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The Nap-Away Motel by Nadja Lubiw-Hazard

We all have stayed at the Nap-Away. For a night or a week or a longer time, at some point and for some reason, we all have found refuge in a small motel on the edge of a city. The facade is nondescript except for one or two curious features. The same might be said of the staff. Because it’s the residents who, for the length of their stay, define the motel and create its story.

The Nap-Away in Nadja Lubiw-Hazard’s debut novel (Palimpsest, 2019) is somewhere in Scarborough. Its walls are yellow, the roof grey. Behind the Nap-Away is a huge oak tree and butterflies. In front is an open space where pigeons alight. And for the length of Lubiw-Hazard’s beautiful tale, the Nap-Away is home to three wildly different, struggling characters.

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No Meeting Without Body by Annick MacAskill

Annick MacAskill’s debut poetry collection No Meeting Without Body (Gaspereau Press, 2018) strikes me as off limits—as fenced-in under high security. Perhaps MacAskill’s personal vignettes and anecdotes—conveyed through the work and labour of figures such as Aristophanes, Hildegard von Bingen, and Ovid—will resonate with the guiding metaphors of other readers’ life and loves. But I am straining, from the other side of a barrier, to hear conversation that may not want to be heard.

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OPEN Re Nature: Writing on a World under Threat

NEW! Free Editing Services for Issue 17

Have something to say about climate change — and not sure how to say it?

Passionate about the environment but new to literary writing?

Understorey Magazine aims to inspire new and emerging writers, as well as support established writers. For Issue 17, we are offering free editing services. Send us your stories and poems. We will send our thoughts on what already works and what can be improved. We can’t publish everything we receive — but we can help you polish your writing and find a place to share it with the world. All submissions must adhere to our general guidelines.

Call for Submissions

Re Nature: Writing on a World under Threat

Understorey Magazine invites submissions of critical writing & visual art
– for a nature in crisis.

  • How can we reflect on a natural world that is threatened by our own presence?
  • How should we move beyond reflection to inspire action?
  • How does environmental crisis dis/affect women in particular?
  • How might it further marginalise those already at the margins?

Open to submissions of prose, poetry, visual art – and creative recombinations of these forms – by writers and artists in Canada who identify as women or non-binary.

Honorarium available for accepted work.

See full submission guidelines here.

Deadline: September 30, 2019

Shut Up, You’re Pretty by Téa Mutonji

“But who was I?” asks Loli, the singular narrative voice uniting Téa Mutonji’s engaging collection of short stories. Shut Up, You’re Pretty (forthcoming, April 2019) is Mutonji’s debut and the first publication by VS Books, a new imprint of Arsenal Pulp founded by Vivek Shraya. The stories follow Loli from childhood, when she moves from Congo to Scarborough with her family, through to young adulthood. Loli’s question, posed after an awkward night out, highlights the themes of self-exploration and identity that permeate the book.

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Disintegrate/Dissociate by Arielle Twist

Most poetry book launches, in my experience, are serious, courtly, murmuring affairs: kind words of introduction, soft applause, hums of contemplation and approval. Solitary reactions occurring simultaneously; subtle, even-tempered responses to subtle, even-tempered books.

Enter Arielle Twist. Enter her ecstatic, surprising, jubilant family, friends, and fans.

Twist launched her debut collection of poetry, Disintegrate/Dissociate (Arsenal Pulp, 2019), on a wintry Saturday night at the Khyber Arts Centre in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), unceded Mi’kmaq territory where Twist currently lives. The small community venue was packed to the rafters and vibrating with anticipation—for a poet! For poetry!

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