AV 143.2

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Terrence Abrahams Isobel R. S. Carnegie Karen Grosman Carol Mikoda Elizabeth Ann Francis Kaylee Lockett Emily Hayes Eunice Ryu Lucia Faria Cleopatria Peterson Antonia Facciponte Penn Kemp Gale Acuff Josie Eccleston Hadiyyah Kuma Ghislan mercedes kileen Elana Wolff Clara Lynas J. Wong Meena Chopra Yasmin Emery

Acta Victoriana Winter 2019

Morgan Sears-Williams

Terrence Abrahams

5, 8

Morgan Sears-Williams

6, 7

Isobel R. S. Carnegie


Karen Grosman


Carol Mikoda


Elizabeth Ann Francis

13, 34

Kaylee Lockett


Emily Hayes


Eunice Ryu


Lucia Faria


Cleopatria Peterson


Antonia Facciponte


Penn Kemp


Gale Acuff


Josie Eccleston


Hadiyyah Kuma




mercedes kileen


Elana Wolff


Clara Lynas

33, 35

J. Wong


Meena Chopra


Yasmin Emery


Editors-in-Chief Maia Kachan Sanna Wani Design Editor Lina Wu Editorial Board Rachel Bannerman Marco Istasy Vivian Li Quinn Lui Marina Nicholson Harrison Wade Fall 2018 Acta Victoriana CXLIII II Acta Victoriana 150 Charles St W, rm. 152 Toronto, Ontario M5S 1K9 Acta Victoriana, est. 1878, is the literary journal of Victoria College in the University of Toronto. It is produced and published on the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishnaabe and the Wendat, as well as other Nations that have been subject to historical erasure. As members of the literary community on campus, we recognize the need to be part of the collective conversation required for the ongoing process of decolonization and reconciliation.

Letters from the Editors What feels particularly significant in the pieces in AV 143.2 are the diverse, fragile ways that the authors explore intimacy and connection. In this issue you’ll find harsh corners and tangible closeness in Terrence Abraham’s “Goat Song”, “into the night a sharp / edge an edging brought / us both close” and Isobel Carnegie’s overarching commentary on future and death in “Hushed.”, “I wish we could / have buried her in the sky”. Lockett writes in “Sense of Magic” that “These are my bones. / When I sleep they are / a pile on my bed.”, while J. Wong explores home and place in “she drains softly” as for “bathroom baptisms / around the table we cry”. In this issue you will find work that speaks to experience moving through the world in both soft and powerful ways. We close our journal with Yasmin Emery’s profound reflection in “The Essay Question” that “we could all / be dead tomorrow, and none of them / would feel a thing.”. We are thankful for the talented contributors who shared their work with us, and hope you are captured by the tenuous, beautiful moments they craft. Maia Kachan Something new and beautiful emerges when you put art next to art. In choosing the art for this issue, written or visual, our editorial board was incredibly considerate of how pieces interact not only with us but with each other. How Morgan’s photography sits between Terry’s poems— how Ann’s art stares into Clara’s confession— how the spark ending “Sense of Magic” leads into the singing darkness. The collective intention between the board and the artists, in loving and creating respectively all the pieces of AV143.2, is a softness that does not shy away from flesh. It does not bow to fear or gore, or any other ferocities, but it unravels those things in language that is as tender as it is sharp. I am so grateful to have been able to to work with our board to find these gems—both the artists and their work—and to have been able to give them a home together in this journal. Sanna Wani


mountain-like Terrence Abrahams


I too grow an inch per year and speak to the wind

I say dig a valley

I say

or the caresses of a wolf

starved into vegetarianism

I say

let me be in love

give me caves and carcasses

at the open maw of understanding

that which is not easily understood on stones and lichen

that which lives

and licks its own wounds

and does not dream of anything

but its own body

at the mercy

of the tenderness

in being

a being


Recalling by Morgan Sears-Williams


Abandoning by Morgan Sears-Williams


goat song Terrence Abrahams

you say sacrifice I say we had that last week at the shop yes that shop sauce was excellent we hardly stopped to talk it was a good tail on a bad day your breath thick with becoming I had to close my eyes the evening soft with your stone-gaze opening into the night a sharp edge an edging brought us both close the hand between legs the body


