No. 205 Winter 2018

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Cover · Contents · Book Reviews · Contributor Notes

Issue 205 cover art


Guest Editors

  • Ali Blythe
  • Trevor Corkum
  • Betsy Warland
  • A. Light Zachary, "Poem on not travelling"* and "Poems with Juvenal"
  • *Note: "Poem on not travelling" was printed with a small error; please click on the poem's title to read the correct version. The Malahat Review apologizes to the author for the error.*
  • John Barton, "For David Wojnarowicz" and "Kenny's Bracelet"
  • Anne Fleming, "Bios"
  • Arün Smith, "S'entretenir soi-même / Internal Interlocution"
  • Melinda Roy, "Homes" illustrated by Eric Johnson
  • John Elizabeth Stintzi, "Hale-Bopp"
  • Read an interview with John Elizabeth Stintzi on their poem.
  • Anne-Marie Turza, "Seated Figure with Snail Shell Head"
  • Matthew Walsh (MW), "Rochester Metaphors"
  • Kayla Czaga, "Salmon and Potato Salad"
  • Adèle Barclay, "For Ariss"
  • Arleen Paré, "A Certain Uncertain State of Affairs"
  • Helen Guri, "Speech"
  • Read an interview with Helen Guri on their poem.
  • Nisa Malli, "Evoked Potential"
  • Anna Swanson, "Herx"
  • Rebecca Salazar, "Pain Management"
  • Billeh Nickerson, "Skies"
  • Read an interview with Billeh Nickerson on his poem.
  • Jason Purcell, "The Spore Collector" and "Kris Knight, The Embrace, 2017. Oil on prepared cotton paper, 14 x 11 inches."
  • Charlie C. Petch, "Why I Was Late"
  • Sun Rey, "Molten"
  • Miranda Pearson, "Desire"
Creative Nonfiction
  • Darrel J. McLeod, "The Carved Cedar Bent Box in the Trunk"*
  • *Note: "The Carved Cedar Bent Box in the Trunk" was mistakenly printed without the last four sentences. Please click on the piece's title to read the correct version. The Malahat Review regrets this error and apologizes to the author. The correct and complete story will be reprinted in Issue #207 Summer 2019.*
  • Kent Monkman, Untitled, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 11 in. x 14 in, image courtesy of the artist
Contributor Notes
  • Adèle Barclay’s poetry has appeared in The Fiddlehead, Heavy Feather Review, PRISM international, The Puritan, and elsewhere. Her debut collection, If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You (Nightwood), won the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Her second collection of poetry, Renaissance Normcore, is forthcoming in fall 2019.

    John Barton’s eleven books of poetry include For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems and Polari. In 2019, he will publish The Essential Douglas LePan (Porcupine’s Quill) and We Are Not Avatars: Essays, Memoirs, Manifestos (Palimpsest). Lost Family: Sonnets (Signal) will appear in 2020.

    Ali Blythe’s first book of poems, Twoism, was released by icehouse poetry to critical acclaim in 2015. He was winner of the 2017 Vallum Award for Poetry and finalist for the BC Book Prizes 2016 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and received an honour of distinction from Writers’ Trust of Canada’s 2017 Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers. His poems are published in literary journals and anthologies throughout Canada and in Germany and England.

    Cooper Lee Bombardier is an American writer and artist living in Canada. His writing was recently published in The Kenyon Review, Ninth Letter, CutBank, Nailed Magazine, Longreads, BOMB, The Rumpus, and the anthology, Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Speculative Fiction from Transgender Writers, winner of the 2018 American Library Association Stonewall Book Awards Barbara Gittings Literature Award.

    Simon Boulerice is the author of the novel L’enfant mascara as well as many other books, including Javotte and Je t’aime beaucoup cependant. He lives in Montréal.

    Trevor Corkum’s fiction, articles, essays, and reviews appear frequently across Canada. His work has been nominated for the CBC Short Story and Nonfiction Prizes, the National Magazine Award for Fiction, and the Journey Prize. He hosts a popular author interview series called “The Chat” on He is a current PhD student at the University of Toronto, where his research explores the intersections of identity, belonging, and storytelling among queer newcomers to Canada. Trevor’s novel, The Electric Boy, is forthcoming with Doubleday Canada.

    Kayla Czaga’s second collection of poetry, Dunk Tank, will be released by House of Anansi in Spring 2019.

