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Summer 2020

Summer 2020 · Vol. 43 No. 1

In this issue, we are very pleased to be able to share with you an in-depth conversation with Winnipeg’s newest Poet Laureate, Duncan Mercredi. Duncan Mercredi is a well-known Indigenous poet and storyteller, and it is a genuine honour to feature his work in this issue. Originally commissioned by the Winnipeg Arts Council upon Duncan’s appointment, an excerpt of this interview appears on their website. In this issue, you will find a fuller treatment of our conversation, along with a wonderful selection of his work.

Also in this issue, you will find the winning entries to the 2019 Young Buck Poetry Prize, introduced by judge Shazia Hafiz Ramji, and including work by Jake Byrne, who took top prize this year. We are also very pleased to present the recipient of the 2019 Lina Chartrand Poetry Award. This year the award went to poet Francine Cunningham for her poem “Blood Quantum,” which you can find here alongside Francine’s artwork that inspired her poem.

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Poetry Only

Spring 2020 · Vol. 42 No. 4

In this issue, we are very pleased to be able to feature a selection of poetry and drawings (including the cover art for this issue) by the late Inuit artist and writer, Alootook Ipellie. These pieces are from a travelling exhibit entitled Walking Both Sides of an Invisible Border, which includes Ipellie’s poetry, drawings, political cartoons, and serial comic strips. The show ran at Gallery 1C03, located at the University of Winnipeg, from February 27 until March 13, 2020, when the exhibit closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’d like to thank Gallery 1C03’s curator, Jennifer Gibson, for facilitating the opportunity to share the words and artworks of this important Inuit artist.
This year’s Poetry Only instalment also collects new poetry by 34 writers including Leslie Joy Ahenda, Jaeyun Yoo, Marc Perez, Jennifer Zilm, Christine Wu, Isabel Yang, Catriona Wright, Yelibert Cruz Roo, Manahil Bandukwala, Meredith Quartermain, and many others. A special CV2 congratulations goes out to Therese Estacion, whose fine poems in this issue represent the first professional literary publication of her poetry.

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The Lyric Issue

Winter 2020 · Vol. 42 No. 3

In the submissions call for CV2’s newest installment, The Lyric Issue, we asked what the word “lyric” meant to our contributors. Does it conjure a favourite song? A feeling? A way words interact with one another? In response, we received poetry that conveys all this and more as it relates to the lyrical: poems that reference specific songs, that relate in some way to music, or simply poems that, in and of themselves, sing. In this issue, we’re thrilled to share lyrical new poetry by Grace Lau, James Scoles, Shannon Quinn, Bronwen Tate, and many others. We are also happy to share three in-depth conversations about the relationship between poetry and music. First, we have iconic Canadian musician and songwriter Bruce Cockburn in conversation with acclaimed poet and musician M.D. Dunn. Next, we chat with Brendan Grey, the multitalented MC and leader of Super Duty Tough Work. And finally, we interview the Winnipeg songwriting duo made up of renowned Canadian composer, Glenn Buhr, and award-winning novelist & bad-ass harmonica soloist, Margaret Sweatman. 

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Emergence

Fall 2019 · Vol. 42 No. 2

The Emergence Issue is intended as an expansive conversation on what it means to be a new and emerging poet today, and with that discussion we hope to provide a resource of encouragement — we all have to start somewhere. This issue features interviews with established poets Sheniz Janmohamed, Tasha Spillett, Jennifer Still, Daniel Scott Tysdal, and Chimwemwe Undi, in which they discuss their own experiences as emerging writers as well as the work they continue to do with new writers. All five interviews are followed by a curated selection of fresh writing from new and emerging poets with whom these mentors have worked. In this issue you will also find a selection of new writing from participants of the BIPOC Poetry Workshops in Winnipeg, as well as the winners of our 2019 2-Day Poem Contest and the winners of the Lina Chartrand Poetry Award for 2017 and 2018.

If anyone reading this issue is on the cusp of emergence themselves, perhaps they can take inspiration from the wise words of Tasha Spillett, who writes in this issue, “The world needs what you’ve been gifted to share. Move with intention and courage. Your words are medicine.”

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Summer Issue

Summer 2019 · Vol. 42 No. 1

The writers in this edition of CV2 capture many truths: that the seasons do not often finish on their designated end dates, nor begin when we are ready for them to; and that the emotions elicited by the fickle tools we use to measure our lives can always seep from one compartment to the next, and the next.

There is a yearning to this issue, and a reckoning, as well. Claire Brnjac evokes for us the fleeting nature of relationships, human or otherwise, writing, “All hymns have been stammered, the well of blood has dried. It’s almost like / you are the night sky, and I have sung all the songs I know.” Meanwhile, Daniel Scott Tysdal summons the tragedy of Colten Boushie’s death to remind us never to forget the events of past seasons, even and especially as the cycle comes full circle once again, and the earth that hosted an August killing — covered, for a time, with winter’s blanketing snows — emerges once more, deceptively clean and dry.

We visit the minds of our poets in more explicit terms, as well. Interviews with Lori Cayer, Dallas Hunt, and Benjamin Hertwig — each accompanied by poetry from the writers — highlight the process of writing a subject that is part human and part myth, uncover quests for understanding and for language, and dive into the transmutable nature of experience. Later on, our Young Buck Poetry Prize winners provide further insights into events that bleed into the collective consciousness of a people or a place; in “Garbage Takeout,” contest winner Joseph Kidney evokes the effects of a “hand-me-down catastrophe” that glides across space and time, permeating the poet’s home, and his writing.

