The Louloudi Birds

A collaboration between hannah_g & Zoe Katsilerou.

Zoe Katsilerou (singer/composer) and hannah_g created a story and suite of songs about the mythical Louloudi birds. Beginning on the small Greek island that is home to the birds, the story takes you to a Cornish forest by the sea and the love and friendship of Bonjay and Nellie, and ends on the rooftops of Toronto for the most beautiful tennis game the world has seen.

Released August 2020.

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts through the Digital Originals grant program.

Critical Fictions

Thinking with the work of Derek Dunlop, Kristin Nelson, Hagere Selam shimby Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, AO Roberts, & Logan MacDonald.

Critical Fictions is a collection of encounters with works by five queer Canadian contemporary artists. The book contains essays, fiction, poetry and experimental text. It is also an investigation into how critical and creative responses to art impact one another, and how they function as ways of understanding, knowing, perceiving, and valuing.

In her bold departure from conventional art criticism, Hannah Godfrey looks to the work of five contemporary queer visual artists, with attention to, and affection for, the wit, subversion, and many complexities of each of their practices. Shifting through written forms as experiential coves, Critical Fictions is a collection of inventive responses that are delicately linked, and devoted to their subjects.

Alongside the five artists—Derek Dunlop, Kristin Nelson, Hagere Selam shimby Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, Andrea Oliver Roberts, and Logan MacDonald—Godfrey shares a keen interest in intricacies of queer power, the body, and abstraction. Her varied approach to criticism embraces stories, poetry, essays, and other textual formations as means of wayfaring through the work of art. In these pages the reader will find not only celebrations of the depth, beauty, and acuity of the artworks discussed, but explorations of the imaginative thoroughfares they open up.—Publisher’s note.

“It’s with a unique, caring voice that Godfrey speaks about, to, and with the artists in this collection. Even if the reader is familiar with an artist’s practice, the writing, in both its abstract and critical forms, offers the time and space so desperately needed to cover the complicated and intimate relationship of a critic engaging with artwork. Critical Fictions is a special, caring, and necessary book where art criticism is written, challenged, turned on its head and back again, interlacing the varying concepts of the featured artists’ practices like thread in a loom. Only when the reader reaches the end does it become apparent the threads have become a tapestry—a rare and beautiful process that will stay with you into the real world.” —Lauren Lavery, Editor of Peripheral Review.

The 2023 Canadian book tour included Esker Foundation, Calgary; Neutral Ground, Regina; Art Metropole, Toronto; Fonderie Darling, Montreal; SFU and OR Gallery, Vancouver; Blinkers/C’cap, Winnipeg; NSCAD, Halifax.
The writing received the generous support of The Canada Council For The Arts and the Manitoba Arts Council.

Extracts have been published by Blackflash and The Peripheral Review.

It has been reviewed

by Jaz Papadopolous in the Femme Art Review

by Mielen Remmert in Border Crossings

by Emily G. Doucet in The Brooklyn Rail.

The artists:

Derek Dunlop

Kristin Nelson

Andrea Oliver Roberts

Peripheral Review have published the essay about Derek Dunlop’s work in their Spring 2020 issue. Read it here.

Blackflash magazine have published the essay about Hagere Selam shimby Zegeye-Gebrehiwot in their spring 2020 issue. Read it here.

Peripheral Review will be publishing the essay and other texts related to  Derek Dunlop’s work in 2020.

I gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Je reconnais avec reconnaissance le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Critical Fictions was written with the generous support of the Manitoba Arts Council.

Not For The World Would I Compare It To Anything

The series of stories and essays in Not For The World Would I Compare It To Anything describe experiences of being alone, being present, and transience, and how this in turn effects fundamental needs, such as the ability to feel at home, to rest, and know oneself.

Read a review of it here.

Written with the generous support of the Winnipeg Arts Council.

Published by Parameter Press, Winnipeg; 2018.

Edition of 150, 48-page Risograph book with screen printed cover.  <<sold out>>

Buy the third imprint, printed digitally, screen printed cover: for $10 + postage. Email me to get the ball rolling.

The Tallest Poppy Artist Residency


Previous to working at the Poppy, Paul lived on an island of his own making. He spent a winter piling snow on a remote and very wide area of the Red River- some estimate the pile reached over seven storeys. He had befriended a snow plough driver who dumped his load in the spot Paul had chosen. This driver worked in one of the dirtiest areas of the province so there was a lot of grit in the snow he collected. When the winter ended and the ice and snow melted, the grit and vast amount of dirt that had been embedded sank. It just broke the surface of the water once it settled on the river bed. Paul then added more dirt to the mound until he had created a tall island upon which he built a simple three storey house, a room on each floor. He constructed a small jetty adjacent to the island which, instead of  having wooden slats utilised the trampoline he had been given as a boy. In order to reach his porch one jumped on the trampoline jetty until sufficient height was reached, whereupon a modest degree of aerialism was required to land at the front door. On summer nights Paul would practise his twists and back flips beside his home and when darkness finally fell, he would execute an elegant arc which carried him through the top window whence he would land on his bed, usually on the left hand side.

