Alisha Piercy is a writer and artist in Montréal. She is the author of stories-in-verse, novels, and texts in collaboration with artists, and is co-founder of Your Lips to Mine Press: a small, independent press, with Benny Nemerov. Her interdisciplinary practice explores large-scale performative drawing installations. Seeking to re-dream alternate futures, her Technicolor worlding traverses the material auras of interspecies interdependencies, drawing on critical theory in phenomenology, other-than-human ontologies, planetarity and speculative fabulations. Currently a PhD student in the Queen’s University Cultural Studies Department, Piercy holds a BA in Literature (McGill University), an MFA (Concordia University) and an MA in Art Conservation (Queen’s University). Piercy is the Communications Officer for the International Council of Design, a non-governmental organization that advocates for value, ethics and policymaking in social design.

Alisha Piercy is a Montréal-based author, artist and paintings conservator. Her practice ranges from bookworks to the writing of novellas, to in-situ performative drawing and raft installations. Her projects explore questions of alienation, psychological geographies, the fantasy of “being elsewhere,” and the tension between exile and freedom as it plays out in a diversity of islanded experiences. Her multi-disciplinary project You have hair like flags~(2010), a survivalist story, was inspired by the slogan Barcelona or Death! from a Senegalese pop song about the masses of young African men who attempt to float towards mainland Europe. The project included a novella, a thirty-day-long wall drawing performance in Montréal, and an installation of burning rafts set off the coast of Reykjavik, Iceland.

Piercy is a co-founder of Your Lips to Mine Press with Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay: a small, independent press. Her first book, two novellas AURICLE / ICEBREAKER (2010), were published as part of the reversible series by Conundrum Press. Her second work of fiction, You have hair like flags~ (Your Lips to Mine Press, 2010) won the bpNichol Chapbook Award for 2010. In 2011, Piercy published with The Coming Envelope (BookThug), participated in The Montréal Literary Death Match, and performed on the mainstage at The Scream Literary Festival.

EDUCATION

2020 Queen’s University PhD Student in Cultural Studies
(Research + Creation stream)

2010 Concordia University, Canada, Master of Fine Arts — Print Media

2006 Le Tranchefile Atelier, Montreal, Book Arts Mentorship

1998 Queen’s University, Canada — Master of Art Conservation — Paintings

1995 McGill University, Canada — Bachelor of English Literature

PUBLISHED WORKS

2019 Fantasy Rooms, guest curator for article for SOFA Magazine Play Issue (Montreal/Berlin) Fantasy/Play issue Autumn 2019

2019 Pores, gallery text for solo show, Celia Perrin Sidarous (Montreal), Centre Clark, Montreal.

2018 Lenny Letter “Resurrecting Leonora Carrington’s World: A pilgrimage to discover the inner workings of the last living Surrealist” co-written by Alisha Piercy and Heidi Sopinka (18 September 2018)

2018 Fiction editor for SOFA Magazine (Montreal/Berlin), Masculinities issue Autumn 2018

2018 Hush, this story doesn’t belong to you, chapbook (Your Lips to Mine Press 2018)

2018 Strategic Sancturary for the Destruction of Free Will, gallery text for solo show, Pil and Galia Kollectiv (London), Centre Clark, Montreal.

2016 Glossed Over / Tucked Up, Artist book (Anteism, Montreal) in collaboration with media artist Frances Adair McKenzie — Fiction commission

2016 The Ancestry of Objects, gallery text for solo show, Kelly Andres, SKOL Gallery (Montreal)
2014 Bunny and Shark, Novel, BookThug Press (Toronto October 2014)
2013 Fountainside, Drawings, HB Magazine Issue No. 2
2013 Fountainside, Cover/drawing Poetry Review (UK)
2012 Interview with Leonora Carrington The Believer Magazine (Brooklyn) with Heidi Sopinka and Natalie Matuchovsky
2011 Picnic, Short story, The Coming Envelope, BookThug Press, Toronto 2010 Auricle/Icebreaker, Novellas, Conundrum Press, Canada (Conundrum Press 2010)
2010 You have hair like flags, chapbook, (Your Lips to Mine Press Montreal/Berlin 2010)
2010 PALIMPSEST text for Expozine, Montreal
2004 The Master Confectioner, Chapbook, Bookmobile (Canada)

GRANTS/AWARDS

2016 Canada Council for the Arts, Research and Creation grant: Creative Writing
2012/13 Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) exchange with the Communauté française de Belgique/Maison internationale des litteratures à Bruxelles — Writer’s Residency (Brussels, Belgium)
2012 Canada Council for the Arts, Research and Creation grant: Emerging Fiction
2010 Canada Council for the Arts, Visual Art Travel Grant: Iceland
2010 Poetry Association of Canada bpNichol Chapbook Poetry Award
2009 J. W. McConnell Foundation Academic fellowship
2008 Stanley Mills Memorial Foundation Academic Fellowship: Fellowship for Excellence in Visual Arts
2006 Antechamber, McGill Rare Books Library (Montreal) book acquisition

RESIDENCIES

2012/13 Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) exchange with the Communauté française de Belgique/Maison internationale des litteratures à Bruxelles — Writer’s Residency (Brussels, Belgium)

