Best Canadian Essays 2014

ISBN: 9781926639840

PRICE: $15.95—special sale price!




Featuring a trusted series editor and a new guest editor, this sixth continuation of the annual assemblage of essays showcases diverse writing from across Canada. Culled from leading magazines on diverse topics such as art, film, literature, music, culture, politics and history, The Best Canadian Essays 2014 contains award-winning and nominated nonfiction articles that are topical and engaging and have their finger on the pulse of our contemporary psyches.

“Best Canadian Essays 2014 should find a place of honour in your travel bag, on the deck at your camp, by the reading window in your breakfast nook, at your bedside table.”—Michael Sobota, Chronicle-Journal.

“Who doesn’t like a buffet? How about one with quality selections and deep flavours? I’m a fan of anthologies and The Best Canadian Essays is a smorgasbord of topics and exceptional writing.”—June Chua, Rabble.ca

 “The individual contributions in Best Canadian Essays transcend simple reportage and reach the level of art. Each one has something distinctive and informative to say. Take heed.”—Jennifer Curtis, Quill & Quire

Christopher Doda is a critic, editor, and poet. He is the author of the collections of poetry Aesthetics Lesson and Among Ruins, and his poems and reviews have appeared in journals and magazines across Canada. He is the book review editor for the online journal Studio.                                              

Natalie Zina Walschots is a poet and a music journalist. Her first book of poetry, Thumbscrews, won the inaugural Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Her poetry has appeared widely in literary magazines including Broken Pencil, Carousel, Matrix, Open Letter, and Rampike. She was formerly the managing editor of Filling Station and Dandelion magazines. She lives in Montreal.

 

 

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Excerpt from Be Good, “Prologue”

Prologue: Morgan

Encoding refers to the initial perception and registration of information. Storage is the retention of encoded information over time. Retrieval refers to the processes involved in using stored information.

My mother (always tactless and almost always drunk) says in a long distance call from Toronto to Montreal, “Write it down, honey.”

A pack a day smoker, a functional alcoholic, a broken woman, her insides riddled with disease, her left breast and her uterus removed, always telling me to write it down, as if a script has some grand importance and validity, capable of overshadowing reality.
My reality. Her reality.

“Write it down, honey.”

And I remember they (whoever they are) always said, “Let your reader know where you are coming from and where you are going. Let them know where the end is. Be succinct. Clarify.”

They told me there had to be a beginning, a middle and an end to things, even if you are (as I am) speaking from far beyond and far before the end. When you are naïve and apt to believe, you truly depend on the notion that there is a clear beginning, middle and end.

That there is a truth and a progression among all these recollections.

Perhaps I am not so apt to believe in that kind of truth. I believe that things are much better when broken into pieces, because the whole is deceptive at best.

My past is a carefully linked chain of lies and my present is nothing more than the sparkle of swept dust.


For more information about Be Good or to purchase the book, please click here.

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Excerpt from She’s Shameless, “Introduction: This Is Not An After School Special”

Introduction: This is Not an After-School Special
Stacey May Fowles and Megan Griffith-Greene

“There are things in my life I regret, things I hope I can fix, things I still hope to accomplish, but I believe that shame is worthless. Let other people hold those scales. I have my hands full.”
-Amy Saxon Bosworth, I Don’t Wear Cloaks

This is not an after-school special. The pages of this book do not contain cautionary tales about the dangers of peer pressure, how doing drugs will ruin your life, how you should save yourself until marriage, and how you should stay in school.

In fact, it’s always really bothered us the way that people talk about, and to, youth. The world never gives young people all that much credit—teens are too young to make their own decisions; they are apathetic and shallow, reckless and thoughtless. That sort of thinking is a caricature: stupid, offensive, and, more often than not, hypocritical.

So we set out to create an anthology to combat that condescension, where women told the truth about their lives as teenagers—no bullshit.


For more information about She’s Shameless or to purchase, please click here.

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Excerpt from Boredom Fighters, “Introduction”

Boredom Fighters, “Introduction”

Hello. There are a few things that seem to pop for us:

1/ pushing comic graphics to excess (lots of bubbles, lots of booms and lots of non-words)
2/ overwhelmingly gendered perspectives and narratives
3/ politically engagement (we are thinking of the environment-all the time)

We were reading an articles today written by psychologist Pierce J. Howard (Director of Research at the Centre for Applied Cognitive Studies), when two things struck us:

1/ “Moods are temporary. When an emotional state is permanent, as in continual sadness [or boredom – we’re interchanging the mood], that is a trait, not a mood. Typically, such traits cannot be changed without pharmaceuticals, surgery or therapy.”