But the big city called to Paul and he left his island when the first geese passed overhead. Diners at the Poppy might notice he has a contemplative air about him and observe him staring into the distance. Perhaps he is remembering the island and the times he came close to leaping over his own home.


An extract from Chicago of the North

At the turn of the Twentieth Century, Winnipeg was filled with boozecans, tap dancers, brothels, and grudges. Here’s an extract describing those dancers and their main gig: the notorious bar which occupied the shooting range of the police station.

The second floor of the station was given over to a typing pool where row after row of young women made row after row of typewriters clack in an up-beat and mutli-rhythmic cacophony of metal, ink, and paper. None of the girls were there because they wanted to find a husband. Most of the guys in this office were on the make and, frankly, so were they. In fact, the majority of these girls were tap dancers. Winnipeg, at this time, had an insatiable appetite for tapdancing- be it chorus girls, singers, double acts: so long as there was tap, everyone was happy. Night after night of Busby-Berkley-esque numbers were performed at scores of venues and any number of restaurants had tap dancing waitresses and chefs. Every evening echoed with the Tommy Gun clatter of hundreds of polished and scuffed tap shoes. The typing pool was a good gig for a tapper since she could work on the sound of a routine via her clunky typewriter. It’s therefore no surprise that Winnipeg tappers gave some of the most aurally nuanced and complex routines in the world, and are still widely known for this. Nevertheless, these girls wanted to put their sounds to the ground and they discovered the perfect place to do this. The station’s shooting range was infrequently used since most cops used the shoes and other personal effects of Dust for target practice, which they placed on a wall across the street from the station. The range’s schedule was managed by the tap dancing clerks who had realised the potential of the room. A would-be piece of Dust managed to avoid getting swept away by laying a sprung, wooden floor for the girls and the schedule was so full of their appointments it was next to impossible for a cop to fire off a round there.

… The station, like many organisations in those days, took care of its employees’ social needs. Morale was important. Hence it wasn’t long before the potential of a room full of dancing girls was realised. The station was already the heart of the city so it made perfect sense to pump a little more blood and silver through it. The tapping typists were soon creating incredible routines to perform in this, the most notorious boozecan in the Prairies. Every Friday afternoon the women filed their paperwork then took their chairs and a few lamps down to the shooting range. Against one wall three desks were slid next to each other to create a low bar and other desks and chairs and lamps were arranged cabaret style, leaving a generous area at the back which served as the stage. The walls had dozens of nails hammered into them and from these – just on Fridays – portraits of various chiefs, mayors, police sports teams, and members of the royal family would hang. It was quite the club.

With thanks to PLATFORM: centre for digital + photographic arts and Aqua Books’ Emerging Writer in Residence program.

Read at: PLATFORM; The Park Theatre, as a support act for The Crooked Brothers; Aqua Books as part of the Emerging Writers Residency. All in Winnipeg.

Ultrathon, a collection of short stories

Clear Lake

A blue sky is always at a truce with a lake. They are perfect for each other but never last. One changes or get’s  lost  in  the  other;  or  night,  like  a  strict  uncle,  puts  a  stop  to  any  developments.    A  few  nights  ago  you   and I lay down close to my current spot. We had a row of planks supporting our bodies instead of wide ripples  of  water.  I  didn’t  tell  you,  fearing  the  cliché,  but  I  had  never  seen  so  many  stars.  They  made  me   want to return to the cabin and its cosy lamps straight away. All those white pin pricks above the lake and pine tops: the quiet, ridiculous splendour. I stayed. We kept our hands in our pockets but our hips touched. You calmly accepted it all while everything beneath my skin was churning. It was touch and go if I’d  manage  to  keep  myself  from  throwing-up.

I just want to take you to a mountain place

His dog comes from a range of mountains which are very far away, especially from here. The breed has been carefully developed for conditions particular to high places, and this is why the dog is quite happy to live on the 27th floor of a tower block. He would like to visit the place where his dog was born. I would rather he didn’t: he might ask me to care for his dog while he is away and although I like the dog and he likes me, the highlight of being his walker are the occasional moments I see his owner. I have decided to draw the owner’s attention to the high points in his own neighbourhood and this is what occupies me and the dog during our long walks (I think the dog would also prefer his owner to stay).

With thanks to Aqua Books’ Emerging Writer in Residence program and the Manitoba Arts Council Deep Bay Artist Residency program.