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January-February 2021

Writing through pain

Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch’s epistolary poems confront chronic pain

Shazia Hafiz Ramji

In the opening letter of their debut poetry collection, knot body, Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch writes: “The days get brighter but somehow I don’t. A dilemma, right? I thought I was swayed by the light, moods lifting as the clouds lift, yet this pain is fingers deep.” El Bechelany-Lynch’s writing is at once an intimate […] More »
November-December 2020

A Black queer feminist press is born

Introducing Hush Harbour

Christelle Saint-Julien

Alannah Johnson and Whitney French know the world needs more Black literature. That’s why the Toronto-based writers have launched Hush Harbour, a literary press dedicated to imagining Black feminisms and uplifting works of short fiction. “There are so many Black writers and storytellers to uphold and affirm,” says French. “Among the many nuanced stories within […] More »

Interview with Jean Marc Ah-Sen

RM Vaughan talks to the author about his new book, In the Beggarly Style of Imitation

RM Vaughan

Jean Marc Ah-Sen’s new “novel”, In the Beggarly Style of Imitation, is a novel for people who are bored by conventional A to B storytelling. Comprised of dozens of different forms of communication and fictive formats – from horny letters to academic essays – Beggarly Style is ultimately about the fractured ways in which we […] More »
September-October 2020

Cover models

Six Canadian writers tell us about doing makeup looks to match beloved book covers

Various

“Terese has the best #booklooks and what a nice surprise to see this this morning,” tweeted author Casey Plett this spring when Terese Mason Pierre posted her #booklook based on Plett’s Little Fish. Later in the spring, Canthius, a feminist magazine of poetry and prose, tweeted that “the best thing on Twitter right now has […] More »
September-October 2020

Black art matters

Spotlight on Shaya Ishaq

Francesca Ekwuyasi

Shaya Ishaq’s work moves fluidly between mediums—words, ceramics, fibres, jewellery—while maintaining a central locus of honouring Black lineages and sparking light toward liberated Black futures. Tenacious and ever-evolving, Ishaq walked away from journalism school and signed up for a hand-building course at a pottery studio in her hometown of Ottawa. “I really fell in love […] More »
July-August 2020

A letter to Audre Lorde

There's nothing wrong with being unoriginal

Hadiyyah Kuma

Dear Audre Lorde, My fingers ache. All I can do since this pandemic started locally is read and write. And not my assignments and essays; none of those thrill me. None get at what I really want to say; none encapsulate the expanse of human suffering we are seeing on our screens and streets. To […] More »
July-August 2020

Walter Scott, master of comics

The newest installment of Wendy is not to be missed

Emma Steen

Wendy is far too high. She’s discussing her next steps in life with a semi-nude couple in a club in Berlin. If all goes well, she says, she’ll be attending an MFA program that fall. And she does end up attending the program—though in true Wendy form, she’s hungover and late for class on her […] More »
March-April 2020

A brief history of Ontario’s First Nations Public Libraries

Ontario is the only province to officially include First Nations Public Libraries (FNPLs) in their public library system—here's how FNPLs came to be the force are

Feather Maracle

The smallest First Nations Public Library (FNPL) I’ve heard of consists of two shelves. Yes, two shelves, not stacks. Michipicoten First Nation has a FNPL and fewer than 75 on-reserve residents. The largest FNPL is the Six Nations Public Library, where I am the CEO and director of library services; it houses a collection of […] More »
March-April 2020

Halifax’s Books Beyond Bars

Supporting inmates through literature

Michal Stein

For 15 years, a group of volunteers has been lugging tote bags of books from their library in the north end of Halifax to the women’s side of the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility, or Burnside Jail, in Dartmouth’s Burnside Industrial Park. The group is Books Beyond Bars, an anti-capitalist, non-hierarchical collective that runs a […] More »
November-December 2019

Leaving a literary legacy

In the wake of my cancer diagnosis, I decided to read

Melanie Masterson

When you are diagnosed with a terminal illness there is a lot of talk about leaving a legacy. Some people write letters to their children. Some record videos. I have a pretty active Instagram account and have blogged for decades and hope my daughters will enjoy looking back on that. Some things older women living […] More »
September-October 2019

Profile on Adnan Khan

Debut novelist explores themes of masculinity and representation

Nadine Bachan

When Omar, a cook working for cash-in-hand at a Toronto restaurant, learns about the suicide of his ex-girlfriend Anna, he becomes caught in his grief and rage and is unwilling to accept what he’s been told: she didn’t leave him a note. He finds some respite from his woes when he meets an attractive and […] More »