Founded in 2004 by members of the Quebec Writers’ Federation, carte blanchehas been a powerhouse online presence and has grown into an internationally recognized literary magazine. Looking back over those fifteen years, I am blown away by the exciting words and works that have been featured in carte blanche. Artists featured in the magazine include Madeleine Thien, Kaie Kellough, Heather O’Neill, Tanya Evanson, Gwen Benaway, Cassidy McFadzean, Oana Avasilichioaei, Domenica Martinello, George Elliott Clarke, Eliza Robertson, Gary Barwin, Cora Siré, Anna Leventhal, Guillaume Morissette, Shazia Hafiz Ramji, Jay Ritchie, Carol Rose GoldenEagle, among many others.
“Everyone has a story to tell,” I like to tell my creative writing students. I’ve always loved carte blanche’s similar mandate: “There’s more than one way to tell a story.” We are a venue that provides a platform for a wide range of creative artistic forms including fiction, poetry, non-fiction, comics, translation, and photography.
The words carte blanche evoke having freedom to act as one wishes or thinks best. My hope, as we move forward together, is that by working alongside our current dynamic masthead, we continue evolving as an inviting and inclusive venue for emerging and established artists from Quebec, Canada, North America, and beyond.
As a person of colour and a minority voice within CanLit, being the Editor-in-Chief of carte blanche is a position I do not take lightly. I am committed to reaching out to and featuring BIPOC, LGBTQQIA2S, disabled and other underrepresented artists. I recognize that I am in a position of privilege and still have much to learn. I am hopeful that our editorial team and you, dear readers, will help me continue to grow and learn to be a responsible citizen of arts and letters.
Working alongside carte blanche’s section editors, I will continue to curate three issues of compelling literature and art every year. In recognition of an outstanding submission by a Quebec writer, artist, or translator, we will award the annual 3Macs Prize at the QWF Awards. We will continue to expand our à la carte blog as a constantly shifting space to include interviews, reviews, and essays where we will give outside voices as well as our own editorial ones carte blanche – pun intended – to discuss critical concerns, trends, and themes. Furthermore, carte blanche aims to bolster the Montreal literary community by hosting public discussions, readings, workshops, and more.
I am grateful for the generous support of my predecessor, Klara du Plessis. Her guidance during this transition period has been much appreciated. I admire du Plessis and all the hard work that she has put into her own her creative projects within Montreal’s literary community and for leading carte blanche so robustly these past few years. I wish her the very best on her new endeavors. du Plessis will continue leading carte blanche for our forthcoming Summer issue (36), but I will formally become the new Editor-in-Chief for our Fall 2019 issue.
As we put the finishes touches on our next issue, please free to reach out and say hello. I very much look forward to turning the page and starting a new chapter with carte blanche.
Greg Santos is the author of Blackbirds, Rabbit Punch!, and The Emperor’s Sofa. His newest full-length poetry collection, Ghost Face, is forthcoming with DC Books. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. His writing has been featured in The League of Canadian Poets’ Poetry Pause series, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem in Your Pocket Day booklets, The Walrus, Geist, Queen’s Quarterly, Vallum, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, The Best American Poetry Blog, and World Literature Today. He regularly works with at-risk communities and teaches at the Thomas More Institute. He lives in Montreal with his family. He will be the new Editor-in-Chief of carte blanche starting Fall 2019. Learn more about Santos at his website: gregsantos.me