All posts by Debra Martens

author, editor

41 Commonwealth

41 of 53 Commonwealth countries criminalize homosexuality. This statistic led Commonwealth Writers, an initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, to organize an event to open discussion on this issue: panellists included […]

grey skies St Ives

Light and Levine

The sandy beaches in St Ives, Cornwall, are supposedly the cause of a pink light that glows over the town in early morning and late afternoon. That and the sea air. […]

West London Air Terminal

Isabel Huggan’s piece (Footloose) about living in London in 1966 and travelling around the Continent mentioned the West London Air Terminal.

Isabel Huggan London 1966

During a visit to London in 2013, Isabel Huggan mentioned having had diesel flavoured coffee at the West London Air Terminal. CWA asked if she would write about that time, and she has.

Going Ashore

I’ve been reading some of Mavis Gallant’s early stories, collected in Going Ashore (McClelland & Stewart 2009) with an introduction by Alberto Manguel. Manguel praises several of the stories: “brilliant, […]

Marvellous Mavis, Great Gallant

Mavis Leslie Gallant, née de Trafford Young (1922-2014), died yesterday in Paris at the age of 91. Gallant was famed for her short stories, which were, from her first publication, […]

Chava Rosenfarb

Chava Rosenfarb (1923-2011) is a Canadian writer you should know about. An award-winning poet and novelist, she wrote in Yiddish. While living in Montreal, she began translating her own work […]

Sonia Saikaley's Lebanon

Of Goats and the Lyrical

Sonia Saikaley interviews Irene Marques (PhD Comparative Literature). Marques writes in English and Portuguese and teaches at Ryerson and York universities. In 2007 she spent a year in South Africa […]

photo: Sheila Coutts

Paris

During the Christmas holiday we went to Paris for a couple of days. There is much for a Canadian literary tourist to see in Paris, but I limited myself to […]

Elm Cottage, Penn, continued

We got back in the car and drove to the other end of Penn. We turned onto Beacon Hill (Margaret Laurence is pictured walking up it in the James King’s […]

Elm Cottage

Our search for the house where Margaret Laurence and her children lived for ten years in England began in a car on the A4 under a sky pregnant with water. […]

Novella

Malahat magazine’s Novella Prize deadline is February 1. Which raises the question: how does the novella differ from the novel? Well, it is shorter. Malahat calls for a length of […]

Mauricio Segura

Numéro Cinq has published this week a review of Eucalyptus by Quebec writer Mauricio Segura, and an excerpt from the reviewed novel. While reviewer Benjamin Woodward poses the question “What […]

(photo: Debra Martens)

Year’s End

Winter in London is similar to March in Canada, except there is no melting snow. Wind follows rain follows wind. Excitement last weekend over two sunny days in a row. […]

melting ice

The Winter Gift of Silence

How could I choose an American for CWA’s solstice post? Adam Gopnik lived in Montréal and did his BA at McGill University, then left for New York. Known for his […]

There and Not Back

Is it worth it? After two years of putting out Canadian Writers Abroad (CWA), that’s a question I have to ask myself. The other question is: should I continue? CWA […]

Fun words and not so fun

What is a tweeny? A faddist? Researching Sara Jeannette Duncan for an essay this summer, I came across some startling vocabulary, not quite as fun as boffin but interesting. During […]

Allons-y!

Geronimo! Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary fell on the same day as the second anniversary of Canadian Writers Abroad. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read what I, and […]

Dust to Dust

How does one become a war poet? Suzanne Steele began by being curious about the exact colour of the Afghan dust when writing “Elegy for an Infantryman” in 2005.  She […]

Books, prizes and survey

Half of voters who did the survey were against, and half minus one were in favour of Catton’s novel being in competition for the GG’s Lit Award. There you go. […]