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Issue 10, Volume 17 | October 2020

Issue 212, fall 2020

Upcoming Issue #212

Featuring Far Horizons Award for Poetry contest winner "Flight" by A.R. Kung, and cover art by Shawn Hunt. Poetry by Karen Lee, Molly Cross-Blanchard, Shane Rhodes, Russell Thornton, Šari Dale, Patrick Friesen, and Phoebe Wang. Fiction by Shoilee Khan, Francine Cunningham, and John Elizabeth Stintzi. Creative nonfiction by Michelle Poirier Brown, Kathy Mak, and Erin Soros. Reviews of books by Ali Blythe, Elaine Woo, A.F. Moritz, Aaron Chan, an anthology edited by Dane Swan, and more!

Work Study Opportunity for UVic Students

Work Study 2020/2021

We have two Work Study positions open for full-time University of Victoria students who qualify.See How to apply for the work study program on UVic's website. If you're approved, go to our website to find out where to send your resume and cover letter.

Read the full announcement on our website.

Summer Issue Book Review

Here I Am! by Pauline Holdstock

It may seem a certain degree of “suspension of disbelief” might be in order when we learn this is a story purportedly written down by a young child. It is testament to the consummate skill of award-winning author Pauline Holdstock that no such technique on the reader’s part is required. From the very first page, the voice is so engaging, and open, we’re drawn in immediately.

The story’s primary narrator, Francis “Frankie” Walters, is no ordinary six-year-old, but rather a complex, highly intelligent lad who in current times would probably be tagged as somewhere on the autism spectrum. Able to read at two, he also has a word-perfect memory, can solve complex mathematical problems in his head, and enjoys counting as a soothing pastime. He is not a social child and is bullied by other schoolchildren for his “otherness.” His coping mechanisms, when things become too much for him emotionally, include “doing rocking,” “doing screaming,” and uncontrolled laughing. “You know what they call rocking. Unhelpful behaviour. I’ll just stop for a minute
and do counting.” The story begins in Southampton, England, a detail only hinted at until late in the book, and while the year is not specified clues throughout point to the very early 1960s.

Read the full review by Rhonda Batchelor on our website.

Less Than 4 Weeks to Enter!

Open Season Awards

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 $10 CAD each, no limit!

Take a shot at the big prize: three awards of $2,000 CAD! Our annual Open Season Awards contest is underway, and writers of all levels are invited to enter creative nonfiction, poetry, and/or fiction. There's no theme or specific criteria for this contest, so simply send us your best work.

This year's judges are:
Lishai Peel (cnf) Read an interview with her.
Philip Huynh (fiction) Read an interview with him.
Rebecca Salazar (poetry) Read their interview below!

Full contest guidelines available on TMR's website.


Open Season Awards: Interview with Poetry Judge Rebecca Salazar

Rebecca SalazarMalahat Review volunteer Andrea Martineau talks with the 2021 Open Season Awards poetry judgeand 2015's Open Season Poetry winnerabout recognizing a winning poem, their perspective on contests, and how current events have impacted their reading and writing.


AM: When do you know you’ve found a winning poem? Is it instantaneous recognition upon first reading, or is it something you become aware of after multiple readings of a piece?

RS: This varies wildly, depending on the poem! I am interested in poems that feel urgent and necessary. Sometimes, this means they strike like lightning at a core you didn’t even know existed, but other poems manifest that urgency as a slow, expansive unfolding. A winning poem, for me, is a revolution—it changes how readers see the world, as gently or as explosively as the poem needs them to.

Read the rest of Rebecca's interview on TMR's website.


Interview with 2020's Far Horizons Award for Poetry Winner, A.R. Kung

A.R. KungMalahat Review volunteer Chris Horne talks with the Far Horizons Award for Poetry winner about his piece, "Flight," which appears in our upcoming fall issue #212.


CH: [T]hroughout this poem, you have formalized the act of revision by including palimpsestic strikethroughs. What drove you to make these revisions so transparent?

ARK: The form of “Flight” developed after several free-verse drafts from different perspectives—one from Du Fu, one from Sun Zai (the man who saved the Du family), and one omniscient. I struggled to capture a terror beyond words. The violence and suffering within this historical moment caused me to confront many insecurities I have with my work: that I have never experienced war or displacement, and am therefore unfit to write about it; that a single poetry collection can never capture the cataclysm and human toll of the rebellion; that my efforts will only lacquer a fantasy over a complete, self-contained history. I felt as if I were manipulating different versions of the story, and this led me to create a form which layered multiple narratives, yet kept them intimately linked[.]

Read the rest of A.R. Kung's interview on TMR's website.


Fall Issue Interview with Kathy Mak on CNF

Kathy MakMalahat Review managing editor L'Amour Lisik talks with the fall issue #212 contributor about discomfort, diaspora, and how story determined form for her piece, "墨  / mò /."


LL: Did you learn how to convey vulnerability through reading other creative nonfiction work, or did it come naturally to you?

KM: My pledge to writing is that I always try to write from the truth. I want to sustain this notion of integrity and sincerity in my work because society is often saturated with artificial, materialistic values and beliefs. It wasn’t a decision whether or not to include the scene. It naturally belonged because this was part of my experience. I remember when I wrote my first draft, I was scribbling in my notebook and the more I tried to recall the memory, the warmer my cheeks grew – to the point where I was sweating by the time I finished. I’m not used to disclosing such personal, vulnerable experiences because it brings discomfort and unwanted feelings from the memory. But at the same time I had to confront these experiences to understand and work towards a conclusion. Conveying this vulnerability came naturally – it’s hard to forget an experience that holds a turning point in your journey.

Read the rest of Kathy's interview on TMR's website.

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