2014 AXENÉO 7 — Artist’s Residency Program (Hull, Canada)

INTERVIEWS AND PROFILES

2019 ESSE Arts + Opinions Issue 95 “Empathy”—Review of SWAMPTSTILLS (Centre Clark, Montréal, 2018) by Micheal Eddy of exhibition

2014 LemonHound 3.0 — Alisha Piercy in conversation with Malcolm Sutton OpenBook Toronto — Writers as Readers: The WAR Series with Alisha Piercy

2010 All Lit Up Canada — Character Study: Bunny and Shark Interview with The Toronto Quarterly, Toronto, by Daryl Salach

Interview with Rob McClennan Literature Series Feature Review: Broken Pencil by Nathaniel G. Moore

BOOK REVIEWS

2014
The National Post (Spencer Gordon)
The Reykjavik Grapevine, Reykjavik, Iceland (Emily Burton)
Montreal Review of Books (Louise Fabiani) Rover Arts Books (Neil MacRae)
Open Book Toronto (Nathaniel G. Moore) Quill & Quire
Maisonneuve Rusty Toque
Prism International All Lit-Up
Room Magazine
Broken Pencil
2010
Telegraph-Journal, New Brunswick
Fréttabla Newspaper (Reykjavik The Coast (Canada, Sean Flinn)

LECTURES AND PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS

2018 Centre Clark (Montreal) — Artist’s Talk
2014 Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair — invited speaker
2014 Toronto International Book Fair — reading of novel Bunny and Shark 2014 APRIM artist book presentation
2011 The Darling Foundry (Montreal): reading performance: You have hair like flags
2011 The Scream Poetry Festival (Toronto) — Main stage performer: You have hair like flags
2011 Literary Death Match — main stage participant SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2018 SWAMPSTILLS, Centre Clark (Montreal)
2014 Fountainward, Galerie Diagonale (Montreal)
2013 Fountainside, AXENEO7 (Gatineau)
2010 You have hair like flags, FOFA gallery (Montréal); Minnesota Centre for Book Arts; Signal-Return (Detroit); Urtudur (Reykjavik) Herald Draward Gallery (Montreal)
Antechamber, Webster Library (Montreal)  
2008 Antechamber, Union Gallery (Kingston)
2006 Antechamber, McGill Rare Books Library (Montreal) 2003 She Fell, Elle Corazon Gallery (Montréal)

COLLABORATIVE EXHIBITIONS

2019 Maison Modèle, Centre Clark (Montreal)
2019 2019 LATENT SEE: Emerging Technologies in the Arts (03 October –30 November) — Collaboration with media artist Frances Adair McKenzie, Ateism Books Art Space, Montreal
2017 Auricle, Art Souterrain — live reading and dance performance in collaboration with Stéphane Gilot (Montreal)
2013 Lethem AXENEO7— Script adaptation for Stéphane Gilot (Gatineau) 2010 Rafts Alight/Sæbraut-Hlildarsjón-Eldur, Reykjavik Culture Night —in collaboration with Oskar Ericsson (Iceland)
2010 La cité performative Galerie Optica (Montréal) in collaboration with (for Stéphane Gilot 
2009 Mexico Picnics (with Heidi Sopinka and Natalie Matutchovsky), live drawing performance (Mexico City) GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2016 Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides — Auction (contributing artist)
2014 PAPIER 14 (Montreal)
2014 Galerie Youn (Montreal) 25 Jan — 23 Feb
2013 BronxArtSpace (New York), 2 Nov — 2 Dec
2012 J Show, Long Haul Gallery (Montreal)
2011 Minnesota Centre for Book Arts, contributor: You have hair like flags 2011 Signal-Return Print Media Exhibit (Detroit) — contributor: You have hair like flags
2011 Melancholia and Solitary States, The Steam Whistle Distillery Loft (Toronto)
2011 Scotia Bank Nuit Blanche Toronto, Artist’s Bloc, The Happiness Project (Toronto)
2011 Vente de garage 4, Musée d’art Contemporain /ArtTV (Montreal) 2009 Strata, MFA Show, Galerie Art Mûr (Montreal)
2009 Time Off, MFA Show, Espace Artefacto (Montreal)
2005 Grand Prix du Livre du Montreal, Montréal City Hall

PROFESSIONAL TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2010 DRAW 399/499 Special Topics: Drawing & Knowledge, Concordia University (BFA)—Teaching Assistant (Prof. Patrick Traer)

2008 PRIN 211 Lithography 1, Concordia University (BFA) — Teaching Assistant (Prof. Stephanie Russ)

2009 PRIN 231 Screen Printing 1, Concordia University (BFA) — Teaching Assistant (Prof. Stephanie Russ)

2010-2014 Bookbinding Workshop — Introduction to methodology and practice Concordia University (BFA + MFA) Université Concordia (BFA + MFA) — One-day workshop and lecture, presented bi-annually to the Dept. of Visual Arts Queen’s University (BFA) — Week-long intensive workshop and lecture for Prof. Sylvat Aziz’s Painting and Drawing class

2009 Gilding conservation and restoration workshop for Conservation Lab at National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana (Cuba) — during role as Assistant Conservator to Sacha Marie Levay (MBMA) of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Alisha Piercy is a Montréal-based author,
artist and paintings conservator. CV + BIO