Monday, October 30, 2023

The 40 But 10 Interview Series: Jade Wallace


I had decided to retire the literary Would You Rather series, but didn't want to stop interviews on the site all together. Instead, I've pulled together 40ish questions - some bookish, some silly - and have asked authors to limit themselves to answering only 10 of them. That way, it keeps the interviews fresh and connectable for all of us!

Joining us today is Jade Wallace (they/them). Jade is a poet, fiction writer, and editor. Their debut full-length poetry collection, Love Is A Place But You Cannot Live There, is forthcoming with Guernica Editions in spring 2023. Wallace serves as the inaugural book reviews editor for CAROUSEL, and is also the cofounder of MA|DE, a collaborative writing entity whose debut collection, ZZOO, is forthcoming from Palimpsest Press in 2025. Keep in touch: &

photo credit: Mark Laliberte

What do you do when you’re not writing?

 Mostly I’m either at my day job at a legal clinic, or at home listening critically to a true crime podcast and waiting for sleep to find me. In between those necessities, I curate and edit book reviews for CAROUSEL. When I have actual spare hours, I usually manage to get through about five pages of whatever I’m reading at the time before my partner tries once again to turn me into a film snob. On our wildest nights we drive around to garage sales or secondhand stores.


What’s the most useless skill you possess?

 I am very good at untying knots. My conscious mind just shuts off and my fingers move with a bodily grace that I do not possess in any other circumstance. Unfortunately there are not as many knots in the world as you might expect, so I rarely make use of this talent.


What is your favorite book from childhood?

Even in adulthood I will gladly reread A Wrinkle in Time, or anything else by Madeleine L’Engle.


What are you currently reading?

 I’m finishing up Cane by Jean Toomer, starting Tear by Erica McKeen, and staring disdainfully at Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, which has been sitting on my coffee table for months now, dog-eared at almost exactly the half-way point.


What genres won’t you read?

 I’ll read the side of a cereal box but I won’t touch military history, sports biographies, or romance novels.


What’s the one book someone else wrote that you wish you had written?

 I am absolutely awed by Shizuko Gō’s novel Requiem. It has such a precise, organic structure. I wouldn’t want to have written it. I wouldn’t want to have had the life experiences necessary to write it. But I do aspire to her level of craft. 


You have to choose an animal or cartoon character that best represents you. Which is it and why?

 I’d like to say that I’m some kind of impressive animal. Perhaps one that can carry several times its own body weight, or is quite adept at using tools. But undoubtedly I’m a koala bear: cuddly but grumpy, bisexual, eats nothing but plants, and wants to rest for about twenty hours a day.


If you could remove one color from the world, what it would be and why?

Brown. It’s immediately depressing to look at, and if you try to mix it with any other colour, the other colour just starts to look brown as well. I’m getting annoyed just thinking about it.


Do you DNF books?

 No. I fall for the sunk-cost fallacy every time.


What scares you the most?

 The most banal and inescapable truth: that I am just an ordinary person—the universe and its creatures do not need me, in fact they scarcely notice me.


Each section of Love Is A Place But You Cannot Live There is a psychogeographic investigation. Two casual ghost hunters on a road trip hear the death rattle of their relationship. Residents of a city’s fringe measure their physical and social isolation. A mother and her adult child have diametrically opposed reactions to their vacation spot. Lovers on a romantic coastal getaway discover how estranged they are from one another. Curious figures begin to embody their environments. Forthright and anecdotal, these poems recount the signals people transmit and receive, and the reciprocal ways we make, and are made by, the places we inhabit.




Jade Wallace’s inventive debut poetry collection reminds us that we are all fundamentally travellers … travel is a mode of movement and critical self-reflection in this extraordinary book.

Adam Dickinson, professor of poetry and author of Anatomic


Firmly anchored in the tradition of the Southern Ontario Gothic, Love Is A Place But You Cannot Live There maps the eerie unmappable … Jade Wallace writes with tenderness, humour, and a haunting perspicacity that is all their own.

Annick MacAskill, author of Murmurations and Shadow Blight


Wallace’s curious, nimble, and nostalgic words land with the halcyon sweetness of Ambrosia salad, the unsettling significance of an abandoned house. There’s music in this phenomenal collection.

Hollay Ghadery, reviews editor for Minola Review and author of Fuse

buy a copy:

No comments:

Post a Comment