Thomas Morton Prize: Fiction Winner by Lowry Pressly
Thomas Morton Prize: Poetry Winner by Katie Fewster-Yan
Poetry by Stephanie Warner, David Ishaya Osu, Concetta Principe, Kayla Czaga, Canisia Lubrin, Adèle Barclay, Cassidy McFadzean, dalton derkson, Carolye Kuchta, John Wall Barger, Angela Hibbs, Ariel Gordon, Stacey Gruver, Noah Burton, Lisa Bellamy, Jennifer Houle, Brenda Schmidt, Claire Kelly, Dan Rosenberg, Ali Sohail, and Elana Wolff
Essays by Cian Cruise
The Puritan: Frontiers of New English is an online, quarterly publication based in Toronto, Ontario, committed to publishing the best in new fiction, poetry, interviews, essays, and reviews.
The Puritan seeks, above all, a pioneering literature—work that pushes boundaries, or sees boundaries as unstable, or lines to be re-drawn.
The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence is awarded to the single best submission in the respective categories of poetry and fiction. The prize is open for submissions each year from January 1st to October 10th through our online submissions manager. This year’s judges are Ian Williams (for poetry) and Miriam Toews (for fiction).
We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2015 Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence, judged by Miriam Toews (short fiction) and Ian Williams (poetry).
Selecting winning entries was an especially difficult task for all involved, considering both the stunningly high quality of submissions received as well as their sheer magnitude. Only two winners could be selected by our judges: an unfortunate statistic that breaks even our (puritanical) hearts.
Nevertheless, we have two incredibly deserving winners, who can now be read as part of Issue 31: Fall 2015. We’d like to once again take this opportunity to thank everyone who submitted—this is a still-burgeoning competition, and we could not grow nor develop without the generous support of hundreds of writers.
POETRY WINNER: Katie Fewster-Yan, for “PR”
“As a lesson in technique, Katie Fewster-Yan models the right positioning of the self in poetry, neither invisible nor exposed. On first reading, ‘PR’ is like an inconsolable, wailing baby. It pierces your attention and ransacks your composure right to its oddly arrogant and uncertain last line. And it gets better on subsequent readings. You leave it and come back and it’s crying even more loudly, but musically like an opera singer and somewhat more recognizably like your own baby suffering.”
—Ian Williams, Thomas Morton Memorial Prize Judge, 2015
Katie Fewster-Yan grew up in Toronto. She is currently living, writing, and studying in Fredericton.
SHORT FICTION WINNER: Lowry Pressly, “Lisa Hall Smiles”
“Lowry Pressly’s “Lisa Hall Smiles” grabbed me off the top and held me in its fierce grip until the very end. I’m still jangly from the experience of reading it. What a beautifully written, graceful, ever-searching, haunting and absolutely mesmerizing story. The details, the language, the relentless momentum, the mystery, the horror, the tenderness and the humour … what can I say? Congratulations on a spectacular achievement.”
—Miriam Toews, Thomas Morton Memorial Prize Judge, 2015
Lowry Pressly is a writer of fiction, essays, and criticism. His work has appeared, among other places, in The Point, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and Jurist. He recently completed a novel, Nachtmusik. Lowry is from Statesville, North Carolina, though he currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Readers, Writers, Friends!
Just as the temperature really begins to drop, we’re back with Issue 31: Fall 2015: an issue packed with hours of reading to see us through another (American) Thanksgiving and to the end of 2015.
Before we highlight the fantastic works found here, rest assured that the two winning pieces from our Annual Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence—judged by Ian Williams and Miriam Toews—will be added to the issue on Saturday, November 28, and announced this Friday, November 27 at our annual year-in-review celebration, Black Friday. That reminds us—are you coming? We’re featuring ten stellar readers (all Puritan authors from the past year!), an amazing raffle draw to some of the country’s best lit journals, and some special treats. You can read all about Black Friday here.
Now, on to the fall issue: a truly bountiful spread.
Feast your eyes on brand new fiction by Teresa Milbrodt and Helen Polychronakos.
The dig in to poems by Stephanie Warner, David Ishaya Osu, Concetta Principe, Kayla Czaga, Canisia Lubrin, Adèle Barclay, Cassidy McFadzean, dalton derkson, Carolye Kuchta, John Wall Barger, Angela Hibbs, Ariel Gordon, Stacey Gruver, Noah Burton, Lisa Bellamy, Jennifer Houle, Brenda Schmidt, Claire Kelly, Dan Rosenberg, Ali Sohail, and Elana Wolff.