He goes on to say that moods can be managed … with a simple five minute outdoor walk, among other things (we need light, air, exercise, change of pace)…

2/ Howard suggests that the probable cause of boredom is that a task is too easy.

If boredom becomes a trait, we surmised, then mothers smash sons with vacuum cleaners, schools soporificize students in greasy cafeterias, governments crush the rebellious with plasma screens. Strangely, it’s the ‘easy talk’ that causes boredom and yet there is nothing more difficult to manage than having nothing to do. Of course, we believe it is obscene and unethical to be without ‘doings.’ Just yesterday we received a letter from neo-Situationalist who said, “I remind you both that ‘Boredom in Counter-Revolutionary’.”


For more information about Boredom Fighters or to purchase the book, please click here.

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Boredom Fighters | Ed. Jake Kennedy & Paola Poletto

Boredom Fighters, edited by Jake Kennedy and Paola PolettoISBN-10: 0978335155
ISBN-13: 9780978335151

Price: $10.00
Pub Date: 2008

This collection of graphic poems brings together eighteen works that fall somewhere between a graphic novel and poetic verse.

Participating authors reside across the country and include Derek Beaulieu, Christian Bok, Stacey May Fowles and Marlena Zuber, Tim Gaze, Jake Kennedy, Mark Laliberte, Donato Mancini, Kevin Mcpherson Eckhoff, Gustave Morin, Marc Ngui, Paola Poletto, Daniel Scott Tysdal, Jen Pickering, and Sally McKay.

Their poems tackle the broad topic of boredom: Is boredom a symptom of the absence of love? Does it suggest our present task is too easy?

Inside, graphic doesn’t always trump poetry and thus the ultimate tug of war is in the most captivating sense a real yawnyarn between word and image. We like images and we like words.

With epigonic respect to Dada and concrete poetry and with of-the-moment admiration for the graphic novel we’d like to think (we do think!) editors Jake Kennedy and Paola Poletto have collected something other. They are also flatlanders, mandalas, leg chewers, leaf-shakers, dogs, televisions, bricks, calligraphy, typefaces, remote controls, emblems, tazers, lightning bolts, hotels, and sinking cities. All of them sticking intrepidly an unwavering index into the hirsute gargoyle ear-well of boredom.

Click to read an excerpt from Boredom Fighters.

Jake Kennedy is a poet, prose writer, and teacher. His work has appeared in a number of literary journals and anthologies. His chapbook, Hazard, is published by BookThug. Jake currently teaches in the English Department at Okanagan College.

Paola Poletto is an arts administrator, mixed media and installation artist, writer and curator. Artist-led projects have included Kiss Machine Magazine (co-founding publisher since 2000), Inflatable Museum (on-line exhibit 2001-2004), Girls and Guns (travelling exhibit Toronto-London, 2003; Budapest-Albania-Montenegro & Serbia, 2004), and Robot Landscapes (exhibit Toronto, 2004). She is senior director of programs at Design Exchange, Canada’s national centre for design (www.dx.org), where she oversees youth programs, professional programs, exhibitions, museum collection and research. She is also the director of digifest (www.dx.org/digifest), a festival of design and media culture produced by Design Exchange in partnership with the Ontario Science Centre and Harbourfront Centre.

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She’s Shameless

She's Shameless, edited by Stacey May Fowles and Megan Griffith-Greene
ISBN13: 9780978335199
Price: $12.95 – special sale price!
Pub Date: 2009




Co-editors Megan Griffith-Greene and Stacey May Fowles have compiled an anthology of fearless and funny non-fiction about strong, smart and shameless young women.

With wit and honesty, the writers share stories of their teen experiences (both positive and negative) on everything from pop culture to high school principals.

The book is founded on Shameless magazine’s tradition of smart, sassy, honest and inclusive writing that reaches out to young female readers who are often ignored by mainstream: freethinkers, queer youth, young women of colour, punk rockers, feminists, intellectuals, artists and activists.

Click to read an excerpt from She’s Shameless.

Featuring work from Nicole Cohen, Melinda Mattos, Stacey May Fowles, Megan Griffith-Greene, Amy Saxon Bosworth, Shannon Webb-Campbell, Nicole Pasulka, Adrienne Mercer, Jowita Bydlowska, Teri Vlassopoulos, Shannon Gerard, K Bannerman, Jessica McGann, Shaunga Tagore, Karma Waltonen, Denise Reich, Dianah Smith, Catherine Graham, Pam Park, Maggie Dort, Julia Serano, BJ MacBain, Jessica Lockhart, Cora Goss-Grubbs, Sarah Pinder, Tara-Michelle Ziniuk, Emily Pohl-Weary, Zoe Whittall, Suzy Malik, and Lynn Bartels.

