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Issues

Our Back Pages:
Issue #86, Spring 1989

Issue #86As always, Malahat features writers at different stages of their careers, and this issue is no exception, beginning with a genre-hopping photograph by Michael Ondaatje on the cover. Honours art student, Bonnie Curran, has four Scottish “sheep” photographs that lead us into Susan Glickman’s longish poem, “Henry Moore’s Sheep.” In fact, I would say this is very much a poetry issue. Read more.

Following the success of our 50 Issues Project, in which we highlighted select back issues in honour of the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary, we decided to cast our gaze back, chronologically, over our complete backlist…to include (eventually!) brief reviews of every issue not previously covered. Featured issues will be highlighted on our website biweekly.

Continue reading about this week's featured issue (write-up by Lucy Bashford).


News

Call for Submissions: Indigenous Perspectives

Indigenous Perspectives IssueThe Malahat Review invites writers who identify as First Nations, Métis and Inuit to submit their unpublished work to an upcoming issue on contemporary Indigenous writing in Canada.

To be published in January 2017, Indigenous Perspectives will celebrate the aesthetics, concerns, contributions, and achievements of Indigenous authors living in or from “Canada,” recognizing their crucial role in providing a truly complete picture of what it is like to be alive in North America in the past, future, and especially today.

The issue is being guest-edited by Philip Kevin Paul (poetry), Richard Van Camp (fiction), and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (creative nonfiction).

The Malahat Review, a literary quarterly published by the University of Victoria, acknowledges that it operates on the unceded territory of the Coast and Straits Salish people, including the Lekwungen family group, Checkonien, and Sungayka village.

More details on submitting to the Indigenous Perspectives issue (submission deadline is August 15, 2016).


Interviews

Interview with Anne Marie Todkill, Winner of the 2016 Novella Prize

Anne Marie TodkillCanadian writer Anne Marie Todkill was recently announced as the winner of this year's $1500 Novella Prize. Her story, "Next of Kin," was chosen by the three contest judges as the best of 225 total submissions received. It will be published in the Summer 2016 issue of the Malahat. Can't wait for it be in print? Read her interview with Christine Leclerc below where she talks about her winning piece!

CL: Such a number of narrative threads run through "Next of Kin." Did Marian emerge immediately as the obvious narrator and main character?

AMT: As far as I remember, Liz's character came to me first, but I always saw her through the lens of another character—a daughter—who eventually became Marian. If Liz was the originating spark, some version of Marian was always the medium as the first-person narrator. And once you give your narrator the "I," she's in the protagonist's seat—unless you're doing something particularly clever with narrative framing. At any rate, Marian's point of view prevailed, and that brought a particular focus.

Read the full interview here.


Book Reviews

Spring Issue Review of Kevin Hardcastle's short story collection, Debris

DebrisMalahat alumnus Kevin Hardcastle's debut short story collection, out with Biblioasis, has already received positive reviews and praise. It has made the shortlist for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, and the Trillium Book Prize. Here's a sample of what book reviewer Jamie Dopp had to say about Hardcastle's stunning collection:

The eleven stories in this debut collection are set mostly in the resource towns and countryside of the prairies. The characters tend to be scraping by on marginal work, petty (or more serious) crime, or to be the castoffs and victims—the debris—of the harsh economic and social environment. There is alcohol abuse, family dysfunction, violence, and the kind of exploitation that happens when people are reduced to fighting each other for scraps. The stories are told with careful precision, free of authorial judgment, in prose that reminded me of the understated lyricism of later Thomas McGuane or of David Adams Richards.

Read the full book review here (by Jamie Dopp).


Contests

Call for Submissions: Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize ($1000 to one winner)

CNF PrizeWhen one (contest) door closes, another opens: this year's CNF Contest is wide open and accepting entries for consideration of the $1000 prize! Deadline is August 1.

Send us your best personal essay, memoir, biography, travel piece, social commentary, or historical account... if it's real and creative—and between 2000 to 3000 words—we want to read it!

All entrants receive a complimentary one-year subscription to the Malahat. Entries cost between $35 and $45 depending on where you live. All additional entries cost $15, no limit.

This year's contest judge is Lee Maracle. Read all about her here (interview coming in the July edition of Malahat lite e-newsletter).

Submit your entries to the CNF Contest.


