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Devour: Art & Lit Canada is dedicated to the Canadian voice.

ISSN 2561-1321 Issue 011


Devour Art & Lit Canada

Find some of Canada’s finest authors, photographers and artists featured in every issue.


Thank you Ann Di Nardo for all of your stunning pics.

Ann Di Nardo trained as a visual artist at The Ontario College of Art and Bishop’s University. She is a passionate gardener who frequently carries her camera along with the rest of her gardening tools and most often the camera does the brunt of the work. She divides her time between Cobourg, Ontario and her garden in Sutton, Quebec.


The mission of Devour: Art and Lit Canada is to promote Canadian culture by bringing world-wide readers some of the best Canadian literature, art and photography.

ISSN 2561-1321 Issue 011 Summer 2021 Devour: Art and Lit Canada 5 Greystone Walk Drive Unit 408 Toronto, Ontario M1K 5J5

DevourArtAndLitCanada@gmail.com Cover Photograph – Ann Di Nardo Editor-in-Chief – Richard M. Grove Layout and Design – Richard M. Grove

Welcome to this 11th issue of Devour: Art & Lit Canada. As usual we are bringing you some of Canada’s most talented writers, poets and photographers. A special thanks goes out to all of the Editors and Contributors that make this and every issue possible. See you between the pages. Richard Grove otherwise know to friends as Tai


Photograph by Ann Di Nardo


Devour Content F e atures: – Feature Photographer – Ann Di Nardo – Front and Back Cover – pages 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11

– Poetry Sections: – Open Mic Canada – p.12 – Devour Under 25 – p.26 – Quintessentially Canadian – p.36

– 7 Poems of Tribute by Don Gutteridge – p.62 – Canada in Review with Shane Joseph – p.66 – 75 – Canada: Coast to Coast to Coast An Introduction to Andrey Litviakov – p.76

D evou r : A r t and Lit Canada


Photograph by Ann Di Nardo


Photograph by Ann Di Nardo

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Photograph by Ann Di Nardo

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Photograph by Ann Di Nardo

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Open Mic Canada Editor, April Bulmer https://aprilbulmer.wordpress.com/

Introduction to “Open Mic Canada” By April Bulmer In this issue of Devour: Art & Lit Canada, I feature a group of poets who celebrated National Poetry Month in a unique way. I was pleased to be invited to join this gathering. We emailed each other a poem most mornings and sent positive feedback to the other members who participated. There were five other poets in the group: Becky Alexander, Stan White (who was profiled in the last issue of Devour), Katherine L. Gordon, Elizabeth McCallister, and Kathy Robertson. We all live in Southwestern Ontario, three of us in Waterloo Region, two in Brantford and one in Guelph. The project, named Poets’ Points, was the vision of Cambridge-poet Becky Alexander. Becky has won hundreds of national and international literary contests and has also been published in journals and anthologies around the world. Becky says she wanted to honour National Poetry Month in some way and to include poets she knew and admired. “I have been sharing poetry online with Katherine L. Gordon and Stan White for more than a dozen years. They are both remarkable poets. We call ourselves The Three Bards. April Bulmer, one of Canada’s top poets, has been a long-time member of the Cambridge Writers Collective, as has Kathy Robertson. This is where I also met the amazing urban poet Elizabeth McCallister.” Becky continued to explain the purpose of her Poets’ Points group. “We all enjoy each others’ poetry and often share and critique our work. We write in different styles, but these somehow match up. I thought I would invite these five folk to send out one of their favourite poems to our group each

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day for the month of April, in order to celebrate poetry and to help us all get through another gruelling time in COVID lockdown.” When asked why she called the online project Poets’ Points, she said, “Poets all have points to their work, so the name Poets’ Points just came to mind.” Becky was pleased with the results. “The venture was most rewarding. It turned out to be something that we all needed and was most enjoyable,” she said. Other group members also expressed enthusiasm about the initiative. Elizabeth McCallister said, “I am grateful to Becky Alexander for organizing this National Poetry Month celebration. In the second year of lockdown, all of us were missing sharing our poetry and thoughts with like-minded people. It was wonderful waking up to poems each day. Through poetry and discussions, we covered topics as diverse as grief, metaphysics, aging, quantum mechanics, and joy from our different and unique perspectives. Gosh, it was fun!” Stan White agreed. “Thanks to Becky Alexander, we had a welcome poetic distraction throughout the month of April. I was honoured to be part of it and greatly enjoyed the exposure to the work of the other ‘Points’ poets. I think we all enjoyed the interaction.” The poetry exchange offered me a chance to share poems I published years ago and receive feedback. The other members of the group are incisive readers and wrote beautifully crafted responses to my work. I also enjoyed reading and praising other members’ poems, many of which I had not read before. National Poetry Month was established by the League of Canadian Poets in April 1998. Its objective was to celebrate poetry’s vital place in Canadian culture. In our own way, the members of the Poets’ Points group pointed to the important role of poetry in our own community. Below are some of the poems we shared with each other.

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Becky Alexander Cambridge, Ontario thebeckster.alexander@gmail.com

Selkie Wife (the Scottish legend)

He found her half-drowned on the stony shore, under shadows of towering bluffs, the surge of heather cascading from the brink. Cold and unclad as she was, he carried her to his cottage, tucked her up in quilts before the fire, and barred the door. In the light of morning, she awoke, clambered from the bed, spoke in shrill barks and pointed to the sea, until he went out, found a fur robe cast by the froth and ebb of waves, brought it to her, and locked it in a chest. Over time, she bore him three children, all with wide brown eyes, and perfect ears tight against bonny brown heads: no blue light to twinkle any eyes. Then the day he came home from the sea, the young bairns crying by the door. She’d bashed in the side of the chest, rock after rock cast down upon the floor. For days and weeks, the four of them watched the curl and purl of waves against the rocks, listened to the bark and squeal of seals frolicking past the breakers, at last spied one, smooth-brown and svelte, who gazed back, waved a flipper above the sea, the waves, the herd. (According to Scottish legend, a selkie is a magical seal which lives in the sea, but if it sheds its skin, can live on land as a beautiful woman, who will always long to return to the sea, and must have her seal coat to do so.)

