East Coast Swaps West Coast Swaps East Coast
Through the imagination we can truly see where we live, but sometimes it’s illuminating to see ourselves through the eyes of others—especially through those trained on us from afar.
During the fall of 2012, The Malahat Review, based in Victoria, British Columbia, at the University of Victoria, and The Fiddlehead, based in Fredericton at the University of New Brunswick, are celebrating the writing of each other’s regions, with the former publishing an East Coast issue (MR #180, Autumn 2012) and the latter a West Coast issue (Fiddlehead #253, Fall 2012). More than a year has gone into the editing and publication of each issue—and the contributors to both most likely have laboured even longer to write and refine what they—and we—now place before your eyes.
For the purposes of The Fiddlehead’s and The Malahat Review’s collaboration, the East Coast is defined as including all four provinces of Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador). The West Coast embraces the whole of British Columbia, including Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii, and the B.C. mainland all the way to the Continental Divide (and just slightly beyond). Both magazines recognize that each region has a far-flung and often homeward-looking diaspora.
Writers with strong connections to either or both regions have contributed work to the issue or issues that provide them with the most apt and safe harbour. The poems, short stories, essays, interviews, and reviews they have published in these issues don’t necessarily betray an affiliation to any particular “regional” theme, focus, or aesthetic. However, we believe that “sense of place”—and a sense of the lives lived on either coast— does “issue” from a reading and appreciation of each magazine’s take on the other’s region.
We invite you to read our East Coast and West Coast issues—and please feel free to add your comments and conjectures to the conversation that we trust this blog will generate.
· Share what work you enjoyed reading in either or both issues.
· Contrast and compare the two issues.
· Shed light on anything distinctive you’ve deduced about the writing of either region, based on what you have read in our issues or in the literature at large?
· Expand upon your own experiences living on, visiting, or writing about either or both coasts.
· Cast a spotlight on the writers from either region you’ve been reading, would like to read, or would like to read more of—including those not contributing to either issue.
· Speculate about what you think makes the East Coast and the West Coast distinctive biomes of the imagination.
· Contribute your observations about all things East and West.
If you don’t own either issue (and we believe you must), single copies and/or subscriptions may be ordered through our websites: www.malahatreview.ca and www.thefiddlehead.ca.
John Barton Ross Leckie
The Malahat Review The Fiddlehead