Category Archives: Authors

Of Birds and Bees: Listening to the Bees launches tomorrow

Spring is in full swing, feathers are flying, and bees are buzzing.  The winners of the Magpie Award for Poetry will be announced on May 15th, the same day that the earlybird rate for the Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize ends (enter soon!).  And our Magpie, Judge Renée Sarojini Saklikar, who has just as much an affinity for flying creatures as we do, will be launching her new book, Listening to the Bees, tomorrow …

Listening to the Bees

Can poetry matter? In an age where information is rarely parsed into verse and 120 character limits reign supreme, it’s a valid question at many a poet’s roundtable discussion. However, for Renée Sarojini Saklikar, the answer is simple: Yes.

Listening to the Bees (Nightwood Editions, 2018) is a book of essays and bee poems in collaboration with Dr. Mark Winston. The recent and alarming decline of honey bee populations deserves attention, and Renée’s poetry has risen to the occasion. This joint artistic and scientific venture moves between the deeply personal connection humans have with bees and meticulously gathered facts for a written experience of what it means to listen to bees.

The book launches this Thursday, May 10th, in Vancouver at the Western Front Art Gallery. Mark Winston will recount experiences from a forty-year career as a scientist studying bees, and Renée Saklikar will respond with innovative and elegant poems.

Can’t make it tomorrow?  Additional launches will be happening in Surrey on May 11th, and Victoria on May 25th.

Renée Sarojini Saklikar is Poet Laureate for the City of Surrey, British Columbia. Trained as a lawyer and with a degree in English Literature, Renée is currently teaching creative writing for SFU and Vancouver Community College.  Renée’s first book, children of air india, (Nightwood Editions, 2013) won the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for poetry and was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.  Renée’s poetry, essays, and short fiction has been published in many literary journals and anthologies. Her work has also been adapted into other art forms, including musical and visual installations. Pulp Literature Press thanks Renée for serving as the judge for 2017 and 2018 Magpie Award for Poetry.

 

 

Stella is a Leacock Medal Contender

Things that bring us joy:

  • Great books
  • Good beer
  • One of our authors being longlisted!

Mel Anastasiou has been longlisted for the
71st Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour!

Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries is one of ten books out of seventy that are under consideration for this prestigious award. The shortlist will be announced May 2nd, followed on June 9th by the announcement of the winner.

More information on the longlisted authors, as well as the history of the Medal, membership, and all the previous winners, is available on the Leacock Associates’ website at leacock.ca.

Stella Ryman’s sleuthing adventures were first serialized in Pulp Literature Issues 1, 3, 5, and 7, and were complied into our first novel publication in 2017.  We’re incredibly proud of this book and delighted it is being recognized by such an esteemed jury.  Please join us in congratulating Mel, and be sure to check out Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries.

Already read the novel and want more Stella Ryman?  Check out Pulp Literature Issue 18, Spring 2018, containing a preview of Mel’s second Stella novel, Stella Ryman and the Mystery of the Mah-Jongg Box.

 

 

 

Featured Author: Sophie Panzer

Ah, young talent! In the spirit of spring and new beginnings, emerging writers are a symbol of good things to come. Sophie Panzer, author of ‘The Commute’ (Issue 18), is brimming with fresh ideas and expression — fitting for our Spring Issue.

Sophie studies history at McGill University,  and was a finalist for the 2017 QWF Literary Prize for Young Writers, a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, and the winner of a 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards National Silver Medal. We also have it on good authority that she is a fan of musicals and long walks in the woods.

If you’re wondering what the future holds for Sophie, we we can tell you a few things to keep an eye out for.  Issue 29 of Gingerbread House Literary Magazine and the inaugural issue of Fearsome Critters: A Millennial Arts Journal will both contain poems penned by Sophie Panzer. Additionally, her chapbook, Survive July, will be released this summer with Red Bird Chapbooks. Her debut chapbook is “…a hybrid collection of flash fiction, text  messages, and mini plays that tells the story of a young woman struggling with her mental health and sexuality after her first year of college.”  We’re excited for it all.

To get you hooked on Sophie’s storytelling style, here’s a peak at ‘The Commute’ from the  newly released Pulp Literature Issue 18.

The Commute

by Sophie Panzer

There’s a demon in the metro again, which means I’ll be late to work for the second time this week.

“This is ridiculous,” I hear a woman behind me hiss as a small crowd of harried commuters throngs around the Atwater metro entrance. A sign in French and English reading, “Out of service 6h — 9h due to demonic paranormal activity. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience,” is affixed to the doors.