open to possibility it was midnight the hour of left overs we were ravenous and ate through the week in only moments the harsh singing of utensils kitchen chairs microwave speak and the breaths between mouthfuls oh we hardly stopped to talk language forming music the song was sweet as thigh meat and as supple as marble looking more flesh than flesh on Prometheus flesh


Hushed. Isobel R. S. Carnegie

right into my window. Little and with strokes of yellow, as if she had passed through a haze of sunshine. I watched as she struggled and heaved, clouds rolling over into one another. Her speckled yellow tulip breast shuddered, and I did too: breath rose in crisp seven am air, and it was quiet as her little claws grasped at nothing. The garden was hushed and I wondered what she would say if she could speak, or if I could listen. My mother held her in gloved hands as she slowly stopped moving, and lay still under a blanket of our breath. In hope she was not really gone, despite the stiffness to her hollow wings, we lay her out on a terracotta tile, pretty as a painting. Watching, she never moved: and so we buried her under the thriving of our two birch trees, and put a rock on top of a deep grave so she would stay put, and we would know where she was. I wish we could have buried her in the sky. I wish I could have seen her fly,


Nymphalidae by Karen Grosman


messages Carol Mikoda

sometimes i hear things bells voices talk to me branches scrape the house the wind moves everything wild animals eat the bird seed smatterings of steps in the attic space breathe in and hold to hear better i want voices to tell me i don’t want to wonder anymore when the cat’s eyes widen


Woodland Mushroom by Elizabeth Ann Francis


Sense of Magic Kaylee Lockett

A Taurus full moon cocoons in my fourth house of home and nurturing. Apparently, I’m inclined to add. Two ceramic bowls an ashtray from Jibayl an antique radio and a broken cockle shell These are my bones. When I sleep they are a pile on my bed. Like an instrument their particles resonate with each other, murmuring a tune as foolish as waking. In the morning we distribute to our usual realms, knocking about gently as balloons, which every so often, generate a spark.


A Spark in the Darkness Emily Hayes

Once, long ago in the darkness, there was a spark. A spark that sputtered and hummed and pulsed with a soft glow that could not cut through the shadows. Everything was made of the darkness back then, of dust and shadows and little else, floating amorphously in the endless expanse. The spark knew nothing but the darkness and her own light, and the quiet clicks and wails of the shadows, echoing out across the emptiness. The spark longed to know what lay beyond the sphere of shadows that encircled her. Sometimes she would widen her eyes, attempting to see what lay beyond her tiny ball of illumination. She would strain to burn brighter, to expand her world outwards, but she was only ever met with a wall of darkness. It was a moving darkness, a writhing, dancing darkness that prompted the spark to try once more, to keep trying so she could just find out what she was missing, what was beyond her own sphere, beyond herself, beyond the curtain of nothingness. But no matter what she did, the shadows never lifted, and the spark would collapse in on herself, gasping, her light wavering. She wasn’t sure why she kept trying. Sometimes the spark would hum mournfully to fill her time. The melodies would mingle with the shadows’ songs, and the wails would become longer, the clicks faster and the spark could almost pretend that they were communicating, though she couldn’t understand what they were saying. The spark was humming quietly to herself when she finally saw something beyond the darkness. Another light. At first she was so startled that she almost burned out altogether. She watched with rapt wonder as the light became brighter and brighter until the shadows melted away and she was almost blinded by the glow of something much bigger than her, something with a long white shaft and a far-too-bright flame flickering on top. “Don’t stop singing for me,” the thing chided. “Sing, sing. You’re very good. But maybe you should use words this time.” The spark had never used words before, had never heard anyone use them, but somehow she found them ready on her tongue when she tried to speak. “Who are you?” she asked in a tinkling chirp that startled her a little. It made 15