Issues

Our Back Pages:
Issue #85, July 1988

Issue #85Issue 85 opens with a searing story from the late Holley Rubinsky (1943-2015). Here are the first two sentences, a classic storytelling approach with punch: “Ginger Dawn, who is nearing seven now and just full of it, is down the road picking on some chickens. I am on the veranda, reading an eviction letter written by some lawyers in Seattle, Washington.” And from there, I couldn’t stop reading Rubinsky’s “Grounding,” which explores the desperate weeks after the narrator’s elderly friend and caretaker has died and she is forced to confront the fact that she and her daughter may soon be homeless. Read more.

Following the success of our 50 Issues Project, in which we highlighted select back issues in honour of the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary, we decided to cast our gaze back, chronologically, over our complete backlist…to include (eventually!) brief reviews of every issue not previously covered. Featured issues will be highlighted on our website biweekly.

Continue reading about this week's featured issue (write-up by Stephanie Harrington).


Interviews

Interview with Kate Cayley on "The Ascent"

Kate CayleyThe Spring Issue has been distributed to readers all over the globe, and inside you'll find a fantastic story by Governor General's Award finalist and Trillium Book Award winner Kate Cayley. In this interview, she talks with Francesca Bianco about artistry, identity and truth as they pertain to her fiction piece. Here's a sample of their conversation:

FB: In "The Ascent," we find a woman—sometimes called "Lady"—who renounces herself ("I am not that woman any longer") and puts on a metaphorical habit in order to perform another character. She embarks on a pilgrimage of self-fabrication that ultimately saves her. Writing can be a kind of performance. What is the nature of that performance for you when putting pen to paper?

KC: I think it depends very much on the form. I find short stories probably the most performative because it is possible to sustain a different voice over that briefer journey. With anything longer, the author intrudes. And of course, like Lady finds, the performance becomes itself a real thing. That said, I’m a pretty nuts-and-bolts writer, and I often keep my distance from my own material—as in, there’s a part of me refining it from a technical standpoint even as I’m most present in it, so I don’t think I’m immersed in the performance in the way Lady is. I suppose it is a kind of salvation, in the sense of something that transforms experience.

Read the full interview here.


E-Newsletter

Malahat lite: May 2016 Edition

Issue #194This month's e-newsletter has lots of info on upcoming theme issues, news and interviews with contest winners, and a National Magazine Award nomination!

News: Susan Olding has received a NMA nomination for "White Matter," her creative nonfiction piece originally published in Issue #193: Mapping CNF in Canada. Winners will be announced at a special gala in Toronto on June 10, and all Malahat staff are crossing their fingers!

Interviews: Novella Prize winner Anne Marie Todkill discusses framing and narration in her winning novella story, "Next of Kin.". Founders Award for Fiction winner J. R. McConvey talks about the theme of grief in his winning piece, "Home Range." And Kate Cayley lets us in on truth and identity in her story, "The Ascent," published in our Spring Issue.

Calls for Submissions: we have two theme issues coming up, and we're looking for writers to send us their work! An issue on Indigenous Perspectives (deadline August 15, 2016) and on Victoria Past / Present / Future (deadline May 15, 2017) may both be our biggest and best issues yet.

Discover all this and more in the May edition of Malahat lite.


News

Susan Olding Receives National Magazine Award Nomination

NMAsGreat news! Canadian writer Susan Olding has been nominated for a National Magazine Award in the Essays category for her nonfiction piece, "White Matter," which originally appears in Issue #193 of the Malahat. This issue, published in January 2016, highlights the best of creative nonfiction in Canada today.

Susan Olding's work has won and been nominated for multiple awards, including previous National Magazine Awards. Our fingers are crossed that "White Matter" makes the cut for this year's NMAs!

Full list of National Magazine Award nominees here.


Issues

Our Back Pages:
Issue #83, July 1988

Issue #83As I stare at the cover of this particular issue of The Malahat Review, three smiling faces greet me, welcoming me to the realm of their works. These women, Paulette Jiles, Diana Hartog, and Sharon Thesen, are the focus of this issue, with a generous selection of their poetry and with a preceding interview by editor Constance Rooke. Read more.

Following the success of our 50 Issues Project, in which we highlighted select back issues in honour of the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary, we decided to cast our gaze back, chronologically, over our complete backlist…to include (eventually!) brief reviews of every issue not previously covered. Featured issues will be highlighted on our website biweekly.