“This is the second time this month!” I turn to the source of the voice, a middle-aged woman with a severe haircut and a navy pantsuit. She looks and sounds like my mother, a formidable, wealthy matriarch from Westmount used to getting her own way in her office and on the synagogue board.

“The people who cut funding to the DPAM don’t even live here,” someone else wails. “If they had to deal with this commute, we wouldn’t have to deal with this bullshit.”

I’m already mentally drafting an apologetic excuse to my boss, Sharon, but I doubt it will do me much good. I’m working as a paralegal in her downtown office because she’s an old friend of my mother’s. She’s not my biggest fan, especially since I turned her son down for prom in grade twelve and called her out for being a tiny bit racist when she said the one black member of our congregation looked like her hair had been attacked by a vacuum cleaner.

  Spring into the rest of ‘The Commute’ in Issue 18!

 

Author News: Greg Brown

Pushcart Prize 2018 CoverAt Pulp Literature, we know our writers are talented, and we want the rest of the world to know too! That’s why every year we nominate six of the authors whose pieces have especially inspired us for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. Touted as “the best of small presses”, Pushcart awards honour those writers who excel at their craft. This year we are pleased to announce Pulp Literature author, Greg Brown, has been nominated by Pushcart judges for his short story, ‘Love’ (Issue 16).

Greg Brown is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He is a recipient of UBC’s Roy Daniels Memorial Essay Prize, and you can find his stories, criticism, and essays in Postscript, Paragon, The
RS500, Lenses: Perspectives on Literature, and Tate Street. His surreal short story ‘Bear’ appeared in Pulp Literature Issue 14.

We will find out if Greg’s story makes the final cut in May. Until then, we’ll give you a taste of the story that has Pushcart judges sitting up in their seats…

 

‘Love’
Greg Brown

We agreed as a family that the only thing to do was to bring Mom home for the next few months or weeks, whatever it would be. It’ll be hard, Dad said. But maybe it can be fine, too. Denisa was suspicious about the cost of it all — like the private nurse we’d have to pay for, where at the hospital it was free — although she didn’t put it like that, said that we’d be crazy to bring Mom into a place where there wasn’t any immediate care, because what if there was a problem like before, the thing with her stent that plugged up and caused some internal bleeding that almost wasn’t staunched in time?

She could’ve, Denisa said.

The oncologist had said October, and the late pale fog had come and now the
sky was mostly dimmed and gone by suppertime.

I said that I would only do it if we agreed that Pastor Karen would not come to
the house; I was not comfortable with Pastor Karen coming to the house. Jon and Dad looked at me a moment and said, Okay.

Denisa said, I don’t get what you don’t like about Pastor Karen.

And I explained why I didn’t like Pastor Karen.

And Denisa said, Well I don’t think it’s really fair to call her a liar.

And I explained why I thought it was fair to call Pastor Karen a liar.

And Denisa said, Well, by that standard they’re all liars. And then we’d all be
liars, too. The whole thing would be a lie. We don’t need lies right now.

I agreed with Denisa, especially about how we didn’t need lies right now.

Read the rest of ‘Love’ in Pulp Literature Issue 16. And check out Greg Brown’s ‘Bear’ in Issue 14, currently on sale!

 

 

 

Featured Author: Genni Gunn

If you look closely, hints of spring are all around us, from barely there tree buds, to coat shedding temperatures. But no sign is clearer than the launch of our Spring 2018 issue! To celebrate Pulp Literature Issue 18, Spring 2018, Pulp is hosting a launch at Cottage Bistro, complete with readings from local Pulp Literature authors, like Issue 18 featured author, Genni Gunn.

Genni Gunn’s eight books include novels, short fiction, poetry, and memoir. She has also written the libretto for the opera Alternate Visions, produced in Montreal in 2007, and has translated three collections of poetry from Italian. Her novel Tracing Iris was made into a film, and her novel Solitaria was longlisted for the  2011 Giller Prize. She lives in Vancouver and can be found at gennigunn.com.

Genni Gunn, is our featured author in Issue 18 with her short story, ‘Stones’.  Be the first to read an exclusive interview with Genni, as well as other hand-picked short stories, poems, a comic, and the winners of Pulp Literature’s 2017 Raven Short Story Contest when you get a hot-off-the-press copy at our Spring Launch.

Pulp Literature Spring 2018 Launch
Friday 16th March, 6-8pm
The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main St, Vancouver
Free to attend, but please RSVP

RSVP here

Until March 15th you can save $2 on pre-orders of Issue 17 print or ebook versions.  Reserve your copy now!

