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Issue 11, Volume 15 | November 2018

Issue 204, Autumn 2018

New Autumn Issue

Featuring Far Horizons Award for poetry contest winner "Venn diagrams" by Emily Osborne, as well as fiction by David Gerow, Matthew Harris, and Kai Conradi; creative nonfiction by Jenny Ferguson, Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt, and Shoshana Surek; poetry by Alisha Dukelow, George Bowering, Meredith Quartermain, George Elliott Clarke, and more!

Buy now from the Malahat site

Autumn Issue Book Review

Minerva's Owl

In Minerva's Owl, Carol Matthews asks: “And what does it all mean, these remains of your days? And the remains of mine?” In her latest memoir, written after the death of her husband Mike, Matthews shares her five-year search for answers.

Although Matthews explores the profundity of grieving, she balances this raw pain with new ways of seeing. As her subtitle suggests, she views life after Mike’s death not as widowhood, but as “a distinct phase of our continuing marriage. One in which we are apart and yet together.” She reviews their years as a couple to perceive them in a fresh light: “By returning to the place where we started, I do, in [T. S.] Eliot’s words, know that place for the first time.” When she transcribes some of Mike’s papers, she finds herself “falling in love again….To look objectively at the strange and wonderful way you had with words. I am determined to keep you close.” At the same time, she begins to welcome the quiet, during which she can “remember the face [she] had before [she] was born.” She observes that arriving at this perspicacity late in life aligns her with the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva, whose owl “takes flight only with twilight closing in.”

Read the full review by Susan Braley on our website.

Our Back Pages Issue #167

Our Back Pages 167

Malahat past staff member Lucy Bashford summarizes 2009’s Summer issue, which features co-winners of the Long Poem Prize Marion Quednau and Matt Robinson, as well as P.K. Page, Barry Butson, Anne Compton, Susanne Kort, Ruth Johnston, Lynne Burnett, Katherine Leyton, Patrick Walsh, Matthew Godden, Mark Abley, Sara Cassidy, and more.

Read more and buy Issue #167 here

Last Chance to Submit!

OS 2019 extended

Have you heard? We've extended the Open Season Awards deadline to November 5, 2018 at midnight, PST!

Entry fee (comes with a one-year print subscription):
$35 CAD for Canadian entries
$40 USD for entries from the USA
$45 USD for entries from elsewhere

Additional entries cost just $10 CAD each, no limit!

Read interviews with the final judges Shane Book (poetry)Carmelinda Scian (fiction), and Kyo Maclear (creative nonfiction).

Full contest guidelines available on the Malahat website.


Autumn Issue Interview with Kai Conradi on Fiction

Kai ConradiMalahat volunteer Kara Stanton talks with Kai Conradi about the aliveness of desert landscapes, the importance of alone time, and the influence of Lander, Wyoming on his story "Every True Artist."


KS: The story presents many different types of portraiture—and failures of portraiture (if that’s not too rude to say). What can we learn from the process of failing to capture someone's image?

KC: I don’t think I know the answer to this question because I don’t know if it’s possible to successfully capture someone’s image. Or rather, I think any image captures something of someone at some point—even Yula’s drawing of Doreen captures something of Doreen, or of that moment, and I’m not sure it’s possible to say whether that attempt is a failure or a success because even if her drawing came out perfect, like a photograph, would that be a success?

Generally, I feel that if I knew the answers to the questions in my stories, then I wouldn’t have to write the stories in the first place. That’s what I like about writing: even after I’ve written out all my questions, their mysteries remain largely unsolved.

Read the full interview with Kai Conradi on our site.


Autumn Issue Interview with Kevin Irie on Poetry

Kevin IrieMalahat volunteer James Kendrick talks with Kevin Irie about Canadian poetry, erasure as curation, and how sometimes, a book chooses you, such as Stilt Jack, the basis of his erasure poem, "Blasphemies."


JK: Could you say a little about why you’ve chosen John Thompson and Stilt Jack as the subject of these poems?

KI: Some poetry books you read and then put on the shelf; some you go back to again and again. Stilt Jack has become one of those for me—and there is no way of knowing at the time which books you will carry further into your life ahead or which books are chosen, or choose you. I have read and re-read Stilt Jack for, literally, decades now since its initial publication in 1978. Through it, I became engaged with other Canadian books influenced by its ghazal form.

Read the full interview with Kevin Irie on our site.


Autumn Issue Interview with David Gerow on Fiction

David GerowMalahat volunteer William Thompson talks with David Gerow about humour, discord, and how academic and theatre writing influenced his story, "New Directions in Focus Group Studies."


WT: Hybrid stories can be an interesting way to tell a story. Could you comment on your approach to “New Directions in Focus Group Studies?” Why tell the story as a report?

DG: I’ve done a lot of freelance academic proofreading, and it got me thinking about the academic study as a genre. It’s unlike other literary genres because the aim of academic writing is precision/clarity; lyricism is pretty much out of the question. But because a lot of researchers (particularly in the soft sciences) explore people’s experiences/ interactions/ behaviours, there’s all sorts of emotionally charged content underneath the scholarly veneer, and the stiff, prescribed style of academic writing sometimes provides an amusing/ ironic counterpoint to that intriguing emotional stuff. “New Directions in Focus Group Studies” is an attempt to mine the comic and dramatic potential of that contrast between rigid reporting and deeply felt emotion.

Read the full interview with David Gerow on our site.



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