Editors’ Bios:
Stacey May Fowles is a writer and McGill Graduate in English Literature and Women’s Studies who has worked in the literary and gallery communities of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Her first novel Be Good (Tightrope Books) came out in 2007, her second book Fear of Fighting (Invisible Publishing) was launched in 2008. Her written work has been published in various digital and literary publications, including Fireweed, The Absinthe Literary Review, Kiss Machine, sub-TERRAIN, Lickety Split and Hive Magazine. Her non-fiction piece “Friction Burn” appeared in the widely acclaimed anthology Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity (ed. Matt Bernstein Sycamore, Seal Press). Her work is also in the anthology Transits: Stories from In-Between (Invisible Publishing) and Cahoots Magazine. She is the publisher of Shameless magazine.

Megan Griffith-Greene’s experience in activism, arts and journalism started when she was a very shameless teen growing up in Toronto. Now, she is the editor of Shameless magazine, a feminist magazine for teens and young women, and a contributing editor of Chatelaine. She is also a founding editor and designer of The New Pollution new music review, a web-based magazine and pod-cast on indie music. Her writing has appeared in THIS magazine, The Walrus and Chatelaine.

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I.V. Lounge Nights | Ed. Myna Wallin & Alex Boyd

IV Lounge Nights, edited by Myna Wallin & Alex Boyd
ISBN: 9780978335144
Price: $21.95
Pub Date: 2008




Grab your martini! The I.V. Lounge was Toronto’s coziest place to kick back and listen to fiction or poetry. For ten years, on every other Friday night, that’s exactly what has happened at the I.V. Lounge reading series— fiction writers read alongside poets, emerging talent next to established talent, and local writers along with those passing through town.

I.V. Lounge Nights gathers twenty-nine talented writers together to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the series, and relaxing with literature on a Friday night.

Click to read an excerpt from I.V. Lounge Nights.

Featuring work from Steve McOrmond, Alexandra Leggat, Carmine Starnino, Shaun Smith, Evie Christie, Michael Bryson, Rob Winger, Matthew J Trafford, David Livingstone Clink, Alayna Munce, Leigh Kotsilidis, Heather J Wood, Matthew Tierney, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, Michael V Smith, Andrew Daley, Sharon McCartney, Goran Simic, Emily Shultz, Catherine Graham, Moez Surani, Molly Peacock, Jessica Westhead, Sue Sinclair, Ray Hsu, James Grainger, Dani Couture, Stacey May Fowles, and Karen Solie.

Myna Wallin is an author and editor in Toronto. She is also an organizer and host of the Art Bar Poetry Series. Her first poetry collection was A Thousand Profane Pieces (Tightrope Books, 2006), and her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including The Algonquin Square Table Anthology, Contemporary Verse 2, Existere, Eye Weekly, Kiss Machine, Literary Review of Canada, Matrix, Misunderstandings Magazine, Nod, Surface and Symbol, Taddle Creek, and Word: Canada’s Magazine for Readers and Writers.

Alex Boyd was born in Toronto. He writes poems, fiction, reviews and essays, and has had work published in magazines and newspapers such as Taddle Creek, dig, Books in Canada, The Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire and on various websites such as The Danforth Review. His personal site is alexboyd.com. He is co-editor of Northern Poetry Review, a site for poetry reviews, essays, and articles. His first full-length book of poems, Making Bones Walk, is new from Luna Publications.

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Be Good-Stacey May Fowles

Be Good, by Stacey May FowlesISBN-13: 9780978335106
Longlisted for the 2008 Relit Award

 

In this gritty first novel by Stacey May Fowles, a group of Canadian twenty-somethings wrestle with sex, love, and lies. Each character has a distinct persona made of secrets and deceptions, which is shattered by the end of the book.

Set against the acutely drawn urban landscapes of Montreal and Vancouver, Morgan and Hannah struggle to navigate the maze of love affairs, failed relationships, obsessions, and departures from the familiar.

Deftly shifting perspective from the innocent and idealistic Hannah to the streetwise and damaged Morgan, to their friends and the men in their lives, Be Good eloquently exposes the lies we tell ourselves and others in order to cope with life and reveals the ongoing alienation and isolation of a world where the only reliable narrator is the future.

“…the novel offers a thoughtful examination of sexuality, relationships, and what it means to tell the truth.”—Quill and Quire

“…probably the most finely realized small press novel to come out of Canada in the last year.”—This Magazine

Click to read an excerpt from Be Good.

Stacey May Fowles‘ written work has been published in various magazines and journals, including Shameless Magazine, Kiss Machine, and subTERRAIN . Her non-fiction writing has been anthologized in the widely acclaimed Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity and First Person Queer. Be Good is her first novel.

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