Dear Friends, Editors, Writers, and Readers,
We are pleased to announce the launch of Issue 34: Issue 2016. This stellar edition features fiction and poetry chosen by our special guest summer editors for 2016: novelist and short-story writer Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer and poet Dr. Sonnet L’Abbé. As always, the issue boasts lit-centric non-fiction (essays, reviews, and interviews) that set the bar for long-form writing about books and book culture in Canada.
Guest fiction editor Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer brings us seven prose writers who are all, according to the editor, unafraid to be weird—and refreshingly, bravely so. Read Kuitenbrouwer’s introduction, “Weird!,” where she reveals all the “odd, hidden nooks and crannies” of her taste in short fiction. Both The Puritan and Kuitenbrouwer are pleased to present writers Heather Birrell, Ellen van Neerven, Trish Salah, Sarah Maria Medina, Nehal El-Hadi, M.W. Johnston, and Khalida Venus Hassan.
Our guest poetry editor Dr. Sonnet L’Abbé has selected a fine collection of poems from writers both established and still new to publishing. Start with her introduction—“A Space for the Aggro”—in which she commends the way these poets “are plumbing, in the personal way only poetry can, the angry and aggro energies that seem to dominate this global cultural moment.” Those poets are: George Murray, Stevie Howell, John Wall Barger, Barry Dempster, Tanis MacDonald, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Kyle Kinaschuk, Maria Matuscak, Nicole Chin, Steven Artelle, Jake Byrne, Lauren Marshall, Natalie Wee, Lorin Medley, and Jill Talbot.
The issue continues with non-fiction, starting with two essays. In “Punching Like a Girl,” Krista Foss writes a gripping, hair-raising reflection on violence, propriety, gender, and rage, and in “Comparative Zoology,” Sunny Chan brings us a funny, searching tour of infograpic history, animal encyclopedias, and libraries, seen through the distorting and sweetening lens of nostalgia.
Then we’re on to interviews. The first is a three-part, nineteen-inning investigation of Andrew Forbes’ *The Utility of Boredom* (Invisible Publishing, 2016)—and of baseball, its boring lows and knuckle-whitening highs altogether—by Myra Bloom, Ted Nolan, and Joseph Thomas. The next is Meghan Harrison’s double interview with Dave D D Miller (“The Derby Nerd”) and Monica “Monichrome” Mitchell-Taylor—two major personalites in the world of flat track roller derby in Canada—on derby’s evolution and its pointed parallels to literature and other forms of pop culture. Third, we bring you “An Elegiac Conversation” between the mysterious artists ‘Grant Stonehouse’ and ‘Len Carey,’ as curated by writer Michael Trussler: a fascinating exchange that, we can promise, is not what it seems.
We end this issue, as always, with smart and engaged reviews of recent literary titles. Explore “LOLing with Claws,” Brecken Hancock’s take on Liz Howard’s *Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent* (McClelland & Stewart Poetry, 2015), “War without a Name,” Amanda Sarasien’s review of Mercè Rodoreda’s *War, So Much War* (Open Letter Books, 2015), “Solo Protests Against Solitude,” Myra Bloom’s thoughts on Steven Heighton’s *The Waking Comes Late* (House of Anansi Press, 2016), and, last but not least, “Pragmatic Complications of Perfections,” Aaron Boothby’s look at Klara Du Plessis’s chapbook *Wax Lyrical* (Anstruther Press, 2015).
We’re still reading submissions to Issue 35: Fall 2016 of The Puritan, and to our writing contest, the Fifth Annual Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence, judged by Rawi Hage and Jan Zwicky. It’s the writing competition that awards publication, celebration at Black Friday, $1,000 cash, and approximately $1,700 worth of books, donated from 35 Canadian presses, to each of our two winners. There’s still a whole month to enter, so please don’t be shy about those submissions! Visit our submissions page for more details.
That’s all for now. Enjoy the new issue, and share widely!