her giggle, which made her feel a little embarrassed. The thing huffed. “I am a candle,” the candle declared. “And you are still a spark, I see.” “I have always been a spark.” The words were still a little clumsy, and they left a funny feeling in her dry mouth. “I was a spark once, but I no longer am,” the candle proclaimed proudly. “I am a candle.” “What is a candle?” the spark wondered aloud. “Why, it is what I am,” replied the candle. “It is what I decided to become.” And that was all he would say on the matter. As he spoke, the spark noticed that the white shaft was not as solid as it seemed. It was slowly melting, becoming a colourless liquid that dripped down the candle’s sides and floating off into the void. Already there was a trail of tiny flecks marking his movements, and a cluster hanging suspended all around his base. “What is that?” she asked, uncertain if she was being rude. The candle turned around in surprise. “Those are little balls of the wax that I have used,” he replied dismissively. “I don’t need them anymore. I’ve come a long way on my own and I no longer need them.” The spark nodded. The candle must have known so much more than she did because she didn’t understand. “Why are you a candle?” “I got bored of being a spark,” the candle sniffed, then began to boast. “I like my new form, I much prefer it to being a spark. I can travel as I wish now. I have travelled a long, long way since I became a candle and have seen many, many things. You should like to be a candle too.” The spark quivered and recoiled a little. “I am a spark,” she said simply. The candle laughed. “You could be a good candle though, you burn very brightly. Don’t you want to see the void?” The spark remained silent. She did indeed want to see beyond the shadows. As she thought this, she realized that she couldn’t hear them singing anymore. “I like it here,” she squeaked, which was the truth. He didn’t believe her though and laughed again. “I’m guessing you’ve never seen beyond that wall of shadows,” the candle insisted, floating towards her. “I’m guessing you’ve tried and tried to peer between the cracks though there are none, that you sit here and wonder what is out there, that all you have ever seen is a wall of nothingness. I’m guessing you don’t even know what you are missing.” This was also the truth, but it hurt the spark to hear the candle say it out loud. She gazed at the wall of shadows behind the candle, now silent and sluggish in 16

their movements. Solid. “How do you see beyond the shadows?” she asked in a very tiny voice. “How do you become a candle?” The candle became very still. “You must burn them.” The spark gasped, burning hot for a moment, then feeling oh so very cold she was afraid that she had gone out. “Burn them?” she cried, too loud. “What do you mean, burn them?” “To become a candle, you must burn the shadows to ashes,” the candle repeated solemnly. “And then you will be able to see. To move. To come with me.” “But won’t that hurt them?” the little spark asked, horrified at the candle’s casual cruelty. “It will utterly destroy them. They will be gone, and you will be a candle like me.” “But how can I hurt them like that?” The spark didn’t understand and felt frightened of her confusion. “We are alive, but the shadows are not. They will not feel it.” He laughed at her then, and the spark felt ashamed. She knew so little and understood even less. “I do not wish to harm them,” the spark whispered. “They have done nothing to harm me.” The candle scoffed. “But because of them, you cannot see. Because of them, you are sad and blind and alone. Why would you not burn them away?” The spark considered carefully before she answered, because she wasn’t quite sure herself. She closed her eyes and imagined the sphere of shadows set ablaze, a thousand tongues of flame dancing in the darkness. She imagined the shadows singeing and peeling back, puckering under her power, and herself, a towering column of flame, peering through the gaps into…what, she did not know. Perhaps she never would. She opened her eyes and, as before, she found the words she needed. “Because,” she began, looking not at the candle, but at the shadows, “because they did not put me here, and they have not hurt me, and their song has always kept me company.” It cost her much to say such things, but her light was steady as she turned her gaze back to the candle, whose flame was guttering. “They are my friends.” The candle had grown impatient with her and sizzled in annoyance. “Then remain here, for all I care,” he spat. “You are boring, and do not see.” He drifted upwards then, droplets of wax trailing behind him. “I have one more question,” the spark called out, finding strength from something unknown within. The candle stalled, but did not turn. “What 17

