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Welcome / Bienvenue
This is a gallery of work specially created for #ThinAir2022. Spend time with writers you love, and discover some new favourites! Ceci est une galerie de travaux spécialement créée pour #ThinAir2022. Passez du temps avec des écrivains que vous aimez et découvrez de nouveaux favoris!
Tanis MacDonald is an essayist, poet, and free-range literary animal. She is the the author of Straggle: Adventures in Walking While Female, and the host of the podcast Watershed Writers. Her essay "Mondegreen Girls” won The Malahat Review's Open Seasons Award for Creative Nonfiction in 2021. She identifies as a bad birder, and lives near Ose’kowáhne in southwestern Ontario as a grateful guest on traditional Haudenosaunee territory. She is originally from Winnipeg, Treaty One territory.
Interview / Entrevue
The year we were both eleven, my best friend had a copy of Go Ask Alice, the runaway bestseller that claimed to document a fifteen-year-old girl’s early drug use, wanton sex, and life on the street. I read most of it at my friend’s place, though I also recall sneaking it home at some point. This book, with its cover showing a girl’s face emerging from the dark, was a wildly attractive forbidden book because it was a “real diary” and therefore a true story. I was the kind of eleven-year-old who worried if I was a minute late for school, so Go Ask Alice was a portal to misbehaviour that I had to read because I literally couldn’t imagine it. When I turned sixteen, I started a part-time job at the River Heights branch of the Winnipeg Public Library, and knew exactly where the branch’s copy of Go Ask Alice was shelved. I loved that I could read it anytime I wanted.
“All I have is a voice/ To undo the folded lie.” It’s from W.H. Auden’s poem “September 1, 1939,” in his collection Another Time. I memorized the poem years ago and while I can’t recite all of it anymore, I think of this line all time.
I am the kind of cluttered desk person who makes occasional sweeps of the area in front of me so I can plunk the day’s business in prime viewing position. Sometimes Mrs. Emma Peel, my cat, lies atop the vital document. I tell that she makes a better door than a window, and she cares not. I am definitely the kind of person who names her cat after feminist role models.
I often wake to various iterations of “Am I ready for the meeting/class/appointment tomorrow? Did I forget some urgent detail?” Sometimes I switch it up with “Did I over-prepare?” Good times.
I am also an extremely vivid dreamer so often I will wake myself up by arguing in my dreams.
To play amazing guitar licks and look badass doing it. This is secret as I do not play the guitar at all.
Winnipeg is located in Treaty One territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. THIN AIR, the annual celebration produced by the Winnipeg International Writers Festival, strives to honour the First People’s rich tradition of sharing stories as the ground for building genuine community and restoring right relations.
Winnipeg est située sur le territoire du Traité n ° 1, sur les terres traditionnelles des peuples Anishinaabeg, Cris, Oji-Cri, Dakota et Dene, ainsi que sur la patrie de la Nation métisse. THIN AIR, la célébration annuelle produite par le Winnipeg International Writers Festival, s’efforce d’honorer la riche tradition de partage d’histoires des Premiers Peuples comme base pour bâtir une communauté authentique et rétablir de bonnes relations.