Category: The Writing Life

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Liz Harmer’s Formless Non-Fiction

by Liz Harmer

There was a phase in my short non-fiction career during which I came to believe that my main interest in writing essays was out of a fascination with language. Whereas in fiction, the fascination was with feelings, behavior, characters, what might happen to those characters, and the author as the placer of figurines on a board,

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The Bohemyth Magazine

by Michael Naghten Shanks

In the summer of 2010, having just completed a Bachelor’s degree in English at Trinity College Dublin, I found myself in a similar situation to many twenty-somethings at the time: I had a good (if not economically marketable) education and was faced with the prospect of emigration. Whether it was hubris, fear, or some complex mix of emotions,

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Writing Detroit: The Past is not Pretty

by Cal Freeman

There are perils involved in writing about a place like Warrendale, my childhood neighborhood in West Detroit and the topic of my first book of poems, Brother of Leaving.  Nostalgia is a temptation.  I’m sure I also open myself up to the charge of engaging in “ruin porn,”a banal and malleable term seemingly applicable to anyone who chooses to write about,

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The Myth of the Truth

by Bänoo Zan

There is a myth that there is a story behind every poem, and there is a myth that stories need poetry to achieve the status of myth. Though poetry is the territory before and beyond stories, I have sketched a creation myth about how I came to write the poems, Toronto 2012 and Payäm-där.

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Journalese vs. Poetic Language

by Lisa Pasold

Palestinian-American poet and journalist Sharif S. Elmusa has written, “Language under authoritarian regimes rusts, turns dull, loses its edge and luster.” Sadly, this rust isn’t limited to authoritarian regimes. The language of our Canadian media is also rusting—to the extent that whole segments of the machinery have fallen away and left Journalese.


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Debunkering the Fortress of Solitude: Against Writing Alone

by Julienne Isaacs

Maybe every writer occasionally romanticizes isolation as a catchall remedy for clogged creativity valves.

This summer, bogged down with writer’s block, I removed myself from the city and escaped into the wilderness. Or, more correctly, into a cabin in Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park, situated by a stark, lonely lake large enough to swallow a hundred Walden Ponds.

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A Warning to Toronto Writers: Networks Don’t Make Literature

by Julienne Isaacs

It doesn’t matter where you live: being human is difficult. The writer’s task is to transcribe the difficulty.

On a recent trip to Toronto, I was told half a dozen times by both strangers and friends that nothing would aid my career more than a move to that great Canadian literary Mecca. For a few days I waffled,

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Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

by André Forget

In the following special post, editor André Forget discusses the genesis of Whether, a brand new online literary magazine based out of Winnipeg, Toronto, and New York.

I have no idea when exactly I decided it would be fun to start a magazine, but I think it was some time back in October.

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An Interview with Donna Thomson

by Kris Bone

When it comes to Canadians with severe disabilities and the people who care for them, a suspicious opacity surrounds them in the public consciousness. Fundamental misconceptions about the nature and benefits of the relationships between people with disabilities and their friends, families, and caregivers—as well as underestimations of the immense cost and work that go into providing adequate care—act as impediments to positive change.