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Mae of the Seaside She was Mae, true to the meaning of her name— ‘star of the sea/from the sea of bitterness.’ Dawn or nightfall found her pacing the shores of the North Sea, where its salty tongue lapped against her village. Red hair open to the whims of rain and wind—Odin’s breath—she called it. Always a tattered green shawl circling her shoulders, pinned near her heart with the silver and topaz-glow of her cairngorm brooch. Some say it was a promise gift from a tall soldier from the Catholic village just over the ben: no one truly knew, until that day in 1917 when the casualty list was posted in the town square. They found her ragged shawl hanging from a fingered crag pointing into the sea. She was never found… and neither was her cairngorm brooch.

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Stan White Brantford, Ontario stanon@sympatico.ca

Poem Burned Yesterday by Fire Little left of the first stanza for it contained several inflammable words one of which was tissue which was close to the noun hay and hardly separated enough by the adjective mown to have avoided similar fate. The second stanza fared better since most of the nouns— butterfly, lace, chiffon and rose had been placed in a tin box though one adverb and a windy preposition were badly charred. The third stanza escaped unscathed its incidents took place outdoors and there had been a recent shower. Candlelit, the fourth stanza sustained the most damage when the candle had fallen over as the wind blew the poem off the table.

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The Sandman Falls for Amelia He takes a bagged supper and flask of tea, waits for her rapid eye movements now sits in the rattan chair she has thoughtfully left at the entrance to her occipital lobe the most pleasant of atria, softly lighted, had her eyes been open. He is used to feeling an intruder— for nobody invites the dreamer. Avoiding her fears— the stuff of nightmares, he goes directly to her hopes, the usual: detached, three-bedroom, two-car garage, two and a half children. Modest, but for the prospect of diva where a brief examination of her medial prefrontal cortex suggests far from perfect pitch. He does not pry into her past— too many unpleasant surprises. Eating his sandwich, careful of crumbs, exits her memory except to lay three gentle nudges side by side: an idea for a poem on doting children, and two cheeky thoughts she would not thank him for sharing with you. On the rattan chair, before she wakes, he leaves a dozen long stemmed roses.

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Katherine L. Gordon Guelph, Ontario kanddgordon@porchlight.ca

Visitation Into my ordered world, confidence of place and power, all facets controlled, there stepped your vision, ghost of all things hidden, confusion misting all incremented space. Green leaves on a snow-bleak plane bird-song in treeless desert deadly undertow in my calm river. A door opened in the stone-built wall, apple trees spread honeyed white wafers blood red communion wine swirled in pools beneath, grasses soft as bride’s bed beckoned. I am barefoot in a thorn-field of roses.

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At the Edge of the Wind At the edge of the wind where all the whispers of time are stored in swelling solar storm clouds, this last farewell so softly echoed down the magnetic corridors of space may unleash the end-of-days storm. Already I feel the ground shake beneath trembling knees, our bed earthquakes from my grasp. Your last “god-be-with-ye” blows the moon and stars away in a hurricane vortex. The empty room implodes. “Don’t go,” I whisper to the over-full solar winds that net the stars, brushing your cheeks with these last words before the trees fall, the mountains crash and the seas boil. A desert remains burying everything of any meaning, my face covers the Sphinx that waits a millennium for your answer in the sands.

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Elizabeth McCallister Brantford, Ontario elizabethmccallister@sympatico.ca

Not Lords but Stewards What if the sky opens up with rain and still the fires incinerate all the trees and scorch the earth’s crust? The plates will topple skyscrapers. Tailings ponds will breach their banks to flood clean water with toxins. Space debris will fall instead of sunlight. We’ll strip the mines of every bit of value. Set coal streams and methane alight to burn for centuries until nothing of us is left. Bacteria will consume what remains. Geese, wrens and sparrows will fill the skies. Wild animals will forage in cities looking for new territories to conquer. A new species will cover the earth to find our bones fossilized in sediment and wonder what we looked like with hair and muscles intact. Maybe we’ll be flash frozen just like Ötzi slain by another’s arrow.

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Shelter in Place – Month One We go off to work in our separate corners meet up for breaks and meals. The sun shines outside melts those last bits of snow. Home-made lunches served warm and fresh replace fast food and diner meals. The last of the winter apples is a sweet note. During dinners, we compare notes on our learning curves and adjust our pattern of life. Walking the dog in the evening is our only time outside. We binge watch TV. The couch is our little island of safety. Bad news seeps in anyway. At bedtime, the winds and the world can rage outside, we hold each other shelter in our own sanctuary.

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Kathy Robertson Kitchener, Ontario kathyrobertson0234@gmail.com

West Meets East at Dharavi Slum You glare into my van’s window laden with Dharavi’s privation pressing face-to-pane your eyes haunting my soul. I recoil as if struck by cobra shamed by the sting of your anguish. The horror of your suffering frozen in time to torment future dreams. A destitute beggar vestige of untouchable caste your ghostly body—skeletal, emaciated wrapped in mummified rags. We are two women partitioned by glass each predestined by fate one entitled, one condemned.

Previously published in: * Delicate Impact An Anthology of Contemporary Canadian Writers A Beret Days Book The Ontario Poetry Society June 2018 * Poetic Ponderings, Volumes, 2016 * Craigleigh Press Poetry Contest 2016 2nd Honourable Mention, Free Verse * Tower Poetry Society Winter Edition 2013-2014 Volume 62, No. 2

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Homecoming Florida’s oranges chosen from market washed and dried arranged just so in his favourite bowl on kitchen table. She pictures them now their carroty colouring dyed to perfection cheery against outdoor maples— bare branched— camouflaged beneath sooty snow.

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She remembers how, after their reunion, he peeled each one in long, endless swirls inhaling sweet scent as it exploded.

while wails pierced the shower as he scrubbed Vietnamese soil from under his fingernails.