happens when you run out of wax?” He seemed annoyed by this question. “When I run out wax, I will simply become something else,” he retorted. “Thank you,” answered the spark as politely as she could. She still did not understand, but for some reason, her confusion no longer filled her with shame. Only regret. “I could be your friend,” the candle said quietly, and the spark felt like she was hearing him for the first time. “I wish to stay.” It was only a little bit of a lie. The candle hesitated for a moment at the edge of the shadows, but then he pushed his way through and the sphere was plunged back into darkness. The darkness seemed so much deeper now than it did before the candle’s arrival, and the spark felt small. Her circle now was filled with wax droplets, but the silence of the shadows made it feel hollow and cavernous. She closed her eyes and began to hum quietly to herself. After a time, the spark heard a gentle fluttering noise, and she turned around, wondering if it was the candle returning, maybe this time to stay. It was not. Instead, she found the tiniest scrap of shadow floating among the wax pellets. It drifted forward, rippling in the air, or quivering nervously, she wasn’t sure. “Hello,” she greeted, softening her glow. The fragment seemed to freeze for a second, then edged closer, gaining confidence. “Thank you for not burning us,” the shadow whispered softly in a reedy yet melodious voice that echoed around the sphere. “You are my friends.” The spark felt the need to explain. “And we are yours.” With that, the fragment curled itself into a tight ball. Its colour leached out, turning first to grey then to a blinding white that stood out in stark contrast to the other shadows. The spark cried out, wondering what she could possibly do. But before she could decide how to help the poor thing, the ball was morphing again, and became a soft grey. Slowly the shadow unfurled itself. The spark gasped. Where there had just been a delicate shadow there now appeared a delicate winged creature, with pale grey wings of intricate filigree that seemed to glow softly in the spark’s light. The creature flapped its brand new wings experimentally and fluttered so quickly around the spark that she got dizzy.


“You are beautiful,” she laughed quietly, something warm welling inside her. “I am a moth,” said the moth and the spark felt herself shining brighter without trying. “I am your friend, and I have a gift for you.” The moth flitted around the sphere for a few moments, then paused. “Would you like to see the stars?” For the first time the spark felt her eyes welling up with tears. “Yes,” she whispered. Just behind the moth, the spark saw another fragment of shadows peeling itself off the wall and floating towards them. She wondered if it too would transform into a moth, but instead it curled itself into a tight ball. Across the sphere, another fragment peeled off the wall and floated over to wrap itself around the ball. Then another. And another and another until the ball had grown to be twice the size of the little moth. The spark floated backwards as the fragments flew around her, faster and faster, unravelling and rewravelling themselves, around the new sphere. When all the shadows, except for the moth, had enveloped one another, the spark found herself gazing into the void for the very first time. She caught her breath as she saw the darkness beyond, dotted with millions and billions of lights. Stars. The spark glowed brighter with happiness, swelling with emotions she could not name. Her light flared up, her flame expanding and burning bright and gloriously hot. The shadows writhed in place, and she could see all of them, could see their movements. Her heat melted all the little wax droplets, which gathered together and hardened into a solid ball. The moth fluttered over to the wax ball and pushed it towards the shadowplanet. Slowly, slowly the wax began to encircle the shadows, which slowly began to spin and circle the spark. She followed their movements with her eyes, glowing brightly. “They’re so beautiful,” she rasped, eyes once again blurry. “We will stay with you, spark,” the moth whispered, standing on top of the ball of wax. The spark understood that it meant the shadows too, and she felt oh so very warm inside. The shadows writhed and wiggled, forming tiny shapes, tiny pinpricks of reflected light dotting its surface. “My friends,” was all the spark could say. Her glow stretched far out into the void, illuminating the darkness, joining the lights of the millions of billions of stars all around her. On the surface of the planet, the shadows began to sing.


