Cool Customer is an independent publication designed and edited by Jessy Kitchen, Kenley Blackwood, and Clea Christakos-Gee. Inspired by the historical lack of space for shared grieving, and a need for conversation surrounding grief, loss, and trauma in our community, we created this publication to offer a platform for people to conceptualize and reflect on forms of grief within their work.

As a meditation on grief, Cool Customer aims to be a space for honesty, intimacy, and healing. We explore diverse perspectives from writers and artists to create a space for a collective grieving process, as well as to engage readers in work that provokes thought and reflection surrounding grief. We are interested in considering the form that grief takes in our work as we process, engage, and cope with loss and trauma. We wish to explore grief in a myriad of ways, be it the loss of life, a relationship, identity, or a precious object. 

Our name comes from Joan Didion’s book, The Year of Magical Thinking. It calls to the ways in which we distance ourselves from grief, as well as our multifaceted and ever-changing internal experiences of grief. In many ways, we are influenced by Didion’s honest and unaffected voice when thinking about these concepts. 

Cool Customer is published annually and printed in Toronto, Ontario. Founded by Jessy Kitchen and Kenley Blackwood in 2018. 

“and here lies the heart of the difference between grief as we imagine it and grief as it is…”

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