How she placed his ALICE backpack— as patched and broken as her son—on his toy soldier duvet in boyhood bedroom

ALICE: all-purpose lightweight individual carrying equipment Previously published in: Hearthbeat: Family & Hometown, Hidden Brook Press 2021 Voices Israel: Vol. 46, 2020

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April Bulmer Cambridge, Ontario aprilbulmer.poems@gmail.com

Sister Luke My Sisters and I in our summer habits gathering herbs. My hands hold the scent of sweet fennel and rosemary, sage–dusty and blue. How to say hope does not line my gut like soil or rain. Shepherd’s purse, woolly thyme... Our habits are light and perfumed with God’s grace, but I am a dying root, refusing the weight of pods, the glory of blossoms and of fruit. Lady’s mantle, goat’s rue… I want only to lie in the earth’s dark mouth, thin as mint, a single green breath. But I cast out that demon, wander into the crop field. I am alone in alien corn, my heart a dry husk. I ring a little bell and kneel to ask OurFather for a few kernels of love. Come Lord, I say, past the silo, the garden of herbs, the bruised reeds. Bless the stones in the pagan grounds, the bones of buffalo, their white grief. Come Jesus, I am too weak to cut a swath for thee. I am a broken machine, just another tractor rusting with the wheat.

(Excerpt from The Weight of Wings, April Bulmer, Trout Lily Press, 1997)

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Esther’s Sister I washed Esther’s face with a warm cloth, a thin bar of soap; shampooed her hair. I brought her talc and cool lotions, chewing gum and tangerines. I clipped her fingernails, swabbed the wax from her ears. Sometimes we shared tea and biscuits, then bowed our heads and offered prayer. And some days it snowed, and the wheelchair was slow. I wore short galoshes and pushed her over the hard earth. She told me, “In dreams my heart pecks at my ribcage, so tired of bones and of the dark. But in the morning, it does not fly or sing.” I told Esther not to struggle with the weight of wings. I did not coax with crumbs or seed. I did not point to the easy flight of crows. When she died, some men broke the virgin prairie and made a hole there. And they laid Esther down. The nuns came, their black wings tight, and they cawed their sad songs. She is in a box lined in pink silk. I pray the earth remembers she is Esther. I pray the angel women pull her through the small space, touch her gentle and give her some milk. 

(Excerpt from The Weight of Wings, April Bulmer, Trout Lily Press, 1997)

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Bradley McIlwain Devour Under 25, Editor Introduction and Call: Devour welcomes submissions from writers Under 25 from across Canada. Are you an experienced or emerging poet? Have something to say? We’d love to hear your voice! Send your submissions to Bradley, the Canada Under 25 Editor. We look forward to hearing from you!

Bradley McIlwain lives in Ontario, Canada where he is inspired by songs in nature, and examining our relationships within it. He graduated from the University of Toronto’s iSchool, where he received his M.I. in Library and Information Science. Bradley is the editor of Buried Horror, a space for fresh voices in horror, speculative fiction, and poetry. Bradley’s latest collection of poems, Elementals, is available on Amazon and Indigo.

1st June Cigarettes and stars Swirl in silhouettes of bourbon hours As wildflowers grow In dreamtime fields Of here and was and not meant to be Memories moving free From loosened tongues Hungry for change And the change that comes From unburdening the weight Of planets And colliding universes In the spirit of my DNA Searching solar systems

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For similar souls And stories that grow From fruitless trees Rooted in original sin And the lips of death I have kissed With the silence of my pen The self destruction fo the Id Swimming to the surface Of my half empty bottle Pandora’s medicine box Clung to melancholy melodies From the fear that comes From opened memories Meandering in the night Singing forth the spirits Circling hollowed trees On a colourless horizon Whispering in moonlight And I am here But not here Somewhere between The soul and shadow Shuffling over iridescent lands Loitering In the realm of sand Where all things after turn And return to dust

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18 May Moonlit jazz On 7pm journeys through twisted architectural avenues The piano keys Of mystery plays Softly swaying from cafes Spilling into lonely streets Hugging the shadows of my boots on the avenue With hands in my overcoat Careful not to overlook the details In the pallet of the sunset sky And purplish pigments almost unseen to the human eye As life passes by Souls strolling under careful lamplight Reciting lines To the mirror in the sky Justifying grocery lists And the time gone by And where does the time go On summer nights? Reacting to the night And the sweet sonata on the breeze From the piano bar just up the street Where the poets meet Deconstructing dreams Underneath the expressionist glow of chandeliers And dim lit candelabras While the stars conspire Casting visions of desire And the moon whispering To take you somewhere Pleasantly unaware of the riddle in your steps Until you end up at the doorstep Drinking wine and smoking cigarettes Like a silhouette in a French painting A canvas stained with Sirrah Swirling in the sea of a golden dream

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30th April April rain pours on dead grass land trucks roar in the distance past the tree lines where the highway sinks just out of sight hauling heavy loads and tired hitchhikers whose heavy thumbs restlessly tucked away on the passenger side of a driver’s semi thumbing through old paperbacks and rucksack writings waiting for next days post to carry news to far off friends of bridges crossed and star crossed loves in coffee shop windows between dreams of love and desire A fleeting feeling of freedom in the smile between two similes hoping to find the words written in the books on train station walls poets in motion moving on after the death of suburbia

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To feel alive Running towards instead of behind planting poems with trees so ideas can finally take root In the wild old growth forests converted arborists carving footnotes off the foot paths after dark lying under sapphire champagne glass shimmering stars drunk on poetry and possibility of new worlds By 9-5 cults And 3D printed houses With white picket fences And animatronic neighbours – The Jones the new Big Brother No one pickets Except Alice Foraging lawns with rabbit holes Of pristine cookie cutter lawns And glass houses no one dares look in

