HomeAll postsJessica Johns on being Cree, Queer, and representation

Jessica Johns on being Cree, Queer, and representation

Jessica Johns faces the camera. She has long brown hair, glasses and wears blackThis is a Dark Matter Zine podcast and I’m your host Nalini Haynes. Today I’m talking to author Jessica Johns.

Introducing Jessica Johns

JESSICA JOHNS is an award winning interdisciplinary artist (that’s code for poet, author and visual artist), a Nehiyaw aunty and member of Sucker Creek First Nation in Treaty 8 territory in Northern Alberta. Her writing has been published in numerous literary magazines, and her short story “Bad Cree” won the 2020 Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. Since then, Jessica expanded ‘Bad Cree’ into her debut novel.

She serves on the editorial board for GUTS – An Anti-Colonial Feminist Magazine, the advisory board for the Indigenous Brilliance reading series, and also brews kombucha as the founder of kokôm kombucha.

Bad Cree: crows circle the title
This is the Australian cover, published by Scribe
Bad Crr: black trees contrast with a red sky
this is the unAustralian cover, from Penguin Random House
Some questions I asked Jessica Johns

Why was Bad Cree a form of revenge?

Grief is a strong thread in Bad Cree, almost a character in itself.

Bad Cree incorporates Cree beliefs and, I believe, fantasy. Is it disrespectful to say this story is part fantasy and part horror? How else would you describe it?

Why is representation important?

What is your connection to Australia?

Thank you for joining us today Jessica.

This has been a Dark Matter Zine podcast. I’m your host Nalini Haynes. I’ve been talking to Jessica Johns, author of Bad Cree. Next week I’ll be talking to Naseem Jamnia, author of the genderqueer refugee story The Bruising of Qilwa. Thank you for listening.

Find Jessica Johns

You can find Jessica on her website and on Twitter.

Acknowledgement of Country

Dark Matter Zine acknowledges this recording is taking place on the unceded Country of the Bunurong Peoples’ of the Kulin Nation as Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Information about why we acknowledge Country is in Dark Matter Zine’s blog post supporting this podcast, at www.darkmatterzine.com.

(I have occasionally acknowledged Country in podcasts. This year I aim to lift my game in many areas, so I plan to Acknowledge Country in every podcast. An Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners can be done by anyone. It’s a way of showing awareness of, and respect for, the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of the land where a meeting or event is held. For more information about Country and respect for Australia’s First Nations, read this post that also has links to useful websites.)

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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