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January-February 2017

REVIEW: Unpacking gender through a mystical world in Lake Jehovah

In Jillian Fleck's first graphic novel, pronouns, relationships, and more come into play

Arielle Piat-Sauvé@arielleps

Lake Jehovah By Jillian Fleck Conundrum Press, $25 Lake Jehovah is Calgary-based comic artist Jillian Fleck’s first graphic novel. The story revolves around Jay, a genderqueer character, and the oddities of life in a small town in northern Alberta facing a series of apocalypses. Jay goes by the pronoun “xe,” but just as xe’s character […]

REVIEW: Collection of short stories examines the way death changes our lives

Date with Destiny's stories evoke sadness, sympathy, hilarity, and even awkward discomfort

Samantha Sobolewski

Date with Destiny By Hélène Rioux, translated by Jonathan Kaplansky Guernica Editions, $20 Ten grisly but rich descriptive short stories, Date With Destiny by Hélène Rioux glimpses at the many ways death affects our lives at any given age. From a mother with a suicidal son, to an overzealous funeral sales telemarketer, each character experiences […]

REVIEW: Exploring Toronto’s legacy of poverty in print

Bryan D. Palmer and Gaétan Héroux's new book examines the city's history of the poor, from the 1830s to present day

Ryan B. Patrick

Toronto’s Poor: A Rebellious History By Bryan D. Palmer and Gaétan Héroux Between the Lines, $34.95 Tracking the ebbs and flows of societal and economic events, Toronto’s Poor: A Rebellious History by Bryan D. Palmer and Gaétan Héroux studies the history of the city’s poor and resistance. Héroux, an anti-poverty activist with the Ontario Coalition […]

REVIEW: New Coach House novel explores love, loss, and loneliness through alternating perspectives

Shot-Blue is Jesse Ruddock's debut novel

Jemicah Colleen Marasigan

Shot-Blue By Jesse Ruddock Coach House Books, $19.95 Set against the backdrop of a remote lake, Jesse Ruddock’s debut novel Shot-Blue follows a boy who learns to survive in a land that was once his home, but is now changed by strangers. Packed with characters who are at times intertwined and disconnected—as evidenced by the […]

Two poems by Leigh Nash

From our January/February 2017 issue

Leigh Nash@nashls

RAM Forehead smooth as bone china, you are the witness, clinging to opinion as though it were fact, convinced of your own divinity. Your voice reverberates against empty streets. Streetlights pick up the tune, turning like tuning forks, the hum barreling along telephone wires and out the open mouths at the end of each line. […]

How one Montreal student is fighting food insecurity in Canada’s North

Behind Eva von Jagow's DueNORTH

Michael Lyons@queer_mikey

Photo courtesy of Isaac Burkam When Eva von Jagow first learned about food insecurity and inflation in the far North in high school, she couldn’t believe it was happening in Canada. “I thought it was a disgrace. I was like, ‘There’s no way this is happening in my own country!’” says von Jagow, now a second-year […]

Q&A: Why a Mohawk community established its own legal system—the first of its kind in the country

In conversation with Joyce King

Blair Mlotek@blairmlo

The Mohawk community of Akwesasne straddles the Ontario, New York, and Quebec borders. As of August 2016, it holds the first Indigenous legal system in Canada outside of a federal framework. The Council is a community government that is elected by residents and is composed of elected chiefs from each district along with a Grand […]

These reusable pads are changing women’s periods across the world

Lunapads tackle the ongoing cost and environment waste of traditional menstrual products

Courtney Dickson@dicksoncourtney

Photo courtesy of Afripads Madeleine Shaw had been making reuasable cloth menstrual pads for six years when she met Suzanne Siemens at a community leadership course in 1999. The women instantly clicked over their shared goals around business and social change, and together, they decided to take Shaw’s pad project to the next level. “When I […]

Award-winning novel explores life in Winnipeg’s North End

The Break, now a Canada Reads finalist, is author Katherena Vermette's first novel

Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai

The Break By Katherena Vermette House of Anansi, $22.95 “In the end, all that matters is what is right here.” These words by Métis writer Katherena Vermette perfectly capture the heart of the stories within The Break. Vermette, who won the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, offers alternative perspectives surrounding a brutal crime—each […]

Meet the Toronto artist transforming one of the city’s unlikeliest neighbourhoods

Caroline Akwe performs at Yonge and Eglinton amid construction and bustling businesspeople

Nicole Abi-Najem@NajemNorth

Photo by Dean Bradley Like much of Toronto, the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood has undergone great change. As condos crop up on nearly every street corner and new transit lines are built to expand the city, the midtown area, frequented most by businesspeople and commuters, has seen vast growth. Nothing is stagnant, and the streets […]

Why Canada needs quality queer entertainment

Carmilla's Natasha Negovanlis reflects on the responsibility of queer entertainers, both on screen and off

Natasha Negovanlis@natvanlis

Photo courtesy of Jasper Savage/Smokebomb I remember the day I booked the now-hit web series Carmilla like it was yesterday. I was so ecstatic I performed an awkward little happy dance to the dust bunnies in my bedroom when I received the call from my talent agent. I had never wanted to land a part so […]