    Neal Debreceni, a voracious reader of gay fiction and comic books, lives in Calgary with his husband of twenty-four years. Some of the identities Neal has assumed in the LGBTQ+ community over the last thirty years include bartender, business owner, entertainer, board member, Emperor, and, finally, author.

    Jocelyn Dimm is currently a university consultant in the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge. As an instructor for over thirteen years in the Education Faculty at the University of Victoria, her courses included young-adult literature, Indigenous studies, and drama.

    Francesca Ekwuyasi is a writer and filmmaker from Lagos, Nigeria. Her work explores themes of faith, family, queerness, consumption, loneliness, and belonging. You may find her writing in Winter Tangerine Review, Brittle Paper, Jalada 05/Transition 123, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and GUTS. Visit her portfolio at

    Candace Fertile teaches at Camosun College in Victoria.

    Anne Fleming is almost finished a new novel. Her earlier books are The Goat, poemw, Gay Dwarves of America, Anomaly, and Pool-Hopping.

    Clarissa Fortin is an Ottawa-based writer, musician, and teacher.

    Nathan Caro Fréchette is a transgender, disabled and queer artist, and author. He has published over a dozen short stories, most recently in the Exile anthology Over the Rainbow, as well as five novels, three graphic novels, and two works of nonfiction.

    Helen Guri is a Tio’tia:ke (Montréal)-based poet and essayist. Their book Match was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, and their poems and essays dealing with relation, ecology, healing, and sexuality have been published widely in Canada as well as in the USA, Australia, and in translation in Japan.

    Christine Higdon’s first novel, The Very Marrow of Our Bones, was published by ECW Press in April 2018. Her work has appeared in Plenitude and The New Quarterly. She was shortlisted for the 2016 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize. Originally from rural BC, Christine lives in Mimico, Ontario.

    Jessica Johns is a Nehiyaw and a member of Sucker Creek First Nation in Treaty 8 territory of northern Alberta and currently lives on the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Skwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She is the poetry editor for PRISM international, a Room magazine collective member, and a co-organizer of the Indigenous Brilliance reading series.

    Eric Johnson is a water-media artist from Prince George, BC.

    Nisa Malli is a writer and researcher, born in Winnipeg and living in Toronto. Her work has been published in Arc, Carte Blanche, Cosmonauts Avenue, Grain, GUTS, Policy Options, Room, and elsewhere. She holds a BFA in Writing from the University of Victoria and has held residencies at the Banff Centre and Artscape Gibraltar Point.

    Darrel J. McLeod is Nehiyaw from Treaty 8 territory. He became a full-time writer and jazz singer five years ago. His memoir Mamaskatch (Douglas and McIntyre) won the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction. The sequel, Peyakow, will be released in 2019. Darrel identifies as 2S or bisexual for convenience—but in reality, he is damaged and unfulfilled when it comes to sexuality.

    Kevin McNeilly teaches in the Department of English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia. His book of poems is Embouchure (Nightwood, 2011). Videopoems, audio, text, and more can be found at

    Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who is well known for his provocative reinterpretations of romantic North American landscapes. His work has been exhibited internationally and is widely represented in the collections of major museums across Canada and the USA.

    Cara-Lyn Morgan lives and works in the Toronto area. She is the author of two collections of poetry, What Became My Grieving Ceremony (2012) and Cartograph (2017). Her work has appeared in literary journals across Canada.

    Jim Nason’s sixth poetry collection, Rooster, Dog, Crow, was recently released with Frontenac House. Signature Editions recently brought out his third novel, Spirit of a Hundred Thousand Dead Animals (2017). He has also published a short-story collection, The Girl on the Escalator. Jim is a finalist for the 2018 ReLit Poetry Award.

    Billeh Nickerson is a Vancouver-based author, editor, and educator whose most recent collection, Artificial Cherry, was nominated for a City of Vancouver Book Award. He is permanent faculty in the Creative Writing Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

    Arleen Paré is a Victoria writer. She has five collections of poetry, two of them cross-genre. She has been shortlisted for the BC Book Prizes Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and has won a Victoria Butler Book Prize, a CBC Bookie Award, and a Governor General’s Award for Poetry.

    Miranda Pearson is the author of four books of poetry. The most recent titles, Harbour (2010) and The Fire Extinguisher (2016), were finalists for the BC Book Prizes Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. She is currently working on a new collection, working title: Rail. Miranda lives in Vancouver.

