Eaton Hamilton

the problem with being trans is cis people. The problem with being queer is straight people. The problem with being disabled is abled people. The problem with being Black is white people. In other words, prejudice.


The Dayne Ogilve Prize 2017

I’m pleased to say that our three finalists for the 2017 Dayne Ogilvie Prize, a $4000 award to an emerging LGBTQ author admininstered by the Writer’s Trust, were announced this week. I was pleased and honoured to have spent the last three months engrossed in our longlist reads with Elio Iannacci and Trish Salah. We have such a prolific and talented community, and you all to a one make me so proud. It was a great honour to read you. The ceremony announcing the winner will take place in concert with the Writer’s Union of Canada AGM and is open to the public, 5 pm Sat June 3 at SFU Harbourfront, with last year’s winner Leah Horlick presenting the award.


Voluble Orlando

Over at Voluble, a Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) channel, there’s a new project in the works. Home movies filmed at queer bars run alongside LGBTQ artists in a feature called The Joy of Coloring.


“On June 12, 2016 a man entered PULSE, a gay nightclub in Orlando Florida and used a SIG Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol to murder 49 people and wound 53 others. The club was hosting Latin Night. The vast majority of victims were Puerto Rican and Latin@. This was the largest massacre of LGBTQ people in U.S. history. It continues a seemingly relentless wave of gun violence in the U.S. It is part of a tapestry of year that included significant legislation against LGBTQ people in the United States of America.

My original impulse was to immediately “do something”. I asked people on Facebook to find their nearest gay bar and go read a poem in front of it. We got these gorgeous homemade films. I didn’t ask folks to identify whether they were LGBTQ or not. I think everyone should know where their nearest gay bar is.” –-Gabrielle Calvocoressi from the introduction to the project

The night of the slaughter of Latin@ and Puerto Ricans at Pulse, Vancouver held a vigil at the Art Gallery. Afterwards, my friend Donna Dykeman and I stood in front of The Fountainhead and I read an excerpt from GOING SANTA FE, a chapbook of mine published in 1997–nearly twenty years ago–while she filmed me. It was very dark and noisy on the street and we only had my iPhone. I was crying while I read. Standing outside a bar, a bar like Pulse, a bar that could have been Pulse, drove home the horror. Like everyone else, I longed for us to be able to lift the victims into our arms and breathe their lives back into them. Now all I can do is look at their photographs and speak the victims’ names again and again and again.

Never forget. Never forget. Never forget.

On Poverty and Class in Literature

Alison Stine, writing at the Kenyon Review, wrote the necessary essay “On Poverty” partially in response to classism in Claire Vaye Watkins’ essay “On Pandering.”

“We are poor because we were born that way. We are poor because our husbands or girlfriends left us, or our families disowned us, or our partners abused us. We are poor because we are raising children and children need things, like food. We are poor because of illness or disability. We are poor because the city where we live is expensive, but we don’t have the savings to leave. We are poor because we spent those savings on rent. We are poor because our rent was raised. We are poor because our fifteen-year-old car broke down again. We are poor because of student loans. We are poor because there are no jobs, or there are not enough jobs, or we’re working three jobs, but none pay a living wage.

We are not poor out of lack of hard work. We are not poor because we “want it less.” We stay poor because of institutionalized sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, and classism.

We stay poor because doors stay closed.” -Alison Stine

To her essay I would add:

Being able to have a job, even at McDonalds, is a luxury beyond many of our disabled writers who are on provincial or federal disability, cannot work, and whose low incomes are, consequently, not only meagre but fixed and unable to ride them through any unexpected storms.

On Poverty


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