Ep. #130: Elisabeth de Mariaffi

Elisabeth de Mariaffi is a gifted writer and poet who lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Her 2012 short story collection How to Get Along with Women is extraordinarily moving, emotionally jarring, texturally precise, and it was longlisted for the 2013 Giller Prize with good reason. Of her work, author Michael Winter once astutely said, “She’s alive to what disturbs, and she’s dead to cliche.” Elisabeth’s work has been featured in prominent periodicals and her story “Kiss Me Like I’m The Last Man On Earth” was nominated for a 2013 National Magazine Award. She is also one of the founders of Toronto Poetry Vendors, a small press that sells single poems by established Canadian poets through toonie vending machines. De Mariaffi has a new novel coming out this January via HarperCollins Canada called The Devil You Know and she’s appearing at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival on Sunday Sept. 14. Here, she and I talk about the weather in St. John’s, living between Toronto and Guelph and Newfoundland, meeting St. John’s current poet laureate George Murray, Book Ninja, working for an airline during a long distance relationship, just married, working at Ed Video Media Arts Centre and learning about video editing, writing poetry under the tutelage of Dionne Brand and short stories with Michael Winter, flying together, finding the time and resources to write the stories in How To Get Along With Women, short stories versus long stories, travelling to Hungary a lot as a kid, learning several languages, politics and perception and the tangible impact of the Cold War, how I thought How To Get Along With Women would be funny but it was actually very heavy, the politics of our day-to-day existence, relationships and power dynamics, fear, the whole literary prize nomination deal, writing a novel while the iron was hot, Invisible Publishing, working at Breakwater Books, having four kids and jobs as writers, NO, her new novel The Devil You Know and its relation to fear, February 1993 in the weeks that Paul Bernardo was being pursued by police, darkness, writing more short stories or another novel, sending wedding thank yous, the future, and then the end.

Related links: invisiblepublishing.com twitter.com/ElisabethdeM edenmillswritersfestival.ca

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