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Eat It anthology satisfies appetite for stories about women and food

Eat It, a new literary anthology launching Tuesday, takes an unconventional approach to exploring women’s relationship to sex and food.

Conceived and edited by Toronto journalists Nicole Baute and Brianna Goldberg, the book spans genres including fiction, essays, poetry, comedy, and “literary recipes.” The editors relied on both an open submission call and invitations to attract contributors such as Denise Balkissoon, Amy Jones, Stacey May Fowles, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, and Sarah Selecky.

“We really wanted to be playful with it and be open to any story format that people wanted to try as a forum for experimentation,” says Baute.

Interest in the project was rapid and enthusiastic. The first day the call for submissions appeared on social media, the Eat It website received 1,000 page views. According to Goldberg, Vancouver artist Lori Weidenhammer submitted her story “I Could Have Been a Dairy Queen” (about the irony of her inability to breastfeed after growing up on a dairy farm) after overhearing a stranger in a café discussing the anthology.

Eat It will be distributed as a standalone volume of the Toronto literary humour journal The Feathertale Review. According to a note on the anthology’s website, Feathertale is hoping to correct a gender imbalance in their publication by producing an “all-women’s issue,” although Goldberg is quick to point out that the book is not targetted just at female readers.

Tomorrow’s launch takes place at the Gladstone Hotel as part of the This Is Not A Reading Series. The event, which kicks off at 8 p.m., features a variety show with Eat It contributors such as author Jessica Westhead, comic Sara Hennessey, and playwright Jessica Moss. Tickets are $5 or free with book purchase ($15).