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Episode 19: Paul Meunier Interviews Ian Kinney

Mar 29, 2021

In this interview, Ian Kinney talks about their book Air Salt. The experience of falling from the seventh floor influenced Kinney’s trajectory of writing. This conversation with Paul Meunier explores the aspects of writing that Kinney uses to better narrate the traumatic event. They discuss issues of writing as resistance, activism, mental health and disabilities.

Ian Kinney (he/him, they/them) holds an MA in English from the University of Calgary. Kinney plays with found text. In their debut book of poetry entitled, Air Salt : A Trauma Mémoire as a Result of the Fall (U of C Press), Kinney (un)writes his hospitalization and recovery from a seven story fall and uses poetry as part of his neuro-rehabilitation. This bisexual settler poet lives in Calgary, and occasionally cares for his family’s Kinnship House, a net-zero homestead on the Kainai territory between Lethbridge and Vulcan, Alberta.

Paul Meunier is currently an English Ph.D. candidate at the University of Calgary. Paul’s poetry explores spaces between experimental form and subject representation, and his work has been published in NōD Magazine, filling Station Magazine, The Anti-Languorous Project, and more. Paul’s SSHRC-funded dissertation, “Mapping Poetics,” navigates Calgary’s queer history through experimental poetry, exploring how atemporal crossings weave between past, present, and a poetics of queer futurity. Paul also studied photography at the Alberta College of Art + Design, now AUArts, back when chemical processing was still hip.


00:04:24 – Kinney talks about his experience of falling, recovery and rehabilitation.
00:04:36 – Air Salt: A Trauma Mémoire as a Result of the Fall
00:07:04 – How the writing process is an “orchestral composition.”
00:13:32 – Reasons for entitling the book Air Salt.
00:16:01 – Kinney reads from his book.
00:20:45 – A discussion on the way time works when discussing trauma.
00:22:55 – Emotional labour in narrating personal trauma.
00:29:50 – Kinney talks about his family’s “Kinnship House,” and earthship.
00:33:25 – How the trajectory of writing moved after Kinney’s fall, and Zombie-themed dreams.
00:38:01 – The use of medical jargon in Air Salt.
00:41:57 – Experimental writing as resistance and subversive practice.
00:45:31 – Kinney talks about Air Salt’s connection to ableism and mental health conversations.
00:49:02 – Fragmentation and scattering the sense of coherence as part of recovery.
00:49:52 – The self-referentiality of Air Salt, and the experience of sharing this manuscript with Grad students.
00:52:45 – What’s next for “conductor” Kinney.

TIA House is run by Larissa Lai, Joshua Whitehead, Mahmoud Ababneh, Paul Meunier, Aruna Srivastava, Marc Lynch, Marj Rugunda, and Ryan Stearne.

Stay tuned for the next episode of TIA House Talks. For more on the work of TIA House, including symposia, panels, and readings, please check out our website at www.tiahouse.ca. If you’d like to be in touch, send us an email at tiahouseyyc@gmail.com. Thank you for listening.

Our intro/outro music is “Monarch of the Streets” by Loyalty Freak Music.

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