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Vol. 10, No.6, June 2013


Canada  |  US  |  International

2013 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize

Deadline: August 1, 2013 (postmarked or emailed)
Prize: $1000 CAD
Entry fee: $35 CAD for Canadians
$40 USD for US residents
$45 USD for entries from elsehwere

Each additional entry costs $15 CAD regardless of location.

Enter a piece of creative nonfiction (literary journalism, memoir, personal essay, narrative nonfiction, social commentary, travel writing, historical accounts, biography, etc.) between 2000 and 3000 words in length.

Enter by email or regular mail.

Full guidelines on our website

Summer subscription offer: $15 1-year subscriptions until July 5th

A Hard Love to Carry: Molly McFaul in conversation with UVic 50th Anniversary Prize for Poetry winner, Pamela Porter

Pamela Porter

Last summer, we held a UVic 50th Anniversary writing contest to commemorate UVic's 50 years. Pamela Porter won in the poetry category with her poem, "Photograph: Svetlana Stalin and her Father"

MM: The concept of names is crucial in the life of the Soviet Union’s beloved “little sparrow.” Svetlana Stalin attempted to take her mother’s maiden name, and later, her last husband’s name. She died as Lana Peters but told the Wisconsin State Journal in 2010 that she “…will always be a political prisoner of [her] father’s name.” Your line that echoes this, “carrying his name like iron,” is incredibly powerful. Her father was born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughasvii, and took on Stalin for himself, which means “man of steel.” What do you think about the power of names and the weight we carry with our own throughout our lives?

PP: A particular name, with all its implications, has a way of getting inside us faster than the critical part of our brains can process.  I felt for Svetlana, or Lana, not only because she was, as she put it, “a political prisoner” of history, but also because she could not un-love the affectionate and empowering father whom she experienced as a young child. I think Svetlana and her struggle with her father’s legacy is a kind of archetype for many women who need to come to terms with the contradictory personalities of their own fathers whose presence may be the primary source of a daughter’s internalized power, or conversely, the source of repression of her power, or both. As well, the long-term absence of a father is in itself a powerful influence.  Perhaps that’s part of the reason why so much gets written about fathers; we need to employ all the genres to try to come to terms with this relationship.

Read this interview in full on our website

Upcoming Malahat Contests

Opportunistic filter feeding: Kelly Bouchard in conversation with 2013 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize judge John Vaillant

John Vaillant

Malahat volunteer Kelly Bouchard asked our 2013 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize judge John Vaillant a few questions about his work, his thoughts on creative nonfiction, and on judging contests.

KB: In a 2010 interview on Shaw TV, you described how your last book was born out of a chance viewing of the documentary film Conflict Tiger, which tells the story of a man-eating tiger in Russia’s Far East. You seem to have left the theatre convinced you could write a book on the same subject, and soon began the process of researching what would become The Tiger. This makes me curious about how you position yourself to encounter and recognize the stories you want to tackle. Are you consciously and constantly scouring the landscape for a good story, or do you wait for a story to come to you? Do you typically recognize a good subject right away, or was The Tiger an exception in this regard?

JV: I’m an opportunistic filter feeder. Think of a barnacle in a tidal channel – all this material sweeping through – four times a day, in vast quantities, most of it irrelevant. But every now and then – who knows when – something irresistibly nutritious will sweep by within reach.

Read this interview in full on our website.

Full CNF contest guidelines here.

Join us @ Congress in June

The Malahat Review will participate in two literary events linked with Congress at UVic this June.

Jeremy Loveday

Tuesday, June 4th
Words @ The Edge
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
UVic, Performance Stage (outdoors in grassy area infront of the MacPherson Library)
FREE admission

Celebrated Victoria authors Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane, with Jeremy Loveday, Arleen Paré, and Philip Kevin Paul, explore the possibilities of language through readings and performances of their poems and stories. Hosted by Yvonne Blomer, artistic director of Planet Earth Poetry. With performances by the Barry Leung Classical Trio.

More info about Words @ the Edge

Ariel Gordon

Friday, June 7th
Congress @ Planet Earth
Planet Earth Poetry Reading Series
7:30 p.m.
Moka House, #103, 1633 Hillside Ave.
$3 (after open mic)

June 7th's open mic will be dedicated to Congress attendees, followed by readings from Ariel Gordon, Malahat issue #182 short story writer Cody Klippenstein, and Malahat board members Iain Higgins and Eric Miller. Hosted by Malahat poetry board member Kyeren Regehr.

More info about Congress @ Planet Earth.

A look inside issue 182, Spring 2013

"The Shipping Platform"
by Anna Maxymiw

"It’s not the female employees who unload the luggage—ever. The lodge shoreline is male domain. There’s an actual line we aren’t allowed to cross, a border where the gravel paths that lead down from the lodge end, and the dock begins. We girls argue that this isn’t fair, that the boys can go everywhere. They like to stand in our way during our breakfast rush and shove bacon into their mouths while we try to serve."

Read "The Shipping Platform" in full on our website. Anna Maxymiw

Backdrop for the Experience: Molly McFaul in Conversation with Anna Maxymiw

MM: You reference Peter Pan in the Shadow Boxing segment on your blog. This has been one of my favourite books since adolescence. You mention that it is an incredibly dark book for children and this is true. What are some books that you loved for a child’s reasons when you were younger that resonate with you in different ways in your adulthood?

AM: My mother and father were (and are) both rad, because they always encouraged me to read beyond my comfort zone. I never actually read Peter Pan as a child, but there were plenty of other weird and dark books: Grimms’ Fairy Tales, a terrifying book of Ukrainian fairy tales called How Ivan Went To See The Sun, His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. But the writer that stands out the most is Francesca Lia Block. Block writes strange, lush stories about life in Los Angeles.

Read this interview on our website.

Congratulations to 2013 Long Poem Prize winners Kim Trainor and Claire Caldwell!

The Malahat Review congratulates Claire Caldwell of Toronto, ON and Kim Trainor of Vancouver, BC whose poems, "Osteogenesis" and “Nothing is Lost” have won our 2013 Long Poem Prize.

Claire Caldwell

A different beast altogether: Vanessa Herman in Conversation with Claire Caldwell

VH: First off, congratulations on winning The Malahat Review’s 2013 Long Poem prize!  “Osteogenesis” takes the reader through layers of skin down to the bones.  Tell us, what “sparked” this poem?

CC: Thanks very much! I'm so honoured to win this prize. The first spark for the poem was a segment I heard on WNYC's Radiolab, about the "afterlife" of a whale. The idea of a singular animal--especially such a big one--becoming this vibrant, shifting ecosystem was compelling to me. As soon as I began writing about the whale, some other narratives and images I'd been working with were sucked into its orbit. Kind of like all the sea creatures, I guess!

Read this interview in full on our website.

Kim Trainor

Like a coat or a bicycle or a lens: Stefan Krecsy in Conversation with Kim Trainor

SK: You open your long poem, “Nothing is Lost,” with an extensive excerpt from Elaine Scarry’s The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World and throughout your work you freely integrate and adapt this passage. While you clearly wanted the reader to have this text in mind throughout “Nothing is Lost,” why did you want to respond to this passage in particular and did you set out writing with the passage in mind, or did you incorporate it later?

KT: I wrote an earlier version of the poem a year or so ago but it was too dark. When I came back to it again this past fall, what made it work for me the second time was having reread Elaine Scarry's book The Body in Pain, which has been an important book to me over the years for thinking about artefacts and about language itself as artefact, and their role in making the world, as a counter to its unmaking, its destruction.

Read this interview in full on our website.

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