Continue reading about this week's featured issue (write-up by Miranda Marini).


Contests

Deadline Looms: Far Horizons Award for Poetry

Far Horizons AwardIf you're a budding writer, you have until May 1 (just a few days away) to send us your poems and be considered for the $1000 Far Horizons Award!

There's no theme, topic or subject matter we won't consider. This is one contest that's especially geared toward younger poets who are honing their craft. As such, the contest entry is only $25 for three poems (comes with a year-long subscription).

Click here for full contest details, including submission and payment options.


Interviews

Interview with Martin James Ainsley, poetry contributor to the 2016 Spring Issue

Martin James AinsleyOn love, levity, and the false brave face: Malahat volunteer Michelle Brown talks with Issue #194 contributor Martin James Ainsley about family relations and the call of a shiny red '69 Chevy in his poem, "Muscle Car."

Michelle: The car is the only female figure in a story about relationships between men, which I found very interesting. She's a "teenage dream", uniquely able to draw the attention of all three male figures in the poem, but also the one thing that stands between the father and the son. Was feminizing the car a conscious choice? Can you talk a bit about the car's role in the poem? 

Martin: Yikes. What a question! I don’t think feminizing the car was a completely conscious choice, but I can’t have written that pronoun without at least momentarily thinking about what it might signal for the reader. My first draft was more than three years ago, so I honestly don’t remember. But when I read it now, I know I was playing a bit cheekily with the whole Oedipal thing. That red sports car was sexy, damn it!

Read the full interview here.


News

Victoria Past, Victoria Present, Victoria Future

Victoria Themed IssueTo celebrate its first half-century and to launch itself into its second, The Malahat Review will publish a theme issue on Victoria writing past, present, and future in Autumn 2017.

Victoria is known nationally and internationally for a remarkably vibrant writing scene that has a depth of accomplishment spanning more than a century, one equalling, if not rivaling the achievements of literary cities…to the east…that are two, three, even ten times its size.

Since 1967, as an anchor of Victoria writing, The Malahat Review has had the good fortune to launch and sustain the reputations of many Victoria writers by publishing their work at all stages of their careers. Victoria PAST, Victoria PRESENT, Victoria FUTURE aims to honour this beautiful “long-term” relationship in a festschrift that will reveal where Victoria writing has come from, where it is today, and where it may be heading. 

More details on the Victoria theme issue announcement page.


Issues

Our Back Pages:
Issue #82, March 1988

Issue #82Having contributed several columns to Our Back Pages, reviewing issues from The Malahat’s previous editorial eras from long before I joined the staff in 2004, I find myself convinced there is no such thing as a “bad” Malahat Review. Not to say that every single poem or short story is necessarily my cup of tea, but that, without exception, one can pull down a random back issue and be largely amazed. Witness: Number 82, from the Spring of 1988. Read more.

Following the success of our 50 Issues Project, in which we highlighted select back issues in honour of the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary, we decided to cast our gaze back, chronologically, over our complete backlist…to include (eventually!) brief reviews of every issue not previously covered. Featured issues will be highlighted on our website biweekly.

Continue reading about this week's featured issue (write-up by Rhonda Batchelor).


Book Reviews

Spring Issue Review of Ali Blithe's Twoism

TwoismAt the heart of Ali Blythe’s courageous debut collection is a bruising search for identity. At times the self is revealed as a thing of tricks and shadows—illusory, fragile, and unreliable. The narrator identifies with St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes, and periodically slips into a familiar melancholy, beyond consolation. Elsewhere, we hear the voice of someone in search of an exit: “Make me a light breeze / is all I’m asking.” The here and now is deeply unsatisfying. Something better than this, we’re told, must exist. The poems create a world prone to unravelling, one that leaves us with little to hold onto.

Read the full book review here (by Anouk H. Henri).


Interviews

Interview with Steven Heighton, Contest Judge for the 2016 Far Horizons Award

Steven HeightonThe deadline for this year's Far Horizons Award is coming up quick (May 1), and contest judge Steven Heighton has a few things to say for emerging poets who hope to win the $1000 prize! He recently spoke with Adèle Barclay on what he's looking for in the winning piece.

Adèle: What advice do you have for emerging writers submitting to contests?

Steven: Interest is never enough. If it doesn’t haunt you, you’ll never write it well. What haunts and obsesses you into writing may, with luck and labour, interest your readers. What merely interests you is sure to bore them.

