Category: The Writing Life

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Author Note: Jill Talbot

by Jill Talbot

Jill Talbot is the author of two poems, “A Towel’s Life” and “Ontology of Dreams,” in The Puritan’s Summer 2016 issue, poetry edited by Sonnet L’Abbé. For The Town Crier’s ongoing Author Notes series, here she talks about her writing process.

Sometimes I have to step out and look at a flower,

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Taking English for a Spin

by Dominique Bernier-Cormier

I’ve never had sex in French. I’ve never done drugs in French. On the other hand, I’ve never cracked a lobster or broken a bone in English. I recite the alphabet in French, but I swear in English. I can never tell which language I dream in. I live parts of my life in my mother tongue,

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Stan Dragland’s Art of Englishing

by Guadalupe Muro

It was not even 2:15 p.m. but of course Stan Dragland was already there, sitting at a table next to the window at the Starbucks on the corner of College and Beatrice. It was April 15, 2014 and we were supposed to meet at 2:30 p.m. As I walked toward him I felt an overwhelming feeling of joy as I suddenly realized: it’s happening,

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Fear No Man

by Eric Foley

My grandfather calls an ambulance a take-’em-away. He calls a cemetery a dead feet. He calls his cottage the fishbone, as in: “Have you driven up all the way to the … fishbone, before?” To which I answer, “Yes.”

The backs of his hands are hard and dark purple from the blood thinners he’s been on for 40 years,

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The Perfect Addiction

by Susanna Fournier

The body has secrets but the body doesn’t lie.  Which is weird, because I lie.

Here’s something true: it’s pretty weird out there for a feminist anorexic. Sorry, a what? I’m a feminist and recovering anorexic. I spent a great deal of my 20s in this strange paradox. My feminism was public and my eating disorder was secret (they usually are).

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Born Red

by Lisa Bird-Wilson

My mother laboured alone, segregated, shamed.

“You should have kept your legs closed,” said the nurse with the crooked smile. “Now be quiet. You’re not an animal, are you?”

Below her sternum I fought to stay put, not wanting to leave her, already sensing danger. When finally born on that starless night,

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French-Fried Jellyfish

by Lorne Roberts

A teacher of mine once intoned, gravely, and over a plate of steamed Chinese dumplings: “Perhaps there is some alternate universe where food isn’t delicious, but I don’t ever want to go there.”

There’s no doubt about it: food, and our love for it, is one of our few universal values—something that everyone from North Korean dictators to Manhattan hipsters to the labourer on the family farm engages in (and for the most part,

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Small Secrets: On Clandestine Hospitality

by Jordan Crosthwaite

This summer I got a call from a blocked number, and on the other end was a man identifying himself as “Montreal police.” The caller offered a vague warning to me that if I were to have any parties in my home, I should acquire the proper permit. Of course you can imagine my confusion,

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Partaking of the One Bread

by Shannon Tien

I am eight years old, wearing a white ruffled dress that once belonged to an older cousin, standing before a crowd of 1,000 strangers, when the priest turns to offer me the “body of Christ.” I am ecstatic. I am drowsy. I have been given very strong cough medicine to combat an ill-timed bought of bronchitis,

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Still Life over Still Water

by Geneviève Robichaud

Clear things console me, and sunlit things console me. To see life passing by under a blue sky makes up for a lot. I forget myself indefinitely, forgetting more than I could ever remember. The sufficiency of things fills my weightless, translucent heart, and just to look is a sweet satisfaction.

—Fernando Pessoa,