Canadian writer and artist RM Vaughan was found dead after going missing in his native New Brunswick earlier this month. Scroll down to read more appreciations.
Vivek Shraya is a writer and artist and the author of I’m Afraid of Men.
I met RM Vaughan just once – in 2013, at Videofag, a multimedia arts space in downtown Toronto. Our conversation was brief. I was shy, knowing and admiring him as a respected writer, and was even more bashful when he warmly complimented me on my earlier performance there.
A few weeks later, on a whim, I messaged him to ask if he would blurb my first novel, She of the Mountains. At the time, I was a newbie, a still self-published writer with very few industry connections. He surprisingly agreed, and soon after he sent me a glowing blurb that was almost a page long.
I remember reading what he wrote and crying in the lobby of Toronto’s Carleton Cinema because his gesture implied that I didn’t need to be a “somebody” to be seen.
Throughout our sparse interactions, RM consistently showed me kindness and generosity – a reminder of how vital kindness from strangers is. I hope I can be as kind and generous as RM was to me.
Read more appreciations of RM Vaughan
- Alana Wilcox: ‘He wrote exquisitely in every genre, with panache and precision, and with impeccable professionalism’
- Bert Archer: ‘He was, like Derek McCormack and Kathy Acker and Gary Indiana, someone a small group thinks the world of’
- Andrew Gorham: ‘I asked him if he would be a columnist for [The Globe], He agreed, warning me he was nobody’s fool, and would say whatever the hell he wanted’