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And in the night she wanders Like a screaming banshee Through foggy headlights On weary highways Convincing wanderers Like her to take the pill that makes your spirit taller Than the great redwoods Where the only truth that matters Is that you are Born of the sediments of mountains And Delphic seers Who know the prophecy Before it’s spun In the golden sun Spoken in spirit tongue Chasing tides that shift on the wind For directions to the moonlit kin

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Relationship Between the Tide and the Moon Codrina Ibanescu Each effervescent Soul Calls into its Endless Horizon Evermore, Evermore. The ocean, deep and rich Lulls itself to sleep, Every night and every morn Between stories that it keeps. I too, drift away Into its deep embrace, It calls to me – a love once known Its mercy and its grace— The moon tenderly shines, The tide washes upon the shoreA love which exists for millennia And you, I adore… The light upon your face, unfading And eternal, I grasp This moment which Fades once more A memory, awoken As dawn rises, To reveal its shore Unscathed and pristine

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I awake to you, my Dream— Ocean eyes, and slender form A Soul that is Immaculate You, drawn to me like the tide— I taste, what is perfection And I, your shore aligned Divine intervention

I am filled with such delight For I remember you, Evermore Your Soul and heart etched with mine Like the tide and the shore

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Ode to Sisyphus Codrina Ibanescu I stand on the precipice Of uncharted territories And Unrequited time Again, yet again Between sunset and dawn I return, renewed, anew With the thorns of the living Gripping to my feet A reminder of the burdens Of the past, and still to come Still - I choose to wander, And explore uncharted seas With a risk of demise and In search of ? I know not But a truth to set me free

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Dazed Reverie Chris Yip Is it only me, or our existence above all? Oh, who flourished such love, Who carries such trouble? Fitful of the future, her siren call Dazing upon such clueless leads. Dream fazed by our desirous need, Marvelling pathways, vague and lucid Hereafter dreading such ruinous deed, Balmy willow, comes and goes... No souls knows what the future beholds, Living through Sinbad in all the tells he told I find some hope for gems or gold.

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Bruce Kauffman “Quintesentially Canadian” Editor

Bruce Kauffman lives in Kingston and is a poet and editor. His latest collection of poetry, an evening’s absence still waiting for moon, was published in 2019. He facilitates intuitive writing workshops, and hosts the monthly and the journey continues open mic reading series begun in 2009, and also produces & hosts the weekly spoken word radio show, finding a voice, on CFRC 101.9fm he began in 2010.

upon waking not with all days, but still, the sometimes one so polished with a smoothest of slowness in and to it that a handful of it after rests unused on your nightstand as you sleep

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breath the breeze behind as i walk carries both a fullness and an emptiness waiting

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delicate how delicate life is how time moves in it with its always still one thing gentle even this morning over there an empty brittle split cocoon under a wall’s wooden ledge in an early morning breeze that broken tan shell swirling twirling still moving swaying dancing to its own and only ever-song

Send us your Quintessentially Canadian photographs for the next issue. DevourArtAndLitCanada@gmail.com

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Quintessentially Canadian Poetry Editor: Bruce Kauffman Photo Editor: Richard M. Grove

Kathryn MacDonald https://kathrynmacdonald.com Belleville, Ontario

Apparitions Magician dawn has turned the river magenta streaked the night-cool sky warm with strands of fire softened the edges of trees on the far bank blurred masts in the harbour. Only my footsteps falling onto the dock create sound my body movement. Gulls still perch atop the marina’s roof. At first it seems I am alone in this place between night and day but in a small outboard two men cast off with fishing poles and a very large net propped in the stern. I am invisible with arms full of laundry.

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Magenta does not exist on the spectrum of light. On the spectrum of elements it has no wavelength. Magenta’s an imaginary colour created to fill space an attempt of our minds to find logic to make sense of senselessness. It is the colour of tangible fuchsia blossoms the Moira at dawn priests’ robes. What else I wonder do we construct with extraspectral apparitions: laundry? fisher guys? loss? grief ? the panoply of sight and touch and sound? Clouds sail a blue sky and honey sweetens tea in my cup. This moment seems real enough.

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Andrey Litviakov alitphoto@hotmail.com

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Dave Wise dave.wise@rogers.com

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Chuck MacInnis chuck@chuckmacinnis.ca Merrickville, Ontario

Awakening The sound of a thousand geese Winging overhead Ripples through the coming day Descending to the earth Like an ocean wave Thundering onto the shore An osprey circles Somewhere above A sharp whistle Piercing the nearing dawn As it dives For its first meal of the day Songbirds call To each other As they hop and flutter Amongst the shrubs Seeking their seeds And small berries And here I lie Awake Staring Into the near dark And listen As the earth awakens

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Sheila Bello sheilabello28@gmail.com Scarborough, Ontario

Splashes of Colours Bright rays of sunshine are streaming down from the sky, warming the earth and fostering growth. Splashes of colours from trilliums, bleeding hearts, irises, lilies, geraniums, forget-me-nots, dandelions and marigolds, are on display in my garden. Scents of honeysuckle, cherry, and lilac blossoms mingle in the air. My senses are engaged as I enjoy warm moments courting flowers, watching robins, blue jays and squirrels, and listening to their sounds. Enchanted by these splendours in my garden, I celebrate Canada.

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Brian Zavitz

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Sharon Gelsinger sharon2540@sasktel.net

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Teresa Hall thallartist@gmail.com Scarborough, Ontario

Wayward Child Sit in a quiet place; listen to nature whispering her secrets, reminding you of her familiar rhythms, memories deeply engrained so long ago. From this very Earth you arose, taking tentative steps out of the primordial waters, becoming one with the land; roaming the vast steppes. You were never a stranger to her, to the nurturer who revealed the wonders of the sun, moon and wild places… She is waiting, ready to embrace her wayward child, to again divulge forgotten mysteries…

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Dinh Le Doan phung7170@gmail.com Beaconsfield, Québec Kayaking in May Bright colours have returned to the lake and surrounding hills. Trees prefer light green colours but some choose reddish brown. And silence returns to the lake when the loon stops wailing. Or when I can hear my kayak say “A bit to the left.” And then “A bit to the right.” I listen and strive to balance both sides to glide forward—and let city life trail behind.

