Interview: Leanne Dunic

Ahead of Vancouver Writers Fest, SAD chatted with four shining stars taking part in the festival to get the DL on books they're loving, the inside scoop on their works, and to learn about what the future holds! Meet Leanne Dunic, the second of our four interviewees.

Leanne Dunic by Ronnie Lee Hill

Leanne Dunic by Ronnie Lee Hill

SAD Mag: Where are you right now? What are you looking at?

Leanne Dunic: Kingston, Ontario for the Kingston Writers Festival, watching the end of Saturday Night Live. Oh, and now it’s Detroit local news and it’s not so good…

SM: What are you most excited about, in this moment?

LD: Sleep!

SM: What are you reading these days?

LD: I’m in the middle of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I picked it up because I saw it displayed at a bookstore next to mine, and in my book, the number eleven is quite prominent. I want to know if our books were purposely merchandised together, or if it was a coincidence.

SM: What are you listening to these days?

LD: I’m *always* listening to King Crimson.

SM: Your latest book of lyric-prose, To Love the Coming End, travels between Japan, Singapore, and British Columbia. Describe a place (any place) where you feel most grounded as a writer?

The saltwater and terrain of Bowen Island is where I’ve been most successful in writing poetry/prose. As an artist, I feel most grounded and inspired by the complexity of Japan, and when I’m in Singapore, I’m grounded in the sense that I’ve eaten too much food and can’t move.

SM: Your band The Deep Cove launches its first album, To Love the Coming End of the World, later this year. Does your creative process differ between when you are writing songs, and when you are writing poetry? If so, how? Is there overlap?

LD: I usually know right away if I’m about to write a song or a poem or a prose piece. One notable exception is the title song of the album, “To Love the Coming End of the World,” which was actually attempted as a poem at first, but it wasn’t working. And then when we were recording the album, I came up with the music for the song, and adapted the poem as lyrics and it worked really well.

I write the framework of the song (lyrics/music) and then clean it up with my guitarist before we bring it to the rest of the band. Writing in any genre is a lonely experience, so it’s rewarding to find a group of people you can make creative babies with. I adore my band mates – they’re so talented and distinctive in their style and make The Deep Cove what it is.

SM: What’s next for you?

LD: After this little book tour, I have my event at the Vancouver International Writers Fest – Dance To The Coming End (Thursday, October 19 @ 8:30pm: Performance Works on Granville Island). Seven visual artists from Open-Book Collective will showcase work they created in response to my book, I’ll read, and The Deep Cove will be playing as well. A true multi-disciplinary event! And it will be a sneak peek of the album we’ll be launching at The Fox Theatre Nov 4th.

Leanne features in two events at the upcoming Vancouver Writers Fest: Dance to the Coming End and True Confessions and Tall Tales on Friday, October 20 at 8:30pm on Granville Island. Tickets are $20 or $15 if you’re under 30; purchase yours here.

Leanne Dunic is a writer, multidisciplinary artist and musician. Her work has been published in several magazines and anthologies. Her short story “Without Her” won the Alice Munro Short Story Prize in 2015. She is the Artistic Director of the Powell Street Festival Society in Vancouver, celebrating Japanese Canadian arts and cultures in Canada. She is also the singer and guitarist of The Deep Cove. To Love the Coming End is her first book and follows a writer as she travels around the world as an attempt to come to terms with the loss of a loved one.


SAD Mag is an independent Vancouver publication featuring stories, art and design. Founded in 2009, we publish the best of contemporary and emerging artists with a focus on inclusivity of voices and views, exceptional design, and film photography.