Thursday, November 26, 2020

issue fourteen : The Entanglement Issue : guest-edited by Michael Sikkema

edited by Michael Sikkema

see here for Michael Sikkema’s introduction and biography

The Entanglement Issue
featuring new work by:

Sue Bracken
Andrew Brenza
Megan Burns

Juliet Cook
Amanda Earl

Robert Martin Evans
Nathan Hauke

Jessie Janeshek
E.J. McAdams

Meredith Quartermain
Claudia Coutu Radmore

$5 + postage / + $1 for Canadian orders; + $2 for US; + $6 outside of North America

Canadian/American/International rates (including shipping

Author biographies:

Sue Bracken lives in Toronto, in a house ruled by artists and animals. Her first collection of poetry When Centipedes Dream was published by Tightrope Books (2018). Other poems and prose have appeared in Hart House Review (forthcoming), WEIMAG, Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology, The New Quarterly, The Totally Unknown Writer’s Festival: Stories (Life Rattle Press) and elsewhere.

Andrew Brenza’s recent chapbooks include Poems in C (Viktlösheten Press), Bitter Almonds & Mown Grass (Shirt Pocket Press), and Waterlight (Simulacrum Press). He is also the author of four full-length collections of visual poetry, most recently Automatic Souls from Timglaset Editions and Alphabeticon & Other Poems from Redfoxpress.

Megan Burns is the publisher at Trembling Pillow Press, and is also a poet, performer, essayist, curator, rollerskater, trash talker, and healer.

Juliet Cook is brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and dark red explosions. She is drawn to poetry, abstract visual art, and other forms of expression. Her poetry has appeared in a peculiar multitude of literary publications. You can find out more at

Amanda Earl (she/her) is a feminist Canadian writer, visual poet, editor and publisher. She's the managing editor of and the fallen angel of AngelHousePress. Chapters from the Vispo Bible have been published as chapbooks and leaflets by publishers in Canada, Sweden and UK.  Excerpts from the Vispo Bible were included in two exhibits: and  Her talk, “The Vispo Bible: One Woman Recreates the Bible as Visual Poetry” was presented at the Kanada Koncrete Material Poetries in the Digital Age symposium at the  University of Ottawa in 2018, and can be read here: Amanda is grateful for funding received for the Vispo Bible from the Ontario Arts Council in 2018.For more vispo, visit Additional sites and social media:

Robert Martin Evans’ poetry has appeared in Vallum, Topograph, Oratorealis, and Where is the river: a poetry experiment, as well as one of the Wall Poems of Charlotte. In 2012, a selection of poems was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize. Robert is a reader at

Nathan Hauke is the author of Indian Summer Recycling (The Magnificent Field, 2019), Every Living One (Horse Less Press, 2015), In the Marble of Your Animal Eyes (Publication Studio, 2013), and four chapbooks. His poems have been anthologized in Hick Poetics (Lost Roads Press, 2015) and The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral (Ahsahta Press, 2012).

Jessie Janeshek's full-length collections are MADCAP (Stalking Horse Press, 2019), The Shaky Phase (Stalking Horse Press, 2017), and Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010). Her chapbooks include Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish (Grey Book Press, 2016), Rah-Rah Nostalgia (dancing girl press, 2016), Supernoir (Grey Book Press, 2017), Auto-Harlow (Shirt Pocket Press, 2018), Hardscape (Reality Beach, 2020) and Channel U (Grey Book Press, 2020). Read more at 

E.J. McAdams is a poet and artist, exploring language and mark-making in the urban environment using procedures and improvisation with found and natural materials. He has published five chapbooks: 4x4 from unarmed journal press, TRANSECTs from Sona Books, Out of Paradise, an e-chapbook from Delete Press, Close-range Divinities from Shirt Pocket Press, and most recently, Middle Voice from Dusie Kollectiv.

Meredith Quartermain’s fourth book of poetry, Lullabies in the Real World, just came out from NeWest Press. Her first collection, Vancouver Walking, won a BC Book Award for Poetry, and Nightmarker was a finalist for a Vancouver Book Award. Other books include Recipes from the Red Planet; I, Bartleby: short stories; and U Girl: a novel.