Let failure be your workshop. See it for what it is: the world walking you through a tough but necessary semester, free of tuition.

Embrace oblivion. The sooner you quit fretting about your current status and the long shot of posterity, the sooner you’ll write something that matters—while actually enjoying the effort, at least some of the time.

Read the full interview here.


News

2016 Novella Prize Winner: Anne Marie Todkill

Anne Marie TodkillThe Novella Prize winner has been chosen!

Canadian writer Anne Marie Todkill has been chosen as the grand prize winner of the 2016 Novella Prize. Her story, "Next of Kin," was selected from 225 entries by contest judges Mark Anthony Jarman, Stephen Marche, and Joan Thomas as the best piece submitted.

The award comes with a $1500 cash prize, and Todkill's winning Novella will be published in the Summer issue.

More details on the Novella Prize announcement page.


E-Newsletter

Malahat lite: April 2016 Edition

Danny JacobsLove literary contests? So do we! This edition of Malahat lite is chock full of contest news, interviews, and updates.

Far Horizons Poetry Award: this contest runs every other year and is open to emerging poets who have yet to publish their work in book form. Contest fee is reduced to encourage young writers to submit. Steven Heighton, a prominent Canadian poet, is contest judge -- in an exclusive interview, he dishes hearty advice on poetry!

Founders' Awards: each year, the Malahat honours the best in poetry and fiction within its pages. The Jack Hodgins Fiction Award, and the P. K. Page Poetry Award, each bestow a $1000 prize to the writer of the best Malahat piece from the previous year. In 2016, we launched the Charles Lillard Founders' Award for Creative Nonfiction in honour of the late B.C. writer. See the full list of 2016 winners here.

Novella Prize: the shortlist has been announced, and one winner will take home $1500! Winner will be revealed April 8.

Discover all this and more in the April edition of Malahat lite.


News

Winners of the 2016 Founders' Awards

PK PageThis year's Founders' Award winners have been announced!

Each year, a $1000 prize is awarded to the best piece of fiction and poetry that appeared in the Malahat the previous year. The Jack Hodgins' Founders Award for Fiction, and the P. K. Page Founders' Award for poetry, were both established in 2007 to acknowledge the outstanding excellence of Malahat contributors.

New this year is the Charles Lillard Founders' Award for Creative Nonfiction, a special addition that honours the late Charles Lillard for his contribution to B.C. culture and literature.

And the three Founders' Award winners for 2016 are...


News

2016 Novella Prize Shortlist Announced

Novella Prize posterWe're pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Novella Prize! A staggering 225 entries were received for this contest, and we've carefully whittled the numbers down to just six.

Thanks to all supporters and entrants for making this possible. The grand prize winner of $1500 will be announced by April 8 online and through social media.

Check out the shortlist here.


Issues

Our Back Pages:
Issue #81, March 1987

Issue #81This poetry-rich issue opens with a moving last-minute addition from Phyllis Webb: “Gwen, I didn’t know it had been so bad, such a long / way down these past months….” Gwendolyn MacEwan had passed away just a few weeks earlier, and Webb’s raw response opens the issue. A sense of loss persists in many of the pieces here—in various ways, things are not quite right, and there’s often a sense of unease and darkness, sadness. Human beings suffer, and persevere, and suffer some more, trying to find out “How one part connects / with another / or fails to connect.” This comes from Derk Wynand, who has four poems in this issue; Wynand chaired the Department of Writing at UVic, and went on to become editor of The Malahat Review from 1992 to 1998. Read more.

Following the success of our 50 Issues Project, in which we highlighted select back issues in honour of the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary, we decided to cast our gaze back, chronologically, over our complete backlist…to include (eventually!) brief reviews of every issue not previously covered. Featured issues will be highlighted on our website biweekly.

Continue reading about this week's featured issue (write-up by Micaela Maftei).


Subscriptions

Spring Into Reading with the Malahat's Discounted Subscription Offer: $19.95!

Spring Sub OfferChase the winter blues away by sharing The Malahat Review with your fellow readers! Hop like the bunnies to grab this discounted offer.

We have priced a one-year subscription to The Malahat Review for just $19.95 specially to let you spread the Malahat’s spring weather near and far. Regular subscriptions cost between $35 and $45... you do the math!

Click here to purchase one for a friend (or yourself!).


