Elizabeth Bachinsky

ELIZABETH-BACHINSKY-nov2013-800x450Interview by Nicole Boyce

Elizabeth Bachinsky is the Editor of EVENT Magazine, an award-winning journal published out of Douglas College in its 42nd year of publication. Bachinsky is the author of five collections of poetry. Her work has been nominated for the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. Her second collection, Home of Sudden Service, was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry. She is a graduate of UBC’s MFA Creative Writing program and a creative writing instructor at Douglas College.

I spoke to her on the phone, as she was—in typical multitasking style—en route to a meeting of EVENT’s fiction board. She was delightfully friendly, funny and candid.

How did you become interested in literary magazine editing?

I’ve always been interested in magazine editing. I had a friend not long ago who sent me a copy of a literary magazine that I edited in high school called Free Word. It was just a little photocopied pamphlet that we were publishing at Thomas Haney Secondary in Maple Ridge. I had totally forgotten that I’d ever done that, but I did, and I was also involved in the yearbook, that kind of stuff. I wanted to be a publisher for a long, long time. Even when I was a little kid, I’d rewrite fairytales and draw pictures with them and put them in laminated covers and staple them. But I didn’t start doing it for money, like, as a “job-job,” until I worked at PRISM international. I was the Assistant Editor there, then the Poetry Editor.

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Ruth Ozeki

ruth-ozeki

Photo Credit: Kris Krug

Interviewed by Kris Kosaka

Bestselling author Ruth Ozeki celebrates the Zen idea of the “positionless position,” the “not one not two” ambiguity of life with her being and her work. Her third novel, A Tale for the Time Being, was short-listed for the 2013 Man Booker Prize in Literature. Her earlier novels, My Year of Meats and All Over Creation were also critically acclaimed and have been translated into 11 languages and published in 14 countries.

Ozeki is half Japanese and half American in ethnicity, holds American and Canadian citizenship and divides her time between New York city and Desolation Sound along the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. Ozeki started her artistic career as a filmmaker, and her documentaries and dramatic independent films have been shown on PBS, at the Sundance Film Festival, and in colleges and universities across the States.

In addition to being a filmmaker and novelist, Ozeki is also a Buddhist priest. Not one thing, not another, Ozeki is a true master. A fan of all her works, it was an honor to connect with Ms. Ozeki recently by phone from my base in Japan.

Describe an ideal morning in Desolation Sound.

Wake up early-ish, maybe six or seven, and it is raining outside.  It is clear that it is going to rain all day. Go down to my office, which is in a different building, and make a pot of tea.  Go to the zen-dō and sit.

Maybe read a little bit, and then go up to my office to spend the day writing.

*The is a spiritual hall or place where zazen, sitting meditation, is practiced. Ozeki has a small zen-dō on her property in Desolation Sound.

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