GTA Mentoring Program: Contradictions and Absurdities in Life and Art

I grew up in the United Arab Emirates during the 1980s and early 1990s and moved to North America when I was thirteen because of the first Gulf War. Growing up in the Middle East during that time meant growing up concurrently with innocence (so much was censored) and turmoil (so much was brewing), optimism (so much seemed possible) and repression (so much was not legally possible) . . .

GTA Mentoring Program: Process

Based on my past mentorships, I have seen that an opportunity to work with a published, successful writer brings insight and knowledge into both the process and craft but also into the larger aspect of seeing a project through to its final incarnation.
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The Magic in the Everyday

I don’t remember when my stories started looking like a collection to me; perhaps when I realized similar themes kept repeating in them. I think that I tend to notice the speculative/ fantastical in everyday objects or events, and they keep jumping out at me as potential stories . . .

Writing as Re-Defining

The collection came from a period of dreams and nightmares, and re-evaluation of my personal and family history. I also spent a lot of time reading afro-futurist works by Nalo Hopkinson, Nnedi Okorafor and folktales (both Jamaican and African American such as “The People Could Fly”) that reimagine Black survival tools as magical powers . . .

The Feverish Push

Being an oil-baby, I lived a nomadic existence. I was born in Calgary, moved to Trinidad, then Toronto, spent time in Winnipeg during school vacations, and then moved to Houston all before the age of 10 . . .

Pen To Paper

My collection has been quite some time in the making. It’s a series of personal short stories which have been incubating for years, until I finally put pen to paper last year in a true effort to tell these stories . . .

Insight, Experience & Meaning

The work-in-progress explores the complexities of the Chinese-Vietnamese-Canadian diaspora and its entanglements with language and loss, family and ancestry. These themes are fairly new in my body of work as an artist, and were first explored in my performance-based collaborations with my mother and sister two years ago . . .

The Joy of Curiosity

I am used to tight deadlines and working under pressure. I am also a complete workaholic. I think the playwright program will allow me to allocate more time to myself and my writing, and give me the space to wrestle with big ideas on and off the page . . .