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Issue 8, Volume 17 | August 2020

Issue 211, Summer 2020

New Summer Issue

Featuring Novella Prize contest winner "Yentas" by Rebecca Păpucaru, and cover art by Sharona Franklin. Poetry by Chris Banks, Ronna Bloom, Alisha Dukelow, Paul Vermeersch, Ron Riekki, Daniel Sarah Karasik, Sarah Venart, Sarah Tolmie, Matthew Hollett, Alamgir Hashmi, and Mike Alexander. Fiction by Xaiver Campbell, Theressa Slind, and Kate Felix. Creative nonfiction by Daniel Allen Cox, Sarah Lord, and more!

Buy now!

Summer Sale!

New and Noteworthy

Use the coupon code  Summer for $20 off a one-year print subscription or a digital/print bundle. Perfect as a (socially-distant) birthday gift to a friend, or simply as a treat for yourself!

This offer is valid until August 31, 2020.

Go to our store website.


Summer Issue Book Review


Michelle Porter makes no outward reference to such a trite thing as childhood magic. Yet her debut collection of poetry, Inquiries, summons a powerful magic nonetheless. For the speaker of these poems—who is Métis, experiences poverty, racism, the hum of instability
that comes with chronic relocation, and who, perhaps most notably, often speaks as an ensemble of children rather than with a singular voice—magic isn’t a party trick: it’s survival, and one of the most powerful spells in the speaker’s arsenal throughout the course of the poems is that of witnessing.

Read the full review by Délani Valin on our website.

CanLit for Your Reading List

New and Noteworthy

Review space may be limited in our quarterly magazine, but we’re delighted to share this list of new Canadian books. *Please note that inclusion on the list does not necessarily preclude a print review. 

Read the full list of new and noteworthy Canadian titles.

One Day Left to Submit!

Constance Rooke CNF Prize deadline extended

We've extended the deadline! Send us your best creative nonfiction by August 5, 2020 at 11:59pm PDT. One winner will take home the $1000 (CAD) prize.

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 $15 CAD from anywhere, no limit!

All entrants will also automatically be entered to win a book prize of four fantastic creative nonfiction books.

This year's judge is Rowan McCandless. Read an interview with her to find out what she's looking for.

Full contest guidelines available on TMR's website.


Summer Issue Interview with Xaiver Campbell on Fiction

Xaiver CampbellMalahat Review volunteer Catherine Mwitta talks with the summer issue #211 contributor about building a narrative off of a short moment in time, incorporating more Patois, and the intersections of Judaism, Christianity, and sexuality in his story, "Unda di Naseberry Tree."

CM: The story follows Jermaine over one summer during his childhood in Jamaica when he questions and subsequently discovers himself, despite prejudice against homosexuality. It’s told from the point of view of Jermaine as an adult, now living with his partner in Newfoundland. Use of both Patois and English also displays a melding of his upbringing and the man he’s become. How did you go about balancing languages and places and cultures within your story?

XC: The version of the story now is so different from the version I first presented. Initially there was a lot less Patois. I was worried that no one would understand what the story was getting across because readers would get stuck on the fact that they don’t understand the dialect. Both white and non-white people shared this concern with me. However, as I edited the story it was clear to me that Jermaine needed to tell his story in the way he spoke as a child, even though it was from his perspective as an adult. Jermaine’s normal adult life is basically the polar opposite to what would be considered a normal life in Jamaica, therefore it made sense that he would depart from the dialect in his adult communications. Especially if those conversations are totally removed from any Jamaican context. It’s also often seen in Jamaican culture that people speak the dialect more as children and are pushed to speak “properly” in high school and beyond. The balance of cultures in the story comes from the fact that the life I have built in Newfoundland is a mixture of my upbringing in Jamaica and the different facets of Newfoundland I have internalized.

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


Summer Issue Interview with Daniel Allen Cox on CNF

Daniel Allen CoxMalahat Review volunteer  Sarah Androsoff talks with the summer issue #211 contributor about driving for specificity, writing and editing as different disciplines, and the mental contortions required to believe—and then disbelieve—in Armageddon and Paradise in his creative nonfiction piece "The Glow of Electrum."

SA: You say, “Back when I was a Jehovah’s Witness, unable to see beyond the ideological confines of my life, I couldn't have known that my stutter was my ticket out.” Your bio says you’re working on a memoir-in-essays about growing up a Jehovah’s Witness. Will the other essays focus on similar themes (identity, music, stuttering)? Could you tell us more about the project?

DAC: My memoir in essays is about the lifelong act of leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It’s a queer book. During my childhood and adolescence, the end of the world was a tangible place, and I’ve tried to make that vivid for the reader by writing a text as feverish as anything the organization has ever produced. It’s a book of questions. What mental contortions are required to believe—and then disbelieve—in Armageddon and Paradise? Can brainwashing ever be completely undone? If finding escape means finding the language for it, how can I redefine “apocalypse” and other words I’ve tuned out? How did religious shunning ultimately kill two of my friends, and what is the Watch Tower’s accountability in that?

“The Glow of Electrum” is the only essay in the collection that focusses on stuttering, but the assembly of memoir fragments could itself be a giant stutter. The way in which I remembered past events shaped the fluency of the book, and the nonlinear structure influences the reading. At least two other essays in the collection—featuring Michael Jackson and Prince, both former Witnesses—deal in music.

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


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