 

Featured Author: Erin Kirsh

Erin Kirsh is a pushcart-nominated writer, performer, funnyman, and rant maker from Toronto. She has toured original works on stages across North America, and has represented Vancouver twice at both the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and the National Poetry Slam.

Her blog, The Losing Game, chronicles the heartbreak and jubilance of publication rejection and acceptance (respectively), which we at Pulp Literature can appreciate all too well. As Erin says: In 2018, you can follow my progress (or lowgress, depending on the stretch) here. Come for the sweat and the ugliness. Come for the support. Come to feed your superiority, if you need to, come to reminisce about a time you were less successful than you are now, come if you need to see the struggle of the game, come if you need hope for yourself. I promise to gift wrap it nicely for you. 

You might remember the riveting reading Erin Kirsh gave last September at the Issue 16 launch. Her story, ‘The Wind of a Train’, had us all worried for a future we hope never to see, and optimistic for the future of this talented writer and performer.

The Wind of a Train
Erin Kirsh

I have thirty minutes to get to the station. It doesn’t really matter which station, anything on the line will work, only I’m not really sure where I’ve gotten to. I don’t have the benefit of being from this city.

The Sinking was sudden. A lot of places, including the coastal city I lived in, shook then were swallowed by water. Those of us who were rescued got airlifted to other parts of the country, where, as it turns out, there’s not enough room for all of us. I was an early recovery, I got here when people were feeling more hospitable. The city wasn’t overrun then. Nobody wants to tell the survivors of a tragedy to fuck off until said survivors start inconveniencing them. So being a sort of pioneer of the good ship shitstorm, I have a shelter of sorts, but it’ll be gone if I’m not back before midnight. If things are lawless in the day, at night they are competitively piratical. I didn’t mean to be out so late, but this city’s more or less unnavigable and it doesn’t take much wandering to end up far from Woodbine or Coxwell or any of the four street names I’ve memorized. So I got lost, and now I’ve got two choices. Get back to the place where I’m somewhat comfortable and my stuff remains unpoached as of yet, or move in on someone else’s territory and hope that the stuff I snatch is better than what I’d be giving up.

Twenty more minutes. I should’ve picked taller landmarks when I first set out. Picking buildings that may or may not be chain establishments was a lapse of judgment. I wish I could ask someone for directions to the subway, but they’d either be Settled and think I’m fucking up their society, or worse, they’d be Displaced. Settled would make me feel bubonic and burdensome, but a Displaced person would lead me in the wrong direction, steer me down some dark alley and mug me. Best case scenario, I mean…

 

 

Read the rest of ‘The Wind of a Train’ in Pulp Literature Issue 16

Featured Author: AJ Odasso

Part of Pulp Literature‘s mission is to showcase work that challenges us and delights us by new and established writers from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. Pulp Literature author AJ Odasso weaves words as an established queer-identifying poet who occasionally dabbles in well-crafted short-narratives.

Odasso is the author of three award-nominated poetry collections (Lost Books and The Dishonesty of Dreams, from Flipped-Eye Publishing; Things Being What They Are, unpublished and shortlisted for the Sexton Prize) as well as a handful of short stories.  She serves as Senior Poetry Editor at Strange Horizons magazine.  You can find her at twitter.com/ajodasso.

AJ left us hanging with Part 1 of ‘We Come Back Different’ in Issue 17, and while we’re patiently waiting for Part 2 in Pulp Literture Issue 18, here’s a refresher:

 

We Come Back Different
AJ Odasso

3 June 18—
St George’s, Bermuda


My dearest Tess,

In spite of the disagreeable circumstances under which we last parted, I hope that this letter finds you well.  It will cheer you to know that your father’s health is much improved since you left for Scotland this spring.  He delights in your single-minded love of study, and  his desire is that you should make as fine a scholar as your mother.  But I must caution you, my love, to remember that there are pleasures in this world that do not concern anatomy, chemistry, or engineering.  My ever-troublesome charge — Trevor is growing! — has found an expedient use for your old laboratory goggles.  Your brother has taken to packing them for our jaunts to Horseshoe Bay.  He has mastered the art of holding his breath underwater, during which time he is content, from behind glass through which you once squinted at dissections, to observe parrot fish the size of soup tureens.

Regarding our falling-out, I am not inclined to continue in such unseemly avoidance — for you have said that what you admire most is my forthrightness, and I hope I have not been foolish in treasuring your honesty.  Do not take your wealth for granted:  had my mother been rich, she would have wished for me an education as fine as yours.  I understand that the completion of your degree is essential; I want nothing more than for you to perfect your skill in the sciences.  All I ask in return is that you do not write off my fancies, for poetry and politics are equal to the task of improving humankind.  Furthermore, I remain steadfast in my opinion that you have done poorly by Trevor.  His musical talent continues to flourish, and although you set little stock by the performance he had so carefully prepared for your departure, he believes firmly that you are the cleverest, kindest creature ever to walk the earth.  Write to him, Tess.  He misses you.