Montreal-born writer Claudia Coutu Radmore has lived, taught and created art in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, China and, as a CUSO volunteer, in Vanuatu. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Queen’s University. She edited, and wrote the introduction to Arctic Twilight: Leonard Budgell and the Changing North. Now residing west of Ottawa with husband Ted and rainbow lorikeet Desirée, she began editing and publishing selected poets with her catkin press in 2012. Accidentals won the bpNichol Chapbook Award in 2011. Her poem "the breast of sappiness" is included in The Best Canadian Poetry of 2019, and her latest lyric collection rabbit was published in the spring of 2020 with Aeolus House Press. Claudia has collections in Japanese forms as well as lyric, and is the President of Haiku Canada.


Michael Sikkema : issue #14 : Introduction


In 1960 in southern Georgia, a dog chased a smaller animal up a hole in a chestnut oak, became wedged, and died.  Due to dryness and the high tannin count of the tree, the dog’s corpse did not decompose, and was instead mummified, discovered only when loggers lopped off the uppermost 25 feet of the tree, decades later. Also, every single year, nitrogen makes its way from the Pacific ocean into Alaskan trees that are miles and miles inland via the help of birds, bears, and other fish-eating creatures. Even as you’re reading this, a shrew is biting some prey animal and injecting it with venom that will paralyze but not kill it. The shrew will then hoard this prey in an underground stash and return to it when necessary. This practice is known as “live hoarding.”  At the same time, biologists are increasingly tuning in to the Wood Wide Web and its fungal communication system, the underground connections between all the above ground plants. According to mycoligist Merlin Sheldrake, many scientists who study the symbiotic nature of life come to the conclusion that “there have never been individuals,” and “we are all lichens.” Take the work in this issue as proof of that coming from a range of angles.



TL:DR:  Listen carefully for your original voices in the mix and remix of these pieces. 




Michael Sikkema is the author of many chapbooks, and 6 books of poems, including Caw Caw Phony, forthcoming from Trembling Pillow Press in 2021. He is also the editor of Shirt Pocket Press, and helps run the Creative Youth Center in Grand Rapids, MI.


Thursday, October 22, 2020

issue thirteen: guest-edited by Karen Schindler


edited by Karen Schindler
see here for Karen’s introduction
the thirteenth issue features new work by:

Kathy Mac

Sarah Klassen
Tanis MacDonald

Lisa Guenther

Stephen Pender

Souvankham Thammavongsa

Mark Callanan

Degan Davis

Dorothy Field

Aurian Haller

Patricia Young

Ross Leckie

Sharon McCartney

Sue Sinclair

$5 + postage / + $1 for Canadian orders; + $2 for US; + $6 outside of North America

Canadian/American/International rates (including shipping

Contributor bios:

Mark Callanan co-edited The Breakwater Book of Contemporary Newfoundland Poetry (Breakwater Books, 2013) and co-founded the St. John's, Newfoundland-based literary journal Riddle Fence. Gift Horse (Véhicule Press, 2011) is his most recent poetry collection. A new collection is forthcoming from Biblioasis. He lives in St. John's with his wife and four children.

Degan Davis spent his childhood in Mattawa, Ontario, at the confluence of two rivers. He works as a Gestalt Therapist, both in a university setting and in private practice. Degan’s poetry and non-fiction have appeared in such places as The Globe and Mail, The Malahat Review, Riddle Fence, and The New Quarterly. He is currently working on a collection of essays about masculinity, femininity, and how to be a good man in this era. His poetry collection, What Kind of Man Are You, came out in 2018.

Dorothy Field is the author of three books of poetry, her most recent being The Blackbird Must Be (Sono Nis). She is also a visual artist working with etching and other print-based approaches. She lives in Victoria where she grows a plethora of fruits and vegetables in her urban backyard and writes too many snarky letters to the editor.

Lisa Guenther teaches philosophy at Queen’s University. Her poetry is published in The Fidddlehead, FireweedIce-Floe, and Urban Coyote. She is the author of stranger : pilgrim (Linnea Press, 2002).

Aurian Haller is a poet and singer-songwriter based in Quebec City. He mixes poetry and music, integrating spoken word into his band performances and soundscapes into his poetry readings. He completed an MFA at UBC, and has won the National Magazine Award for poetry as well as The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize. Haller has taught writing for The Quebec Writers’ Federation and The Canadian League of Poets, and has worked as an arts consultant and high school English teacher. Haller has recorded four albums with The Aurian Haller Band.

Sarah Klassen is a Winnipeg poet and fiction writer. Her most recent poetry collection is Monstrance (2012). Her new collection, The Tree of Life, will be published in fall 2020. She has received the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry, and the National Magazine Gold and Silver awards. Her first novel is The Wittenbergs (2013).