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Chryz Verceles charisedelyn.verceles-yahoo.com

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Ann Di Nardo

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Joan Rainey joanrainey64@gmail.com Kingston, Ontario

A Bouquet of Lilac (from my kitchen window) Tiny florets Light lilac and mauve Form pear-shaped blossoms. They seem so near I feel I could reach out and touch them Through my kitchen window. “I’ve never seen them like this.” I say to myself... So abundant So radiant A profusion of colour. Their glory is short-lived—Their blossoms are fading... In the space of a day They lose their colour Turn a lighter shade of pale—They are spent Their glory days over.

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John Mundy john99mundy@gmail.com Merrickville, Ontario

Rushes Along the River They wave at me along the river in great banks or out beyond the shore in islands that seem to float. No, not wave, they’re not greeters. Do they sway instead, in time with spring waking from the bottom up when the river stirs the rushes green? No, not sway, they aren’t dancers. Do they hum, with black birds crowding in, bugs, ducks, turtles, and minnows underneath clouding through their roots, a whole ecology from riverbed to sky? No, not hum, they’re not singers. What are they? There is something there. I float past them. There’s a loon nearby, hunting

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Ann Di Nardo

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Cindy Conlin

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Nathalie Sorensen nsorensen@cogeco.ca Kingston, Ontario

Portal What is behind this filigree gate, signed in a script not yet deciphered? Where does the passage lead, emblazoned with curious frescoes and glazed in yellow light? Are we in Byzantium not far from the goldsmith’s shop where magic birds are sold? Or will we find, around a bend or two, the doors to Tutankhamen’s tomb? We cannot tell, the filigree gate is closed, enigmatic as the door we lost long ago that opens the Golden Age.

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Nathalie Sorensen

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Geoff Suddard suddard@gmail.com

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Pat Calder patcalder12@gmail.com

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Mike Gaudaur

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Richard M. Grove / Tai

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Richard M. Grove / Tai

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7 Poems of Tribute by Don Gutteridge from his upcoming book

Masters of the Craft

Pratt E. J. (Edwin John Dove) Pratt February 4, 1882 – April 26, 1964

He was both bibled and bibulous, a man of the Good Book and a groaning table, a sophisticate of Dickens and tropes, but there was always something of the Newfie ticking within, the urge to spin a yarn just this side of the truth in long loping lines on the lookout for a rhyme, where cachalots did in ten-tentacled squid, and icebergs, calved from the mother-lode, halved the Titanic and watched little children drown, where muscular mollusks and whiskered whelk weathered the Darwinian dark, and this soothsaying scrivener penned epic after epic of krakens awakening and Jesuits in jeopardy – until the last spike was driven.

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Purdy Al (Alfred Wellington) Purdy December 30, 1918 – April 21, 2000

He combed the nooks and crannies of a country and a good bit of the world for fodder to feed the pulsing need of his poems, this connoisseur of the commonplace, this oracle of the ordinary, this troubadour of the imprudent who churned out muscular verse by the baker’s dozen, leavened with a lyric lilt, wherein home-made beer and Caribou horses and all the Annettes coexisted in friendly felicity and an A-frame was made famous – and when he left us, his soul drifted somewhere north of summer.

Layton Irving Peter Layton March 12, 1912 – January 4, 2006

When your muse struck, you switched on the erotic throttle, but there was always something more amorous than sex-hectic in those anthems to the joys of the conjugal joust, more Eros than Bacchanalian, and you were born with the lyric lilt and the natural knack you used to immortalize Keine Lazarovitch, and before all was said and done, you laid down a red carpet for the sun.

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Acorn Milton James Rhode Acorn March 30, 1923 – August 20, 1986

You tasted your blood too much to abide what you were born to, your battered nose worn like a buffoon’s badge to unwelcome the world, and no girl ever called you handsome, yet you composed poems in both love and anger like a passionate assassin, like a ribald bride, like a disbarred bard in Jack-Pine sonnets oozing assonance and rhymes that ricocheted all the way to the heart, where you live still.

Dylan Dylan Thomas October 27, 1914 – November 9, 1953

Dylan! You wrote with a bardic ardour, like a Welsh troubadour peddling ballads door-to-door, like a boulevard busker performing for pittance or pennies, and we loved your raunchy rhymes, your muscular rhythms and the Celtic tang that sang in your chains like the sea, and you must have been there when there were wolves in Wales and the fens were livid with light, and we knew that you too would not go gentle into any Good Night.

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Keats John Keats October 31, 1795 – February 23, 1821

You celebrated urns and nightingales, autumnal mists and La Belle Dame in verses as distilled as Grecian light, oozing allusion and alliterative lilt, and you had the gift of a bard’s gilded grammar and the rigour of his rapturous rhyme, as if the propagation of poems alone could keep you alive long enough to write yourself out of words – before the wasting disease vanished your voice, and on the day you died, bees in their hives unhummed and in the woods nearby, no birds sang

Coleridge Samuel Taylor Coleridge October 21, 1772 – July 25, 1834

You smoked opium to stoke the fires that burned in your brain, where Poesy and Disquisition resided in some unease and occasionally coincided to produce the dream-imbued Kubla and his Pleasure Dome or the sea-faring farrago of an ancient mariner, and I can still see you and William, a brace of lyrical balladeers, combing the Cumbrian hills for that poem-potent tranquility which is the bliss of solitude.