For my part, I pass endless days in pursuit of Trevor and in seeing to your father’s welfare.  Although he is more sanguine than you will remember, his memory declines.  For each time that he recognizes me, he supposes me to be your mother at least twice.  I cannot persist in this sad affair without reassurance of your support — surely you may find the time to write more than once a month, so that my spirits might be lifted!  I can take only so much solace in Trevor’s compositions and in discovering which of your father’s favourite strays has lately hidden her kittens amidst the banana trees and knee-high weeds in the garden.  Artemis has dropped her first litter.

This corner of the world is monotonous, my darling.  Be brilliant, and be well.

Ever yours,
Amelia

* * *

12 June 18—
St Andrews,  Scotland

Sweet Amelia,

This correspondence may reach your shores by sea rather than by air, much to my annoyance.  The pilots’ strike cannot continue indefinitely, so why not apply your political acumen to that when next you submit a column to The Trans-Atlantic Weekly?  Several of the faculty here are ardent followers of your rambling yet sagacious wit.  Perhaps it will earn you a scholarship.

Please do not think that I have not taken to heart the contents of your letter, but I must report a strange occurrence that has lately beset my corner of the world.  Lansdowne, my tutor, has been ardently in favour of my chosen discipline — that is, the repair and replacement of organs and other such vital tissue through methods of hermetically sealed replacements, etc.  I will not attempt another description of these devices’ components, nor of the fusion by which they run in perpetuity.  You, lively and insightful, must populate this world with wonders, whereas I, eternally brooding, must endeavour to unlock the causes of its unhappiest misfortunes and to repair them if I am able.

The occurrence of which I speak centres on one such misfortune, Amelia — the gravest of them all, I fear, to which none of us are immune.  The body of a young woman washed ashore on the West Sands just over a week ago …  

Read the rest of part of ‘We Come Back Different’
right now in Issue 17….

… and save $2 when you pre-order Issue 18 featuring the conclusion of the story, due out in April.

Congratulations to Robert J Sawyer

Please join us in congratulating Issue 7’s feature author, Robert J Sawyer. As the holder of various distinctions in the sci-fi literary community, including the Nebula Award, the Hugo Award, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Robert is known around the world as the Canadian master of science fiction.

Now, his contributions to Canadian fiction have earned him a place in the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honour, which recognizes individuals whose exceptional achievements in their field have left a lasting legacy in the province, Canada and beyond.

Robert will be officially appointed on February 27th. Until then, see the writing chops of this award-winning author for yourself in this excerpt from Pulp Literature Issue 7, Summer 2015.

Fallen Angel

by Robert J Sawyer

Angela Renaldo never knew if it was an act of homage or of defiance—whether it was the ultimate show of faith in God, or whether it was tantamount to flipping the bird at the Almighty.

Carlo, the eldest of her five brothers, doubtless had an opinion.From his position, planted firmly on the ground, near the bleachers, hands resting on the gray rubber rims of the twin wheels that propelled him along, there could be no doubt. God had enough to keep Himself busy looking after regular folk; He had no time for those who deliberately tempted fate.

Angela, the youngest Renaldo child, loved Carlo; she didn’t love all her brothers, but her affection for Carlo was pure. He was the only one who had played catch with her, the only one who had listened to her, the only one who never seemed to mind her being around.

Now, of course, things were different. Now, Carlo didn’t play catch with anyone. He just sat in his chair, almost never looking up.

There was nothing to fear, Poppa always said. We’ll be so high up that we’ll catch God’s eye. 

Read the rest of ‘Fallen Angel’ in Pulp Literature Issue 7,
on sale for only 9.99 print / 3.49 ebook till the end of the month!

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Author: Emily Osborne

We love it when we have good news to share about our authors. This week, join us in congratulating Emily Osborne, author of ‘Devonian’ (Pulp Literature Issue 17, Winter 2018) for winning an honorable mention in Contemporary Verse 2’s 2017 Young Buck Poetry Contest!  On top of this good news, we’ve learned that her chapbook Biometrical will be published by Anstruther Press later this year.

