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Vol. 10, No.9, September 2013


Canada  |  US  |  International

Upcoming Malahat Contests

Deadline: November 1, 2013 (postmarked or emailed)
Prize: $1000 CAD in each of three categories
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 by email or regular mail.

MalaPod: A Podcast with VWF Panelist Maleea Acker

Maleea AckerThe Malahat Review will host "Root Memory," a panel on writing ecology at the 2013 Victoria Writers' Festival. This panel will take place on Saturday, October 19th at 2:45 p.m. and will feature Maleea Acker, George Santos, Theresa Kishkan, and Ken Horne.

MalaPod producer Stephanie Harrington met with Maleea Acker to discuss her Root Memory.

Listen to the podcast here.

More info about the Victoria Writers Festival here.

2014 Open Season Awards: Meet the judges

Malahat volunteers and board members have interviewed the judges of our upcoming 2014 Open Season Awards (Jeffery Donaldson for poetry, Yasuko Thanh for fiction, and Mark Abley for creative nonfiction) to let you know what they're looking for in a winning piece.

Looking for a Necessary Poem: Karen Bannister in Conversation with Jeffery Donaldson

Jeffery Donaldson KB: What I love about your poetry is the density of your narrative. You really invite the reader in to form an image in their mind of what you are describing. In what way is poetry the ideal medium with which to communicate your ideas? Why do you write poetry (or write at all)?

JD: I tend to hold with those who believe that you don’t choose your medium at all; the medium chooses you.  The fact that there are so many poets practicing an art that is unlikely to fill the coffers seems proof enough that choice has little do with the matter. 

Read this interview in full on our website

Looking for Writing without a Veil: Molly McFaul in conversation with Yasuko Thanh

MM: You’ve been asked to judge the 2014 Open Season Awards for fiction. What are you looking for in a winning story?

YT: Geoff Hancock, former editor of the now-defunct Canadian Fiction Magazine, wrote an essay called “Alchemy and Opening the Mail.” The gist: he knew a great piece of writing when it hit him.  Most rules of writing centre around what not to do.  What to leave out, like “ings” and filters.  Rules might help bad writing become good writing.

Read this interview in full on our website

Looking for a Voice Accomplished and Original: John Archibald in Conversation with Mark Abley Mark Abley

JA: Tell us about yourself. Where do you live? Do you have a favourite place to write (either a room in your house or a place in your region)?

MA: I live in a rambling house in Pointe Claire, a suburb of Montreal in what’s called the West Island. We moved there after the birth of my older daughter, who was extremely premature and who wasn’t coping well with the polluted air of the very trendy Mile End neighbourhood.

Read this interview in full on our website

Read full guidelines for the 2014 Open Season Awards on our website

A look inside issue #183, Summer 2013

"Man Changing into Thunderbird"
by Armand Garnet Ruffo

"The room is cramped with people. An assortment of bundles and boxes stacked along the walls, packsacks hanging from hooks. The smell of tobacco, sweetgrass, damp canvas. To perform the Ritual of the Shaking Tent is illegal. The Government of Canada has banned it along with other ceremonies and everyone in the room is afraid of going to jail."

Read this story in full on our website

Connecting with the Subject: Stephanie Harrington in Conversation with Armand Garnet Ruffo

Armand Garnet Ruffo

SH: You were raised in Chapleau, a small town 190km northeast of Sault Ste Marie in northern Ontario, which seems close (at least on a map) to Beardmore, where Norval Morrisseau was born. You also both share Ojibway heritage. Growing up, were you aware of Morrisseau's significance as a painter? What did you know about him?

AGR: Actually Chapleau is a three-day drive east of Beardmore, which is closer to Thunder Bay. Northern Ontario is bigger than most realize.  Unfortunately I knew nothing about Morrisseau growing up.  Researching Man Changing Into Thunderbird, I learned that he participated in an educational tour of northern Ontario schools.  I was in High School at the time but he never came to Chapleau because we didn’t have an art program, and I suppose there wasn’t any support for it.  So much for a northern education.

Read this interview in full on our website

Interview with 2013 Far Horizons Award for Fiction Winner

A Blueprint of Life: Stefan Krecsy in Conversation with Kerry-Lee Powell

Armand Garnet Ruffo

SK: First, I’d like congratulate you for winning The Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction! When Judge Alissa York outlined why she chose “The Palace of the Brine,” she praises the character of Vlada, an ex-Soviet cleaning lady, who provides the narrator “with the closest thing she’s known to a blueprint of how to live.”  To me, rather than any significant ambition or philosophy, this blueprint seems to boil down to a sort of dogged self-sufficiency and desire “to be strong enough to survive as long as [Vlada] has”; would you be willing to elaborate on this notion of strength and how it informed your writing of “The Palace of the Brine”?

KLP: Thanks, Stefan, although I’m hesitant to “boil down” Vlada into a symbol of dogged self-sufficiency as I’ve admired her from the moment she stepped into my mind with her bandy legs and mop. My father was in the Second World War and suffered terribly in his later years from post-traumatic stress disorder. His slow decline and eventual suicide made a profound impression: a great deal of my writing explores the impacts of trauma and violence on the human psyche. As a gulag survivor, Vlada is a hopeful figure to me, who after great suffering is both vibrant and capable of displaying kindness, albeit leavened with dark humor.

Read this interview in full on our website

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