Ross Leckie is the author of the poetry books A Slow LightThe Authority of RosesGravity's Plumb Line, and the chapbook The Critique of Pure Reason. He is Associate Editor of The Fiddlehead and General Editor on the Icehouse Poetry board.

Kathy Mac loves dogs, co-runs the Odd Sundays Readings in Fredericton, published her third poetry book, Human Misunderstanding, in 2017, teaches at St. Thomas University, won one national and some regional awards, has brown eyes, used to have brown hair, hosts the “Read, Regale, Repeat” poetry videos on her Facebook page and sometimes updates her website,

Tanis MacDonald
is an essayist, poet, professor, reviewer, editor, and creative writing instructor. Her memoir via instruction, Out of Line: Daring to be an Artist Outside the Big City (Wolsak & Wynn, 2018) is a guide to starting out and playing the long game in the literary world. She is the author of four books of poetry, the latest of which is Mobile (Book*hug, 2019). Tanis is also a co-editor (with Ariel Gordon and Rosanna Deerchild) of the multi-genre anthology GUSH: menstrual manifestos for our times (Frontenac House), and her book The Daughter’s Way (WLUP, 2012) was a finalist for the Gabrielle Roy Prize. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Tessera, Prairie Fire, Studies in Canadian Literature, Hamilton Arts and Letters, The New Quarterly, and in the anthologies Far and Wide: Essays from Across Canada (Pearson), Against Death (Anvil), and Far Villages (Black Lawrence Press).

Sharon McCartney is the author of six books of poetry. A seventh, Villa Negativa, was shortlisted for the 2019 Christopher Smart Prize (Eyewear Publishing). Villa Negativa is forthcoming from Biblioasis in Fall 2020. Sharon has an MFA from the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop and an LL.B. from the University of Victoria. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

Stephen Pender is a minor artist of the late twentieth century.

Sue Sinclair is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Heaven’s Thieves, which won the Pat Lowther Award.  She teaches creative writing in Fredericton at UNB, on Wolastoqiyik territory, where she is also editor of The Fiddlehead.

Souvankham Thammavongsa is the author of four poetry books. Her first story collection is How to Pronounce Knife (M&S, 2020). Her stories have won an O. Henry Award and appeared in Harper'sThe Paris ReviewThe Atlantic, and other places.

Patricia Young’s most recent book of poetry, Amateurs at Love, was published with Goose Lane Editions. She lives in Victoria, BC. 


Karen Schindler : issue #13 : INTRODUCTION




In May of 2002, The London Free Press ran an article featuring London-based publisher Brick Books and two of their recently published local poets. General Manager Kitty Lewis was quoted: “New writers are encouraged to build a portfolio of poems in literary magazines such as The Fiddlehead … before trying Brick.” My first response was: London is home to a poetry publisher? Followed by: what, exactly, is a literary magazine? I’d never seen one. I considered myself bookish. My well-thumbed copy of Fifteen Canadian Poets Plus 5, which I pinched at the end of Gr. 13, had made the cut each time I’d moved. But my post-high-school years had seen me become more and more firmly entrenched in the world of science, and now I was being confronted by the possibility that maybe I didn’t quite have the handle on Canadian literature that I thought I did. I subscribed to The Fiddlehead the next day.

The first issue to arrive was No. 211, Spring 2002. I was both spellbound and agitated by what I found inside. It was like opening the door to a parallel world that had been moving along without me. This was not the poetry of Margaret Atwood, Leonard Cohen, and P.K. Page. Something different was going on here. Why had no one told me?  

I marvelled at the poems published in that issue. I tried to parse the language, to figure out why it all felt so profoundly immediate and urgent. I read and reread, occupying those poems like I was setting up camp. Here are three openings that I can still recite by heart:

From Karen Solie’s “Science and the Single Girl”: “Initially, an unbecoming enthusiasm / for dissection. What’s dead / is dead and some unborn / will stay that way. All things find purpose / in the end, even the done-for / done in.”

From Souvankham Thammavongsa’s “Portrait of a Palm Closing”: “Because glass / has not yet learned how to bend / and because even now / glass will not bend / light / must come through split.”

From Tanis MacDonald’s “The Siren’s Promise”: “No matter where you sail, / I will find you by echolocation, / sound waves against still bodies. / I will swim the ocean of your bed, / my eyes rimmed red with salt. / I’m that kind of girl.”

The Spring 2002 Fiddlehead issue marked a beginning for me. I’d found something I didn’t know I was looking for: an arterial language, a mother tongue. It set me on a course that I’m still on, almost two decades later, where contemporary poetry continues to feed both my work and off-work hours.

