An in­ter­view with Dag­ger Edi­tions pub­lisher Vici John­stone

Vici John­stone

Room Magazine - - CONTENTS - —Leah Golob

Pub­lisher Vici John­stone launched Dag­ger Edi­tions, an im­print of Caitlin Press, in the spring of 2017. Dag­ger Edi­tions is ded­i­cated to pub­lish­ing lit­er­ary fic­tion, non-fic­tion, and po­etry by and about queer women.

Why the name Dag­ger Edi­tions?

We felt it was im­por­tant that the com­mu­nity was en­gaged with this im­print, so we ran a nam­ing con­test. We asked queers from across the coun­try to con­trib­ute ideas. We re­ceived over twenty-five sug­ges­tions. When we re­searched the his­tory of the word dag­ger we dis­cov­ered that bulldag­ger was a term used to de­scribe les­bians in the late 1800s. It was likely a vari­a­tion of bulldyke, and was a deroga­tory term in­tended to hurt and de­grade. We felt it was ap­pro­pri­ate to re­claim the word and use it to tell our sto­ries.

What’s the im­print’s ori­gin story?

I vis­ited Lit­tle Sis­ter’s book­store shortly af­ter the owner, Jim Deva, passed away. The man­ager at that time ex­pressed an in­ter­est in re­vi­tal­iz­ing the book­shelves with new Cana­dian queer lit­er­a­ture, but ex­plained that it was hard to find new books to add to the col­lec­tion. Hav­ing grown up in Van­cou­ver, I had spent many of my com­ing out years pe­rus­ing the shelves of the Lit­tle Sis­ter’s and was in­spired to help Cana­dian queer women pub­lish their work. A few years later, we launched Dag­ger Edi­tions.

What can we look for­ward to from Dag­ger Edi­tions?

In fall 2018, Dag­ger Edi­tions is launch­ing an an­thol­ogy called Swelling with Pride: Queer Con­cep­tion and Adop­tion Sto­ries. The ed­i­tor, Sara Graefe, has col­lected more than twenty-five sto­ries from the early mav­er­icks that formed fam­i­lies un­der the radar (when fer­til­ity clin­ics were not open to sin­gles and les­bians) and the Gen X and mil­len­nial queers who have be­come par­ents dur­ing the cur­rent “gayby boom.” We are also pub­lish­ing new work by Nanaimo’s poet lau­re­ate, Tina Biello, and a long-an­tic­i­pated sec­ond food mem­oir by Marusya Bo­ci­urkiw.

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