After unplugging from internet for a 10-day trip to the Sunshine Coast in mid-August, I was thrilled to find out that my poetry chapbook Full Mondegreens–co-authored with the endlessly talented Andy Verboom–won first prize in Frog Hollow Press’s chapbook contest. This chapbook is my most formally ambitious poetic endeavour, and I have to credit Andy with inventing the “Mondegreen” form and inviting me into his mad scientist poetry lab to experiment with it. A spinoff of homophonic translation, the mondegreen pushes the institution of the misheard lyric (“cross I bear” –> “cross-eyed bear”), translating a poem back into itself through a refracted sound map. That might sound complicated, so here’s an example: “Do not go gentle into that good night” –> “Doom wrought surrender in the catfood fight.”
The chapbook is due out late 2016, and, given the lovely book matter Frog Hollow creates, I’m super excited to get my hands on it.
I’m super excited that guest editor Lucas Crawford picked my story, “Joustmaestro9,” to be included in the trans lit themed issue of Matrix Magazine. As a proud ally of all things trans, I’m honoured to be part of this important and timely contribution to Canadian culture and letters. The issue is a gem, with lovely cover art by Annie Mok (below) as well as transily awesome explorations of dissected pigs (Janis Maudlin), emetophilia (merritt kopas), lobster men (Tanis Franco), and so much more. My own story explores the dark underworld of chess.com through a character troubled by repeated sexual reassignment surgery rejections. Here’s a short excerpt:
Darkknight26, you belligerent Californian knave, I implore you to resign. How I loathe your gleaming beach-bum body, your talentless nonchalance, your corn-syrup ringlets, your peroxide grin. Can you not see that your game has consisted of a series of irreparable and humiliating blunders? One insipid attempt at the forked liver attack—so cliché!—and now nothing but forced exchanges and haphazard retreats. How blind must you be, Darkknight26, not to realize that defeat is inevitable, that your back row is helpless, that it’s in your own best interest to give in and move forward with your flickering bonfire of a life?
What a wild thing to happen. My story, “Enigma,” was chosen by judges Greg Hollingshead, Padma Viswanathan, and Richard Van Camp from over 1800 entries as the winner of the 2016 CBC Short Story Prize. Here’s what the judges said about the story:
“A woman must end the life of her beloved horse. A paean to intimacy and to things rarely seen, ‘Enigma’ is an eloquent meditation on the mystery of life and death, love and grief, both human and animal. This is a vivid personal narrative of remarkable spiritual and emotional grace.”
These kind and thoughtful words from a group of seriously esteemed writers is among the most flatering aspects of this experience. I am genuinely, delightfully overwhelmed. Thanks to all my supporters, and congrats to all the lovely stories on the shortlist and the longlisted writers.
Wild times in Huebertland. Last week I posted to announce that my story, “Enigma,” had made the longlist for the CBC Short Story Prize. This week it’s a thrill to say the story has made the shortlist. This is really a singular honour for me. You can read my story, as well as the other finalists, here.
I’m gratefully overwhelmed that my story, “Enigma,” was named to the longlist of the 2016 CBC Short Story Prize. There are some writers on the list I really admire, and it’s great to get this nod from the CBC. The story is part of the collection I have been crafting, Peninsula Sinking. My major themes as a writer–animals, oceans, drugs, and love–come together fast and hard in this short piece. I’m excited to see what happens next in the competition.
My latest story, “Silicone Giddy” , has just come out in The Puritan 32. This story is a sequel to my previous piece, “Bellyflop”, which appeared last winter in The Puritan 28. Both stories occupy the core of my short story manuscript, Peninsula Sinking, so it’s great to have them out in the world together. It also means a lot to have so much support from the rad and thorough people at The Puritan during this stage of my carreer. Issue 32 is a beast, swollen with literary protein. It’s moving to have my writing appear alongside so many fellow contributors–Matthew J. Trafford, Emily Schultz, Michael Prior–whom I deeply admire. Read the stories if you want to experience a lively fictional mixture of marriage, sex toys, and electrocution.
I’m deeply grateful that judge Sheldon Currie and the folks at The Antigonish Review gave my story, “Jellyfish,” first place in the Sheldon Currie Fiction Contest. The story appears in TAR 183 (pictured below), which has a pretty rugged-looking jellyfish on the cover. My story is about sickness and addiction and water and I’m really excited it found such a lovely home. TAR has published my work twice already and as a young Nova Scotian writer it means a lot to have the support of this fine journal.