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Canada

in

Review

Review Editor Sh a n e J o s e p h

It’s summer, the season of beach reads, the time to get out and about after being locked up for over a year in pandemical suspension. Our reviewers have caught the bug too (not Covid, but the desire to run free!) and are enjoying the warm weather – reviewing books is the last thing on their minds. And yet, despite the deserted desk, we do have some pieces: essays and contemplations on the various literary forms, intergenerational stories, and a rollicking good murder mystery set in Toronto’s financial industry. We do hope you enjoy this selection. Perhaps you’ll be prompted to try one of these books for your next beach-read. I caution you – these books are more serious than mere beach-reads, but you can start by reading them on the beach... Enjoy your Covid-free summer! Shane Joseph

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Title: The Erotics of Restraint Author: Douglas Glover Publisher: Bibliosis Published Year: 2019 ISBN: 978-1771962919 Number of Pages: 224 Reviewer: Shane Joseph This collection of essays comes from a lifelong absorption in the literary form. Some are broken out into the minutia of formulae that could be delivered to a class on short story writing, while others cover books and writers that appear to be the author’s favourites, among them Alice Munro, Jane Austen, and Albert Camus. Glover opens with Munro and two stories in her book The Lives of Girls and Women. Munro’s style is focussed on chronological threads, repetitions, parallels, constraints and reflectors more than on story and closure. Austen, on the other hand, given the tumultuous time she lived in (American Revolution, Industrial Revolution, French Revolution etc.) contrasted with the pastoral and secluded life she led as the unmarried daughter of a not-so-well-to-do clergyman, advocated restraint in her characters. Fanny the heroine in  Mansfield Park, the book that Glover dissects, is a heroine by default due to her self-restraint and non-action. Camus (the novel in question being  L’Étranger) strays into Hemingway territory with his ellipsis style of showing character actions but not thoughts, often mistaken for Existentialism but vehemently denied by the FrenchAlgerian author. The extensive essay on the short story resembled a college lecture to me, where three short stories of varying length and voice are broken out into their minutia. The old anchor of “plot” around which stories were traditionally built seems to be giving way to other emphases like image patterning, word repetition, thematic passages, backfill, and conflict formulae. I wondered whether this drift was due to the increasing influence of poetry on fiction, or whether readers were getting tired of the “story” within the “short story.” Other essays also get into the craft of fiction, like the ones on time control in narrative prose and on building sentences, and they too resemble classroom lectures. In the very short essay titled “The Literature of Extinction,” experimental literature is discussed; again the old must-haves of plot, setting, and theme are discarded in favour of repeated

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events and images, patterns, sound, dream, and the accidental. The final essay titled “Consciousness and Masturbation” in which Glover examines the short novel Cosmos  by Witold Gombrowicz was the most interesting to me. It reminded me of Kafka’s work. Here, there is a chaos of events, with no apparent meaning, taking place, with the protagonist trying to create order. Gombrowicz’s novel brings into focus all the points hitherto raised by Glover in this collection of essays: imagery, repetition, and cross references that usurp a nonsensical and parodic plot. Masturbation is presented as a way to create a private world from the chaotic one outside one’s control. Some of the other imagery borders on the obscene. Although dubbed a quasi-detective novel, Cosmos ends up a horror story. Reading this book of essays I realized that if I were to be conscious of all the elements of fiction as outlined here while creating a short story or novel, I might be so self-conscious and paralyzed that I might not write a single word. It is therefore better for the writer to create and for the academic to analyze. The creator is free to take the analysis, or reject it. However, keeping these learnings in mind during revision and sculpting of a first draft can help to deepen and enrich it. It is a tribute to an author like Glover who is able to balance both roles of creator and academic in his presentation of this work. With the rapid evolution of fiction, one wonders whether it is easy to become dated quickly. However, Glover provides a nugget of hope: “What is old and discarded becomes fashionable again.” Testament to Austen’s renaissance 200 years after her passing!

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Douglas Glover worked in the newsrooms of daily papers in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec, before publishing Precious in 1984. His byline later appeared in the book pages of The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and The Boston Globe. He is the author of two works of literary criticism, including The Enamoured Knight, a recent book on Don Quixote, and nine books of fiction, including 16 Categories of Desire, A Guide to Animal Behaviour, The Life and Times of Captain N., and the best-selling historical novel Elle, winner of the 2003 Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Elle was also a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and was on the short list of finalists for the 2005 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The book is now available in a new, reader’s guide edition. Born and raised in southwestern Ontario, Douglas Glover now lives near Saratoga Springs, New York.

Shane Joseph is a Canadian novelist, blogger, reviewer, short story writer and publisher. He is the author of six novels and three collections of short stories. His latest novel, Circles in the Spiral, was released in October 2020. For details visit his website at www.shanejoseph.com.

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Title: The Enemies Within Us: A memoir Author: Sharon A. Crawford Publisher: Blue Denim Press Published Year: 2020 ISBN: 978-1-927882-58-0 Number of Pages: 228 Reviewer: Liz Torlée

Sharon A. Crawford endured her journey into adulthood with the spectre of death always lurking in the wings. The Enemies Within Us is an engrossing memoir of the author’s life from childhood in the 1950s to early adulthood, and how she learns about and deals with the premature death of her father. Crawford does a masterful job of interweaving the hopes and serious fears of her younger self with the current reflections of the adult struggling to come to terms with the memories. Growing up as an only-child with parents closer in age to grandparents was challenging enough, but Crawford’s childhood was also plagued with fear … of “The Bully” who tormented her at school, of the harsh and unforgiving nun who was one of her teachers, of the always-admonishing finger of the Catholic Church, and of “The Big C”: the cancer that stalked her father. Both parents are beautifully portrayed. “Daddy”, as Crawford refers to him, is a slightly distant but deeply loving man, the “king looking out for his little princess.” Mom is the practical “worrywart” who showed her love through discipline, through the eight “Rules of Honesty,” and occasional exciting trips to Eaton’s with the added pleasure of “soft white ice cream whirled into a cone.” The author’s vivid descriptions help us to clearly visualize her life in Southern Ontario in the fifties and sixties. Particularly poignant were the Christmas rituals of wrapping and unwrapping gifts, the Godmother’s farm with its strange blend of bright, 1950s kitchen updates, with worn-out furniture, electricity and refrigeration, but no indoor bathroom. Gradually, we become aware of the child’s persistent insecurity … her need to cling to the hand of a close relative to the point of digging her fingers in, for example. She is deeply scared about relatively innocuous things: getting too close to poison ivy, stumbling on an escalator, stepping

