Thursday, June 3, 2021

issue seventeen : guest-edited by Melanie Dennis Unrau

edited by Melanie Dennis Unrau

typeset in Garamond by C. McNair, editor’s devil (retired)

design by r. mclennan

see here for Melanie Dennis Unrau’s introduction and biography

published simultaneously with a folio supplement, energy stories, also edited by Melanie Dennis Unrau, at periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics

with an online launch today at 2:30pmCDT



featuring new work by:

Yvonne Blomer
Kiran Malik-Khan
Peter Christensen

K.B. Thors
Nicholas Molbert

Rina Garcia Chua
Tawahum Bige

Julia Spicher Kasdorf
David Martin

Ross Belot
Bola Opaleke

Adam Dickinson
Lindsay Bird

Kelly Shepherd
Maya Weeks

Lisa Mulrooney
Rita Wong

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

Canadian/American/International rates (including shipping

Author biographies:

Yvonne Blomer is an award-winning poet, and author of the critically acclaimed travel memoir Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur. Her collection In Ruins will be published with Caitlin Press in 2022. Yvonne’s most recent books of poetry include As if a Raven and the anthologies Refugium: Poems for the Pacific and Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds, which she edited for Caitlin Press. She is the past Poet Laureate of Victoria, B.C. and lives, works and raises her family on the traditional territories of the WSÁNEĆ (Saanich), Lkwungen (Songhees), Wyomilth (Esquimalt) peoples of the Coast Salish Nation.

Kiran Malik-Khan is the Communications Manager for the Fort McMurray Public School Division, and a national award-winning communications professional. She is a freelance journalist, a social media consultant, and a poet. She loves sharing stories about unique people, events, and organizations.

Kiran is the co-founder and volunteer public relations director for NorthWord magazine, Fort McMurray's first and only literary magazine. She is also the President/Co-founder of World Hijab Day Fort McMurray, a group that has brought the conversation about the Hijab, the Islamic headscarf, front and centre in the community. A proud Pakistani-Canadian who grew up in New Jersey, she is a fierce advocate of Fort McMurray, multiculturalism, women's rights, and equality/equity for all. Follow her on Twitter @KiranMK0822.

Peter Christensen has published five books of poetry—Hailstorm, Rig Talk, To Die Ascending, and Oona River Poems—as well as chapbooks and a bestseller book of short stories, Wilderness Tales. He edited the poetry magazine Canada Goose and the poetry anthologies Ride Off Any Horizon I and II. He organized, hosted, and produced Headwaters International Mountain Writers Conference I and II. Peter’s writing has been published in North American and European journals, and he has given many readings of his work. He worked with new music composer Robert Rosen to write and produce Canyon Shadows, an opera and butoh dance performance in a natural setting. Peter's librettos have been performed in international concert halls, most recently Carnegie Hall, New York. Peter has worked as a writer for industry, and as a horseman, guide, and ranger. He was Writer in Residence at Banff Centre, Okanagan University College, and Wallace Stegner House. A new poetry collection, Birds of Prey, has just been completed.

K.B. Thors is the author of Vulgar Mechanics (Coach House Books), the Icelandic-English translator of Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir’s Stormwarning (Phoneme), nominated for the 2019 PEN Literary Award for Poetry in Translation and winner of the Leif and Inger Sjöberg Prize, and the Spanish-English translator of Soledad Marambio’s Chintungo: The Story of Someone Else (Ugly Duckling Presse). Born and raised on Treaty 6 & 7 land in what’s also known as Alberta, her/their next projects include a collection of poems about fracking, water, and intergenerational mental health, and a tv series about gender diversity on the frontier.

Originally from Louisiana's Gulf Coast, Nicholas Molbert now lives and writes in Cincinnati, Ohio. His chapbook, Goodness Gracious, won Foundlings Press's 2018 Wallace Award, and other published poetry and prose can be found at “The Prophet of Spindletop Gives Thanks after the Lucas Gusher Strikes Oil” is part of a series of poems which takes Pattillo Higgins as their center. A self-taught geologist, Higgins was convinced crude could be found on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and didn't stop until he found it in southeastern Texas. More generally, the series explores the roles of religiosity, masculinity, and entitled desire in the 20th-century quest for crude oil in the United States.

Rina Garcia Chua is currently a PhD Candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies in the University of British Columbia Okanagan. She is the editor of Sustaining the Archipelago: An Anthology of Philippine Ecopoetry (2018), and is working on an edited collection, Empire and Environment: Confronting Ecological Ruination in the Transpacific, with Heidi Hong, Jeffrey Santa Ana, and Xiaojing Zhou, forthcoming with the University of Michigan Press in 2022. She is also the Diversity Co-Officer for the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE), and Poetry Editor of The Goose: A Journal of Arts, Environment, and Culture in Canada.

Tawahum Bige is a Łutselkʼe Dene, Plains Cree poet and spoken word artist from unceded Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-waututh Territory (Vancouver). Their Scorpio-moon-ass poems expose growth, resistance & persistence as a hopeless Two Spirit Nonbinary sadboy on occupied Turtle Island. In typical Aries-sun fashion, Tawahum completed the first-ever Indigenous Spoken Word residency at the Banff Centre in 2018 while completing their BA in Creative Writing from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2019.

