Allan Rae

I'm A Writer, Editor, &  Researcher Who just gave up the urban jungle of toronto for a 178 yr old farmhouse in the country, where i live with my partner David & our dogs, Moles & trouser. You can read some of my story below.

 
 
 

The One Paragraph Ramble

I’m a just turned 50 year old gay man under a misguided, albeit pleasant confusion that he is still 35. Problematic age based delusions aside, I am a classic Myers Briggs ENFP, enjoy good satire, and possess an as of yet unmatched talent for spouting off complete, accurate lyrics to obscure, self involved 80’s ballads. I have come to believe that hot, wet kissing is the door to everything else, am at peace by the ocean, and am a sucker for stray dogs. I can usually be relied upon to scranch my face off when smug Republicans prattle on over “the PC police” or “reverse racism”. While disarmingly intelligent, solid men with beards and meaty butts never fail to turn my head, this agnostic Irishman is more than content with his refreshingly progressive Anglican priest finance, David, the co-parent to a sweet, yet severely uncoordinated Great Dane/Husky named Mr. Moles, and his Boxer/Hound, occasionally shit eating brother, Trouser Von Stinky Pants.
 

The above Too Much Information ramble is something I usually offer to writing groups I facilitate, so as to ease that first night tension and the dreaded "tell us about yourself" speech. For those who may prefer a more traditional take on the "who I am" topic, check out A Life Story In Brief.

 
 
 
 

Writing

Tell someone you’re a writer, then watch their expression change. The potential reactions are many, everything from envy, through fascination, perhaps pity, and on downward to disgust. But no matter what the reaction, the response offered in the form of a question is almost universal ... “so what do you write?” For most writers, that's an infinitely more layered question than it appears.

Consider the following: A masters of fine arts is not neccisarily a mandatory benchmark for narrative talent. Nor does popular writing, by nature, equal literary skill. And, literary skill alone does not equal a lucrative pay stub. And lucrative pay stubs, no matter how high the figure, will at some point fail to feed a writers need to pen our One Great Literary Treasure. There's also the pesky issue of what one may want to write, yet for whatever reason still hasn't written. That's not even mentioning the soul crushing topic of the click bait crap that we loathe putting effort into, but often have no other choice, as the bills won't pay themselves. These dilemmas, well, these dilemmas never end.

So, having said all that, my short answer is that I write a bit of everything. Strictly speaking, my declared focus during the MFA was creative nonfiction for social change. Quite the mouthful, I know. What does that looks like in practical terms? Often it takes the form of nonfiction essays and articles that explore the intersections between human, political, and social ideologies. My work is almost always anchored in a personal or community context. Stylistically, I tend to veer decidedly off the traditional format in favor of non linear, mixed or combined genre, and multiple narratives told in the first person or third person omniscient. I also enjoy writing more philosophically on social themes, using insights I have garnered from my work in qualitative research; however, I will usually experiment with form by fusing academic writing with a creative nonfiction thrust or poetic stylings. My poetry is of the free flowing prose variety, favoring unstructured verse over formulated constraints. While I do enjoy writing fiction, it's the form I write least often. When I do, my preference is toward ultra short, flash fiction, thematically focused narratives, often poetic in style.

The quote below is from an essay I wrote entitled The Challenge Of Memoir, and it's the central theme and philosophy that underscores my writing process.

 
The challenge of memoir and other creative nonfiction, is that it’s assumed you have done the work. The gritty, scary, heavy lifting work that is borne out of mindful, practiced self awareness.”
— Allan Rae
 

And since we are talking about writing, I have curated an archive of what I feel constitutes my best literary nonfiction, memoir, poetry, and flash fiction work, all accessible from the button below.

 
 

My written work has been published in a number of journals and publications, both online and in print, including Literati, Indigo & Stone Quarterly, A Different Perspective, The Synapse, Endless Magazine, This Glorious Mess, Due East, The Coffelicious, Literally Literary, Toronto Life, Direct Mail, Matters Of The Art, and both the UCLA, and University of Toronto student press. For a complete listing of where my work has been published, including links to specific pieces, please click the button below.