Events

WordsThaw's Gala Reading, "Words on Ice," Features Green Party Leader Elizabeth May

Elizabeth MayThe Malahat's annual literary festival descends on Victoria this week, March 16 - 20! We're prepped for four days of all things WordsThaw: a film premiere, a Lansdowne Lecture, readings, panel discussions, and workshops between readers and writers of all levels.

One of this year's highlighted readers is none other than Green Party Leader and MP Elizabeth May, who reads Friday, March 18 for Words on Ice, an evening gala reading celebrating Canadian literature. She is the author of eight books, most recently, Who We Are: Reflections on my Life and on Canada (2014) and Losing Confidence: Power, Politics and the Crisis in Canadian Democracy, (2009). Elizabeth is an environmentalist, writer, activist and lawyer, with a long record as a dedicated advocate — for social justice, for the environment, for human rights, and for pragmatic economic solutions. Elizabeth was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005.

Click for more details about Words on Ice this Friday, March 18.


Issues

Our Back Pages:
Issue #80, March 1987

Issue #80Highlights of the issue include the opening story, “Bragg and Minna,” which would later appear in Timothy Findley’s fabulous collection of stories, Stones. In this piece, he take as a subject cancer, birth defects, homosexuality, and loss in his typically vivid and sometimes disturbing style. Another well-known storyteller — Thomas King — makes his first Malahat appearance in this issue with a story called “Not Counting the Indian, There Were Six.” Read more.

Following the success of our 50 Issues Project, in which we highlighted select back issues in honour of the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary, we decided to cast our gaze back, chronologically, over our complete backlist…to include (eventually!) brief reviews of every issue not previously covered. Featured issues will be highlighted on our website biweekly.

Continue reading about this week's featured issue (write-up by Jay Ruzesky).


Interviews

Interview with Lisa Goddard, Speaker at WordsThaw's "Literary Archives" Panel

Lisa GoddardLocal writer and nonfiction-board member Maleea Acker speaks with Lisa Goddard, Associate University Librarian for Digital Scholarship and Strategy at University of Victoria Libraries. The two discuss Goddard's role as panelist for Literary Afterlives: Exploring the Meaning and Values of Writers and Archives, one of three panel discussions at WordsThaw 2016.

This panel will take place Saturday, March 19, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the University of Victoria.

MA: Collaboration between the humanities and other disciplines is increasing, and much of this work seems to be happening in the digital realm, with the advent of areas such as Geohumanities and Digital Humanities. What is the value of digitizing archival material in light of these collaborations?

LG: One obvious benefit is vastly improved access. Many people around the world may be interested in a unique manuscript, journal, or illustration, but only a handful of those people will be willing or able to come to the University of Victoria to view the physical item. Digital surrogates can be easily discovered in web search engines like Google, and are immediately accessible online. This brings archival materials to a huge new audience of people who may never consider going to a physical archive. Digitization has additional advantages to scholars, as it permits a geographically distributed research team to work collaboratively on a collection of objects. Digital surrogates can be marked-up, rearranged, and mashed-up without harm. 

Read the full interview here.


Contests

Call For Entries: Far Horizons Award for Poetry

Far Horizons AwardCalling all emerging poets! Our biennial Far Horizons Award for Poetry is open until May 1. We're on the hunt for poetry from writers who have yet to publish poetry in book form. Send us your best and you could win $1000!

This year's contest judge is Steven Heighton. An interview with Steven will be posted in April for all those eager poets wanting to see what he's looking for in a winning poem! While you wait, here's another great source of inspiration from Laura Ritland, 2014 Far Horizons Contest winner, in an interview with poetry board member Jay Ruzesky.

Click here for full contest details, including submission and payment options.


E-Newsletter

Malahat lite: March 2016 Edition

John PassSpring has sprung, the blossoms are blooming, and here at the Malahat office, our annual literary event, Wordsthaw, is also set to bloom from March 16 to 20!

WordsThaw interviews: panelists Kim Trainor, Frances Backhouse, and Lisa Goddard each talk about their respective panel topics: the investigative poet, creative nonfiction in Canada today, and literary archives.

Open Season Award winner interviews: John Pass (poetry; pictured), Katherine Magyarody (fiction), and Jennifer Williamson (creative nonfiction) discuss their big wins ($1,500 each and publication) through the eyes of their prize-winning submissions.

