A few things I feel like y’all should know about:
1) Plenitude Magazine, a Victoria-based queer literary magazine, is accepting submissions for its third issue until July 5th! In their own words, here’s what they’re looking for:
Plenitude Magazine aims to promote the growth and development of LGBTTQI literature through a biannual electronic (e-reader and tablet) publication of literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic narrative and short film by both emerging and established LGBTTQI writers. We define queer literature and arts as works created by LGBTTQI people, rather than works which feature queer content alone. That said, we recognise that Plenitude readers are hungry for exceptional work that reflects queer histories, cultures, experiences, and sensibilities. We consider every submission with critical analyses, sometimes turning to an advisory editorial board of writers, academics, and community advocates. What We PublishPlenitude aims to complicate expressions of queerness through the publication of diverse, sophisticated literary writing, graphic narrative and short film, from the very subtle to the brash and unrelenting.
Consider sending the lovely folks at Plenitude a submission. What have you got to lose? Check out my glowing review of the first issue here. I am still reading the second issue, even though it came out ages ago; this is entirely because I don’t have an e-reader and I detest reading things on the computer. I’m old-fashioned like that. But stay tuned for a review soon. I am especially enamoured with some erotic prose poems by Alex Leslie that have strategically deleted words. Oh, the queer possibilities
2) Looking to hear about lesbian books in a new format? Danika, aka the head lesbrarian over at the Lesbrary, has started a booktube channel featuring, you guessed it, lesbian books. She recently posted a video recommending lesbian summer and beach reads, including some of my favourites: The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Silhouette of a Sparrow, and a few things I’ve never thought of reading, like manga. Since she’s based in Canada, I’m guessing some Canadian content is bound to come up. Check it out!
3) Keep an eye out for some new books by queer Canadian women coming to a bookstore/library near you, especially Canary by Nancy Jo Cullen. Canary is Cullen’s debut collection of short fiction, which according to Shawn Syms’s review on Quill & Quire, is “delightfully chock full of queers.” Syms also tells us that “Cullen writes with tragicomic wisdom about the stuff of life – coming of age, sexuality, fertility, death – creating down-to-earth characters via straightforward and unadorned prose.” Also, the first line of the collection is “Gas, grass, or ass: no one rides for free.” Awesome. You might recognize Cullen’s name since she has previously published three collections of poetry; she was also a contributor to Plenitude’s first issue.
4) The other book you should be on the lookout for is Surge Narrows by Emilia Nielsen. Coincidentally, poet Emilia Nielsen has also been published in Plenitude, and has recently released this debut poetry collection. Listen to this recommendation from Anne Simpson: “Surge Narrows is gorgeously sensual and sharply precise—if we could taste it, this book would be salmonberry. It would be salt. To read these poems is to stand under a waterfall, letting the words rush like cold, clean water over the skin. A powerful debut.” Here’s the blurb from the publisher, Leaf Press (who generously sent me a review copy!):
Surge Narrows opens with “Surge,” a fragmented narrative of coming of age in the remote coastal community of Surge Narrows, and closes with the series “Vernacular Hearts,” which explores a queer cityscape. Between these frames, Surge Narrows engages various emotional and physical terrains,
and this disjuncture is perhaps best exemplified by the anti-lyrics of “Disquiet” and “Sensorial.” “Pass Creek” explores wilderness solitude and the geography of place at a northern Alberta fire tower site. In “Indifferent Season” the lyric poem aspires to not just a distillation of language, but close
observation and pitch perfect diction.
Nielsen and Cullen’s books are next on my reading list!