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Past Issue

Cover Image: Amanda Yakem: Portrait of Marilyn Dumont
Winter 2017, Volume 38, No.4
Volume 38, No. 4, Winter 2017
Prairie Fire's Winter 2017 issue features the Anne Szumigalski Memorial Lecture by Marilyn Dumont, as well as new work from Dora Dueck, Patrick Friesen, Eve Joseph, Shannon Quinn & more!

Table of Contents

Patrick Friesen—Three Poems
Dora Dueck—A Weekend at the Lake
Nicholas Bradley—Two Poems
Shannon Quinn—Three Poems
Marilyn Dumont—Fire Brings Us Together
Marilyn Dumont—Three Poems
Brittany Luby—To Hayter Reed, Former Deputy
Superintendent General of Indian Affairs:
Kristi Carter—Two Poems
Meg Todd—Lot
T.A. Young—Two Poems
Eve Joseph—Two Poems
Stan Rogal—Two Poems
Leanne Lieberman—Paul
Jonathan Greenhause—Bea places each day of her humdrum life
Josh Massey—On the brink of the feathered chest
James W. Wood—Aeneas in the Twenty-First Century



Marilyn Dumont
Leanne Lieberman


Dora Dueck
Meg Todd


Nicholas Bradley
Kristi Carter
Marilyn Dumont
Patrick Friesen
Jonathan Greenhause
Eve Joseph
Brittany Luby
Josh Massey
Shannon Quinn
Stan Rogal
James W. Wood
T.A. Young

Fiction Excerpt
A Weekend at the Lake
BY Dora Dueck

you’re pulling into the campground, you and Joe, and it’s almost unbearable, how stricken it looks. Sure, the poplars are budding, willows swell yellow, but it’s not enough, the impression is of winter rather than spring, so many trees and shrubs still pared back to their branches and the sky churning grey, clouds ripping themselves into rags. No different than the landscape driving up, what else did you expect? But you must have been hoping. Imagining.
And not a single other person anywhere. Two round tents at lake’s edge—one red, one blue—swaying in the wind with a show of bravado but canvas chairs in front of them slouched, unoccupied. A teardrop trailer around the curve is shuttered. The vacancy is so immense you feel it will flatten you like cardboard over the damp leaf-clotted earth. Thirty sites cut into these sparse woods, each marked by a rusted firepit and picnic table that repeat like ditto marks around you, that speak not of waiting as much as desertion.

Poetry Excerpt
The Struggle Inherent in Drowning
BY Shannon Quinn

Leaves maintained their integrity
pressed in a book on a bedside table.
I was nine.
No one died that day
but I thought I might.
All the other animals had gone to bed.
In my dream I was trotting
ears down, eyes forward
limp body grasped in my jaw.
Mary, Mother of God, behind me.
Arya Tara, Mother of Sorrows, in front.
I was a good girl, wasn’t I?

Non-Fiction Excerpt
BY Leanne Lieberman

I met Paul my first morning in Rishikesh. It was also the morning I saw the almost naked men cross the Lakshman Jhula bridge over the Ganges. The men were bone-thin and wore ochre-coloured loincloths. Their hair hung in long dreadlocks, intermingling with their scruffy beards. Some carried staffs, others small instruments; almost all were smeared with white ash. The Sadhus, Hindu ascetics or practitioners of yoga, had renounced worldly life to achieve moksha, liberation. They came off the bridge, kicking up dust as they passed by the café where I was sitting, their clamorous banging of drums filling the air with riotous, joyful noise. Then they passed and there was just the quiet murmuring of the river and people chatting at the café tables. I stirred my tea and watched a line of ants march from the sugar bowl across the tabletop and into the straw weave of the café walls.
The other travellers in the café talked about the nearly naked sadhus, except the guy at the next table, Paul.