I met Marc Herman Lynch in January 2016, at the University of Calgary, when we both enrolled in a workshop called “100 Pages in 100 Days,” where graduate-level students have four months to write a novella. Marc submitted a couple chapters of what is now his debut novel Arborescent (Arsenal Pulp Press 2020). No one else’s writing has ever stood out to me more after one workshop. Marc’s writing is strange, hypnotic, and hilarious. I couldn’t wait to read more and get to know the writer.
I’m so grateful to have Marc in my life ever since. He is generous with his time, his help, and his art. Last Christmas, knowing my love for eggs (as they are my favourite food), Marc painted me a soft-boiled egg with a face, screaming in terror as the incoming spoon is about to pierce its shell. His creativity and his humour permeate more than just his writing. Marc has a level of authenticity and kindness that I’ve rarely seen. He’s also humble, almost to a fault. He brings people together, as he wants everyone to feel included. From his years running the flywheel reading series to his work as a writing and learning strategist, he is a genuine staple in the Calgary community. Our friends tease Marc for his enthusiasm, as he often says “Yay!” unironically. But really, we love him for it.
-written by Michaela Stephen
Which ‘hood are you in?
Currently, I live in Sunalta. From my north-facing window, I can see the C-Train glide along the overpass and freight trains cut beneath; I can hear the whistle of the electrical guidewire and the heavy clatter of the boxcars’ on the tracks. There’s something spectacular about being surrounded by the noise of the world as though I were a solitary buoy amidst the clamouring of ocean vessels. At first, I wasn’t sure I would like the neighbourhood because I enjoy having coffee shops and bars close by (one of the best parts about having lived in Kensington for such a long time). However, over the past couple years, I have discovered so many wonderful spaces: Quickdraw Animation studio, the Calgary Boxing Club, Truck Art Gallery, Alberta Beer Exchange, Two House Brew House.
What do you do?
For the past two years I worked at Mount Royal University as a Writing and Learning Strategist; however, as with any job wherein management changes hands, the situation soured, and I found myself unable to continue. In September 2020, I quit my job and started to my PhD at the University of Calgary. It’s interesting how a slight shift in focus/institution can revitalize creative inspiration, and I feel very privileged to be able to study, read, and write as my primary mode of being, instead of having to claw out a modicum of time to write between feeding myself and sleep.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I am working on a few projects. One is a young adult’s novel, a speculative fiction piece that strives to complicate typical suburban narratives and hegemonic systems: this is just a complicated way of saying that the novel is in a highly theoretical phase. The second is a creative nonfiction project that I am workshopping with Aritha van Herk’s graduate-level creative writing class. The project looks at family, race, blackholes, marbles and everything in between. The last piece will inevitably culminate in my dissertation, a creative novel that investigates influences of both Judaeo-Christian and Taoist mythoi within a Canadian landscape. This piece focuses on identity and East-Asian diasporic writing.
Where can we find your work?
You can buy my debut novel, Arborescent, at any of the independent bookstores in Calgary: Pages, Shelf Life, the Next Page, Owl’s Nest. You can also purchase it online at Arsenal Pulp Press or on Amazon and Indigo. Also, visit my website, www.marchermanlynch.com, for samples of my writing, links to events, and also to keep up to date on any projects I’m involved in!
If you would like to purchase a copy of filling Station magazine, click the link. The magazine spawned from the heart of Sunnyside right here in Calgary. Check it out!