So when rob mclennan invited me to edit an issue of GUEST journal, I decided to make it a retrospective honouring of Fiddlehead Issue No. 211. I wanted to thank some of those poets whose words had so startled me at that time, and I wanted to acknowledge The Fiddlehead—a journal currently celebrating its 75th year—for being a central part of my poetry education over the years.

This GUEST issue features new poems by ten of the poets published in Fiddlehead No. 211: Mark Callanan, Degan Davis, Dorothy Field, Lisa Guenther, Aurian Haller, Sarah Klassen, Kathy Mac, Tanis MacDonald, Stephen Pender, and Souvankham Thammavongsa.

Some of the works submitted seem to speak directly to their eighteen-year-ago counterparts. Both Mark Callanan’s “Road Trip” and Aurian Haller’s “Notes on Absence” read like intimate updates of their 2002 poems. Dorothy Field’s language has migrated from desert speak to forest speak but with the same sensitivity. There’s Lisa Guenther’s ongoing investigation of beautiful spaces, and Kathy Mac’s continued focus on the body, be it a broken nose or a tongue that can’t be fixed.

In these new poems, you’ll also feel the cacophony of Stephen Pender’s unwinding fugue, Sarah Klassen’s unbloodied life, Tanis MacDonald’s hot spine of a panic attack, Souvankham Thammavongsa’s heavy-hearted beet, and Degan Davis’ stat-icky hum of need.

For good measure, there are a few extras in this issue: a prose poem by Patricia Young (fiction contributor to the 2002 issue); new work by Ross Leckie and Sharon McCartney (Fiddlehead Editor and Poetry Editor, respectively, in 2002); and to tie things to present day, a poem from current Fiddlehead Editor Sue Sinclair.

I so appreciated the contributors’ positive responses to my invitations. More than a couple answered right away to let me know they could relate to my experience. Tanis MacDonald wrote, “I vividly remember reading certain issues of Prairie Fire repeatedly back when I just started publishing. That physical journal seemed so important and so unlike anything I could have imagined.” I send a heartfelt thanks to each of these fourteen poets for being part of this time-machine project—for revisiting, with me, a moment when I encountered something “unlike anything I could have imagined.” And I extend thanks, as well, to publisher rob mclennan, not only for the opportunity to edit an issue of GUEST journal, but for the innumerable ways he invents to support the Canadian poetry community.




Karen Schindler is the publisher of Baseline Press, a micro-press now in its tenth year of publishing Canadian poets in hand-sewn poetry chapbooks. Baseline Press will shortly be embarking on a new partnership with the recently restructured Insomniac Press, to become its poetry chapbook imprint. In the spring of 2017, Karen stepped down as a managing director of the Poetry London Reading Series after serving over ten years. Her independent research projects include writings on Canada’s female poets of the early 1900’s, and her poetry and book reviews have appeared in numerous journals including The Malahat Review, Vallum, Canthius, and The Fiddlehead. Prior to her literary endeavours, she worked as a chemical engineer, a systems analyst, and a high-school mathematics teacher.


Monday, August 31, 2020

issue twelve: guest-edited by Jim Johnstone


edited by Jim Johnstone
the twelfth issue features new work by:

M. Travis Lane
Tess Liem
Matthew Zapruder
bill bissett
Tracy Wai de Boer
Téa Mutonji
Roxanna Bennett
Diane Seuss
Eduardo C. Corral
Triny Finlay
Douglas Walbourne-Gough
Sandra Simonds
Conor Mc Donnell

$5 + postage / + $1 for Canadian orders; + $2 for US; + $6 outside of North America

Canadian/American/International rates (including shipping

Contributor notes:

Roxanna Bennett is a disabled poet gratefully living on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nations covered by the Upper Canada Treaties (Whitby, Ontario). She is the author of Unmeaningable, (Gordon Hill Press, 2019), the bp Nichol Chapbook Award-nominated unseen garden (knife | fork | book, 2018), and The Uncertainty Principle (Tightrope Books, 2014).  

bill bissett is originalee from lunaria  left  in th first childrns shuttul  th oxygen had gone   it was sew peesful ther whn yu cud breeth  i hope peopul can undrstand  if we dstroy th oxygen heer  we dont have th opsyun uv sumwher els 2 go at ths time aneeway  have livd in halifax vancouvr london on n now toronto  show at th secret handshake  latest book  b r e t h / th treez uv lunaria  selektid rare n nu pomes 1957-2019 talonbooks n latest cd  th ride  w pete dako  at reedings n in sum stores n on bandcamp

Eduardo C. Corral is the author of Guillotine, published by Graywolf Press. He's the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Hodder Fellowship and the National Holmes Poetry Prize, both from Princeton University. He teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing at North Carolina State University. 