Publishing Tip: Kateri Lanthier lets us in on the tricks of teaching creative writing, and the importance of being a reader as well as a writer.

We're also running a special Twitter-themed contest leading up to WordsThaw!

Discover all this and more in the March edition of Malahat lite.


Interviews

Interview with Frances Backhouse, Speaker at WordsThaw's "CNF in Canada Today" Panel

Frances BackhouseUVic MFA candidate Annabel Howard talks with Frances Backhouse, veteran journalist and author of six nonfiction books, including Once They Were Hats: In Search of the Mighty Beaver and Children of the Klondike, which won the 2010 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. The two discuss Backhouse's role as panelist for Creative Nonfiction in Canada Today: Fact, Fiction, or Scandal?, one of three interactive discussions at this year's WordsThaw, Saturday March 19, 3:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.

AH: Your most recent book, Once They Were Hats: In Search of the Mighty Beaver (2015)has been very well received with, amongst others, a glowing review from the National Post. As is the case with almost all works of CNF, there is a tendency for reviews to focus on content and not form. How do you feel about this, and how think it reflects on CNF’s place in Canada’s literary landscape?

FB: I don’t mind content-focused reviews of my books, provided the reviewer gets the facts right. However, as a reader and a writer, I prefer reviews that consider form and style alongside content. I was satisfied with the extent to which the National Post review and one that appeared a month later in the Globe and Mail did consider my book’s form and style, partly because I’ve seen plenty of reviews (including some in those publications) that neglect those elements entirely.

Read the full interview here.


Events

WordsThaw Prequel Event at UVic's Ideafest: "Prompts from the Past"

WT Ideafest prequelPresented by hosts Rhonda Batchelor of The Malahat Review and Christine Walde of Archives and Special Collections, University of Victoria Libraries, Prompts from the Past will introduce the wealth of material housed in Special Collections and explore ways in which this rich source might be tapped for creative projects. The second half of the session features a brief writing workshop, guided by Micaela Maftei, where interested participants can view selected items from the collection in order to produce a short piece of creative writing.

This event takes place Saturday March 12, 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m., room A003 of the McPherson Library on UVic's campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

Read about more WordsThaw literary festival events taking place March 16 - 20!


Issues

Our Back Pages:
Issue #78, March 1987

Issue #78I came to this issue, billed as “A Special Issue on George Johnston,” knowing next to nothing about its subject. I can now quite honestly say that I’ve enjoyed the most splendid of introductions to this remarkable man. Read more.

Following the success of our 50 Issues Project, in which we highlighted select back issues in honour of the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary, we decided to cast our gaze back, chronologically, over our complete backlist…to include (eventually!) brief reviews of every issue not previously covered. Featured issues will be highlighted on our website biweekly.

Continue reading about this week's featured issue (write-up by Rhonda Batchelor).


Book Reviews

Issue #193 Book Review: The Death of Small Creatures by Trisha Cull

The Death of Small CreaturesDedicated entirely to works of creative nonfiction, Issue #193 Elusive Boundaries: Mapping CNF in Canada highlights some of the best books being published around the country. Phoebe Wang's review of Trisha Cull's The Death of Small Creatures is no exception! Take a read and see for yourself...

"Without the many risks that Trisha Cull takes in her memoir The Death of Small Creatures would be an easier read. She chronicles ten stomach-churning years in which she lives with bipolar disorder, bulimia, various kinds of addiction and self-abuse—subject matters that in themselves make great demands on the writer and the reader. The Death of Small Creatures compiles online blog entries, letters, and her psychiatrist’s notes, which present alternate versions to her first-person account. Loosely organized in a linear fashion, Cull’s narrative is told in a fitful and fragmented way, with mixed results."

Read the full book review here.


Interviews

Interview with Heather Dean, Moderator for WordsThaw Panel "Literary Archives"

Heather DeanUVic Librarian and Malahat Poetry Board member Christine Walde talks with Heather Dean, Associate Director of Special Collections at the University of Victoria Libraries, about her role as moderator for the Literary Archives panel at WordsThaw. This panel takes place March 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

CW: When it comes to archives, how are writers’ archives both similar and different from other bodies of information, and what is so compelling about writers’ archives? How do they help us to understand the writers’ process?

