Wendy McGrath is a Métis poet, writer, and visual artist living in amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) on Treaty 6 Territory. Winner of the inaugural Prairie Grindstone Prize 2023-2024, McGrath’s writing practice embraces multiple genres—fiction, poetry, spoken word, and creative non-fiction. McGrath describes her writing as “Prairie Gothic,” and strives to give voice to working class stories.
A bit about the book:
“Creating this chapbook/artist’s book was an interesting project involving multiple processes over two prototypes. I experimented with ways to replicate the age of the original scribbler. I bought inexpensive scribblers which I dismantled, soaking the pages in tea to achieve a sepia tone. Once dry, I ironed the pages to achieve a consistent surface to attach my poems, memoirs, flash fiction, etc. as well as photos, and a variety of ephemera. I splattered tea on some of the pages and recreated coffee rings. With the second prototype I spent a lot of time on the layout of each page, playing with layouts that would both highlight the text (my writing–as well as the cursive writing of the recipes and my Grandmother’s letters) and relate, either implicitly or explicitly, with my pieces. In the original scribbler, on some of the pages you could make out my Grandmother’s cursive on blank pages underneath…I’ve included some of those images in the final edition of the chapbook. Achieving the effect of aged cellotape was a bit of a challenge. That thick old-style cellotape isn’t manufactured anymore. So I bought run-of-the-mill cellotape and, with advice from an art supply store near me, tried a few shades of alcohol-based pens, ‘painting’ the back of each piece of tape I used to affix the various pieces in the book. I also did rubbings of old pennies–incorporating a basic (and old) printmaking process, I pressed flowers (the quick way using an iron lol) to accompany the “Violet’s Cookies” poem and recipe.”