Why I’m Not Reading at the Hydra’s Hearth Reading Series


I shall put the boilerplate up here. This is just me talking. I’m not speaking for any organization for or with whom I work. And so forth.

I am feeling … disappointed … that I appear to be the only person (would love to find out there were others) who more or less told the Hydra’s Hearth reading series organizers to go fuck themselves when they asked if I would participate.

Now, perhaps it is possible that others are not aware of the fact that SFContario (to whom the Hydra’s Hearth is tied, however much they have tried to dissociate the reading series from the con) has failed, several times, to adhere to their anti-harassment policy (concerning the continued attendance of René Walling, among other issues which I will not go into right now) and made the con an unsafe space for attendees, which is part of why I’m no longer attending the con, and have been boycotting it since April (see next paragraph).

Perhaps people are also unaware of the fact that two members of the ConCom, and former conrunners of the con, Marah Searle-Kovacevic and Alex von Thorn, at Ad Astra in April of this year (2014), demeaned and behaved appallingly (I could, technically, apply stronger language) toward a friend and colleague of mine, Derek Newman-Stille. Said events are talked about in part, by Derek, here: http://speculatingcanada.ca/2014/04/07/my-cane-is-not-a-costume-convention-exclusions-and-ways-to-think-about-oppression-at-cons/.

I’m fairly certain that Derek’s post doesn’t talk about the fact that Marah then, on my facebook page in a conversation discussing what had happened, attempted to gaslight Derek concerning his perception of the events (I was at Ad Astra that weekend, his version is accurate) while discussing the events as though someone else had perpetrated them, in the third person, until Derek openly asked her why she was not just admitting that it was she who had had the altercation with him. This being a final, subsequent follow-up to already ludicrously stupid actions on her part which is fucked up so many different ways I don’t even know where to start.

(It’s also worth noting that because the Hydra’s Hearth is being funded through a Toronto Arts Council grant, I’m not entirely certain their activities, because of their association with SFContario, meet the anti-harassment policy guideline requirements compliance the TAC grants call for. Frankly, I’m not in the mood to deal with that question right now. It will either come up later, or it won’t.)

Perhaps people simply don’t care? I would like to think they simply don’t know. Fuck if I know what’s going on in other people’s heads.

I remain, nonetheless, disappointed, that no one else appears to have turned down their invitation (the 12 reading slate for this weekend is full).

And for anyone stupid enough to suggest that I am so flush that I may simply turn away paying gigs whenever I choose, such as the $225 the Hydra’s Hearth offered me: I turned that money down while scrambling to scrape together enough money to pay my rent. As occasionally happens (the life of a freelancer sometimes prompting said state of affairs, and October sucked for me financially).

In short: I was not in a position to turn down that money, and did anyway.

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5 Responses to Why I’m Not Reading at the Hydra’s Hearth Reading Series

  1. Pingback: Acclaimed sci-fi writer exposed as notorious Internet troll - Buzz Ryan

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  3. Hi Joel,

    Took me a little bit to find it. But this is the facebook post in which Marah, Derek, Leah Bobet, I, and others were involved: https://www.facebook.com/michael.matheson.58/posts/541102092678045?pnref=story

    That post was public but you may be prompted to log in anyway? I’m not sure of how restrictive the access on that will be.

    • Joel Polowin says:

      I had no problem seeing the post. Well, the content was very troubling, but there weren’t any technical difficulties. [*sigh*]
      I wasn’t planning to go to SFContario this year anyway… right out of spoons. But I’ve been bringing this stuff up with a couple of other people.

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