Queer Perspectives: Kara Stanton
in Conversation with Trevor Corkum

Trevor Corkum

Malahat volunteer Kara Stanton recently spoke with Trevor Corkum about their role as editor for the Malahat's upcoming Queer Perspectives issue. Alongside Ali Blythe and Betsy Warland, Corkum will read all submissions for consideration.

The issue will celebrate the aesthetics, concerns, contributions, and achievements of queer authors living in or from Canada, recognizing their crucial role in providing a truly complete picture of what it is like to be alive in North America in the past, future, and especially today.

Click here for full details on submitting to Queer Perspectives.

Why did you agree to guest edit this issue of The Malahat Review?

It's an incredible honour (and incredible responsibility) to be asked to co-edit this volume with Betsy and Ali. This is a super exciting moment for queer writing in Canada—so many exciting, dynamic, diverse new voices are joining the conversation and re-imagining what it is to be queer in 2018. 

What are you looking for in submissions to the Queer Perspectives Issue? 

Fresh, invigorating, diverse voices. Writing that takes great risk. Writing with something at stake for the writer. 

Who are the LGBTQ2S writers whose work has been meaningful to you?

Gregory Scofield's gorgeous, erotic poetry had a tremendous influence on me as a young writer. Dionne Brand's lush language and erotic writing opened new ways of thinking about the body and desire. Ann-Marie MacDonald's dark, moody explorations of multi-generation, dysfunctional Maritime families showed me ways to write about the impact of trauma in our families. Vivek Shraya's writing, art, and music continue to teach me a tremendous amount about courage, resilience, and the importance of telling the truth in our work, no matter how difficult. 

What do you see as your responsibility to LGBTQ2S communities? What is the responsibility of Canadian publishers on the whole?

I think anyone involved in the Canadian literary ecosystem has a responsibility to think about using their power and privilege to champion and elevate the widest range of voices, particularly those from communities who have been historically marginalized or ignored. As human beings, we all have a responsibility to consider the wholeness and fullness of one another's diverse life experiences and to meet one another with love and respect. We share a collective responsibility to honour and defend the earth and the lives of all beings, in particular the most vulnerable among us. 

What does queer writing offer us, especially in these times of social and political upheaval?

It's important not to think of queer writing as a lonely silo. We are each complicated, complex beings with multifaceted, often fluid identities that shape our experiences of living, loving, desiring, writing, and being in the world. 

Queer writers—in particular queer feminist and trans writers—have been at the forefront of considering the intersections between the body and identity, and our embodied experiences of being in the world. In an age of hyper-information and social media overload, it can be easy to forget that our experiences of the world are entirely mediated, felt, understood, and lived through the body. Queer writing has brought the body into dynamically new and important conversations about identity, gender, power, resistance, refusal, celebration, play, reclamation, and of course sex, desire, and love. 

Queer writing and queer writers have challenged the arts and the wider culture to reconsider fundamental questions of how we express and organize our lives, from the status and dynamics of relationships, to ways of exploring and expressing desire, to thinking about intersectionality and how class, race, gender, ability, and other facets of our identity shape our experiences as sexual beings, queer or otherwise. 

 

Kara Stanton

Kara Stanton

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