Living Hyphen is an intimate magazine that explores the experiences of hyphenated Canadians. From the third generation Haitian woman in Montreal having brunch with her girlfriends to the Ugandan refugee boarding his first TTC streetcar, from the Filipino boy in Calgary practicing basketball to the Polish grandmother navigating a Loblaws superstore, our emerging and established writers and artists reveal the rich inner lives of Canada’s diverse communities.
Through short stories, photography, poetry, and illustrations, we uncover what it means to be a part of a diaspora. We examine life in between cultures, as individuals who call Canada home but with roots in different, often faraway places. Our stories are beautiful, heartbreaking, uplifting, contradictory, and constantly unfolding.
Living Hyphen’s aim is to reshape the mainstream and to turn up the volume on voices that often go unheard.
I want to tell you the story of how Living Hyphen began.
The seed of this idea was born in the fall of 2015 at Toronto’s Feminist Art Conference when I attended a powerhouse panel about (the lack of) diversity in Canadian literature. The panel was stacked with writers of colour with tons of experience to share about the publishing industry. I listened to these panelists - all writers of color - talk about the difficulties they faced in getting their work published, simply because their stories did not conform to the "Canadian narrative”. Either that or their stories were not "ethnic" enough.
As a writer and as a woman of colour, this deeply unsettled me.