Emily Osborne is a researcher, translator, and poet living in British Columbia, Canada.  She earned a PhD in Old Norse-Icelandic literature from the University of Cambridge and recently held a postdoctoral fellowship in mediaeval literature and linguistics at the University of British Columbia.  She has taught mediaeval literature and poetics at Cambridge and UBC and published several scholarly articles.  Her poetry has appeared in The Literary Review of Canada and Symposium, and she was runner-up for Eyewear Publishing’s first Fortnight Prize.  Emily has also published translations of Old English and Old Norse poetry in academic journals and books.

She has kindly shared with us is an excerpt from her poem ‘Diacritics’, published in Minola Review’s 2016-2017 Anthology.

Diacritics

Maybe all vowels were once sister chromatids,
but now we carve grave and caret
on separate word trees.

I can’t read your DNA or lips.
You said my consonants split and replicate,

like cells in tumours.
Writing them makes you stressed.

Possessives are tricky on paper,
so often inked with red. After classes,
ESL students roam cities, see kids
slash ‘ł’ and ‘ø’ on concrete artistry.
Is that Polish? No.
Paint bleeds.
Later they’ll sit at library PCs,
typing home without familiar glyphs.

Viewpoints online metastasize through hashtag
alphabets, while English pushes diacritics
out of foreign correspondence.
Keyboards are capricious,
and we’re étroit d’esprit
when small things make big shifts.

 

Emily’s poem, ‘Glassblowing’, will appear in CV2’s Summer 2018 issue.  In the meantime and you can find ‘Devonian’, and more wonderful poetry in Pulp Literature Issue 17.

 

Author News: Brandon Crilly

If you missed author Brandon Crilly at ConFusion this past weekend in Detroit, don’t worry! There’s still plenty of time to get a spot at Can-Con 2018, where Brandon (and many other writers) will be speaking, workshopping, and/or roaming the dealer’s room.

In the meantime, Brandon’s literary time-travel piece, ‘Moments‘, was published in Daily Science Fiction. About the piece, the author says:

Ideas sometimes come from strange places. ‘Moments’ actually originated with a yearbook comment I wrote for one of my students in June (2017). There was a running joke in class where every time I said something like, “Don’t worry, I won’t change the date of the test,” this student would pull out her phone and say, “So at this time, on this date, you said this”–basically pretending to keep a record to hold me to my word, since too many teachers didn’t keep theirs, in her experience. I came up with the structure of ‘Moments’ on the fly when I was scribbling in her yearbook, and then realized it would be an awesome structure for an actual story. The time travel narrative came naturally, and the rest of the story followed. And since this is my first ever DSF story, I’m dedicating ‘Moments’ to my students and colleagues at Merivale High School, who gave me no shortage of inspiration and entertainment.

Brandon can also be found in Pulp Literature Issue 16 with his short story, ‘Clearing Out Nests’.

Clearing Out Nests
By Brandon Crilly

Hana triple-checked that she had cleaned all the dried blood off her skin before she left the restroom. No one in the coffee shop had noticed it when she walked in, so focused were they on their conversations or smart phones. There had only been a few patches of gore; she thought about sitting down at the counter to see how long it took for someone to give her a weird look. Or scream. Willis would have killed her if she’d tried that, though, so her bloody hijab, shirt and pants went into her backpack, to join the pile of similar laundry waiting at home.

A steaming cup of coffee was waiting for her at the long counter that looked out on the street. Willis had a newspaper in front of him, but that was just for show; between sips of herbal tea, his eyes were on the empty building across the street, one hand resting near the duffel bag that held their weapons. The place across the street had been a clothing store before a couple of unexplained deaths led to it closing down. There was a gap in the polite FOR LEASE signs lining the windows, but if no one had seen Hana take it down with her when one of the ghouls threw her across the interior, she doubted anyone would bat an eye now.

“Nothing, I’m guessing?” Hana asked.

“Not a peep.”

Hana took a careful sip of coffee, but the motion still made her throat ache where that ghoul had grabbed her. She grimaced, and Willis shook his head.

“Please don’t start already.”

“You should’ve gone left,” he said. He licked drips of tea from his shock-white
mustache.

“Are you really going to criticize me for making the wrong choice on a fifty-fifty chance?  If you thought I should’ve gone left, maybe you could’ve shouted or something, because going right seemed perfectly fine to me at the time.”

Willis grunted.  “You’re being too loud.”

“Like anyone would care in here,” Hana murmured.  She glanced around.  The patrons in here had been two lanes of traffic away from a nest of ghouls that would have gladly ripped their faces off and danced in their skin.  But of course they had no clue, and would go on with their blissfully ignorant lives, thanks to people like Hana and Willis.  …

The entirety of ‘Clearing Out Nests’ can be read in Pulp Literature Issue 16, currently half off in our bookstore with the code BEATTHEBLUES.