Triny Finlay is a queer writer whose most recent poetry collection, You don’t want what I’ve got (Junction Books), details her experiences living with debilitating mental illnesses, their treatments, and stigma. She is also the author of Splitting Off (Nightwood), Histories Haunt Us (Nightwood), and the chapbook Phobic (Gaspereau). Her writing has appeared in anthologies and journals such as Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets, Arc Poetry Magazine, Contemporary Verse 2, The Fiddlehead, The London Reader, The Malahat Review, and Plenitude. She lives in Fredericton, where she teaches English and Creative Writing at UNB. You can find her at, @TrinyFinlay, and @cast_iron_pan.

Kirby’s chapbooks include Cock & Soul, Bob’s Boy, The World is Fucked and Sometimes Beautiful, She’s Having A Doris Day (K|F|B, 2017) and the upcoming, What Do You Want To Be Called? (Anstruther Press, 2020). Their full-length debut, This Is Where I Get Off is now in its second printing (Permanent Sleep Press, 2019) and is currently being adapted for the stage. Kirby is the owner and publisher of knife | fork | book.

Tess Liem’s writing has appeared in the Boston Review, Room Magazine, PRISM, Best Canadian Poetry 2018 and 2019 and elsewhere. Her debut collection Obits. was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award and won the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry in 2019. She lives in Montreal, Tiotia:ke—unceded Haudenosaunee and Mohawk territories.

M. Travis Lane has lived in Fredericton New Brunswick since 1960, and has published 19 books of poetry. Her poem “Lameque” is from Keeping Count (Gordon Hill Press, 2020).

Conor Mc Donnell is a physician and poet. He has published two chapbooks in Canada, The Book of Retaliations (Anstruther Press), and, Safe Spaces (Frog Hollow Press). He received Honourable Mention for The Fiddlehead’s 2018 Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, was shortlisted for the RawArtReview 2019 Charles Bukowski Prize, and was runner-up in the Vallum 2019 Contemporary poetry prize. His work has featured in The Fiddlehead, Vallum, Grain, Carousel, JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) and many others. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two dogs and is currently writing/rewriting/completing/shredding his first full poetry manuscript.

Born in Congo-Kinshasa, Téa Mutonji is a poet and fiction writer. Her debut collection, Shut Up You’re Pretty, is the first title from Vivek Shraya’s imprint, VS. Books. It was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and won the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award and the Trillium Book Award. Mutonji lives and writes in Toronto.

Diane Seuss’s most recent collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, (Graywolf Press 2018) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Four-Legged Girl (Graywolf Press 2015) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. frank: sonnets is forthcoming from Graywolf in 2021. She is a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow. Seuss was raised by a single mother in rural Michigan, which she continues to call home.

Sandra Simonds is an award-winning author of seven books of poetry: Atopia (Wesleyan University Press, 2019), Orlando, (Wave Books, forthcoming in 2018), Further Problems with Pleasure, winner of the 2015 Akron Poetry Prize from the University of Akron Press, Steal It Back (Saturnalia Books, 2015), The Sonnets (Bloof Books, 2014), Mother Was a Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2012), and Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2009). Her poems have been published in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Best American Poetry 2015 and 2014 and have appeared in many literary journals, including Poetry, and the American Poetry Review.

Tracy Wai de Boer is a writer from Calgary currently living in Toronto. She is mixed race and explores mixed identity through much of her writing. Her aim is to experience life in all its fullness and express this through writing and making. Her first chapbook, maybe, basically, is forthcoming from Anstruther Press. 

Douglas Walbourne-Gough is a poet and mixed/adopted Mi'kmaw from Corner Brook, Newfoundland. His first collection, Crow Gulch, was published with Goose Lane's Icehouse poetry imprint (Sept 2019). He holds an MFA in Creative Writing (UBC Okanagan) and is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing (UNB Fredericton). 

Matthew Zapruder is the author most recently of Father’s Day, and Why Poetry. He is editor at large at Wave Books, and teaches in the MFA in creative writing at Saint Mary’s College of California. 

issue fourteen : The Entanglement Issue : guest-edited by Michael Sikkema

NOW AVAILABLE: G U E S T #14 edited by Michael Sikkema see here for Michael Sikkema’s introduction and biography The Entanglement Is...