But make sure you save room for our top-notch non-fiction:
Add a helping of Cian Cruise’s essay “John Grisham, Moral Revolutionary,” then loosen your belts: E Martin Nolan interviews poet Erina Harris in “And Always: Surprise,” and Jason Freure talks shop with fiction writer Kevin Hardcastle in “Simcoe County Noir.”
As a finishing touch, savour Neil Surkan’s review of The Exiles’ Gallery by the late Elise Partridge, and Jeremy Hanson-Finger’s (very personal) review of What You Need by Andrew Forbes.
Issue 31—along with our imminent Black Friday celebration, and its big reveal of our 2015 Morton winners—brings another year of publishing to a close. If we include our hiatus from 2008 to 2009, we’re now on our ninth year of publishing. This fact astounds no one more than us.
But this past year has certainly been one of our very best, and for that we have all our amazing writers, readers, editors, agents, and associates to thank: we couldn’t make The Puritan happen without the help of dozens of staff, many hundred writers, and thousands of readers. For that, we’re truly thankful.
The Puritan | Frontiers of New English is currently seeking a new Editorial Assistant to assist our team with the presentation, layout, development, and overall quality of the publication.
The Editorial Assistant will be responsible for proofreading and uploading content to the journal and its sister blog, The Town Crier. The Editorial Assistant must demonstrate the right combination of time management, administrative organization, and sound copy-editing skills. Moreover, the ideal applicant has a background in SEO and WordPress functions. Knowledge of Canadian Publishing standards is considered a plus.
Key tasks will include:
The Editorial Assistant is expected to devote approximately ten (10) hours per week to tasks and assignments. This position will last four (4) months. Interested candidates should be available to potentially meet with Puritan staff within the city of Toronto and to participate in occasional, short Skype meetings. The Editorial Assistant will be expected to check and respond to email correspondence and will also write very short weekly summaries of work completed.
Interested candidates should familiarize themselves with the magazine, its history, and the work it publishes.
While we are a volunteer-run organization, and the founding and associate editors do not receive any income from the magazine, the Editorial Assistant will receive an honorarium of $300 for their valuable assistance! We offer successful candidates additional benefits such as letters of reference, CV evaluation, review copies of new or forthcoming books from Canadian publishers, and an excellent platform for establishing professional connections.
Interested parties should send a CV as .doc or .pdf attachment to email@example.com. All applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on October 18, 2015, and positions will begin in early November, 2015. Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.
Dear Friends, Writers, Editors,
At long last, we’re pleased to bring you Issue 30: Summer 2015. Better late than never—and better great than merely good.
This is a monumental issue for the magazine. Not only is it our 30th edition—a milestone in itself—but it’s also the first issue to feature curated work from two guest editors. The Guest Summer Editors series has begun with gusto, and Issue 30 has fiction curated by Doretta Lau and poetry selected by Katherena Vermette. Each of these amazing young authors has also gifted us with an introduction and orientation to the work they’ve selected, providing keen insight into why, and what, and whom, they chose.
Issue 30 also features our fourth Svpplement: “‘À la prochaine fois’”: 1995 and Literature in Post-Referendum Québec,” lovingly edited and assembled by Puritan staffer Jason Freure. As with all our Svpplements, this effectively doubles the size of the issue, making it true (electronic) doorstopper.
So please raise a toast with us (wherever you are), and enjoy a wonderful summer blockbuster.
Here you’ll find stories chosen by Doretta Lau by writers Souvankham Thammavongsa, Asha Jeffers, Jamila-Khanom Allidina, Samantha Leese, Jacob Gelfand, Holly Flauto Salmon, and Francine Cunningham.
Then check out Katherena Vermette’s poetry selections: Rosanna Deerchild, Randy Lundy, Scott Nolan, Janet Marie Rogers, Joanne Arnott, Tanis MacDonald, Lee Maracle, Marlin M. Jenkins, Scott Wordsman, Michelle Good, Hilda Mann, and Monique Woroniak.
As with every Puritan issue, this edition features amazing works of non-fiction by authors both established and those quickly gaining a reputation.
