Off the Stage: Soliloquies Reads, January 2016

Soliloquies Reads welcomed the new year on January 28 at Concordia’s Hive Café Co-op. With vegan brownies and a stellar lineup of past Soliloquies Anthology contributors and editors, the cozy event offered a break from the increasingly clamorous demands of the winter and the semester.

After the readings, I had the pleasure of interviewing each of our writers.

Shanna Roberts Salée

We spoke about your novel in our interview back in October, and having heard it aloud I’m marvelling at your ability to maintain such distinct narrative voices throughout. How did you keep track of them all during the writing process?

I had really elaborate charts for each of the characters. I conducted one-on-one interviews with myself about the characters, just asking them questions to try to figure out who they were, what they were doing, how they came to be who they were, and how they came to believe what they believe. It was challenging because I always had to put myself in the mindset of the characters so that their voices didn’t sound too much like each other or like me as the absent narrator.

Candice Maddy

Can you tell us a bit about the book that you’re working on and what the process of writing it has been like?

It’s a walking memoir about the neighbourhood of Montreal that it takes place over a year—so between this past December and the December prior. I walked about 5,000 km. I have nine toenails now, that’s all I have to say. Wear appropriate footwear. Presently, I’m revising the title. Last week in Toronto I met with some agents and publishing houses. I’m going to be sending my book out in about a month and a half.

Emily Carson-Apstein

The chapbook you read from combines both your page poetry and spoken word in a single volume. When you decide to write a poem, do you decide ahead of time whether you’re writing for the page?

It’ll go back and forth. I tend to write more spoken word poems because I’m in groups that compete fairly regularly—such as the Throw Poetry Collective. That’s what I love about them: the pressure to keep producing art. The need to write page poetry often comes out of the need to process something. To me, writing page poetry is more about trying to capture a moment, while spoken word is more about trying to convey something to an audience.

Ali Pinkney

The story you read from was completely transporting. What is your writing process or inspiration for your writing?

I’m constantly bewildered that everything “is.” I come from two parents who were very invested in making me believe that the world is my oyster, but that it is also everyone’s oyster, and so I am in love with the world and all the people in it. And everything the people in the world do fascinates me, and I love embracing that. Tirelessly.If you were to boil down my “known” super-objective in life, it would be this:I’d like to be an efficient Garborator of Bewilderment and for that to help people love being alive.

Julia Scandella

This evening, you shared some prose poetry and your recently published
flash fiction. How would you describe your relationship to these and other genres?

I tend to gravitate toward different things. For a while, it was short fiction, because of the classes I was taking and the books I was reading. I’ve never taken a creative writing poetry class, but, for the last few months, I’ve started writing it. I have no idea if it’s good, but it’s almost a good thing not to know if it’s good. One thing I’m starting to do now that I didn’t even do during my undergraduate degree is trying to master a short form first and then, when I feel good about that, start to go deeper.

Don’t forget that you have the rest of today to submit to our call for submissions! Check out /submit for submission guidelines.

Soliloquies Reads will return on on March 17 with a discussion panel on publishing and editing, in collaboration with Headlight Anthology and the Off the Page literary festival. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up with our events and contests.