He's performed at Talking Stick Festival, Verses Festival of Spoken Word, Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, and at over 50 different venues from Victoria to Toronto with his mixture of poetry & hip-hop. Past the stage and onto the page, Tawahum has been published in over a dozen different lit journals & magazines including Red Rising Magazine, Prairie Fire, CV2, Arc Poetry Magazine and, most recently, the anthology Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight! A prolific word-artist, Tawahum has three self-published chapbooks with poetry collections on the way, including a collection-in-progress funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Beyond the page, Tawahum has battled the (in)justice system of BC and was eventually incarcerated for a 28-day sentence after a 2-year battle for his land protection work against Kinder Morgan/Trans Mountain’s pipeline expansion. Of course, this doesn’t stop him from grabbing a boom mic to amplify his words of resistance & resurgence at front-line rallies, street performances and more. Follow Tawahum on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook: @Tawahum.

With Steven Rubin, Julia Spicher Kasdorf is the author of Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields. Prior, she published three books in the Pitt Poetry Series, most recently Poetry in America. She also published an essay collection, The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life, and the biography Fixing Tradition: Joseph W. Yoder, Amish American. A Liberal Arts Professor of English, she teaches creative writing at the Penn State and is currently working on documentary poems about farm crisis and resiliency within 30 miles of her home.

David Martin works as a literacy instructor in Calgary and as an organizer for the Single Onion Poetry Series. His first collection, Tar Swan (NeWest Press, 2018), was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and the City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Book Prize. David’s work has been awarded the CBC Poetry Prize, shortlisted for the Vallum Award for Poetry and PRISM international’s poetry contest, and has appeared in numerous journals across Canada.

Ross Belot is a poet, photographer, documentary filmmaker, and energy and climate change columnist. He previously worked for a major Canadian petroleum company for decades before retiring in 2014 to obtain an MFA in eco-poetics from Saint Mary’s College of California. Ross’s work was a finalist for the CBC Poetry prize in 2016 and longlisted in 2018. His latest poetry collection is Moving to Climate Change Hours from Wolsak and Wynn. He lives sometimes in Hamilton, Ontario, where he has lately been making videos out of his poems.

Bola Opaleke is the author of Skeleton of a Ruined Song, winner of the 2020 Thomas Morton Prize in Poetry. His poetry has appeared in Frontier Poetry, Rattle, CBC Books, The Nottingham Review, The Puritan, Literary Review of Canada, Sierra Nevada Review, Canadian Literature, and many more. He is currently Arts Community Director with Winnipeg Arts Council Board of Directors.

Adam Dickinson is the author of four books of poetry. His latest book, Anatomic (Coach House Books), which won the Alanna Bondar Memorial Book Prize from the Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada, involves the results of chemical and microbial testing on his body. His work has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, and the Raymond Souster Award. He was also a finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize and the K.M. Hunter Artist Award in Literature. He teaches Creative Writing at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Lindsay Bird is a poet, journalist and documentarian in Corner Brook, NL. Her first collection, Boom Time (Gaspereau Press, 2019) was long listed for the Winterset Award, the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and the Raymond Souster Award. Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including The Fiddlehead, Event, The Newfoundland Quarterly, CV2, and Geist.

Kelly Shepherd has done a number of stints in Fort McMurray and other northern locations: construction, pipelines, environmental cleanup, and work on what is now the Long Lake site. The latter experience inspired the poetry chapbook Fort McMurray Tricksters (The Alfred Gustav Press, 2014). Kelly's second full-length poetry collection, Insomnia Bird, won the 2019 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize. Kelly has written seven chapbooks in all, and he is a poetry editor for the environmental philosophy journal The Trumpeter. Originally from Smithers, British Columbia, Kelly currently lives and teaches in Edmonton.

Maya Weeks is a settler artist, writer, and geographer who grew up in coastal California and works on oceans, waste, climate, and gender. She is currently working on a Ph.D. in Geography examining marine debris as capital accumulation at the University of California in Davis.

Lisa Mulrooney is the first Poet Laureate for the Town of Stony Plain (2019-2021). She is also the President and co-founder of Parkland Poets' Society. Her work has been featured in The Maynard, shortlisted for The Malahat Review's Open Season Award for Poetry, and longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize (2019). She has a master's degree in Education from the University of Alberta and is currently working on an MA in Creative Writing at Teesside University (UK). Lisa is currently seeking a publisher for her full-length poetry manuscript, “We, the Cross-Shift,” which gives voice to the spouses and partners of workers in Canada’s petroleum industry.

Rita Wong lives and works on unceded Coast Salish territories, also known as Vancouver. Dedicated to questions of water justice, decolonization, and ecology, she is the author of monkeypuzzle (Press Gang, 1998), forage (Nightwood Editions, 2007), sybil unrest (Line Books, 2008, with Larissa Lai), undercurrent (Nightwood Editions, 2015), and perpetual (Nightwood Editions, 2015, with Cindy Mochizuki), as well as the co-editor of downstream: reimagining water (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016, with Dorothy Christian). Beholden (Talonbooks, 2019), co-written with Fred Wah, was short-listed for the 2019 BC Book Prize and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. For more information on the 1308 Trees project, against the removal of trees for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Burnaby, BC, visit

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