Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Aisha Sasha John

Share |

Aisha Sasha John is a poet and dance improviser. Her publications include THOU (BookThug 2014), Gimme yr little quiet (BookThug 2012) and The Shining Material (BookThug 2011). In Canadian Dancing, Aisha’s current work-in-progress, she continues her practice of collaborating with improvising musicians. Aisha earned an Honours BA in African Studies and Semiotics from the University of Toronto as well as an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. From 2004-2007, she was a lead dancer with Nouvel Exposé. Born in Montreal, Aisha spent most of her childhood in Vancouver, and currently lives in Toronto.

You can write to Aisha throughout the month of November at

On Writing, with Aisha Sasha John

Aisha Sasha John, our November 2014 writer-in-residence, has been called "a poet of centrifugal energy, of reverberant intimacy" (Michael Nardone). She's back this spring with her second book, the follow up to her acclaimed debut The Shining Material. The new collection is THOU (BookThug), which presents two long poems where "each page is the dance floor" according to former Canadian Poet Laureate Fred Wah, who praised the collection for its movement, rhythm and grace. We are speaking with Aisha today about THOU, being compared to Anne Carson and the construct that is "you".

Open Book:

Recent Writer In Residence Posts

A tiny closing present

My movement teacher told us a story at the end of class yesterday. He walked into a cafe, and was assaulted by the power of a painting. It was glorious, incredible, alive. An article hung beneath the painting; he read the article eager to discover the identity of the genius artist.

The painting was the work of a gorilla.




k thanx bye

with Jazmine V K Carr

Here I connect with the force that is artist Jazmine V K Carr. Near the end we get sidelined by cigarettes, joined by Marvin and Fiona, two simultaneous convos erupt, and the result is (gulp) art..

with Katrice Dustin: a P. for F. (Part III)

Can you participate in fashion if you don't have money? Katrice answers. And later I wile out talking about the transformative power of clothes. 

Some fashion things Katrice made reference to during our talk:

with Katrice Dustin: a P. for F. (Part II)

Do fashion writers have to be, um, fashionable? Katrice and I take up that question here. We also discuss the implications of the good outfit, smarts and wit of a stranger in terms of credibility.

with Katrice Dustin: a P. for F. (Part I)

I wish I remember if it were cold when Katrice Dustin, a writer, came to my house to talk about fashion. Oh wait--it was cold. Anyway, here we get warm discussing the politics relating to an article she wrote about the new need for designers to build "universes."


Happened to be listening to R.E.M.'s "Drive" all day. And then I saw this.

with Mark

A bag of mixed nuts, a stranger (Mark), Marvin (again), a Saturday, a good one.

with Mat Laporte and Paloma: About a Goodness (Part V)

   Paloma left and Mat and I discuss how The Contemporary Poetry Group is a love action, and there's no better way to deal with evil than to make something good. We have the power. Also we talk poetry and death, death and posterity.

with Mat Laporte and Paloma: About a Goodness (Part IV)

Paloma asks me questions and I respond like a mid-September Virgo. Mat makes an observation which the entire conversation ribbons itself around.

with Mat Laporte and Paloma: About a Goodness (Part III)

Paloma, Mat and I reflect on the wisdom of being a dummy.

with Mat Laporte and Paloma: About a Goodness (Part II)

 Fred Moten teleports into my living room during the second part of my convo with Mat and Paloma.

with Mat Laporte and Paloma: About a Goodness (Part I)

On Halloween afternoon 2014, Mat Laporte and Paloma came to my house, sat on my daybed, and we laughed so loud, fair listeners, that this podcast might hurt your ears a little (sorry/not sorry). I spoke to these cool cats about a goodness they are involved in: The Contemporary Poetry Group, a weekly occasion of fellowship and study in which on a Wednesday afternoon peeps gather to read aloud an entire work of contemporary poetry. 

with Evan Munday: The Great Unpacking (Part III)

In the third and final installment of my conversation with Evan, we find out what the deal is with him wearing ties all the time, as well as discover how the fact of his having a day job wigs out his fans.

with Evan: The Great Unpacking (Part II)

In the second part of my chat with Evan Munday, we consider the politics of niceness.

with Marvin

with Evan Munday: The Great Unpacking

 I met Evan at Wise Bar on Bloor near Dovercourt and I gave him assignments and he told me some juicy stories.

with Lo

I wrote a post with Lo Bil. And then we recited it--in unison.

with Robert

This is a recording of the making of a blog post. I am talking to Robert Anthony O'Halloran:

A terribly inexpensive friend


If you buy a second-hand book, it has a price and some degree of wear. This book was 48 cents.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Recent Comments on Aisha Sasha John’s Blog