. Our event is called Fiction, Non Fiction, Poetry: The City is Also an Island. Check out the full schedule here.
Congrats to the 2019-2020 Berton House writers! My time here is almost over and it’s been wonderful. Click here to read more about the upcoming group and their projects.
I’ll be at the Federation of BC Writers Spring Writes Festival from May 2-5th. Very exciting! Click here to check out the workshop and readings!
Poster by Isabella Wang
I’ll be reading some Gwendolyn MacEwen poems on Sunday November 18th at 3pm at the Vancouver Public Library, check it out!
Here’s the full lineup:
June Jordan (1936 – 2002), read by Phanuel Antwi
Audre Lorde (1934 – 1992), read by Bibiana Tomasic
Gwendolyn MacEwen (1941 – 1987), read by Carleigh Baker
Richard Outram (1930 – 2005), read by Amanda Jernigan
Learn more about the Dead Poets Reading Series here.