Jennifer Eagle, Editor, led a bi-weekly writing group called The Inkblot for two and a half years in Edmonton, Alberta, on a volunteer basis until March 2020. She is in the final stages of editing her first book of poetry. Jennifer attended Sage Hill in 2018, where she won a Robert Kroetsch bursary. Her poetry has appeared in Secrets from the Orange Couch, and The Rat Creek Press. She wrote a popular play, I Love No Name, which appeared in the Fringe, and has published non-fiction. Jennifer Eagle’s is now launching an online Journal of Literature & Art she named Lemonspouting. In May, 2021, she returns to her studies in Publishing at Ryerson University.
What makes an ideal poem?
An ideal poem needs to stop me in my tracks. I need to want to read it repeatedly, to enjoy its surprise, and capture how it sounds read aloud. I stray away from poems that are oversimplified. I very much like shorter form poetry, and a there is a tremendous art in mixing simple words in surprising ways to create extraordinary images that wow a reader. I believe poetry can be written on any subject, and that poetry is a type of playground to shape your ideas, mirthfully or in seriousness, as you choose the right form and images. A truly ideal poem is where I can breathlessly say, “I wish I wrote that!’
Who are your favourite (for the moment or all time) poets?
I read widely, but one of my favourite poets is Canadian poet Catherine Graham. I love her word play, brevity and striking language. Reading her work always makes me gasp at its beauty and simple complexity. Then there’s the American poet Matthew Lippman whose highly observant poetic style is flippant and conversational, like you’re two good friends meeting in the neighbourhood at a barbecue shooting the shit. I’m passionate about Joanna Lilley’s finely crafted poetry, which captures me with it’s immediate voice. I love American poet Tony Hoagland, for his sense of humor, his rage, and his ability to put politics into poetry brilliantly. I also have to mention e.e. cummings, because without him, I would never have taken an interest in poetry or writing at all.
Robert Gooding-Townsend, Fiction, sells utilitarianism to utilities, likes math too much, and is a bisexual environmentalist with ADHD who *checks notes* lives in a society.
I'm interested in fiction that's cerebral and a little bit weird, but not pretentious -- and they should be exploring some serious point about the world. I'm particularly drawn to queer/feminist sci-fi and fantasy, but also welcome stories about the absurdities of modern work, or unusual people feeling unusual emotions.
Maria Kossman, Fiction &Non-fiction, is a creative writer, essayist and blogger based in Edmonton, Canada. Passionate about sustainable living, minimalism, traveling, and anything antique, she focuses on advocating life that is inspiring, mindful and elegant. Her writing appeared in such magazines as NUVO, LUXIDERS, and THE ISSUE. At this stage, she is engaged in creating a collection of short stories, studying writing at the University of Alberta and, becoming a part of the editing team of the online Literary Journal of Literature & Art Lemonspouting.
Describe your ideal fiction/non-fiction piece:
Despite differences between fiction and non-fiction, I seek, in each genre, abstractionism and simplicity, sublimity and improvisation of expressions that resonate with my inner vision. I believe in the power of language, vivid development of a character, and deeper ideas that often stand behind ordinary sentences. Thus, in writing, and genre doesn’t matter at this point, I wish to see intelligence, progress, and genuine emotions.
Who is your favourite (for the moment or all-time) writer?
If I were to name one above all others, that would be Charles Dickens. However, while many authors of different genres, decades affect one’s writing, I also want to mention Russian novelist and playwright Anton Chekhov and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Gabrielle Pietersma, Poetry & Photography, is an avid writer and reader of poetry and a published photographer. She is in the process of compiling a poetry book illustrated by her own photographs. Gabrielle appreciates and celebrates art in all its formats and is excited to share her passion as Co-Poetry and Photographic Editor of Lemonspouting.
My ideal poem invokes emotion, memory and paints a picture in my mind while connecting to the spirit. A good poem is a menagerie of craft, full of alliteration, rhythm and rhyme coming together to create a magical narrative that draws me into its depths and makes me never want to leave.
Nabila Fairuz Rahman, Fiction, is the author of the novel, The Chronicles of Captain Shelly Manhar. She began her writing career publishing her first story at a children’s newspaper about befriending a Tyrannosaurus Rex. She dabbles in poetry, short stories, and creates puns to cope with writer’s block. Nabila is a big fan of works by Rick Riordan, J.K. Rowling, and Neil Gaiman. She currently resides in the beautifully cold country of Canada, trying to finish her never ending pile of books and long lists of manuscripts.
Describe your ideal fiction piece:
My ideal short story would be something that has a twist at the ending. Not necessarily a dark one, but something that shocks the reader, something unexpected that was not anticipated from the beginning. I’m not strict on genre, the only genre that draws me away is erotica.
What is your favourite short story (for the moment or all-time)?
I'm still consuming as many short stories as possible, so I can’t give you a confirmed all-time answer yet. To give you an idea of what I like: I absolutely love Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, A Coward by Guy de Maupassant, and Zoo by Edward D. Hoch.
Kristina Stocks, Non-fiction, is a writer and researcher living in Edmonton. You can find her work in Hive Avenue Literary, The Quill Magazine, and forthcoming in Defenestration Magazine, Drunk Monkeys Literature + Film, and other publications. On nonfiction: "In creative nonfiction I look for guts, detail, and honesty. I firmly believe there is no right or wrong way to write a story or essay, but it has got to make you feel something. A sense of humour never hurts."