This issue contains the three winners of the Malahat’s 1994 Long Poem Prize: Marilyn Bowering’s “How Were the People Made?,” Rhea Tregebov’s “Whoever I Think I Am,” and Sue Wheeler’s “Personal Effects.” These three excellent poems, along with multiple contributions by Esta Spalding and Erin Mouré, will make this issue especially appealing to lovers of poetry. Mouré contributes two sequences: “4 Translations from Rilke” and “The Life of St. Teresa,” both of which exhibit the characteristically unusual use of language and originality for which she is known.
One of the most interesting pieces in this issue is “Rupa, at 14, upon Hearing the Poet from Bilaspur” by Reetika Vazirani (d. 2003). This brief but compelling poem will provoke you to consider the relationship between poetry and everyday life. There are also two poems by John Reibetanz, entitled “Rembrandt” and “A Chain for Stephanie,” which demonstrate how skilled use of form can give an impression of restrained emotion just below the surface of a poem. On the other hand, “Christmas Song” by Margaret Gabriel ends with an overflow of emotion through a powerful and enigmatic lament.
Curtis Gillespie makes a notable contribution to this issue with his short story “Sunflowers” about a radio DJ who receives death threats for no apparent reason. This issue also contains two reviews, one each on poetry and fiction, by Michael Hulse and Lorna Jackson, respectively.