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Issue 2, Volume 18 | February 2021

Issue 213, winter 2020

New Winter Issue

Featuring Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize winner "On Playing Double Jeopardy!" by Christina Brobby, and cover art by Charles Campbell. Poetry by Tim Fab-Eme, Sue Sinclair, Christine Lowther, Anita Lahey, Dani Couture, Tawahum Bige, Michael Akuchie, D.A. Lockhart, Conor Kerr, Eve Joseph, Susan Musgrave, clare thiessen, Michael Chang, Tiffany Hsieh, Melanie Pierluigi, emilie kneifel, Jacob Braun, Ivan Hobson, and Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang. Fiction by Joanne Rixon, Rachel Lachmansingh, Aaron Schneider, Katie Zdybel, and Joy Waller. Creative nonfiction by Megan Butcher, Rabiu Temidayo, and Dominique K. Pierce. Reviews of books by Canisia Lubrin, Bahar Orang, Yusuf Saadi, Cornelia Hoogland & Ted Goodden, Phil Hall, Jack Wang, Madeline Sonik, Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch, and Candace Savage.

Buy now.

Long Poem Book Prize

Holiday Subscription Sale

In addition to the two $1,250 CAD prizes, we're giving away a book prize to one lucky entrant! All you have to do is submit your work to the Long Poem Prize contest, and you'll be automatically entered to win. After the deadline, we'll pull one name from the list of submitters.

Salt and Ashes by Adrienne Drobnies
Re-Origin of Species 
by Alessandra Naccarato
Visual Inspection 
by Matt Rader
 by Stuart Ross

Read the contest guidelines.

Winter Issue Book Review

knot body by Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch

Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch’s knot body is a radically honest examination of the queer body, the disabled body, and the racialized body. In the poems, essays, and letters of knot body, El Bechelany-Lynch wrestles with the interrelationship of trauma, chronic pain, queerness, colonialism, and gendered violence with humour and generosity.

Read the full review by Aaron El Sabrout.

Deadline Extended to Feb 5!

Long Poem Prize deadline extended

Take the extra time to perfect your single long poem or cycle of poems and submit by Friday, February 5 at 11:59pm PST! Two winners will receive $1,250 CAD each as well as publication in our summer issue. All entrants are also automatically entered to win a fantastic book prize.

Entry fee (comes with a one-year print subscription):
$35 CAD for each entry from Canada
$40 USD for each entry from the USA
$45 USD for each entry from elsewhere
Additional entries cost $15 CAD each, no limit!

This year's judges are:
Meredith Quartermain
Armand Garnet Ruffo
John Elizabeth Stintzi

Full contest guidelines on our website.


Winter Issue Interview with Rachel Lachmansingh on Fiction

Rachel LachmansinghMalahat Review volunteer Paul Monfette talks with the issue #213 contributor about writing as an unearthing, working on novels vs. short stories, and delving into the perspective of a young child for her story, "Primary Organs."


PM: What did you draw on within yourself to inhabit the body/mind of six-year-old protagonist/narrator Eileen in "Primary Organs”?

RL: Empathy is integral to my writing process, so when writing Eileen, I didn’t just want to write her—I wanted to understand her worldview by stepping into her mind. Recalling memories from when I was Eileen’s age was helpful for this, and one of the story’s details is actually a true story! I remembered being in my grade one gym class, and my teacher talking about shoe soles. For a moment, I wondered if he was referring to souls, since I’d never heard the word before. This was a fleeting thought, but I somehow remembered it during drafting. It was a great reminder of the specific brand of curiosity young children possess and I tried to integrate that into the narrative.

Read the rest of Rachel Lachmansingh's interview.


Winter Issue Interview with Megan Butcher on CNF

Megan ButcherMalahat Review volunteer Samantha Fitzpatrick talks with the issue #213 contributor about testing the limits of fear, the enmeshed singularity of being in nature, and the need for tension when writing her essay, "First Birds."


SF: On your blog, you’ve written about having difficulty reading since the pandemic began—a struggle plenty of people have been having. Has the pandemic affected your writing? Are you working on anything now? 

MB: The pandemic did affect my writing, but thankfully not in the way it affected my reading. There’s a bit of a winding story there, if you’ll bear with me. I went through a very long period of writer’s block between about 2014 and 2019. For much of that period I could barely stand to think about writing, it hurt so much to not be doing it. And yet I just couldn’t. In an effort to break myself out of it, I took a couple of writing workshops at Carleton University in 2019. “First Birds” started as an assignment in a creative nonfiction workshop where I had a great teacher and supportive peer-editing group. Getting good feedback from them felt good; surviving the less positive feedback was what allowed me to really write again. Their gentle and thoughtful voices replaced the really vicious ones that had been in my head for a few years. 

When we hit that first lockdown back in the spring, I was just a few months done the course. I was floundering. With no assignments I had no exoskeleton, and I couldn’t seem to piece together any internal bones. But I think those first few weeks of lockdown changed me in some fundamental ways. Now that it’s been dragging on almost a year, I do find it a bit hard to access the fear I felt in March and April 2020, but I remember having a sudden and very clear sense of the possibility that I might die before I got to write a book, and that I could not allow that to happen. That it was better, in fact, to have dozens of people reject me than to allow the fear of rejection, of my inabilities, of my inner failings, to stop me from writing. I would not die not writing.

Read the rest of Megan Butcher's interview.


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