Critical Fictions

  • ISBN-13: 9781927886687
  • PRICE: $24.00
  • Paperback, 188 pages

“Critical Fictions is a special, caring, and necessary book…”

In her bold departure from conventional art criticism, Hannah Godfrey looks to the work of five contemporary queer visual artists, with attention to, and affection for, the wit, subversion, and many complexities of each of their practices. Shifting through written forms as experiential coves, Critical Fictions is a collection of inventive responses that are delicately linked, and devoted to their subjects.

Alongside the five artists—Derek Dunlop, Kristin Nelson, Hagere Selam shimby Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, Andrea Oliver Roberts, and Logan MacDonald—Godfrey shares a keen interest in intricacies of queer power, the body, and abstraction. Her varied approach to criticism embraces stories, poetry, essays, and other textual formations as means of wayfaring through the work of art. In these pages the reader will find not only celebrations of the depth, beauty, and acuity of the artworks discussed, but explorations of the imaginative thoroughfares they open up.

“It’s with a unique, caring voice that Godfrey speaks about, to, and with the artists in this collection. Even if the reader is familiar with an artist’s practice, the writing, in both its abstract and critical forms, offers the time and space so desperately needed to cover the complicated and intimate relationship of a critic engaging with artwork. Critical Fictions is a special, caring, and necessary book where art criticism is written, challenged, turned on its head and back again, interlacing the varying concepts of the featured artists’ practices like thread in a loom. Only when the reader reaches the end does it become apparent the threads have become a tapestry—a rare and beautiful process that will stay with you into the real world.” —Lauren Lavery, Editor of Peripheral Review

Hannah Godfrey

Hannah Godfrey (AKA hannah_g) is a writer and artist based in Winnipeg, Treaty 1 Territory. She has exhibited, performed, and given readings in Canada, the US, and Europe. Generosity, irreverence, and inquisitiveness underpin her work.


“Connected through slow repetition and relation to the land, each act suggests a patient and rhythmic sort of seeking.”

By Mielen Remmert

Border Crossings, February 2024

Notions of ploughing, wayfaring and mudlarking are central to Critical Fictions (ARP Books, Winnipeg, 2023), the new book by artist, writer and curator Hannah Godfrey. Connected through slow repetition and relation to the land, each act suggests a patient and rhythmic sort of seeking. To meander and trace the steps of another, to slowly and painstakingly turn the soil and sift through the time-worn foreshore of a riverbank are all processes that both recover meaning and make it anew. 

[Read the Review at Border Crossings]

Being-with, Being Known: Critical Fictions by Hannah Godfrey

By Jaz Papadopoulos

Femme Art Review, February 2024

Between the covers of Critical Fictions, the latest collection from poet, storyteller, and art writer Hannah Godfrey, a pulse beats: a lineage and testament of queer intimacies is alive.

The five artists discussed within its pages––Derek Dunlop, Kristin Nelson, Hagere Selam shimby Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, AO Roberts, and Logan MacDonald––Godfrey knows on personal levels.

Read the review at Femme Art Review

While criticism often carries the weight of having to be (or trying to be) right, Critical Fictions tries only to be with.

By Emily Doucet

The Brooklyn Rail, May 2023

Hannah Godfrey’s Critical Fictions circles the work of five artists. Derek Dunlop, Kristin Nelson, Hagere Selam shimby Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, Andrea Oliver Roberts, and Logan MacDonald, are all, as Godfrey points out, queer Canadian artists working with abstraction and the body, critiquing hegemonic power structures “with wit and pathos.” The book is composed of discrete groupings of critical essays, poems, and stories “for” each artist rather than “about” them. This distinction between prepositions is central to the amalgam “critical fictions” offered in the book’s title. Godfrey’s critical texts are imprints of her relationships with the artists and artworks that pepper the author’s fictions, evidence of exchange rather than pure exposition. By writing against the erasure of thinking alongside, Godfrey positions the artist as a narrative accomplice. [Read the review.]