Call for Submissions: 50th Anniversary Victoria Issue
Victoria-area writers, send us your poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction for our 200th issue by May 15!
To mark The Malahat Review's 50 years in print, "Victoria Past, Victoria Present, Victoria Future" will celebrate writing roots from B.C.'s capital, where it is today, and where it may be heading.
Send us your Victoria issue submission today.
John Wall Barger
Malahat volunteer James Kendrick interviews Long Poem Prize winner John Wall Barger on how setting, political turmoil, and the Tao Te Ching all play a part in his winning poem, "Smog Mother," to be published in the Summer 2017 issue.
JK: I've read online that you've lived in and travelled to many different places. The judges for the Long Poem Prize also called "Smog Mother" a "lyrical travelogue." How has travel informed your writing, particularly "Smog Mother"?
JWB: I suppose you could call it a lyrical travelogue, but I don't really think of it that way myself. I think if a poem is good it's good on its own merits and not because of the subject matter. It's dangerous for artists to lean on their material. It's always what you do with it. For example, I've been living in Dharamsala in the Himalayas for a while and trying to write about it. But I think the reader can smell it in my poems if I think it's impressive or neat to be living in the Himalayas, including lots of quaint local words which I just googled and forced into the mix, to borrow some kind of exoticism.
Read the rest of John Wall Barger's interview on our site.
Malahat volunteer Chloe Hogan-Weihmann interviews Long Poem Prize winner Délani Valin on how Métis identity, Canadian landscape, and cultural stereotypes all play a part in her winning poem, "No Buffalos," to be published in the Summer 2017 issue.
CHW: Tell me about the evolution of "No Buffalos." Did you always have a clear idea in your mind of what the finished product would be, or did it go through some different incarnations before you figured out the right form, or structure, or rhythm, etc.?
DV: My intention was to examine contemporary Métis identity by using my own experiences as a case study. I began with a sheet of paper and a list of topics I wanted to explore, including living in urban centres, vegetarianism, dance, history, and education. This list indicated that I would be leaping from topics in the realm of the personal, to the traditional, to family history, and to Canadian and pre-Canadian history.
Read the rest of Délani Valin's interview on our site.
In "Dayi," which appears in The Malahat Review’s Spring 2017 issue, Mehdi M. Kashani tells the story of Parveez, a businessman who, while packing to leave Iran in order to join his wife and children in Vancouver, spends his last evening in Tehran with Shireen, a young woman his daughter’s age with whom he’s been having an affair. Interview by Malahat editor John Barton.
JB: Parveez is a man split between two countries and two very different societies: Canada, where his wife and children have been living for several years and Iran, where he has status as a business man and entrepreneur, but is estranged from the warmth of family life. What motivates men like Parveez to decide such a compartmentalized life?
MMK: Unfortunately, the scenario you describe is a very common phenomenon in modern Iran. Many affluent families in Tehran and some of the other big cities will, given the chance, apply to immigrate to countries like Canada and Australia. That doesn't mean they necessarily intend to immigrate the moment they fill out the forms, but they want to keep that option open. When you live in a country that is always under the constant threat of war and economical sanction, this is not surprising.
Read the full interview with Mehdi M. Kashani on our site.