A Burst of Praise for the Winners of the Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest 2019

As always, reading the 300 some poems submitted to the Occasional Verse contest—and spending an afternoon in conversation about the 25 or so on our longlist—was one of the year’s great pleasures. TNQ’s OV contest is unusual in that it’s a poetry contest judged mostly by non-poets, many of them friends and relations of the […]

Wandering into a Parallel Poetry Universe with Terence Young: 2019 OV Contest Winner

Barb Carter, Lead Poetry Editor, in conversation with Terence Young on his poem “Tender is the Night,” the overall winner of The Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest for 2019. The poem appears in Issue 152 of The New Quarterly.   Barb: Terence, I can’t help asking what the term Occasional Verse means to you. What for […]

Finding the Form with Hege Jakobsen Lepri

“Metaphorically, my writing process looks like this: I’m hiding under a table with my eyes closed, trying to capture the emotion and intensity of what’s going in the room.” I’m not a natural essayist. When I write nonfiction, which in my case usually means a personal essay, I don’t see connections or an arc for […]

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What is Jessica Westhead Reading?

“…what I loved most about this novel is that it’s not one thing disguised as the other—these two elements are very much intertwined.” I’m still shaking my head in wonder at the marvellousness of The Chai Factor by Farah Heron. It’s a highly entertaining romp of a romantic comedy that giddily explores the will-they-or-won’t-they-end-up-together star-crossed […]

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On Being the 88th Berton House Writer in Residence

“One night, I sat alone in awe, in the front yard from midnight until 3 in the morning as the Aurora Borealis twisted green and red across the sky.” The Berton House residency, administered by the Writers’ Trust of Canada, in partnership with the Klondike Visitors Association, is a jewel among Canadian writing residencies. When […]

Unravel in Banff: Notes from Banff Centre’s Writing Studio Program

To make a work is to sit with your irrelevanceand confront your importance.I mean, the swallows just fly.And the papaya sweats when cut. With the pad of my right index fingerI smooth my left brow.It’s so easy and feelsfeels so physical.The taste of plain yogurt which has turned, slightly.I knew I would change physically. – […]

Finding the Form with Katherine Barrett

“Helen wouldn’t know the word umlungu, but it shaped her story and how I wrote it. Like the foreman-boss she watches from her third-floor perch, she likes to think she’s in control, at least of herself.” My character chose the form for “Skin,” though she’s not happy with it. Helen is a poet. If she […]

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What is Joanne Epp Reading?

I’m trying to think of what it is, exactly, that I like so much about these stories… I recently finished reading The First Eagle by Tony Hillerman, and am now in the middle of Sacred Clowns, also by Hillerman. Both are from his series of mystery novels set on a Navajo reservation in the southwestern […]

Karoline Georges’ Writing Space

“Maybe they know my books were once trees with green leaves like theirs.” My writing space is small and packed with too much plants. I can’t help it: I need an army of flowers to assist me with my creative process. Orchids and African violets are all over my house, but there’s also many green […]

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Hege Jakobsen Lepri’s Writing Space

I struggle with keeping my writing to one space. I have a rather large study with a six foot desk on the third floor where I do most of my translation work. I have a large book case and all my dictionaries there, and there is even plenty of natural light. But I rarely manage […]

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