The autumn issue of The Fiddlehead is now out and culminates the celebration of our 70th year of publishing. This issue is bursting at its seams with a harvest of wonderful stories and poems from established and emerging authors from across Canada as well as from the USA and Northern Ireland.

We have a story from Danuta Gleed award winner Paul Carlucci that is told from the perspective of a young boy who, along with his sister, spends summers with their father; "Learning to Fish" is a story about a fishing trip with dark undercurrents. Stories from award winner authors, Steven Heighton, Lorna Jackson, and Wayne Yetman round off this issue’s fiction offerings.

And we have poems from eighteen poets! Vancouver poet laureate Rachel Rose tells the life story of a beloved dog in a series of sonnets. American poet and Forward Prize for Best First Book finalist Dan O’Brien writing from the perspective of Paul Watson, the Pulitzer Prize winning Canadian photographer, describes Watson’s visit to Niagara Falls with a group of Afghans. And Sarah B. Wiseman’s poem on hitchhiking finds surprising and evocative metaphors in a birding field guide. We also have new poems from Alison LaSorda, John Barton, Bert Almon, among others.

There are also reviews of works by Kerry-Lee Powell, Kayla Czaga, Gillian Wigmore, Kim Aubrey, and Andrew Forbes.

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. 265 Autumn 2015


14       Steven Heighton: Who Now Lies Sleeping
39       Lorna Jackson: Skinny Tie
64       Paul Carlucci: Learning to Fish
78       Wayne Yetman: His Brother's Keeper


5         Rachel Rose: Three Poems
31       Dan O'Brien: Two Poems
33       Nick Thran: Two Poems
35       Annick MacAskill: Bloor West
36       Allison LaSorda: Three Poems
54       John Terpstra: North of Sixty
56       Jane Spavold Tims: dyeing wool with alder bark
58       Lenea Grace: Two Poems
62       Sean Howard: Two Poems
68       John Barton: Two Poems
74       Elizabeth Hoover: Two Poems
76       Howard Wright: Two Poems
91       Michelle Barker: The Night of My Conception
93       Nathan Mader: Two Poems
95       Mike Caesar: Two Poems


97       Conor Mc Donnell: Two Poems
100     Sarah B. Wiseman: Two Poems
103     Bert Almon: Two Poems


105      Shane Neilson: Charting disorder = mapping recovery
           "Hensol" from Inheritance, Kerry-Lee Powell
107      Richard Kelly Kemick: What the Hyrax Reckons
           For Your Safety Please Hold On, Kayla Czaga
110      M. Travis Lane: Orienting
           Orient, Gillian Wigmore
114      Rebecca Geleyn: Variations on the Everyday
           What We Hold in Our Hands, Kim Aubrey
116      Mark Dickinson: A Ragged Masculinity
           What You Need, Andrew Forbes

Notes on Contributors 120


Stephanie Weirathmueller
Sleeping (2015)
Oil on Canvas
16 x 20 in.

Excerpt from Learning to Fish by Paul Carlucci

When we were kids, we spent summers with Papa at his house in a little fishing village called Swisha. It was just east of the border with Ontario, but completely cut off from Quebec’s road system. Papa worked out there first as a logger, felling trees in the throbbing sun, then later as a hunting guide, leading parties through the shadows of the muffled bush.

On weekends, he would take us out on the Ottawa River. We’d go early in the morning, the air puffing black flies, mosquitoes droning between us as he paddled all by himself, the light soft and shimmering on the orange-boiled wake of the canoe.

Even though Jen loved getting up early, she hated the fishing trips. She would look sheepishly at the margarine container full of wet, black soil, the worms writhing in there like slick little fingers. Her tiny nose would crinkle, lips mashed, and she’d turn her face up to the sun instead. She’d close her eyes and summon a tan.

Me, I loved the fishing trips, even though I hated waking up early, and even though it took me years to catch anything. I loved squeezing the worms into a bulge and shoving the hook through, that brief resistance before the thing’s flesh gave way to puncture and it twisted in dumb agony around the breadth of the barb.

Paul Carlucci wrote the Secret Life of Fission, winner of the 2013 Danuta Gleed Award. House of Anansi is publishing his sophomore collection, A Plea for Constant Motion, in winter 2017. His stories have been published in Descant, The Malahat Review, Event, subTerrain, Little Fiction, The Puritan, Carousel, and others.

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dyeing wool with alder bark by Jane Spavold Tims


Shards of terra cotta. Scuffed
mosses on rotting boards. Rusty nails. Leaves
from last October.


Ripple of Robin song. Whitethroat mnemonic.
Chickadee-dee-dee. Hum of the rim of the aluminum
pot. Mumbling boil.


Better to build this vile concoction
outside, on the deck. Cooked cabbage, burned
corn. Reek of animal trails
woven through

preparing the dyestuff:

Leaves the size of a mouse’s ear —
time to go fishing. Instead I sit and peel
alders. Beneath the stippled bark the knife reveals
bright chartreuse, exposed to oxygen
and sun. Brief spring. Greens
oxidize to orange. Sienna
on the blade. Stubborn
stain on hands
and jeans.

the boil:

Watch the pot — definition of
boredom. Strips of alder bark. Bubbles
congregate, aggregate, release. Sepia
seeps into water.

the wool:

The roving simmers in orange
dye. Wool emerges, apricot. Carrots
and pumpkins, tangerines.
Terra cotta pots.

Jane Spavold Tims is a botanist and writer living in rural New Brunswick. She often includes natural themes in her poetry. The poem “dyeing wool with alder bark” is part of a manuscript, funded by artsnb, about using plants for natural dyes. She has poetry in The Fiddlehead, The Dalhousie Review, CAROUSEL, PRISM international, The Antigonish Review and elsewhere.

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Mild Anaphylactic Shock by Nathan Mader

To feel the sting of a wasp, then awash
in a darkening domesticity as breath
becomes a tongue I no longer speak.
I’m coiled on the lawn. The daylight leaks.

My ladder segments the wall into instances
of air and paint while down the eave
the hummingbird feeder’s cylinder of clear
nectar hangs like a wireless IV.

Is this what a still life of death looks like?
Lethal insects, coated in gold, sparkle
in the corners of this world. My wife drives
me to Emergency. I heard no buzz when I

thought I’d die. The doctor telling me
to open wide is too vast to comprehend.
That’s why they wear masks during surgery.
But this, for her, is routine.

Nathan Mader was born and lives in Regina, Saskatchewan. His work appears in I Found It At the Movies, an anthology of cinema-inspired poems. He was a finalist for the 2013 Walrus Poetry Prize.

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