Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Brad Phillips. His new story collection, Essays and Fictions, is available from Tyrant Books.


The late Anthony Bourdain calls it: “Searingly honest, brilliant and disturbing. [Phillips] peels back the skin and bone and stares right into the human soul.”

Born in 1974, Phillips is also an accomplished visual artist  known for dark work that engages with themes of eroticism, depression, and mortality. His paintings display stylistic breadth, from text-based to photorealist, referring in many cases directly to his daily life. He lives in Toronto.

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Please explain what just happened.

Our documentary, A People Uncounted, just had its international premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival, as well as playing concurrently at the Heartland Film Festival and the Mumbai Film Festival. It’s very exciting that people are starting to see the film.


What is your earliest memory?

The day before my 4th birthday, in a store called Young Canada, where my mother bought me a stuffed animal. I put it away in a bag and I didn’t play with it until it was presented to me ‘officially’ the following day. The bag had a Toronto Blue Jays logo on it. Marc Swenker (Producer) will appreciate this since he’s a big Blue Jays fan!

I’ve decided to post this list after having kept it scrawled in notebooks over the years. The inspiration for it comes from one of my favorite people on this planet, Tom Rhodes. He has a list of over 1000 things he simply calls “Happiness”. I started keeping my own list a few years ago – which has been edited and updated and deleted from sporadically over time – but still serves as my own reminder that there are far more good things than bad on these little paths we all stumble down.