HD: The archives of writers are like the personal archives of many people: they contain artifacts of our everyday lives from diaries and letters to legal and financial records. I think one of the things that make writers’ archives especially compelling is the public fascination with the personal lives of authors and their creative process. Writers’ archives, like the archives of other creatives, are fascinating because it can be difficult to untangle the personal from the professional. In order to understand a piece of writing it can be useful to look not only at drafts of writing but also at correspondence and diaries and the larger context in which an author was working and who their intellectual circle was.

Read the full interview here.


Issues

Our Back Pages:
Issue #77, March 1986

Issue #77This issue of The Malahat Review begins with a calm, considered examination. Taken by Michael Ondaatje, the cover photograph of a man partially obscured by shadow presents us with a figure we can scrutinize, but who, by looking directly at us, almost into us, suggests that we are perhaps being read as well. The theme of looking within/being observed runs throughout this diverse, rich collection of work. Read more.

Following the success of our 50 Issues Project, in which we highlighted select back issues in honour of the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary, we decided to cast our gaze back, chronologically, over our complete backlist…to include (eventually!) brief reviews of every issue not previously covered. Featured issues will be highlighted on our website biweekly.

Continue reading about this week's featured issue (write-up by Micaela Maftei).


Interviews

Interview with Anita Lahey, Moderator for WordsThaw Panel "The Investigative Poet"

Anita LaheyVictoria’s Poet Laureate Yvonne Blomer talks with Anita Lahey, assistant series editor of Best Canadian Poetry in English and past editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, about her role as moderator for Investigative Poet: Observer, Researcher, Analyst, one of three interactive panel discussions at this year’s WordsThaw.

YB: Often poets are thought of as artists, those who can take facts or “truths” and do withthem as they wish. A poet might remind herself that she doesn’t have to stick to the facts, which sometimes get in the way of the poem. She may remind herself to play with those truths to reach deeper or other truths. How does this notion of the poet or how a poem develops relate to your idea of poet as researcher or journalist?

AL: I’m thinking about how a poet can absorb a fact and transform it, through language, context, juxtaposition—how poets, unlike journalists, can take the fruits of their research and not so much present that data inaccurately, but find a home for it within a poem that gives it a changed reality, that maybe brings to the surface a different truth within the fact than the one we previously noticed or thought was important. This is how poets can offer a slant perspective, or turn our sense of reality (and their own) upside down. To create this kind of art a fidelity to the facts—a reliance on facts, of both the ordinary and extraordinary kind—is necessary, just not perhaps the sort of fidelity we are accustomed to in mainstream journalism.

Read the full interview here.


News

2016 Open Season Award Winners Announced

Kat MagyarodyThe Malahat Review is pleased to announce the winners of this year's Open Season Awards!

Congratulations to John Pass (poetry), Katherine Magyarody (fiction; pictured), and Jennifer Williamson (creative nonfiction), whose contest entries have won them $1,500 each, along with publication in the Spring 2016 issue. Each winner will also be interviewed for March's Malahat lite.

See what the contest judges had to say about the winning entries.


E-Newsletter

Malahat lite: February 2016 Edition

Dale Lee KwongLots of love this month, especially in anticipation of WordsThaw, our annual literary symposium taking place March 16 - 20 at the University of Victoria.

WordsThaw interviews: moderators Anita Lahey, Heather Dean, and Alisa Gordaneer each talk about their respective panels on the investigative poet, literary afterlives of archived collections, and creative nonfiction in Canada today.

CNF Issue Interviews: the Malahat's latest issue, dedicated entirely to works of creative nonfiction, is being read all over the world, and two of our authors have words of wisdom to share about their pieces! Dale Lee Kwong (pictured) discusses Chinese-Canadian history in "O, Canada," and Jesse Rae Archibald-Barber discusses indigenous aesthetics in "The Bowl Game."

We're also running a special Twitter-themed contest leading up to WordsThaw!

Discover all this and more in the February edition of Malahat lite.


Issues

Our Back Pages:
Issue #75, March 1986

Issue #75The beautiful cover photograph by noted poet Patricia Young is titled "Cousins," and while it probably would ruffle feathers if published these days it nevertheless captures an innocence and wonder that can’t help but bring a smile. The inside pages of this issue will do the same, with a rich variety of voices. Read more.

Following the success of our 50 Issues Project, in which we highlighted select back issues in honour of the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary, we decided to cast our gaze back, chronologically, over our complete backlist…to include (eventually!) brief reviews of every issue not previously covered. Featured issues will be highlighted on our website biweekly.

