With no. 262, the winter 2015 issue, The Fiddlehead officially kicks off its 70th anniversary celebrations. And this first issue of the year is an incredibly diverse and exciting launching pad for The Fiddlehead’s anniversary festivities. Glimpse into the lives of carnies in Shane Neilson’s story “The Beautiful Procedure,” share breakfast with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini in a Kate Cayley poem, and return to the beginning of the 19th century with Rachel Lebowitz’s creative non-fiction meditations on the eruption at Mount Tambora.

And those are only a few highlights. We also have several other stories, including one from Margaret Sweatman, and dozens of new poems, including several each from Tim Bowling, Amanda Jernigan, and Norman Dubie. As our striking cover — featuring the artwork of New Brunswick artist Glenn Hall — suggests, these works will take you down some interesting roads.

So raise a hot glass of apple cider or mulled wine and, with The Fiddlehead’s winter 2015 issue in hand, toast 70 years of great literature!

Below we offer selections to invite you in, and to encourage you to stay by becoming a subscriber.

If you'd rather find this issue of The Fiddlehead on a newsstand near you, please check out our Retailers page under the Resources tab. Here you'll find a list of local magazine retailers that stock The Fiddlehead!


Contents, No. 262 Winter 2015

Fiction

6         Shane Neilson: The Beautiful Procedure
27       Margaret Sweatman: Foxglove
42       Erich Mulhall: Where We Will Be
74       Kris Bertin: A Man Might Work

Non-Fiction

90       Rachel Lebowitz: Tambora

Poetry

21       Leonore Hildebrandt: Where You Happen to Be
25       Ron De Maris: The Disturbance
26       Jordan Mounteer: Jellyfish
35       Steve Lautermilch: Hummingbird
37       Tim Bowling: Three Poems
52       Kate Cayley: Two Poems
54       Kayla Geitzler: Three Poems
59       Bruce Bond: Two Poems
65       Amanda Jernigan: Four Poems
69       Norman Dubie: Two Poems
73       Jane Hodgkinson: The Surest Way for Attaining God
           Realization

85       Jeredith Merrin: Two Poems
87       Alexandra Gilbert: On Signal Hill
88       Sheri Benning: Two Poems

Reviews

98        Ian Colford: Infinite in Their Variety
           Travel Light & Other Stories, Christopher A. Taylor
           Novelists: Stories, C.P. Boyko
           Strays: Stories, Ed Kavanagh
103      Susan Haley: Different Ways of Getting Out of Town
           The City Still Breathing, Matthew Heiti
106      M. Travis Lane: Secular Meditation
           Slow Sunday on the Malaspina Strait, Hannah Main-van der
           Kamp
109      Allison LaSorda: "What is a poem but a rental unit of
           language?"
           Rebuild, Sachiko Murakami
112      Karen Schindler: Literary Edens
           Songs That Remind Us Of Factories, Danny Jacobs
           The house is still standing, Adrienne Barrett

Notes on Contributors 117

Cover

Glenn Hall
The Duster and Fire
Oil on Canvas
26 x 48 in.


Excerpt from The Beautiful Procedure by Shane Neilson

Tamer wakes alone, thinning blond hair hanging down over his eyes. He starts the day like a prisoner, with the world barred. A vintage Clyde Beatty poster is taped to the wall above the headboard. In it, Beatty towers over Harriet Evans — that husband and wife team are obviously in love. Clyde wears a gun on his hip, holds a whip in his right hand. The vivacious Harriet wraps herself around Clyde, a nightgowned snake entwined around Clyde’s dungarees. Twenty-five ferocious lions surround them in the ring. Clyde looks like he wants to lick them.

Sounds from the distant midway penetrate Tamer’s tin trailer. He recognizes the GaGa music and its mad beats, the neon discipline of tenacious bass and high-pitched come-on calls. Carny barkers boast of what a guy can win for a girl,

Big bear or a pink plush heart, just a dollar a ball, just a dollar a ring, just a dollar a swing, whatsamatter boys, you want your girls to go home with no thing? Hey you Mr. No Thing, Mr. No Thing, Mr. No Thing, come up here and take a swing! Big bear, go on a tear, plush heart, be real smart . . .

If he wants, Tamer could stride the midway and have his pick of carnies . . .

-------
Shane Neilson's first collection of short stories, Will, was published by Enfield & Wizenty in 2013.

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Tambora by Rachel Lebowitz

I dreamt I was outside. It was 5 p.m. and so black that I could see nothing. No street lights, no sidewalk, no self. Not even a shimmer in the air where my body was, legs moving, arms swinging slightly at my side. It’s becoming winter, I thought. It gets so dark in November.

The dark was a complete thought. It was a solid thing. And yet it was characterized by the absence of light. Like atheism, it could only be defined by what it was not.

It was a clear night but there were no stars. No moon. No God.

Though I say now the dark was solid, though I recall it as thick, substantial — a blanket, I felt no resistance. My body was not pushing against something. Though I was fumbling with my feet, with trying to figure out where my body was in relation to the sidewalk, the earth, with trying not to fall, the air itself was as light as it had always been.

The blackness was the black of black crayon . . .

-------
Rachel Lebowitz is the author of Hannus (Pedlar Press, 2006) which was shortlisted for the 2007 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional BC Book Prize and the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. Her most recent book is Cottonopolis (Pedlar Press, 2013), a sequence of prose poems about the Industrial Revolution. She lives in Halifax.

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Hopewell, New Brunswick by Sheri Benning

When the tide is out, you take me to the mud flats at Hopewell.
A fault pulled this section of shore apart. Sandstone cliffs, cracked ribs —
hawkweed, feldspar, raven feathers, quartz.

We wade through clay, iron oxide, exposed blood.
On your knees, you show me what I thought was the glyph of a wing,
but is evidence of a nephtys’ passing.

Like when we speak of the heart — not flight, but a trace fossil,
imprint of bodies slipped away. Cut by high tide, we can’t go back.
Torn quilt of white pine, north sky churns snow.

-------
Sheri Benning's third collection of poetry, The Season’s Vagrant Light: New and Selected Poems is forthcoming with Carcanet Press in 2015. Her two previous books are Thin Moon Psalm (Brick Books, 2007) and Earth After Rain (Thistledown Press, 2001). Benning divides her time between Glasgow, UK, where she is completing a PhD, and her family’s farm near Manitou Lake, Saskatchewan.

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