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May-June 2017

Pretty

New poetry by Gwen Benaway

Gwen Benaway@GwenBenaway

1. look, you won’t like this truth every girl competes, edits herself daily double checks, avoids dessert. we’re born again in your eyes in every man’s eyes we become legendary or not, pitiable, just friends. a women’s face is her price tag. 2. I know niceties demands we lie but I’m trans, the least girl […]

Saskatchewan artist creates her own Canada 150 tribute

Heather Cline goes against the grain in recognizing our country's sesquicentennial

John Thomson

Apartment, acrylic panel, 2016. Courtesy Heather Cline. Regina, Sask., artist Heather Cline has her own ideas about Canada’s sesquicentennial. There’s nothing wrong with a big national blowout, she says, but Ottawa’s version of an official birthday party isn’t for her. “In Canada, we talk a lot about big history moments, but I’ve always thought about […]

REVIEW: Powerful memoir explores the challenges of living with multiple sclerosis

Inside Jen Powley's Just Jen

Jemicah Colleen Marasigan

Just Jen: Thriving Through Multiple Sclerosis By Jen Powley Fernwood Publishing, $21.00 Just Jen: Thriving Through Multiple Sclerosis, written by advocate-cum-urban planner-slash-writer Jen Powley, is a powerful memoir chronicling her journey with multiple sclerosis (MS). From travel milestones, to date nights, to a litter box incident, each chapter of Just Jen is evocative, candid, and […]

REVIEW: Inside the visual remembrance of John “Daddy” Hall

Tony Miller's new book explores the historical figure's life through linocuts

Maria Siassina

Daddy Hall By Tony Miller The Porcupine’s Quill, $22.95 Daddy Hall by Canadian artist Tony Miller is a visual retelling of John “Daddy” Hall, a man who lived until the remarkable age of 117 in 19th-century North America. Hall was of Mohawk and African-American descent and lived through many historical events, such as the Underground […]

REVIEW: New Biblioasis novel explores grief, loss, and relationships

Inside Blue Field by Elise Levine

Sharon Kashani

Blue Field  By Elise Levine Biblioasis, $19.95 Blue Field, a new novel by Elise Levine, tracks the underwater adventures of Marilyn through grief, loss, and relationships. Following the passing of her friend Jane during a diving exploration, Marilyn convinces Jane’s widow, Rand, to dive with her again. A vibrant mixture of intimate moments between two […]

REVIEW: New book explores the dying art of eulogy

Inside Julia Cooper's The Last Word

Marisa Iacobucci

The Last Word: Reviving the Dying Art of Eulogy By Julia Cooper Coach House Books, $14.95 Not knowing what to say when death arrives is precisely why readers should pick up Julia Cooper’s lifesaver of a book, The Last Word: Reviving the Dying Art of Eulogy. In this critical examination and analysis of the eulogy […]

Who treats Canada’s often-overlooked patients?

How Dr. Paul Caulford has helped and treated asylum seekers

Pema Tsering@PemaTsering1

Dr. Paul Caulford has had a busy and unusual year. Since November 2016, he’s seen an unprecedented volume of patients and treated a peculiarly high number of frostbite cases. Many of these visitors have travelled on foot from the United States, escaping the Trump administration’s anti-immigration agenda. As the co-founder of the Canadian Centre for Refugee […]

Partner brings lesbian garage rock to cities across the country

This New Brunswick band isn’t afraid to talk sexuality, feelings, or Ellen Page

Marko Woloshyn

Although labelling a band “lesbian garage rock” may sound reductive or even backhanded, in the case of Sackville, N.B.-based Partner, it’s welcomed. “Most songs are straight, but our songs aren’t straight, because we’re not,” says the band’s guitarist- vocalist Lucy Niles. “We’re just plain old fashioned dykes, really.” These kinds of matter-of-fact declarations are scattered […]

Canada’s environmental assessments suck—and they’re devastating our land

How our country plans to reform them

Andrew Reeves

Ken Boon lives on a “little piece of heaven,” lost to the world in British Columbia’s Peace River bottomlands. His wife, Arlene, grew up in Fort St. John on a homestead her grandfather purchased in the 1940s. The property, where the pair farm grains and run an 18-acre market garden, overlooks Cache Creek, a tributary of […]

REVIEW: New collection of essays explores the emotional world behind baseball

Inside Stacey May Fowles's Baseball Life Advice

Samantha Sobolewski

Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game That Saved Me Stacey May Fowles McClelland & Stewart, $24.95 Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game That Saved Me, a collection of honest, funny, and thought-provoking essays by author and journalist Stacey May Fowles, should be mandatory reading for anyone that’s ever found a sense of solace in sports. […]

Do Canada’s sanctuary cities actually help refugees?

According to some activists, the declaration is meaningless

Lindsay Kneteman

It sounds lovely, but is declaring one’s town a “sanctuary city” anything more than just a feel-good label? While there is no official definition for “sanctuary city,” it’s understood to be a community in which undocumented people can access services, such as housing and health care, without fear of being asked about their immigration status. […]