Join us for the launch of
Your Very Own by John Nyman

March 1st at 7pm (SK)

Your Very Own is made up of erasures of pages (including both text pages and illustrations) from the 1985 children’s adventure book Choose Your Own Adventure #43: Grand Canyon Odyssey, written by Jay Leibold and illustrated by Don Hedin. By applying the erasure writing/drawing method to this text, Nyman non-linearly presents a new experience of the book through a more robust framework of choice and responsibility than that offered by the original. Through erasure and reconstruction, Nyman confronts traditional gendered and racialized stereotypes examining how the original presented the reader’s character as a white boy and an Indigenous woman as a two-dimensional supporting character.

Your Very Own is a scaled down, tiny homage to the Choose Your Own Adventure books. The cover design includes the garage-sale masking tape price tag, and everything from the pocket size to the colour of paper was chosen with that same inspiration. To expand the themes of erasure, some images are cut out. By making characters absent, Nyman replaces them with purposeful gaps in the shape of what could be or what was.

John Nyman is a poet, critic, and book artist from Toronto. His debut poetry collection, Players (Palimpsest Press), was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award in 2017, and his most recent verse chapbook, The Devil, was published with knife | fork | book in March 2020. John also reviews for Broken Pencil and CAROUSEL (among others), co-edits Peripheral Review, and helps administer the plumb art gallery in midtown Toronto. Find him online at