Erín Moure speaks with Oana Avasilichioaei in “Limbinal and Its Peformances” and David St-Lascaux sits down to talk with Gregory Pardlo in “Holding Hands with a Stranger.” Stewart Cole investigates Ben Ladouceur’s Otter in “Affect(at)ion,” Neil Surkan interrogates Erín Moure’s Kapusta in “Unheimlich Maneuvers,” Paul Barrett examines Shane Book’s Congotronic in “Maroon of Modernity,” and Scott Marentette works through Karen Solie’s The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out in “How the silent energy coursed between us.”
After you’re finished with our regular issue, drift over to the Svpplement—but first read Jason Freure’s spirited introduction to set the cultural scene.
This additional expansion features an original short story by Anna Leventhal and an excerpt from David Scott Hamilton’s English translation of Captive, Claudine Dumont’s Anabiose.
As for poetry, you’ll find Alexander Rock’s translations of French poems by Catherine Dorion and Hugo Beauchemin-Lachapelle, Scott Marentette’s translations of French works by Philippe Haeck, Marcel F. Raymond, and Scott Chamberland, as well as original English poems by Melissa Bull, Jesse Eckerlin, and Jay Winston Ritchie.
Stellar works of non-fiction round out the themes explored in the preceding work. We’re excited to present Geneviève Robichaud’s “Some Thoughts on the Wrapping Text,” Guillaume Morissette’s “English as a Second Language in Which to Have Anxiety Meltdowns,” and André Forget’s “The History of the Decline and Fall of Quebec According to Denys Arcand”
We close out with two Heather O’Neill-centric pieces: editor Jason Freure’s interview with O’Neil, “A 19-Year-Old’s Referendum,” and Myra Bloom’s review of The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, “A Product of Its Time.”
With Issue 30: Summer 2015 and our Summer 2015 Svpplement, The Puritan now heads into another fall, where we eagerly anticipate the results of our Fourth Annual Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence—judged by Ian Williams and Miriam Toews—and another can’t-miss issue.
For now, though, a brief respite. Time to relax and drink in the last of the season and spend time with the several hundred pages here. Thank you for reading through the final faltering days of this very important summer.
Are you invested in the publishing community and looking for a crash course in Toronto’s vibrant literary scene? Do you enjoy creating connections, whether they’re from social media or working the room at an event?
The Puritan | Frontiers of New English is currently seeking new Publicity Agents to assist our team with the promotion, development, and overall quality of the publication.
Publicity Agents will be responsible for promoting the journal and its sister blog, The Town Crier, at readings and other events, as well as handling all social media promotion. Publicity Agents will:
• represent the journal by attending local area readings,
• scout potential talent for the journal and solicit work from writers,
• manage the social media element of our advertising campaigns, including daily Twitter updates (promoting blog posts, author news, events, etc.)
• research current Toronto-area arts and literature events,
• distribute promotional material and promote contests, projects, etc.,
• write short blog posts which engage with an event, an author, a book, or another element of the Toronto (or Canadian) literary community.
Interested candidates should familiarize themselves with the magazine, its history, and the work it publishes. Puritan associates are expected to devote approximately ten (10) hours per week to tasks and assignments. Publicity Agent positions will last four (4) months. All agents should be available to meet with Puritan staff within the city of Toronto. Agents are expected to check and respond to email correspondence and will also write very short weekly summaries of work completed.
In addition, all Puritan Publicity Agents should have:
• a BA (or equivalent, or higher, or be enrolled) in English Literature, Creative Writing, Journalism, Design, Publishing, or related fields,
• knowledge of and interest in contemporary Canadian literature, literary communities, and magazine publishing,
• excellent written and oral communication skills,
• proficiency with MS programs and Google mail/docs (knowledge of WordPress and/or Adobe Creative Suite applications considered a plus),
• the ability to follow instructions in a timely manner and meet strict deadlines,
• the ability to work independently and as part of a team,
• familiarity with social media, and (most importantly)
• enthusiasm and moxie!
While we are a volunteer-run organization, and the founding and associate editors do not receive any income from the magazine, Publicity Agents will each receive an honorarium of $300 for their valuable assistance! We offer successful candidates additional benefits such as letters of reference, resumé evaluation, review copies of new or forthcoming books from Canadian publishers, and an excellent platform for establishing professional connections.
Interested parties should send a CV as .doc or .pdf attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. All applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on July 20, 2015, and positions will begin in early August, 2015. Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.