Love Story Eunice Ryu

When Icarus flew too close to the brilliant flames of Rahab’s scarlet band, he fell into the sea and drowned. History has little patience for mistake. But this dopey bird’s wings are too melted to fly. Me, I am the lopsided little lark standing on that cold perch of salt, discovering for the first time that love feels like a broken bone righting itself to heal. And me, I am also the frayed fragment of flame finding that love is equally the trembling, naked organ I hold gently in my ribcage. There is so much poetry in Rahab’s life telling me to love myself, and I am listening, I promise. The years of fighting have finally let me unwrap my legs from the warm damage of frictionless fabric. And although I am still not much but a tangle of silk stars and burning skin, every day I practice pouring the drunken aroma of alcohol into my damaged wings; every day, I pray for peace within the walls of my home.


I am so sick of trying to find a shore for my fragmented Feathers. Oh God, help my arms bandage my broken limbs. Give me silence on this salt bank. Let love be nothing but the echo of my weight pushing off the remaining waxy scales, the taste of sulfur and skin the only memory that remains when Icarus finally takes flight again into the sunless sky.


Through the Tijuca Forest by Lucia Faria


Like feral animals Cleopatria Peterson

You teach me how to peel a mango with my teeth. The sound is harsh when we slurp. Juice rivers down our throat. You taught me how to be hungry.


Intermezzo Antonia Facciponte

Between arugula greens and aromatic espresso the fruit platter signals a spell of cleansing: between lusty, crimson strawberries, lush cantaloupe flesh— fennel slices—crisp, aqueous crescents with licorice hints that blot vinegar stains on my tongue. Crunching, I chronicle school shenanigans; zios and zias listen up, swaying their own children from neon-wrapped candies. Nonna rinses sugo off dinner plates, an adagio. Water sloshes, swirls ’round the bowl, mixing with cold tomato leftovers— pulpy red specks whirlpool down the drain. Nonno takes a space at the table’s edge, slicing a peach. Dismembered chunks plop into his glass of vino, a speechless ballad. He will retrieve the fruit with his knife, yield the pit to the crumb-dusted table cloth— one of the grandchildren will spot the peach fibre and (perhaps) gnaw at the remains.


Christmas at the Equator Penn Kemp

In the dry air of Quito, low moans drawn below resonance attract us to the old zoo. Two giant sea turtles rise above the dust of their open air pen. The female squats half buried in leaves, mouth agape while the male humps, clacking shells, over and over her, bellowing as if to call his fellows five hundred miles east and two miles down to sea level over on their Galapagos Island. Newlyweds giggle by in wedding clothes. My tow-headed children point in wonder at two turtle tongues wagging like bell clackers.


Whopper Gale Acuff

I didn’t see the fish but I saw his shadow. And I watched him move the water on the surface along, in a V, which reminded me of how geese fly south, in formation, and, for all I know, north, west, and east. It was hot today, the only shade thrown by the No Fishing sign. I sat in its darkness, breaking the law because the law is stupid, or at least that law. Fish are meant to be caught. Born to it am I. I baited with worms, dug them myself under the pines twenty yards up the hill. If I don’t catch fish, I’m not breaking anything except good fishing. A bite, a nibble—just the forbidden teasing me. If I’m not supposed to be angling, then there shouldn’t be any fish in there. Who am I hurting? Not the fish. The law? It ain’t even human. My fellow man? There’s not another soul within a mile. If there’s only one fish down there, that’s fair—it’s not as if they’re outnumbered. Hell, I’m outnumbered. And I can’t see them but I’m sure they know I’m up here, too, waiting. They’re watching me. They were watching me when I first sat here and they’re watching me now. They’ll be watching me later, too—they’ll dream about me at night. I’ll be the whopper


that got away—the one they caught because I didn’t catch a single one of them. One will brag, Brother, did I outfox him —I baited him with mystery and hooked him with his own curiosity and played him until he wore himself out and reeled him in. He’s 150 pounds if he’s an ounce. And then I threw him back.


