Issue 8 Submission Call: Halloween 2016

logo roundWe’re seeking writing and art for our October issue! Literary science fiction, apocalyptic stories and poetry, retold/re-imagined fairy tales/folklore/myths, horror, and other spooky, speculative, or macabre work. If you are a Canadian writer or artist, submit your work to from September 1-30.

Please read the details regarding submission format and length at before sending us your work; feel free to email us with any questions.


Chapbook Launch and Quilliad Retrospective

Too impatient to wait for issue 7? You’re in luck. We’re releasing our first chapbook at the end of the month! Come out to Betty’s on King in Toronto (240 King Street East) on Thursday, March 31, 2016 between 7 and 11 p.m. for our chapbook launch and journal retrospective. Hear readings from Geoffrey Nilson’s We Have to Watch, as well as performances by past contributors to The Quilliad, all of whom we liked enough to publish twice (or more!). We’ve also invited writers and artists from past issues to bring their work for the merch table, so there will be lots to look at. You can find the Facebook event here:

The Quilliad Reviews: Awful Baby by Mary Lou Buschi


You can find Awful Baby at!mary-lou-buschi/skyvj. Image credit Red Paint Hill Press

Awful Baby is a dark book, but it would be flippant to simply call it sad. There is too much wit and craft here for that. This book is rich with strong images that shift between dreamy impressions and crisp, haunting memories. While these images are often quite specific, they draw the reader in. At times, reading this collection feels voyeuristic, as the speaker lets us in to her world, allowing us to see both her family’s love and their grief; at others, she holds back, allowing emotion to seep through the cracks in a seemingly calm and practical exterior.

Mary Lou Buschi has constructed a portrait of family life and childhood and used the powerful impressions made by both to explore the ways our upbringing and our identity intersect, as well as to explore the effects of loss. The normal becomes grotesque, both through the memories of pain experienced by the speaker’s family“To put up a tree means the family is well, happy”and through the surreal instructional poems such as “Today’s Objective,” “Purple Math,” and “Rounding.” Another such poem, “Beauty School,” shifts between practical advice (“Start at the temple, knead the skin with your index and middle fingers in a cross skating motion”) and eerie suggestions (“You will need to recant each bone before cutting her cuticles”). Whether she is examining our social rituals or showing us how our interpersonal memories form our sense of family (Tell me again about the time you shook me awake to make sure I was still breathing”, from “I hate and I love”), Buschi manages to both evoke emotion and offer psychological insight.

In “Mirror Box,” Buschi asks, “If a family is a body/how does the brain/deal with a missing limb?” This collection is a love letter and a study of how the parts of a family grow apart and together, and how our memories persist as we do, living with us whether we like it or not.

Yesterday’s Random Acts of Poetry, Tomorrow’s Poetic Possibilities

Hello, readers. Today I’d like to share some cool poetry-related stuff, as well as some info about where we’re at (all good stuff!).

Yesterday was #raopoetryday, and The Quilliad Press participated with enthusiasm. We scattered poems written by our staff for previous Kickstarter backers across the city, placing sticky notes in odd spots (like next to an outlet in a coffee shop, on a payphone, and on the window of the TTC bus I rode home from work in). Here are a few shots of our handiwork:

And we’re very pleased to say that tweetspeak poetry, the organizer of the event, has included us in their post about #raopoetryday highlights.

If you’d like your own poem, consider contributing to our last-ever Kickstarter. We’re offering everything from haiku and glosas to entire chapbooks created for our backers, as well as copies of The Quilliad (our lit and arts journal), our press’s future chapbooks, art prints, and books by our talented staff members (most of which are signed and all of which are illustrated!).

In addition to publishing writing and art by Canadian creators (who we pay, by the way!), we also post artist profiles and project spotlights, compose small press book reviews, share parrot poetry (by Riff Raff, our poetry parrot-in-residence), and write about local art and literary events here on our blog. By supporting us, you’ll be connecting with a large creative community (and receiving some great rewards).

Our campaign is currently hovering around 47%, with 12 days to go. Here’s the link to our project page:

Thanks for reading.