Catalogue of the Coast

Tonight, I heard that my story “Catalogue of the Coast” is on the shortlist for a National Magazine Award for fiction. My thanks to Prairie Fire for nominating my story. Last year, I won a Gold National Magazine Award in the personal journalism category for a piece also nominated by Prairie Fire, a gesture of early support that I valued. Congratulations to the other shortlisted writers and journals.

“Catalogue of the Coast” and all shortlisted pieces can be downloaded in PDF form here. “Catalogue of the Coast” is part of my short fiction manuscript The Coast Is A Road, which is seeking a publisher.

Before hearing this news, I attended Sonja Ahlers’s artist talk at Western Front about her new book The Selves (Drawn & Quarterly). The discussion after the talk revolved around questions of form: is Ahlers’s collagist book a graphic novel, a graphic poem, a collective biography, or a series of snapshots of female experience? Ahlers resisted the idea of narrative. The meaning, she said, should be found in the spaces created by the experience of reading her book…the levity of juxtaposing brutal things.  “I can’t write stories,” she said. “I’m a writer who writes with pictures.” A woman in the audience asked the following question: “Is colour your editor?” Ahlers said yes. Given that Ahlers’s work is partly text-based, I wanted to ask: “Do words have colours?”

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