Issue 39: Fall 2017

Thomas Morton Prize: Fiction Winner.

Winner: Hidden Fruit.

by Madhur Anand

“Hidden Fruit” is a short piece of brilliant writing. The writer chronicles the poetic misgivings of a girl piecing together her place in the world ...

Thomas Morton Prize: Poetry Winner.

Winner: Unpredictable Intervals.

by Sheryda Warrener

An ekphrastic meditation on time, likeness, and the human, ineluctable impulse towards art, among other things, this poem persuades and delights me ...


Elliott, Adam, Elly, and Me.

by Charlotte Joyce Kidd

Elliott. I’ve never been so absorbed in anyone. I think I gave myself to him because of the other things I was supposed to belong to. I woke up one morning and felt everything that was holding me down. I put on Elly’s little pink dress and leather jacket and I looked in the mirror and for a second, I was no one and no one’s, and in that moment I wanted to see Elliott more than I had ever wanted to see anyone in my life. I called him. Miraculously, he answered. “Are you home?” “Yeah, what’s up?” “Are there people at your place?” “I guess so. A few people. I can get rid of them if you want.” “Really?” “Yeah, I guess so.” “You don’t really have to get rid of them. Can I come over?” “Of course.” I got there. You don’t …

The American.

by Brad Casey

  I left my partner, L, alone to move into our new apartment in Toronto because a few months ago we were together in New York and I pulled my p...


by Kelsey Robbins Lauder

620 of 623: You’re 16. White-blonde hair, narrow face, full-toothed smile. A reproduction of your mother’s high school photos. You stand in the cent...

The Wormhole.

by Josh Edgar

In previous years, the drones were puffy and blimp-like and floated dumbly across the sky, all like shoot me down, I’m begging you. Puz’s dad would ...


Two Poems.

by Faith Arkorful

  Vacation And on the third day we went to Grand Etang and I was still alive. Death digs its way into every vacation and in this homecoming I grow larger, fall weaker. Canada, my body, a frozen lake. This lake was poured into a volcano stuck between dying and dead and everyone has a different answer. And for a brief moment I can see what could be the entire history of me. My ancestors bussin ah wine on the mountain peak and swimming on the lakebed and grinding down with teeth like sugarcane splinters the last bricks of the old church. Other strands, more mundane are not allowed to come together and fade without cure. A black girl learns to worship herself very early. To not take invitations from strangers. To tend to her own burns and hide in the dark. After we return …

Golden Rays of Chemo.

by Fawn Parker

A large left lump skewing the skin like a sickle like a stump like a a weak spot in a balloon The broken latex over shellac the oil in the ocean the...


by Hussain Ahmed

  her eyes / vacant from the grey of old age the messages are knots on the strings of a prayer bead / like a tourist / clutching an old guide t...

My First Marxist Experience.

by Stephanie Lane Sutton

  The week my roommate dropped out of film school to work box office full-time she Netflixed La Chinoise, which, she claimed, led directly to t...

Caution No Barriers.

by Claire Matthews

  For Kayla Czaga   Makes you think of orange condoms, your birthright. The mittens in the dresser lined with paper like the girl you knew...

Two Poems.

by Kell Connor

Who Made Who So help me whomever, I lost the sword by which I keep my word. I kept the sores with which I weep openly. The ointment, thick, glossy, ...


by Alex Manley

  Catch a false idol in the heat.    Rome wasn’t sacked in a day. This one is a king fissure.           Smoke iridesces under light like golden...

Theo’s Father’s Flower Farm.

by Tyler Friend

Fragile nodes elongated and slender plump petals bred in peaty corners: calcareous places: quagmires with creeping vines. Siliceous fruiting: rootin...

after “Sea Lily” by H.D..

by Alisha Dukelow

here we are again, now: circuition of body/feel, mind/see, virility, lush, in damage; kinesthesia in the drift, the verb that lifts round, knotting ...


Leaving Istanbul.

by Maria Eliades

When the coup attempt happened on July 15th, 2016, I was in Greece. I was sitting on the balcony of a beach-front hotel outside Thessaloniki, in one of those beach villages that makes for an easy weekend if you live in that city. Two fellow Istanbul expats sat with me, and we wondered how the evening would play out. Earlier, we’d swum in the sea, and walked the long sidewalk promenade studded with tavernas, hotels, psisterías with sizzling lamb, chicken, and French fries, past tourist mini marts that sold inflatable beach toys next to ouzo and beer. But we weren’t there to take a vacation; we were volunteering with an organization that helps refugees stuck in the camps of the north—former military storage bunkers, at the edges of since-closed factories. We’d be working the next day, but that Friday night I was bored and homesick and prepared …

Biographical Details.

by Hajer Mirwali

If you go back a few pages on The Puritan‘s blog, The Town Crier, to what was published this summer, you’ll see several posts about the CanLit canon, post-truth politics, and post-identity literature. The publication of these essays has made me weary of race politics rising to the forefront of white, Western media, and the media of Canadian literature. It seems like we are unable to write about anything other than race. Most of the time, I think it’s great that we’re being given platforms to share our stories, that we’re being heard. But the conspiracist in me—a quality I’m sure has been acquired from my immigrant Arab parents—wonders, why now? Is anyone actually listening, or are we nothing but a trend piece? I don’t have an answer to this, or to many of the questions I pose in this essay, but I still believe there is …...


“Readers will Feel Somewhat Torn”: An Interview with Martha Baillie.

by John Stintzi

Martha Baillie’s most recent novel, If Clara, was published in Canada by Coach House Books in 2017, and will be published in France by Actes Sud in 2018. Her previous novel, The Search for Heinrich Schlögel (PedlarPress, Tin House, Leméac, and Actes Sud) was an Oprah Editors’ pick. Her 2009 novel, The Incident Report, was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her poetry has been featured in the Iowa Review and her non-fiction in Brick Magazine and Longreads. Her multimedia project, The Schlogel Archive, shown at the Koffler Gallery in 2015, was selected by NOW Magazine as a Contact Festival “Must See.” Martha lives and works in Toronto. Our conversation took place over email in August and September of 2017, shortly after If Clara was released by Coach House. Our conversation has been edited for flow and clarity.   John Stintzi: The first book of yours that I read was The Incident …


“The Terrible Bloom Of What We Planted”: Three Canadians Confront Israel/Palestine.

by Aaron Kreuter

  Recently, there has been a spate of books published in Canada, both fiction and non-fiction, that take the communal mythos of Israel—whether it’s the kibbutz or the citizen’s army—as their subject matter. Some of these books challenge Zionist narratives, while others virulently defend them. Chasing Utopia: The Future of the Kibbutz in a Divided Israel, by University of Victoria writing professor David Leach, is a non-fiction account of the Israeli kibbutz movement, its role in the establishment of the state, and its recent demise as a socialist, egalitarian experiment in communal living. The book is a genuine—if flawed—attempt to grapple with the communal dream as it played out in Israel/Palestine, and deals head-on with the contradictions inherent in political Zionism. Likewise, Alison Pick’s new novel, Strangers with the Same Dream, takes place in the first months of one of these new kibbutzes, and is …