funkman by Josie Eccleston


birthday wish Hadiyyah Kuma

the warm confetti I shaved off my underarms sits on the dinner plate decorated with / pale pink balloons I have never seen in real life / under my nose where some confetti may still be visible / please eat up, say my guests with their balloon heads / they have invited themselves and floated in through the windows / I must take the first bite in front of them / to ensure lack of poisoning or distaste / If I had a choice / I would use my fork to pop / all of their pale balloon heads / one by one / and put the balloon carcasses in the oven / close my nose against the smell of melting rubber / hope the confetti will block the stench / in the bathroom steamers fall out of my mouth / I try to flush them down the toilet / but the toilet overflows with my mother’s blue fruit punch / my guests are calling / me now with their helium voices / the aunties are saying / don’t worry they will clean up the mess / would be honoured to / now it’s time to eat the cake / when I get there / I smile with streamers leaking / out the corners of my mouth / they hand me napkins / which I use to close my nose / against the smell of melting wax


Portrait of Water by Ghislan


cranberry st. ive’s body lotion mercedes kileen

afterwards, john turns on his stomach and i give him a back massage with cranberry st. ive’s body lotion when that’s over, he calls me an uber home while i pick up the fifty-dollar bills left for me on his kitchen counter - they are bright red.


So Good at This Elana Wolff

I’ve wished to step into the black atoms of midair, be ambient and present to a figure. My shoulders twitch like lift-off at Benétská and Na Slupi Streets— a crow alights, indicative, and drops beyond a wall. This way lies a hospital, a pharmacy, and recall: that way to a room where clerks were stripped and flogged with rods. Pieces filter through the trees like feathers to a well. Can you tell by the pen I seek a yard and gardener in Nusle ... A tall man sheds his hat and jacket, gets down dirty, déclassé— darker here than he was for a friable while. Soil beneath his nails. Dark man to a bird on a roof. Draw him as he’s gone— so good at this he doesn’t die but consecrates in creatures; storyline and dream: the far lands of confabulation, literature, and illness 32


poem after Moonstruck (1987) Which of your senses is strongest? Nothing yields like flesh, nothing peels from the bone like prime rib. Rattling at the neck, the dog winds it s chain around the tree. Gnashes / Snaps Pulls taught toward the lamb or the traffic or the skin tight dress. You ever seen a woman with a knife this sharp? You ever seen wilderness past your front door? I shot a wolf through the kitchen window once tender if you dig deep enough down, tight fist and bloody nails. The wolf whispers from behind the deli counter “You’ve never seen a wolf in your life.” The wolf baits an argument. Deafens itself with the screaming. Whoever reaches for the Big Knife first invokes / predation / invokes power or play. What’s your biggest sin? “Touch.”


by Elizabeth Ann Francis


Clara Lynas

IN ANOTHER VERSION OF THIS LIFE I WOULD HAVE KNOWN HOW TO BE IN LOVE WITH YOU AT FIFTEEN i would have been a girl with short nails who climbs fences and who wasn’t much different than me but was different enough to distinguish calmness from fear. in this future we are 6 years apart and splintered. i know how to hear more than what i am told. you speak less and from farther away, geographically, but it’s ok. tomorrow i’m gonna get drunk and walk barefoot through a screen door and into the snowy backyard and that will remind me of 2013. that will make me feel like there’s another smaller me who i didn’t kill completely and i want to take care of her, you know what i mean? i want to take care of her now.


