The Arthur Questionnaire – Janette Platana

The Arthur Questionnaire banner featuring Faryon Bridge from the east bank of the Otonabee. Photo by Kortney Dunsby.

The Arthur questionnaire is a new web-exclusive series. Vaguely inspired by Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire, the Arthur questionnaire asks Trent faculty and community members to offer pieces of “reading material” (loosely speaking) that have recently engaged them.

This week’s offerings come from Professor Janette Platana, who completed the questionnaire on January 26. Platana is a PhD candidate in English Literature department as well as an instructor at both Trent Peterborough and Durham campuses. Platana is also a local author, having published a number of poems and short stories as well as a collection of short stories, A Token of My Affliction (Tightrope Books). Here’s what she had to say:

Bitch Media (

“I read this to feel sustained and supported as an activist, and to continue to learn how not to be a racist, sexist, oppressor.”

The Vim Blog

“I read this to continue to find ways to be in dialogue with people with whom I deeply disagree. Vim often has strategies for exactly that. Yes, I will go to after visiting thevimblog.”

Towards a Prairie Atonement, Trevor Herriot

“I have been reading and rereading Trevor Herriot’s Towards a Prairie Atonment since its publication by UofRPress in the spring of 2017. I read it in the summer while I was in the very place about which he writes, the former location of a Métis village. It’s where I am from. My family were not the good guys. As I squirm with gleeful schadenfreude as I watch those united states of this continent of America confront or fail to confront their history, I am aware that we-the-north-of-the-49th-parallel, must confront our history, too. Ste-Madeleine, on the edge of the Qu’Appelle Valley at the border of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, is the most beautiful place I know, and I know why it makes me weep.

Here is a link to Sheila Rogers of CBC interviewing Herriot and Norman Fleury, who writes the afterword to the book.”

Tell: Poems for a Girlhood, Soraya Peerbaye

“I am reading Soraya Peerbaye’s Tell: Poems for a Girlhood, a series of poems about the murder of Reena Virk.”

NPR Quiz Shows

“I listen to quiz shows on NPR while I perform invisible, affective labour. I like Ask Me Another and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.”