All posts filed under: Original content

Italics Will Never Love You

Italics Will Never Love You By J.D. Mersault Part One: Interior Monologue   Grammar is a subject about which it is easy to be pedantic, especially for those of us who study or produce literature. These days it comes with the territory—it’s difficult to get through one of the brick-like, doorstop novels of the post-modern canon without being able to navigate the minefield of grammatical style within, not to mention the similar feat required if you want to write one yourself for some reason.  Yet when the craft of writing seems to count for less and less each day in the face of declining publisher revenues, disturbing global political trends, and the omnipresent twitter bot, a nitpicky focus on grammar could be seen as at best gauche and at worst distracting. Nowadays, even mentioning the proper position of a comma, semicolon, or apostrophe outside of the lecture hall or editorial meeting is the fastest way to roll an eye. And do you think Tao Lin cares, between taking hits of acid at his New York …

The Dong

First Place Prose Winner The Dong By Sarah Butson Published in issue 26.2 I was back at the Powderhorn, sitting against the wall, paranoid on account of I don’t know what. I hadn’t been in there for at least a year, maybe more, trying hard to avoid those guys from the Double X, assholes that they were, who’d probably suck me back into their stupid schemes to move stuff for them. Stuff…I guess that’s what I was scared of. I was desperate to score some and I didn’t need them knowing about it. They’d probably use it to blackmail me later, or worse, report me to probation. The thought of more time at Fort Saskatchewan, surrounded by mean bitches and even meaner prison matrons, made me want to pass out. It was a scorcher outside, but the cool air inside the Horn filled my veins with electric tension, like the first zap of speed hitting your solar plexus. Tourists, dopey happy with their beers, oohed and aahed over the scenery and the healthy fucking mountain …

Writing for Performance

What I learned about performing from Ivan Coyote: Ryan and I attended the Wordfest Workshop: “Writing for Performance with Ivan Coyote” back in October 2014. Ivan is one of Ryan’s favourite performing artists, so as soon as we realized that Thomas King and Ivan Coyote would be in Banff Friday night and Saturday afternoon respectively, there was no discussion as to what we would be doing that weekend. Full disclosure: I’m a social klutz. The thought of speaking in front of a crowd doesn’t actually scare me like it once did, but I bumble like I’m twelve years old none-the-less. I remember being terrified when I had to participate in a mock parliamentary debate in high school. I nailed my argument in a way no one else had but I shook the whole time. It’s frustrating to be so confident and still trip over my own tongue, or worse, to have my systematic mind start circling mid-sentence (think of standing in a circle of people at a party, arguing with yourself under your breath, when …

In Defence of Meaning

Richard Harrison (February 3, 2010) Last November’s much anticipated Cage Match at Mount Royal University promised us Christian Bök and Carmine Starnino – poets with opposing views of poetry in general, and each other’s poetry in particular – letting their arguments fly in front of a live studio audience. (You can find the recorded event, courtesy of Kit Dobson, the Match’s moderator, at http://www.vimeo.com/7963755.) Though the issue between the two writers was framed in the form of The Avant-Garde vs The Tradition, or Experimentalism vs Mainstream Poetry, the question at the core of their debate as it developed might be unpacked as this: which approach produces poetry that does today what poetry ought to do – show the present to itself as it is, represent the future of poetry as it will be, and offer, implicitly or explicitly, the standards by which any work, past, present or future, is to be judged poetry at all – and, if poetry, poetry worth following. As is almost always true of such staged debates, much was said. And much …