Sense of Place with Minelle Mahtani – Chelene Knight

Posted in Arts, Audio, Canada, Interviews, Media Archive on 2017-03-01 21:09Z by Steven

Sense of Place with Minelle Mahtani – Chelene Knight

Sense of Place with Minelle Mahtani
Roundhouse Radio 98.3 FM
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2017-02-16

Minelle Mahtani, Host and Associate Professor of Human Geography and Planning, and the Program in Journalism
University of Toronto, Scarborough

Minelle speaks with Room magazine’s managing editor, Chelene Knight, about the local magazine and its volunteer collective.

Listen to the interview (00:15:50) here.

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Can We Talk

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive on 2016-11-13 20:59Z by Steven

Can We Talk

Mixed Roots Stories
2016-11-02

Chelene Knight

Please check one of the following boxes:

Black

White

Asian

Indigenous

Métis

Other

In my younger days I remember filling out a job application and staring at that question about race for so long. Do I check the ‘Black” box? What the hell is “Other?” My hand hovered over the question for a long time …

The more I write about life as a mixed-race person, and what this means to me as a mother, woman, writer etc, the more the writing itself tends to be less about race and more about missing pieces, and figuring out the order of these pieces and how to put them together. And not only the pieces I’ve never had, but re-working and making do with the ones I do have…

Read the entire article here.

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Interview with 39.4 Editor, Chelene Knight

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, Women on 2016-06-06 01:06Z by Steven

Interview with 39.4 Editor, Chelene Knight

Room: Literature, Art, and Feminism Since 1975
May 2016

Interview by Rebecca Russell


Chelene Knight

The Room Collective is very excited to have you on board as the new Managing Editor. How are you adjusting to the new role?

I was super excited when I was asked to step up as Managing Editor at Room. The mentoring I received from the previous Managing Editor, Rachel Thompson, has been the most amazing experience. She is one talented woman, and has done a lot to make Room such a great place for women to raise their voices. The entire Room Collective has been super supportive and I can honestly finally say I am doing what I love. This transition isn’t easy, that’s for sure! It’s been a big learning curve for me but there are also certain aspects of the job that are pretty darn rewarding, like working with such a talented group of women who all share a passion for the literary arts. The role itself is all encompassing and I feel like a huge tree with a million branches shooting out in multiple directions, and I am finally being challenged—this is a good thing…

What can you tell us about the collection you’re currently working on, Dear Current Occupant?

It seems as though Dear Current Occupant has been in the works all my life. I had what you could call a “tough childhood,” and I wanted to write about it as a way of healing and as a way of setting things free into the world. It turned out to be a mixed-genre compilation of sonnets, prose, short story, erasure, and more. My first book, Braided Skin (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2015), told a story of race and the struggles of being of mixed-ethnicity, and focused on belonging and place in the racial/family sense, whereas Dear Current Occupant tackles the need for “home” and “place” in terms of the physical house. In the book, the narrator is a young adult looking back on the thirty homes she’s lived in as a child. She writes to the “current occupants” of these places to reflect on her own experiences when she was living there. She learns a lot about her “self” through this process. She opens doors, she unlocks and digs up things that were buried. The book also includes photos of the actual houses in various perspectives. The photography was done by Jade Melnychuk, and Rich Riordan. I am happy to say the manuscript is in my publishers’ hands as we speak…

Read the entire interview here.

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An Interview with Poet and Room Poetry Coordinator Chelene Knight

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Canada, Interviews, Media Archive, Women on 2016-02-15 17:02Z by Steven

An Interview with Poet and Room Poetry Coordinator Chelene Knight

Room: Literature, Art, and Feminism Since 1975
Issue 37.4: Claiming Space (2015)

Interview with Bonnie Nish

Chelene Knight was born in Vancouver and is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at SFU. She has been published in Sassafras Literary Magazine, Room, emerge 2013 and Raven Chronicles and is the Poetry Coordinator at Room. Braided Skin, her first book (Mother Tongue Publishing, March 2015), has given birth to numerous writing projects, including a work in progress, Dear Current Occupant. Her work is deeply rooted in her experiences of mixed ethnicity. Her mother is African-American, and her father and his family were victims of the Asian expulsion in Uganda during the 70s, when President Idi Amin led a campaign of “de-Indianization,” resulting in the “ethnic cleansing” of the country’s Indian minority. Chelene is currently pursuing her BA in English at SFU.

Her first book Braided Skin is forthcoming with Mother Tongue Publishing in spring 2015. Her launch will take place Wednesday April 8th, 2015 from 7-9:30 pm as a part of Twisted Poets Literary Salon run by Pandora’s Collective.

ROOM: First of all Congratulations on your new book Braided Skin (Mother Tongue Publishing). Would you like to tell us something about your new book?

CK: Thank you! Braided Skin is a mix of many things…

Read the entire interview here.

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Braided Skin, Poems

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Canada, Media Archive, Poetry on 2016-02-15 15:52Z by Steven

Braided Skin, Poems

Mother Tongue Publishing
2015-03-15
96 pages
8″ x 6″
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-896949-50-5

Chelene Knight

Braided Skin is the vibrant telling of experiences of mixed ethnicity, urban childhood, poverty and youthful dreams through various voices. Knight writes a confident rhythm of poetry, prose and erasure by using the recurring image of braiding–a different metaphor than “mixing,” our default when speaking the language of race. In the title poem “Braided Skin,” this terminology shifts, to entwining and crossing, holding together but always displaying the promise or threat of unravelling. This is just as all tellings of family, history and relationships must be–“Skin that carries stories of missing middles.” When speaking about race, Knight raises the question, then drops it, and the image becomes other objects, then abstraction, and memory–finally becoming something “she breathes in” actively.

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