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Episode 3.7: Refuse: CanLit in Ruins

Okay I obviously don’t normally use this podcast to promote my side hustles but I want very badly to tell you about this project I’ve been working on for the past year and a half, and which launched just yesterday! Refuse: CanLit in Ruins is a collection of essays and poems and dialogues and stories that tackle the contemporary state of Canadian literature, that interrogate the link between CanLit and systemic forms of power and violence, and that imagine our way forward into something else, something better. I’m so proud of this book, and so moved by the generosity and brilliance of the contributors. If you’re interested in literature in general or Canadian literature in particular, you should read it! And because I love the contributors very much, here’s a (selected) list of other work available by them:

  • Keith Maillard’s new book, Twin Studies, is “an engrossing, timely, and contemporary novel about the bonds between twins, about sexuality and gender fluidity, and about the messy complexities of modern family life”
  • Tanis MacDonald’s Out of Line: Daring to be an Artist Outside the Big City “looks at our societal preconceptions about the artist lifestyle and examines how real artists fit into the everyday world”
  • Gwen Benaway’s poetry collection Holy Wild “explores the complexities of being an Indigenous trans woman in expansive lyric poems”
  • You can preorder Alicia Elliott’s new book, A Mind Spread Out on the Ground, “an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about the treatment of Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma”
  • Sonnet L’Abbé’s most recent chapbook, Anima Canadensisis available through Junction Books (but it’s limited edition, so go get it now!)
  • Kai Cheng Thom’s poetry collection, a place called No Homeland, and her children’s book, From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea, are both available from Arsenal Pulp Press
  • Chelsea Vowel has an incredible book, Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada, which “explores the Indigenous experience from the time of contact to the present, through five categories – Terminology of Relationships; Culture and Identity; Myth-Busting; State Violence; and Land, Learning, Law, and Treaties”
  • Phoebe Wang’s poetry book, Admission Requirements, was deservedly nominated for like a bajillion prizes last year; “the speaker in these poems is engaged in a kind of fieldwork, surveying gardens, communities, and the haphazard cityscape, where the reader is presented with the paradoxes of subsumed histories”
  • Joshua Whitehead’s Jonny Appleseed was long listed for the Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction (for those outside of Canada, these are big deals!); it’s “a tour-de-force debut novel about a Two-Spirit Indigiqueer young man and proud NDN glitter princess who must reckon with his past when he returns home to his reserve”
  • I could keep making this list forever but this is already the longest show notes ever but seriously the contributors to this book are so brilliant and talented and you should look them all up!


The podcast theme song is “Mesh Shirt” by Mom Jeans off their album “Chub Rub.” Listen to the whole album here or learn more about them here. Follow me @hkpmcgregor, follow Kaarina @kaarinasaurus, and tweet about the podcast using #SecretFeministAgenda.

Secret Feminist Agenda is recorded and produced by Hannah McGregor on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.