I wonder sometimes if navigating the line between fiction and non-fiction and being steadily clear on which side of this line you’re on is a curse only authors of marginalized backgrounds and identities must balance on. The logic holds because, to my knowledge, non-marginalized authors are not asked about the truth in their fiction or the imagination in their memoirs: No one asks French-Canadian Booker winning author Yann Martel about his experiences living on a boat for 227 days with a tiger and a zebra. No one wonders if Elizabeth Gilbert inserted a bit of fiction into her memoir of eating pasta, practicing Shavasana, and drinking wine with a warm-blooded Latin lover.
Having entered the professional writing community slightly later in life, outside of an academic environment, and in a province that still felt new to me, I would have felt adrift if it wasn’t for Montreal’s literary scene. The sheer number of cultural events happening at any given time makes it nearly impossible not to engage with, and therefore, finding a community doesn’t become an insurmountable task. Read more →
Borders. They can separate and define geographical locations and boundaries. Borders can be literal or invisible to the eye. Politics, language, ideology, philosophy, poetics, religion, family, sexuality, culture, all of these ideas exist within and without borders. What happens when we cross a border? When we step outside our comfort zones or are made to check a box? Read more →
Whether or not to separate the art from the artist is often debated as though an abstract idea, yet, any decision produces tangible repercussions. Many discussions fail to consider that different responses may be warranted when focusing on the work of living artists, who use the power and platforms gained from their artistic success to cause harm. Upon discovering that authors we support are predatory, we have a decision to make on how we will interact with them as readers.
Poetry Editor—the editor works both independently and in collaboration with the editorial team to help steer the magazine forward. The successful candidate would lead the poetry section of carte blanche for three issues per year (winter, spring/summer and fall). In particular, they would read all poetry submissions received, organize submissions and respond to authors through Submittable. They would also copyedit and suggest more substantial changes to poetry accepted for publication, when necessary. Because carte blanche is based in Montreal and publishes French texts in translation, knowledge of both English and French is an asset for this position. Excellent copyediting skills and keen attention to detail are key. Above all, we seek a passionate fan of literature and art—someone who has a love for narrative in their DNA.
I find myself stuck on nineteen words these days, repeating in my mind, filling every last inch of space. They have bonded themselves to my TO-DO LIST, like cloud to sun, blocking out encroaching deadlines, commitments, the need to buy milk on my way home. They have raised themselves like a wall around my mind… a blockade between me and my own words.
Nineteen words said Wednesday night by a very dear friend, over dinner in this broken city:
carte blanche, founded in 2004, is the official online magazine of the Quebec Writers’ Federation. We are celebrating over 14 years of promoting poetry, creative nonfiction, comics, translation, photography, fiction, and literary commentary from Quebec, Canada, and around the world. With ongoing support from the Canada Council of the Arts and private donations, carte blancheis able to pay all of its contributors, and maintains a dynamic and unique niche online.
Back in the summer, when reading outside was a thing, I was sitting on my stoop, engrossed in Tommy Orange’s There There, when an older white woman interrupted to inform me that she’d quit reading the same novel a quarter of the way through because it was “too sad.” She said it like, How could I be expected to digest such a thing? Like, Isn’t reading supposed to be a pleasure and what was this, some kind of tricky trick to make me feel bad? And then she asked me, dubiously, whether I liked it and whether I was going to finish it.