It's our annual contest winners issue! As well as the winners, new work by Jan Horner, Neil Surkan & more!
WINNERS OF THE 2019 FICTION CONTEST
Stephen Henighan—Judge’s Notes
Annette Althouse—The Death of Boredom
WINNERS OF THE 2019 BANFF CENTRE BLISS CARMAN POETRY AWARD
Jennifer Still—Judge’s Notes
Sean Howard—poems for being
Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang—you can’t see me, it’s dark
WINNERS OF THE 2019 CREATIVE NON-FICTION CONTEST
Carmen Aguirre—Judge’s Notes
Donna Besel—The Bay Filly
Lina Lau—Spitting out the Seeds
Jennifer Spruit—Out of Hand
Deirdre Laidlaw—Walking to the Red
Callista Markotich—PTSD in the Time of Prophets
Jan Horner—Two Poems
Neil Surkan—Inside Heaven
Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang
EACH MORNING, CLARA LEAVES her White Rock condo overlooking Semiahmoo Bay, and heads out for a run on the beach, her feet trudging through sand. When the tide is out, she cheats by running on the hard wet surface, dodging tidal pools. Today, the beach is deserted but for a jogger, a woman walking her dog and the man building a sandcastle nearly a half-mile out. There are no children nearby, and Clara wonders who the man is, and what exactly he’s doing.
For several days now, she has come across him building his structures halfway between the low tide line and shore. Today, she aims her run further out, to see what he’s building, and perhaps speak to him. As she approaches, he looks up, and she recognizes him from a recent newscast. He is the civil engineer who designed a highway bridge that recently collapsed, killing three people. Although lauded as brilliant, he has fallen from grace and is suddenly a pariah; everything he has accomplished so far is now being viewed through the lens of this error.
=Celia they trapped you—Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica
singular creature—sucked cells from your ear
and preserved them in a deep freeze colder
than any Pyrenees wind. Later—did you know you were
the last of your kind?—they found you lifeless crushed
by a tree made heavy with snow.
I WOKE UP AT SIX, SAT UPRIGHT, AND PUNCHED MY SISTER in the shoulder. Val rolled away from me, pulling a sweat-soaked pillow over her face and ears. High above our bed, the morning sun burned through a small, open window. The August weather had stayed hot for weeks, never dipping below twenty degrees Celsius, even at night.
“Today’s the day! We’re going to get our horses.”
I poked the back of her legs. Val moaned. Last night, after a date with her cop boyfriend, she had come to bed around three a.m. Although she was only sixteen, she smelled like stale beer and home-rolled cigarettes.