    Charlie C. Petch is an award-winning playwright, spoken word artist, performer, musical saw player, and Haiku Deathmaster. They are a member of the League of Canadian Poets and the creative director of “Hot Damn It’s A Queer Slam.” For more details visit

    Jason Purcell is a writer living on Treaty 6 territory. He is co-editor of Ten Canadian Writers in Context and Interviews Editor for Glass Buffalo. His chapbook, A Place More Hospitable, will be published in summer 2019 (Anstruther). Alongside Matthew Stepanic, he is co-founder of Edmonton’s Glass Bookshop.

    Sun Rey lives and writes around Toronto. Her poetry has been featured in The Puritan and Cosmonauts Avenue. She loves daisies.

    Melinda Roy is a poet, angler, and birdwatcher from Prince George, BC. She tweets @defnotapoet.

    Jay Ruzesky’s most recent book is In Antarctica (2013). His novel, The Wolsenburg Clock (2009), was nominated for the Victoria Butler Book Prize, and his poetry has been published widely, most recently in Poetry is Dead and CV2.

    Anaheed Saatchi is a Canadian writer, queer feminist, and first-generation Iranian thinker living in Vancouver, BC. The intention behind Anaheed’s writing is to deconstruct the subtle, yet enforced, aspects of white, heteronormative, self- aggrandizing culture in order to create some room for other folks to thrive.

    Rebecca Salazar is the author of the knife that justifies the wound (Rahila’s Ghost) and Guzzle (Anstruther). Recent publications include poetry and non-fiction in Briarpatch, Minola Review, and The Puritan. Rebecca is currently a poetry editor for The Fiddlehead and Plenitude and a PhD candidate at UNB.

    Alana Sayers is from the Hupacasath (Nuu-Chah-Nulth) and Kipohtakaw (Cree, Treaty 6) First Nations. She grew up on the Hupacasath reserve and went to Haa Huu Payak School. She is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at the University of Victoria. Her research focuses on Indigenous literature.

    Karen Schindler is the publisher of Baseline Press, a poetry chapbook press based in London, Ontario.

    Arün Smith is a racialised, cisgender, queer activist, academic, and organiser who embraces contradiction, complexity, and controversy. He holds a BA in Political Science and is currently pursuing an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies. In his spare time, he enjoys post-colonial literature, quirky independent comedies, and tearing down free speech walls.

    Neil Smith is the author of the novel Boo and the story collection Bang Crunch. He is also a literary translator. He lives in Montréal.

    John Elizabeth Stintzi’s writing can be found in Black Warrior Review, wildness, PRISM international, and in their poetry chapbook, The Machete Tourist (knife | fork | book). In 2020, their novella, The Rat King Scattered, will be published by Ploughshares as a part of its Solos series.

    Anna Swanon is a poet and librarian living in St. John’s, NL. Her debut book of poetry, The Nights Also (Tightrope, 2010), won a Lambda Literary Award and the Gerald Lampert Award.

    Matthew J. Trafford wrote the critically acclaimed short-fiction collection The Divinity Gene. His stories have earned the Far Horizons Award and nominations for the National Magazine Award and the CBC Literary Prize. In 2011 he received an Honour of Distinction Dayne Ogilvie Prize. He lives in Toronto.

    Anne-Marie Turza is the author of The Quiet (Anansi) and Slip Minute (Baseline Press).

    Deborah VanSlet is a Montréal video-maker and writer. She produced and hosted Dykes on Mykes, a radio show at CKUT, for sixteen years, and was the 2015 winner of the QWF Carte Blanche Prize for her story, “Self-Serve.” She is a producer and participant in Confabulation, a live storytelling series.

    Ricky Varghese is a Toronto-based art writer. His writings have appeared in C Magazine, Canadian Art, esse arts + opinions, and Porn Studies. He is currently training to become a psychoanalyst at the Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis.

    Matthew Walsh (MW) is an artsy queer from the Maritimes who has travelled across Canada on the bus twice. Twitter: @croonjuice.

    Betsy Warland has published twelve books of creative nonfiction, lyric prose, and poetry, including Breathing the Page: Reading the Act of Writing (2010) and Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas (2016). In 1984 open is broken, with its companion, Daphne Marlatt’s Touch to My Tongue, became the first lesbian erotic love poem collections in Canada. In 2004, Warland co-founded the Creative Nonfiction Collective with Myrna Kostash. She received the City of Vancouver Mayor’s Award for Literary Excellence in 2016.

    A. Light Zachary is a writer and editor based in Toronto and Acadie. Their first novel, The End, by Anna, was published by Metatron.