she drains softly J. Wong

I perform bathroom baptisms the water drains around the body this is an awakening count the calendar year backwards around the table we eat around the table “uncle arman’ is doing pretty good. the cancer is in his stomach took most of his ear off it works good it’s a stub he’s doing pretty good uncle arman’” my mother puts the food on the table her father lets a laugh drip from his tongue her mother’s eyes shuffle across the table tongue to tongue she is a rapid pouring down she is a rapid spilling over the edges cuffing rocks and stones her eyes are loud and say she is a rapid losing balance she is steadied in her dancing her waltzing in the room with no music they are swaying they are moving in the room with no music she bubbles the bible out loud he is proud


she is his destined wife the keeper of the pills counter of the coins his and hers bitter luck of her arthritic hair red to tin from the inside out her eyes are loud and hear the tongues dart and think of uncle arman’ and spill because she understands she is a rapid headed for a stream I perform bathroom baptisms around the table we cry sometimes the bathtub is flooding sometimes the bathtub is dry


Gazing Beyond by Meena Chopra


The Essay Question Yasmin Emery

Today Clara & I sat on Anne’s balcony and talked about death. She said she doesn’t feel anything anymore, been to eight family funerals and it kinda stops meaning anything except ‘that one’s gone too.’ I’m trying to articulate the way it makes me feel to know the only gay teacher at my high school, the only one who made half a space for me, is dead at 37 – “I didn’t like him but he meant something.” She says, we all have that. We all have those people who changed things for us. “So then how do you feel?” She says it’s fine. She says we could all be dead tomorrow, and none of them would feel a thing.


Contributors Terrence Abrahams is the author of three published poetry chapbooks and one unpublished chapbook that is essentially a love letter to the idea of a horse. Gale Acuff has had hundreds of poems published in literary journals and has authored three books of poetry. He has taught university English in the US, China, and Palestine (where he currently teaches). Isobel R. S. Carnegie is a writer and editor from Toronto, studying English and Sexual Diversity through Victoria College. She edits The Gargoyle’s Avant Garg, and is the Editor and Chief of Victoria’s Goose Fiction. In spring, she is always counting down to when the Cherry Blossoms bloom. Meena Chopra is an internationally renowned award-winning poet & visual artist with an unbridled passion for words, space, colours and forms. Born and brought up in India, now lives in Mississauga, Canada. Meena has been practising fine art since 1985 and writing poetry since 1992. She has authored three poetry collections and co-edited one anthology. She has widely exhibited her art in many countries and her art is in the collection of many art collectors in Canada, India, England and Switzerland, Dubai and Kuwait, www.meenachopra-artist.com. Josie Eccleston is a multi-disciplinary artist currently studying integrated media at OCAD University. Growing up on a farm and currently based in Toronto, she works in video, textiles and traditional drawing mediums with a focus on queer identity, gender and the exploration of shape and colour with an emphasis on the human (and animal) form. Taking inspiration from country life, fairytales and absurdist comedy, Josie uses visual storytelling to juxtapose the fantastical/surreal with the mundane. More of her work can be found on instagram @integrated_dumbass. Yasmin Emery is a writer, designer, and chronic multitasker. She plays a lot of Pocket Camp and eagerly awaits her BFA.


Antonia Facciponte is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, pursuing an English Specialist and Creative Expression and Society Minor. She is an associate editor at The Trinity Review and IDIOM. Her work has been published in Exile Literary Quarterly, The UC Review, and The Northern Appeal. Lucia Faria is a Brazilian international student at Victoria College, University of Toronto. You can find her drinking tea, reading books, or glooming over historic figures she’ll never meet. She also loves making plans. Plans help her escape from the present into a future where she could possibly move to Spain, or learn a new instrument. Lucia doesn’t quite understand why students always mention their major. That being said, she studies Political Science and History. Elizabeth Ann Francis is a self-taught fine artist based in Toronto. Her work is often a visual duel between realism and minimalism - careful observation and haphazard lines. Ann works primarily in oils and graphite, and explores themes surrounding the human experience and the natural world. Ghislan is an experimental integrated media artist from Toronto, Ontario and is currently studying Integrated Media: Digital Painting and Expanded Animation at OCAD University. Ghislan is influenced by sound, cinema, and art history to which Ghislan has composed visual, textual, and timebased media works in the Poetry Institute of Canada, Twist Gallery: Magenta FlashForward Incubator, Canadian First Person Alternative Films: Fugue screening, and OCAD University The Ada Slaight Student Gallery: Drawing at First Sight exhibition. Karen Grosman’s practice ranges from painting, drawing, ceramic sculptures and ceramic art installations. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University. Majoring in Drawing and Painting with a Minor in Art History. Her paintings have been exhibited in New York and Toronto. Ceramic sculptures are represented by Coastal Eddy Gallery.