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Poetry Only

Spring 2019 · Vol. 41 No. 4

This is an issue reserved exclusively for poetry, but we’re breaking the rules to bring you a conversation between Doyali Islam and Anne Michaels. Islam discusses the two-column poem, as well as the variations she creates within this form, including “parallel poems,” “split sonnets,” and “double sonnets.” 

Also in this issue, you will find new work from Alexei Perry Cox, who undresses the sonnet, and tears into the glosa. Ashley Hynd, who works with prose poems and uses them to both create and critique narrative: “there is a story and in the story he sits across the table writing the story about the problem in your bones.” Jessica Woolford demonstrates what control it takes to cascade madly down a page. Marlene Grand Maitre, in her poem “Cocoon,” discusses breath — the held breath, the stolen one.

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The Winter Issue

Winter 2019 · Vol. 41 No. 3

The Winter 2019 issue features poems and reviews by thirty-two captivating writers, including the winners of the 2018 2-Day Poem Contest. The writers in this issue invite us to contemplate love and loss, life and death, endings and beginnings. In the Winter 2019 issue you will find new reviews by Karen Quevillon, Douglas Walbourne-Gough, and Aaron Boothby (just to name a few) as well as new poetry by Lara Bozabalian, A. F. Moritz, Jill Talbot, and many others. Their words leave us remembering, aching, and longing for home. Yet the writers also provide us with a sense of relief/resurfacing; they remind us to emerge from a winter’s sleep at our own pace, coming back into the warmth of our bodies slowly and comfortably. Hanna Reimer’s cover artwork, “Pillow,” is evocative of the themes that course through this issue: comfort and connection, remnants of home, and the snowy season.

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ndncountry

Fall 2018 · Vol. 41 No. 2

“Miyoonakishkatoohk, Tawâw, Biindigen. Welcome to the territories of ndncountry, our collection of Indigenous stories, poems and nonfiction writing from many parts of this beautiful land. We write to you from the centre of the turtle’s back, where for the last several months we have been gathering and arranging these gifts of imagination and craft that our relatives have sent to us. It has been our great honour to take part in this project and we are so proud to share this extraordinary writing with the world. When we sent out our call for submissions last year, we didn’t know what to expect, but we were absolutely overwhelmed by the number, and especially the quality, of the submissions we received. We had of course known that Indigenous literature is thriving these days, but our work on ndncountry revealed that we had underestimated the vitality and richness of this literature. Emerging writers sent us stunning work that made us re-evaluate literary categories, and established writers sent us submissions that took their work in new directions. It was very difficult to narrow down our choices to fit the parameters of this volume, and we had to leave out some excellent writing, but we are thrilled with these pieces we were able to include.

While this special issue contains a great diversity of voices, styles and genres, all of the work is representative of what we envisioned when we first thought of calling this collection ndncountry. To us, ndncountry is not a singular place. It is a territory of the imagination, but it is also profoundly rooted in the land and in the living energy of Indigenous languages. It is not about borders or real estate or extractive infrastructures; instead it is about the relationships that sustain us and connect us. It is a collective term for the nations that have existed for many centuries on this continent and that continue to thrive here. It is non-hierarchical, gender-fluid, respectful of diversity, open to experimentation, and always, always, fascinating. And as the stories and essays and poems collected here can teach us, ndncountry is literally everywhere, if you know how to look. It is a way of being, a way of seeing, and perhaps especially a way of listening—to the land, to one another, and to the generations. It is a deep and active acknowledgment of Indigenous belonging in this land, all of this land.”

–Katherena Vermette and Warren Cariou, editors of ndncountry

ndncountry is published collaboratively by Prairie Fire and CV2, and replaces CV2’s fall 2018 issue. This issue is a 256-page book and also includes work from the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s historic INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE exhibition.

CV2 subscribers will receive this book in place of their fall 2018 issue. Single copies are $15 each.

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Summer Issue

Summer 2018 · Vol. 41 No. 1

In this issue we are pleased to feature three outstanding Canadian poets in conversation. First up, award-winning poet, literary critic and physician Shane Neilson (featured on the cover) talks with CV2 about his two newest publishing projects set for publication in 2018. Next up, Garry Thomas Morse, author of four collections of poetry — two shortlisted for the Governor General’s Poetry Award—talks with CV2’s new Editorial Assistant and poet, Chelsea Peters, about his newest collection Safety Sand, his second since moving to Manitoba five years ago. Third up, Angeline Schellenberg — whose first poetry collection Tell Them It Was Mozart won three awards at the Manitoba Book Awards in 2017 — talks with critic, poet and publisher Sharon Caseburg about the collection, a work that centres on her experience of her two children’s autism diagnosis.

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Poetry Only

Spring 2018 · Vol. 40 No. 4

We waited for thaw and found thirty-three fired-up voices circumnavigating “the bottom of winter”: D.A. Lockhart, Noah Cain, James Lindsay, Mollie Coles Tonn, Chelsea Coupal, Alyda Faber, and Anuradha Vijayakrishnan, to name a few. Ice or meltwater? An opening or a closing? Breakdown or repair? These poets ask us to read through the damage to the complexity of the task at hand, the healing available within and beyond the page.