“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? What happens when we leave it blank?”
This summer we put out a call for writers and artists to consider the above words for our final issue of 2019 and my fellow editors and I were so very pleased by the results. We invite you to step over the divide and immerse yourselves in the pieces found in this new issue of carte blanche, which take on the theme of “Borders” in a multitude of ways:
In her sensual audio piece “We Kept On Making Love”, Moe Clark envisions the borders of our bodies and what happens when they melt away into the other, dissolving into a bounty of animals, spirits, and dreams. Or in Mona Awad’s “Monster”, an unnerving feminist modern fairy tale continuously tugs at the edges of our expectations. Natalie Wee’s poem “Frequent Flyer Program” takes on immigration, diaspora, and the divide between the heavens, land, and sea. Daniel Ciochina’s “Bunica” photo essay tackles the viewers’ notions of exterior/interior and the public/private spheres. In Meghan Lands’ “Dream Comic”, the past wrestles with the present. The spectres of the Berlin Wall and AIDS in the 90s are central to Craig Barron’s creative nonfiction piece “David’s House.” Charles Joseph Albert’s “L.A. Dawn” is a playful translation of Charles Baudelaire’s “Le Crépuscule du matin;” it evokes that hazy time between night and day. These are just some of the multifarious ways that our writers and artists touched on the “Borders” theme.
This is my first official issue stepping away from my old position as Poetry Editor (which is now to be curated by Marcela Huerta) and into my new role as Editor in Chief of carte blanche. I’m thrilled to be continuing to work with a talented editorial team that I’ve gotten to know so well over the years and I greatly appreciate all their help in piecing this issue together.
I would like to acknowledge this is the last issue for four individuals on the carte blanche team: Tess Liem (Managing Editor), Chalsley Taylor (Photography Editor & Art Director), Fawn Parker (Fiction), and Eli Tareq Lynch (Web & Social Media Coordinator). I want to thank them all for their dedication and terrific work with carte blanche. It’s been an honour and I wish them well on their new endeavours. We will miss you, but it’s certainly not goodbye. We will see you soon around Montreal’s lively literary scene.
Finally, I am grateful to our outstanding contributors for entrusting carte blanche with their work. Please enjoy the Fall 2019 “Borders” (37) issue of carte blanche and do let us know your thoughts. We aim, dear readers, to keep our borders of communication open to you!
– Greg Santos, Editor in Chief