Continue reading about this week's featured issue (write-up by Rhonda Batchelor).


News

2016 Open Season Awards Shortlist Announced

Long Poem PrizeWe're pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Open Season Awards! Finalists have been chosen in all categories: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Thanks to all supporters and entrants for making this possible. The grand prize winners will be announced by February 5 online and through social media. $4,500 in prize money to be won.

Open Season Awards shortlist available here.


Issues

Our Back Pages:
Issue #74, March 1986

Issue #74The 1986 Issue 74 opens with a contemporary 2015 topic – transgenderism. “Christina/Philippe” is a two hander by Per Brask, who trained as a Dramaturg in Denmark before immigrating to Canada. The play explores the conversations that might have taken place had two historical figures been able to meet and discuss their sexual identities. Read more.

Following the success of our 50 Issues Project, in which we highlighted select back issues in honour of the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary, we decided to cast our gaze back, chronologically, over our complete backlist…to include (eventually!) brief reviews of every issue not previously covered. Featured issues will be highlighted on our website biweekly.

Continue reading about this week's featured issue (write-up by Maureen Magee ).


Reviews

Spotlight CNF Issue Review - This Place a Stranger: Canadian Women Travelling Alone

This Place a Stranger

The Malahat's first-ever Creative Nonfiction Issue is hot off the press, and we're celebrating with a spotlight review of This Place a Stranger, edited by Vici Johnstone. Publisher Caitlin Press calls it a "sometimes tragic, sometimes uproariously funny" collection of travelogues from Canadian women. And here's a snapshot of what Malahat book reviewer Kirsten Fogg said about the collection:

I’ve travelled on my own many times and the clear prose of This Place a Stranger: Canadian Women Travelling Alone would have been a welcome companion. In the past, I’ve started books about adventuring women only to put them down, disappointed because the focus was on the external rather than the more interesting and complex internal journey. Yvonne Blomer, Shannon Webb-Campbell, and the other authors of the twenty-three essays in this collection, have layered and woven the personal with the public, and candid honesty with pertinent details so we get a real sense of who the writer is in that particular place.

Read more about This Place a Stranger.


Publishing Tips

Tips on Attention

Publishing TipsDon't think you have the time to write? Ottawa writer and blogger rob mclennan dishes up hearty advice on snapping out of the writers' block mentality and strengthening your time-management regime.

Attention is a muscle, one that requires development. I know writers that require a soundless space and enforced solitude; I acknowledge that for some this is the only way to proceed, but it all seems a bit precious, akin to suggesting that one can’t do any work until life is perfect and calm (which never happens, as you know). Silence and attention are not mutually exclusive. So you want to write?

Read the rest of rob's publishing tip on unleashing your writing potential.


Issues

Our Back Pages:
Issue #71, June 1985

Issue #71Malahat’s summer 1985 issue is a rich picnic basket of reading materials filled with literary forms and styles to suit the tastes of any reader—perfect for taking to the beach. As an appetizer, there are eight poems about angels by Gail Harris that complement the cover photograph (by David Tasker) of a divine cemetery statue. Read more.

Following the success of our 50 Issues Project, in which we highlighted select back issues in honour of the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary, we decided to cast our gaze back, chronologically, over our complete backlist…to include (eventually!) brief reviews of every issue not previously covered. Featured issues will be highlighted on our website biweekly.

Continue reading about this week's featured issue (write-up by Jay Ruzesky).


E-Newsletter

Malahat lite: January 2016 Edition

Josh ZapfHappy New Year! The first e-newsletter of 2016 is short and sweet, packed with details about the upcoming Novella Prize deadline and Creative Nonfiction Issue.

Novella Prize: deadline is fast approaching (February 1)! Send in a king-sized fiction story between 10- and 20,000 words to be eligible for the $1500 prize.

Content Interviews: Elusive Boundaries: Mapping CNF in Canada is set for print and mail later this month, and we're stocking our website with interviews by lucky contributors. This month, J.D. Zapf talks about blending fiction and nonfiction in his piece, "Median Love," and the interconnectivity of modern love in today's world.

Publishing Tip: Canadian writer and blogger rob mclennan dishes up hearty advice on snapping out of the writers' block mentality and strengthening your time-management regime.

Discover all this and more in the January edition of Malahat lite.


Read more stories from the Malahat news archive.

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