Issue 43: Fall 2018

Thomas Morton Prize: Fiction Winner.

Winner: Summer.

by Margaret Redmond Whitehead

At first, the wood on the doorframe was cool against Jael’s ear. Her father’s voice resonated through the hall, filling the doorframe with vibration...

Runner Up: City Boy.

by Nolan Natasha Pike

The urge to piss had made its way to the very edge of Ryan’s body. He hastily ordered the fish burrito and ran outside. The washroom was around the ...

Thomas Morton Prize: Poetry Winner.

Winner: Losing Sanction.

by Philip Schaefer

Even masterpieces have their moments. The glass slipper eventually breaks, the orca forking the horizon returns to its wet anonymity. In my dreams t...

Runner Up: Folderol.

by Daniel Scott Tysdal

       A⇒                                                                                                                     ⇐B       It’s fitting—...

Fiction.

Excerpt From I can't get you out of my mind: A book of lies, sex, love, and Artificial Intelligence.

by Marianne Apostolides

  (α)   Ariadne arrives at the lab. It’s her first time here, in a building named after the Roman God of War. What an interesting choice, she thinks, if ‘interesting’ means ‘stupid’ or ‘short-sighted,’ which it does not. Ariadne is nervous. Dirk is working, but perhaps there’s damage that she hasn’t yet detected. The team would detect it: the team would know exactly what the damage cost. They’d exact their price in blood, because Ariadne doesn’t have any other means to pay. Can Canadians sell their blood? She doesn’t think so. The elevator is out of service. Ariadne stands with a backpack filled with library books. She stares at the sign ‘Out of Service’ without comprehending. Which is to say: she understands the fact relayed—the elevator is not working—but she doesn’t accept its implications. There are several dozen pounds of books on her back. …

The Dementia Games.

by Jennifer Batler

    The Dementia Games is what we called it, or what I called it at least, once, in a text I sent to Michael a few days before we converge...

Poetry.

Two Poems.

by Kayla Czaga

  FINNISH SCHOOLING I texted you, “Finnish Schooling,” and I’m sorry if you took it as a command. You’ve been out of school for years and are quite finished. I meant the educational system in Finland. I saw a thing on it once—no, not a documentary, just one of those things that pops up when you are passing statuses and photos and all the other cut-up bits of their lives people put on the internet. In Finland kids are so happy. They don’t have homework. They read Ishiguro novels while whittling cedar computers, oblivious to the gold medals they’re getting in every international category. Today I thought of them again while having a fast food taco in my girlfriend’s Hyundai. We were driving back to Canada from Portland and didn’t want to stop for lunch. I bet Finnish children stop for lunch even if it …

Obsequy.

by Luther Hughes

I. I should give the robin a proper burial given the season, rather the month, of my grandfather’s death. I was told there’s a theory that describes...

The accidentals.

by Lenea Grace

  If we are to meet in November, let us meet. If we are to be friends, let us talk Townes. Let us talk Delaney and Bonnie in sepia tones – invo...

Child Sacrifice.

by Yusuf Saadi

The Inca believed black the colour of purity. As I kill my bedroom lights, Juanita strikes mountain ash with alpaca sandals—sips chicha morada for w...

Montreal.

by Nolan Natasha Pike

  All the signs, in all the windows that read—for rent—in French, seem, at first glance, to say—a lover. We came for a summer weekend when she ...

Wilderness//Kingdom.

by Jory Mickelson

  God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it. Georgia O’Keeffe   God didn’t make me a painter so much as a lover of them, the ach...

On Want.

by Stevie Edwards

Capitalism is ruining my hair but insists I keep it long. My love likes it long, so does my dad. Mom once explained she thought it was a sex thing, ...

Biscuit Factory.

by Marilyn Bowering

  Send my regards to the Paris streets, the poet wrote * from exile in America. I will do the same to the room on Alma, close to the Eiffel Tow...

Essays.

Two Truths and a Lie.

by Alicia Elliott

In my first undergraduate fiction workshop, our professor had us play Two Truths and a Lie, a game in which you share three statements about yourself and the rest of the group tries to determine which one is a lie. The idea behind the exercise was to help us figure out how to best utilize detail to make our fiction believable. The game seems simple—until you realize most people don’t have interesting facts about themselves stored away for when a whimsical get-to-know-you game erupts. Though our class was made up of aspiring writers, we seemed to forget our imaginations entirely within the constraints of the exercise. Instead, we relied on safe, sanitized facts that didn’t reveal anything about us as people, but increased our chances of “winning” the game. The trick was to take three boring facts about yourself and alter one just enough that …

Interviews.

“To Find Our Place”: In Conversation with Négar Djavadi.

by Lisa Mullenneaux

Négar Djavadi’s debut novel, Disoriental, is memorable for its high-spirited hero, Kimiâ, a queer punk-rock aficionado, storyteller extraordinaire, and, above all, a modern woman divided between family traditions and her own “disorientalization.” A bestseller in France, Disoriental has been awarded the Prix du Style, Prix Littéraire de la Porte Dorée, the RTBF Prix Première, and the Emmanuel Roblès First Novel Prize, among others. An English translation by Tina Kover of the novel was published by Europa Editions in 2018. As of this publication, it is shortlisted for the National Book Award for Translation. In the novel, Kimiâ Sadr flees Iran at the age of 10 in the company of her mother and sisters to join her father in France. Now 25, sitting in a fertility clinic in Paris as she awaits life-changing news, Kimiâ relives her turbulent past and the stories of her ancestors that …

Reviews.

Getting Off on the Sludge: A Review of Catherine Fatima’s Sludge Utopia.

by Margeaux Feldman

  “What turns on doesn’t obey optimism or ethics.” —Catherine Fatima, Sludge Utopia “Last night I slept with someone primarily due to our shared capacity for extreme misery, but you cannot give up absolutely that which brings you closest to who you are,” writes Catherine, the twenty-something narrator of Catherine Fatima’s debut novel Sludge Utopia. Fatima’s novel is a work of auto-fiction, a term used to describe texts that blur the line between fiction and non-fiction in which it becomes difficult to separate the author from the narrator (some examples include Shelia Heti’s Motherhood and Karl Ove Knassguard’s multivolume My Struggle). Sludge Utopia is a sexual odyssey, a diary catalogue of Catherine’s sexual encounters: some are with men she desires, some with men who are giving her a place to stay, and others are with men she is merely sleeping with, she tells us, to …