Hello there! My name is Britt. I am so excited to have joined the Book*hug Press team as a Publishing Intern this Fall. For me, this co-op term is the second last semester before graduating from Sheridan College’s Honours Bachelor of Creative Writing and Publishing program. I am beyond excited to grow and gain knowledge in this space before entering the industry as a graduate.
As many can likely relate, my childhood (back in Miramichi, NB) was spent huddled in cozy spaces with stacks of books to keep me company, but more than that, books were a true haven in an otherwise fairly frightening world. It took me a long time to realize the impact that other people’s words had on me, but once I did, I knew I needed to start paying more attention to where these books came from and what it took to put them out into the world. Through my program, I started to gain new and precious insights into what publishing was and how it functioned outside of the Big Five; I realized I wasn’t reading the work that was being made all around me, and how much I was missing out on because of that.
The work that set my sights and passion toward Book*hug Press was Heating the Outdoors by Marie-Andrée Gill, translated by Kristen Renee Miller. I was enrolled in a poetry class at the time and one of our assignments was to dig deep into researching a fairly recent work of Canadian poetry published by an independent Canadian publisher. Before this course, I was, in some ways, anti-poetry; convincing myself that poetry was only for geniuses or snobs, and that I could simply not be either. I was really just mad at poetry because I hadn’t yet been taught how to understand it. Yet, this feeling slowly faded away as I began to understand that a lot of what poetry is comes from what you yourself perceive it to be, and when I picked up Gill’s book and raced through those short-form poems again and again, I discovered the importance of this form of storytelling and what it could do – how it could impact.
Through the literary works put out by the press that I have been able to experience so far, I have become so fond of Book*hug’s boundary pushing and radical approach to discomfort. I cannot begin to properly express how much this opportunity means to me, but I am thrilled for what these few months hold. Thank you so much to Hazel & Jay, and everyone else at Book*hug for allowing me to enter this warm and radically optimistic environment! I look forward to every moment to come.