Rachel interviews Shazia Hafiz Ramji, the poetry editor at PRISM magazine.
And as always this episode truly takes you behind the scenes of a literary journal—in this case it’s a University-based journal in the centre of controversy. (Below, we link to articles that will provide some background, though you don’t need to know all the minutiae of this story to listen to the episode.)
We also talk about Shazia’s really laudable efforts to make sure underrepresented writers are welcome with open arms into the pages of PRISM, and my sixth-grade self jumped in glee when she talked about how being a writer is a lot like being a spy-explorer. We also discuss emotional urgency in poetry, literary criticism, and you’ll come away with a better sense of what working with a dream editor is like and what kind of poems you should never submit to Shazia.
PRISM is the oldest literary magazine in western Canada. Published quarterly in Vancouver, British Columbia, its mandate is to publish the best in contemporary writing and translation from Canada and around the world. Writing from PRISM has been featured in Best American Stories, Best American Essays and The Journey Prize Stories, amongst other noted publications. It is edited by MFA students in the Creative Writing Program, UBC.
Shazia Hafiz Ramji received the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry and was a finalist for the 2018 Alberta Magazine Awards and the 2016 National Magazine Awards. Her writing has been longlisted for The Fiddlehead’s Short Fiction contest and has recently appeared in Quill & Quire, Metatron’s ALPHA, and Hamilton Arts & Letters. Her first chapbook is Prosopopoeia (Anstruther Press, 2017) and her debut book of poetry, Port of Being, is forthcoming from Invisible Press in fall 2018.
CanLit Controversy Background
CanLit Has a Sexual-Harassment Problem (Zoe Whittall on The Walrus)
Under a cloud: How UBC's Steven Galloway affair has haunted a campus and changed lives (News Story, Globe & Mail)
CanLit is a Raging Dumpster Fire (Alicia Elliott on Open Book)
Host: Rachel Thompson
Sound Editor: Mica Lemiski
Presented by Room magazine and We Write, We Light