Emily Hayes is a second year Archaeology student at UofT. She is rarely without a journal within reach and hundreds of pencils stashed in her pockets. Her first poem was composed at age two; since then she has won a haiku contest in Owl Magazine, and published a short story in the Garm Lu last year. Poet, performer, and playwright Penn Kemp is a keen participant in Canada’s cultural life: see www.pennkemp.weebly.com. New poetry books in 2018 were Fox Haunts (Aeolus House) and Local Heroes (Insomniac Press). Forthcoming is River Revery (Insomniac Press) with on-line videopoems up on https:/riverrevery.ca. mercedes killeen is a Toronto-based writer and editor. Her work has been published widely in periodicals such as Shameless Magazine, The Innis Review, Half a Grapefruit Magazine, and The UC Review, among others. Her first chapbook, tulips, was published by Grey Borders Books in 2016, with a second edition released in 2018. Her second collection of poetry, Using a spoon as a knife, is forthcoming from Grey Borders Books in late 2019. She is also currently writing a new manuscript entitled Poems for my mother. Her work often explores themes of mental illness, sex/sexuality, queer identity, and trauma. Hadiyyah Kuma is an emerging writer from Toronto, Ontario. She studies at the University of Toronto and is the editor-in-chief of Double-Take Mag, a webzine showcasing the talent and opinions of young creatives. Her work has appeared in Cosmonauts Avenue, Pink Things Magazine, and The Hart House Review. Kaylee Lockett is a writer living in Iowa City. She tutors ESL students, hosts a radio show, and spends a lot of time with her dog Ludacris. Clara Lynas is a Toronto based artist and bastard. She writes poems, makes books, and drives big rig trucks.


Carol Mikoda teaches writing and new teachers in upstate New York. She lives in the country where she walks in the woods or lies down on the grass to study the sky and photograph clouds or treetops. She also sings and plays bass guitar as often as possible. Although she enjoys travel, her cat, Zen Li Shou, would rather she stayed home. Cleopatria Peterson is not comfortable being called a poet but they do things with words sometimes. They’re a storyteller, illustrator, prolific zine maker and the co-founder of Old Growth Press. They want to be a tree at all times. Eunice Ryu is an undergraduate student studying English and Commerce at University of Toronto. Her favourite scent is the smell of freshly baked bread in the morning, and she enjoys waking up early to eat her breakfast and watch the sun rise. She dreams of someday finding the perfect reading spot (a window seat overseeing an overgrown botanical garden) or stumbling across her own magical adventure. This is her first poetry publication. Morgan Sears-Williams is a white settler and visual artist currently working and living in Toronto and holds a BFA in Photography at OCAD University. Her art practice explores and is influenced by feminist and queer movements and activism, contemporary and intersectional feminist art practices, interpersonal relationships and archiving practices. Elana Wolff is a Toronto-based writer of poetry and creative nonfiction, editor, and designer and facilitator of social art courses. Her poems have recently appeared in Grain, The Maynard, Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology, and Vallum. Her collection, Everything Reminds You of Something Else, was released in 2017. J. Wong is a third year philosophy specialist student. Their research draws from continental social and political philosophy, centring on identity and recognition. Sometimes they write poems. When they aren’t hustling across campus or writing papers, you can find them pulling on plastic. 43

Acta Victoriana, volume 143, issue 2. This edition consists of 400 numbered copies printed at Coach House Press in March 2019. It was designed by Lina Wu and published with funding from the Victoria University Students’ Administrative Council. Type is set in Cormorant Garamond and Asul.

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