One of the pleasures of volunteering on the Room collective is getting to read fresh new writing. Along with the over 1200 submissions we receive each year, we often also receive great cover letters that show the writer's understanding of—and connection with—the theme for the issue to which they are submitting.
My brother lost his body
bit by bit—a foot, a finger, a shin.
The doctors strapped it to a bed,
and the mouth screamed on its behalf:
Help! Help! With the eyes,
my brother spied me, standing
in the body of someone
who looked like his sister;
and the mouth said
Health! Health! but my
body had no way of sharing.
Stubborn, he set his body
to starving: it’s a hard going.
One day I tricked it
into eating cake
by saying we were at a party.
The body likes to do what
everyone else is doing.
Fifty years married, devoted to Jesus and family, Mom and Dad had remained your protectors in spite of your adult status and incessant lying, your manic highs and pitiful lows.
The honourable mention in Room's 2012 creative non-fiction contest, judged by Kathy Page.
The honourable mention for Room's 2012 poetry contest.
The honourable mention in our 2012 poetry contest, judged by Miranda Pearson.
Your husband has the car for the weekend. You need a car to visit your friend in the hospital tomorrow morning and Sunday morning. The hospital is eight kilometres away. Should you rent a car, call a taxi, take two buses, or walk?
Fat flies line the bait box, brush and cling
like scraps of cellophane, ragged magnets
in the heat. You shuffle to band a lobster.
In a heartbeat it’s caught your thumb
with a crusher claw, the grip of an angry baby
multiplied tenfold. Stupid for a moment,
you can’t see what to do, so you cry
for help, hold it up, the bug hanging from your mitt.
Your father strides from the wheelhouse,
rips the claw right out of its socket.
—What’s wrong with you? His face more sunburned
this morning than you remembered.
Our upcoming issue 36.1, Mythologies of Loss, is so full of reviews of books by Canadian women that we ran out of room to publish this list of what Room's editorial collective (affectionately called Roomies) are reading. So, to help you warm up on a winter evening, here's our reading-list of books by Canadian women:
Sin, wrongdoing, injurious acts, murder, deceit, contraband. Poison, theft, larceny, lust, fraud, family and foreclosure. It is not a CRIME to admit that we love to read it all. This is your chance to become a CRIME writer.
For the first time in its 35-year history, Room will investigate CRIME in an issue of chillingly good writing about seriously bad things. We are looking for CRIME poems, non-fiction, and short stories: shameful and heroic, terrifying and grand, falsi and injuria, noir and passionnel. We are also looking for frightfully powerful art.
Currently on Newsstands
Room 41.1, Family Secrets
Edited by Rachel Thompson
In this issue:
Jennifer Amos, Fenn Archdekin-Leung, Jenn Ashton, Jamelie Bachaalani, Colleen Baran, Jenny Bartoy, Alexandra Chang, Kristina Corre, Maggie de Vries, Shirley Harshenin, Jia Hwang, Sharon Jinkerson-Brass, Elizabeth Johnston, Tamara Jong, Manal Kamran, Carrianne Leung, Lily Leung, Mary MacDonald, Alissa McArthur, Cosi Nayovitz, Margaret Nowaczyk, Deanna Partridge-David, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Rebekah Rempel.