Exploring our imaginations: After Alice

By contributor Chantelle Spicer I recently designated some time to read a novel before the pressures of midterms, research, and paper writing took all of the joy out of reading. I wanted it to be something I had not read before and it needed to be worth it. So as not to disappoint myself, I … Continued

Book Review: Goddessmode

By contributor Philip Gordon When I played role-playing video games as a kid, the characters I would make were all the same—game-appropriate, slightly better-looking versions of me. Video games were a power fantasy in a normal life of feeling ineffectual and useless, and watching my avatar complete grand quests I could never dream of navigating … Continued

The Thing About Dying Book Review

By contributor Spenser Smith Mildred Tremblay’s The Thing About Dying also has a thing or two to say about living; for every haunting line that compares cats to heartless murderers, there is another line that reflects on the grace found in the fragility of beat­ing hearts. The book contains Tremblay’s lifetime worth of experience, molded … Continued

Book Review: The Martian

Andy Weir’s book The Martian encapsulates the wondrous  question of “what if” in character, plot, and the narrative story, creating a piece where the reader excitedly wonders if our main character will die or not. Weir’s own knowledge of space exploration and technological development gives tangible evidence to these questions, helping the readers immerse themselves … Continued

Teaching Canadian Literature Arts & Humanities Colloquium Talk

By contributor John Hill “We live in an age when the assumption that fiction is essential in the classroom cannot be taken for granted,” says Joy Gugeler. If we are to maintain a vigorous Canadian Literature, she suggests “the task of revolutionizing Canadian teachers and students seems essential.” She will address this topic in her … Continued

UFO Day and Islands Short Fiction Contest

Sometimes projects get started but never seem to get finished. These events encourage people to complete and submit their work From textiles and art projects to creative writing, Islanders have opportunities this spring to practice and showcase their work. The Nanaimo Arts Council is hosting an Unfinished Object (UFO) Day, as well as co-sponsoring the Islands Short … Continued

Upcoming Portal reading at Zocalo Café

By contributor Jennifer Cox Portal fans north of Nanaimo won’t have to travel far to attend a sneak preview of the latest edition, which is scheduled for publication in April 2015. Portal has partnered with the Laughing Oyster Bookstore to host a literary reading for the magazine’s Comox Valley fans. The event will take place … Continued

Book Review: What I Want to Tell Goes Like This: stories

By contributor Lorin Medley “The dead aren’t so different from us,” claims a writer in the well-placed, award-winning final story of this quirky and superbly crafted first collection from Vancouver Island writer Matt Rader. It’s a telling comment given that “All This Was a Long Time Ago” features a writer in conversation with James Joyce in … Continued

Book review: Psychos

By contributor Kaleigh Studer Babe Walker is on a mission to find zen, or at least a version of zen that fits her definition. The only problem is that she is a narcissistic socialite with too much free time on her hands. And she complains about everything. Not very zen. Psychos is New York Times bestselling … Continued

Book Review: Artificial Cherry

By contributor Philip Gordon What is the purpose of a poem? Poetry, something so often tied to emotion, can be a vessel to make us feel and think—to pause, laugh, or simply consider a part of the world in a new or unorthodox way. In Billeh Nickerson’s Artificial Cherry, the poem is a tool to … Continued

Book Review: Air Carnation

By Contributor Philip Gordon Air Carnation, Guadlupe Muro’s debut novel, is a trans-genre work that blurs the lines between creative mediums of all types in its exploration of individuality, love, and what it means to be a creative person. Beginning with diary-entry style non-fiction, and travelling on through song-like verse, allegorical and autobiographical fiction, and … Continued

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