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into the muddy waters of the Don River. The young Crawford often refers to herself as “stupid” or “scaredy-cat.” After being teased for refusing to try to float in the deep end of a pool, she wants to quit swimming lessons and claims: “I feel hurt, stupid and inferior.” Her father’s work as a timekeeper for the Canadian National Railway made Crawford a “railroad brat” and many of the scenes in the memoir are of riding the rails to visit friends and relatives. Later, the streetcars of Toronto would hold a similar fascination. I confess to skimming much of the detail of bus, train, and streetcar routes that were obviously significant in the reflections of the author but, I believe, extraneous to the potent themes of the memoir. I felt the same about some of the historical detail that seemed a little out of left field … the riots in the U.S. in the sixties, for example. Along with all the skillfully observed recollections there is the slow but persistent tread of something ominous, something that the child feels but cannot dimensionalize, that turns what should have been the normal joys and fears of growing up into an anxiety with lasting impact. As a young adult, in an attempt to mitigate the impending loss of her father, Crawford felt the strong need to distance herself from him, and she describes this stage with great candour and acute retrospective guilt. At one point, looking back to the early days, the author muses: “Why can’t a kid live in the moment and just know in that moment how precious it is?” To me, this sums up beautifully the very heart of this absorbing memoir.

Sharon A. Crawford, a former journalist, writes the Beyond mystery series and hosts the TV show Crime Beat Confidential on thatchannel.com. She teaches fiction and memoir writing, and belongs to Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, Toronto Heliconian Club, and runs the East End Writers’ Group. Her interests include gardening, walking, reading, research, and photography. Visit her website www.samcraw.com

Liz Torleé lived and worked in England and Germany before emigrating to Canada. Her fascination with the idea of fate and what is known as “coincidence” fuelled the ideas in The Way Things Fall, and her extensive travel in the Middle East and Italy inspired many of the scenes. She lives with her husband in Toronto. The Way Things Fall is her first novel.

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Title: The Heart Beats in Secret Author: Katie Munnik Publisher: The Borough Press (an imprint of Harper Collins) Published year: 2020 ISBN: 978-0-00-833699-8 Number of Pages: 400 Reviewer: Felicity Sidnell Reid In The Heart Beats in Secret, three women from the same family tell their stories of love, fidelity, loss, birth, motherhood, and survival on their own as they experience these in different time zones; Jane during World War II in a village in East Lothian on the wild Scottish Coast and Felicity, her daughter, in Montreal as FLQ violence builds during the sixties. The unrest in the city and her pregnancy prompt Felicity to seek refuge at a commune in the woods which offers care and community to single pregnant women and sometimes families. There, she raises her daughter, Pidge who, as a young woman, is drawn to the excitement of city life and finds a job in an art gallery in Ottawa where she explores the challenges of living an independent life. When Jane dies in 2006, leaving her house to her granddaughter, Pidge leaves for Scotland, expecting to uncover secrets which have left gaps in her family history that have always puzzled her. Those secrets are illuminated for the reader by the settings and way of life which the three main characters describe in their individual stories. That Jane is a poet and student of poetry and Felicity a storyteller colours the nature of the narrative, which is lyrical, poetic, and filled with images that deepen the tales they tell. Pidge, full of curiosity, sorts out her grandmother’s papers and belongings, finding answers to some questions she hadn’t anticipated, but coming to realise that hearts hold close some secrets which will never be verbalized. The novel is woven together by the linked stories of a grandmother, mother, and daughter which are not told chronologically as the reader slips from one to another and back, but they are also closely bound by the use of metaphor and allusion, for example, to birds, particularly wild geese and

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pigeons, and to rocks whether those of the Scottish shore, those which Jane’s husband Stanley, a geologist, studies, the rocky hills surrounding the commune in the Quebec woods, or even the glass and stone architecture of Ottawa. When Pidge arrives at her grandmother’s house she finds a Canada goose guarding the property. The bird inveigles her way into the house, laying eggs and building a nest in an armchair in the living room. Pidge extends her stay and has time to read and digest the letters that her grandmother has preserved for her, and to build an odd but intimate relationship with the goose, which seems to provide a special link with her grandmother, Jane. She reflects on the stories her mother, Felicity, told, ‘wondering aloud about the things we get to keep, the things we release… and if we’re lucky, get to choose.’ When the goose finally flies away, Pidge knows that though she may always have questions, she has a new understanding of the strong relationship and love between the generations and that she is lucky enough to be able to make choices herself. Katie Munnik is a Canadian author living in Cardiff, UK. She is a graduate of Queens’ University, the University of St. Andrew’s and the Humber School of Writers in Toronto. A collection of her short fiction, The Pieces We Keep, was released by Wild Goose Publications and her prose, poetry, and creative non-fiction have been published in magazines and journals in the UK and Canada. In the summer of 2017, she won the Borough Press Open Submissions contest, and her debut novel The Heart Beats in Secret has become a USA Today Bestseller. Her second novel The Aerialists  will be published by the Borough Press in April 2022.

Felicity Sidnell Reid’s poetry, short stories and reviews have been published in anthologies, on line journals and collections. Her novel, Alone: A Winter in the Woods (Hidden Brook Press, 2015) was released as an e-book in 2020. She is co-host/producer of the long running radio series on 89.7 FM, Word on the Hills (wordonthehills.com) which interviews regional authors and invites guests to read from their work. Felicity recently published a chapbook of her poems, entitled The Yellow Magnolia.

