Geist 59

In 2002, when my essay collection When Words Deny the World was published, people started behaving strangely. Ambitious young writers scurried out of sight when I entered a room, as though afraid that irate authors might banish them from Toronto for having spoken to me. Read more


A cinematic perspective of war: glory preserved, scandals ignored. Read more


It is morning. The woman on the ­radio said Hurricane Rita passed through in the middle of the night, but it probably does not feel that way to Boogie Augustine, who is drinking Bud Light in his white pickup truck near a gas station off the Interstat Read more


The first time losing a game of Scrabble and the last time taking a train cross-country. Read more


Sheila Heti spends a day in a diner in Toronto observing the enormous EUCAN electrified garbage can at the corner of College and Bathurst. Read more

Dispatches 2 Comments

Poem from a 1990 tract from North Carolina that portrayed Santa Claus as the devil Read more


The books we love become our cartography. Read more


I can’t blame youfor claiming this place as your ownpersonal theme park. For you,there is only summer when every curvein the road brings a new photograph—red cliffs climbing out of the sea, field upon fieldof white blossoms, a wharf where boatschristened The Maggie-Mae and Aurora Dawndepart for the fishing grounds. Read more


The action in Whole New Thing, a film from Nova Scotia, is also precipitated by self-involved parents. Thirteen-year-old Emerson lives in a remote cabin, where he writes novels, takes saunas and gives massages to his parents’ friends. Read more


Most of the interesting books to be found on the subject of home and place, where we live and how we relate to it, are American, but The Inner Green (Maa Press), is a collection of natural history and personal essays by K. Linda Kivi and Eileen Deleh Read more


An etymological definition of the verb dwell prefaces Karen Solie’s second collection of poetry, Modern and Normal (Brick Books). This definition, “to lead astray, deceive; to hinder; to wander; to tarry,” sets the tone for a series of poems in perpe Read more


Sue Wheeler’s new book of poems, Habitat (Brick Books), which I read on the brink of winter in Alberta, took me back to a time I lived on the west coast of B.C., where winter was listless and wet, none of this chinook then snow, chinook then snow I’v Read more


On the same bill with The Harp was The Score, a full-length Canadian movie (directed by Kim Collier and produced by Trish Dolman and Leah Mallen) that was adapted from a play by the Electric Company Theatre. The film considers the ramifications of re Read more


When Julia Kwan’s grandmother died, her parents said the grandmother had been reincarnated as a goldfish. The report from Sunday school was quite different: Grandma had gone to hell. Eve and the Fire Horse is Kwan’s story of a young Chinese-Canadian Read more


Paris Tales, edited and translated by Helen Constantine (Oxford University Press), is another study in the evocation of place: a collection of twenty-two stories by French and other Francophone writers inspired by specific Parisian locales. Many of t Read more


A curious inscription in a copy of a book called Fir-Flower Tablets: Poems from the Chinese inspired Peter Sanger to write White Salt Mountain (Gaspereau Press), a book that weaves together stories and facts about the life of Florence Ayscough, a lar Read more


When Mad Hot Ballroom, a film produced and directed by Marilyn Agrelo, played at The North Shore International Film Series the audience laughed, cried and cheered while the kids on the screen learned the tango, the rhumba, the foxtrot, the merengue a Read more


Sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll seem a little boring when compared to Lydia Kwa’s concoction of sex, bisexuality, homosexuality, tortured spirits, innocence, desire, betrayal, greed and love in her second novel, The Walking Boy (Key Porter). Kwa deftly Read more


At the 2005 Vancouver International Film Festival I watched The Harp, a short film that is written and produced by John Bolton, who used to share a music stand with my daughter in the local youth orchestra. John gave up playing the viola years ago, b Read more




Can you possibly tell me immediately, or sooner, the difference if any between luxurious and luxuriant

—Fingers-Crossed Dean

Read the answer from Geist Editors!