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Title: Uncharted Waters Author: Rosemary McCracken Publisher: Carrick Publishing Published Year: 2020 ISBN: 978-1772421194 Paperback: 346 pages Reviewer: Sharon A. Crawford

Uncharted Waters, the fourth novel in the Pat Tierney mystery series, is Rosemary McCracken’s best book. The plot twists and turns and twists some more. I couldn’t stop reading it. Plot isn’t the only driving factor. Setting is also important in McCracken’s novels. The first, Safe Harbor, was set in Toronto, and the next two, Black Water and Raven Lake, were mainly in cottage country. In Uncharted Waters, Pat returns to Toronto, and the city becomes almost another character. Fictional characters influence the amount of reader interest. In a series, the reader gets to know the main characters, some are present briefly in one novel, but are more visible in others. Not all characters are likeable; but a skilled author will show them as people – flaws and good points – often growing in each novel’s appearance. However, it is the main character who has the responsibility to change, to grow with each novel, because if she or he doesn’t, then the reader is confronted with a stagnant character, often leading to boredom. The latter is not the case with Pat Tierney, the financial advisor protagonist. She has evolved throughout the previous novels, riding the waves of change, not only with her career, but with her family. She has adopted seven-year-old Tommy who was left in her office by his mother – her late husband’s lover. She has stepped in to help her eldest daughter, Tracy, when her partner was suspected of murder, and now her youngest daughter, Laura, who at 18 is unmarried and pregnant. In each novel, Pat faces some aspect of investment fraud, situations that McCracken knows well as she is a freelance journalist who writes about the personal finance industry. Always, murder follows the fraud, and Pat gets

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involved in tracking the circumstances and finding the killer. She has to get the truth because sometimes family or friends are jeopardized. In Uncharted Waters, Pat collides with several fraudulent scoundrels. The stakes are upped a great deal. Pat has quit the firm she worked for. She wants to buy an existing business operated on a fee-only basis, instead of on commission, and locates one for sale in Toronto’s Annex. Part of the deal is keeping Samantha (Sam), the personal assistant who is upfront about her checkered past, including doing jail time, but as Pat later learns, Sam lies, often by omission. Pat has mixed feelings about Sam, but decides to buy the business anyway, mortgaging her home heavily to do so. Pat no sooner signs the purchase agreement when the vendor, Dean Monahan, is murdered in his office. This draws out all the vultures, including Lucas Monahan, Dean’s son, angry that his father didn’t will him the business. He is out to ruin Pat’s reputation, misrepresenting Pat as a fraudster. He joins forces with his mother, Catherine, to start a rival fee-only business by stealing all his late father’s clients from Pat. However, buying the business does drive some of these clients to Pat, including the richest investor, Ben Cordova, who makes a play for Pat on a personal level. Then there are others such as the mysterious Mindy, Sam’s sister Becca, and Becca’s violent husband, Gabe Quincy. And Detective Sergeant Neil Hardy, from Toronto Police Homicide who somewhat patiently deals with Pat’s investigation of the crimes. Unlike many fictional protagonists, Pat is scrupulous about passing along her findings to Hardy, especially when murder occurs yet again. In Uncharted Waters, Rosemary McCracken has created a multidimensional story, which will keep readers charging from page to page. My only concern or question is: when will the next Pat Tierney mystery be published? Rosemary McCracken is the author of the Pat Tierney mystery series: Safe Harbor, Black Water, Raven Lake and Uncharted Waters. She lives in Toronto and teaches novel writing at George Brown College.

Sharon A. Crawford, a former journalist, writes the Beyond mystery series and hosts Crime Beat Confidential on thatchannel.com. She teaches fiction and memoir writing, belongs to Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, Toronto Heliconian Club, and runs the East End Writers’ Group. Visit her website www.samcraw.com.

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Canada: Coast to Coast to Coast Curator: Andrey Litviakov An Introduction to Andrey Litviakov: I met Andrey on FaceBook and asked him if I could use one of his pics in the “Quintessentially Canadian” section of this issue. This led to us corresponding by email and me seeing many more of his photographs. This eventually led him to agreeing to curate this new photography section, “Canada: Coast to Coast to Coast” of Devour. I asked Andrey for a bit of a bio to help introduce himself to our readers. This is what he said: I was born in USSR (Republic Kazakhstan) in 1976. I graduated from high school and moved to Russia. I graduated from university with a bachelor degree as an Electronics Engineer and worked in different fields including as a informatics lecturer, sound engineer, telecommunications engineer, martial arts instructor… I immigrated to Canada in 2013. Here I was working as cable technician for Cogeco. I have been a Taekwondo instructor; I have a black belt master 5 Dan (degree). I have been a metrology technician and the last 6 years I have worked full time as a web developer. I am also running a small business “Tornado Taekwondo” a taekwondo martial arts club in Stoney Creek, Ontario. I have a contract as a photographer with international department of Mohawk College. Probably it's too much but it's a long life and I've done a lot. Photography has been my passion since I was 12 years old. My father gave me his basic film camera when I was 12. I've done a lot of black and white photography over the years including developing the film and printing the photos myself. For 25 years those films stayed in a box before I finally scanned them. I have around 1000 black and white pictures from those times. I stopped doing film photography when I was 17 and I didn't take pictures for around 15 years. Then I bought my first DSLR camera and now I have my camera with me all the time. It is a pleasure to have Andrey join Devour as the curator of this new section. Call For Submissions: If you have any pics of Canada you can send them to Andrey at – alitphoto@hotmail.com. The photographs must be a Canadian landscape or cityscape. Email a maximum 3 pics, 300 dpi. It is important that you put your name and place of pic in the file name.

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Niagara Falls, Ontario

Lake Ontario, Hamilton

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Southampton, Ontario

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Devils Punch Bowl, Stoney Creek, Ontario

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Burlington, Ontario

Beamer Conservation Area, Grimsby, Ontario

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Confederation Park, Hamilton, Ontario

Grimsby, Ontario

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Photograph by Ann Di Nardo

Profile for Hidden Brook Press

Devour: Art and Lit Canada, issue 011 – Summer 2021  

Hidden Brook Press brings you Devour: Art & Lit Canada. Devour is dedicated to the Canadian voice. Find some of Canada’s finest authors, pho...

Devour: Art and Lit Canada, issue 011 – Summer 2021  

Hidden Brook Press brings you Devour: Art & Lit Canada. Devour is dedicated to the Canadian voice. Find some of Canada’s finest authors, pho...

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