Staff Pick: Protest 101

Protest 101: How to do it and Why you should

Zine, Bronwyn Mauldin, 21 pgs,, $7 USD

It feels like there’s been a rip in the space-time continuum. White supremacists and neo-Nazis are rearing their collective head and taking the streets like it’s 1925—making it all too easy for feelings of helplessness to set in.

That’s why when I saw “Protest 101,” I was immediately drawn in.

In a time when it feels like the past and the present are one, “Protest 101” has a feeling of timelessness. Images of protests from 1921 to 2016—including everything from suffragette protests, to AIDS rallies and the Standing Rock movement—give readers a sense of being part of something bigger, a tradition that has time and again proven useful in the fight for change.

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Vivek Shraya gives writers a path through barriers with VS. Books

Toronto’s unstoppable Vivek Shraya — superstar musician, prolific writer, and committed force of community-building — has done it again. In partnership with Arsenal Pulp Books, a press that continually shows itself committed to social justice, Shraya is launching the imprint VS. Books.

VS. Books — which, as you can tell by its name, is proudly against the grain — will be driven by a mentorship project Shraya launched last year, meant to give opportunities to young writers who are Indigenous, Black or people of colour. Now, this program comes paired with a publishing contract.

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Poetry Review: Empathy Eventually

Empathy Eventually

Wesley Dodson, 79 pgs, Post Occupation Press,, $12

When done correctly, giving space to mere notions can be light, yet telling. Unfortunately, Wesley Dodson’s Empathy Eventually seems to be attempting to add depth to every little thought that has come into the poet’s head. Why do his readers need to know that a chair sitting far from a table is odd, or that “the colour of the glass is empty”? If these were recorded to help cultivate a richer image, maybe they would hold a little more weight; instead, entire pages are dedicated to 10-word inconsequential poems that hardly deserve the immortalization the printed word offers; there’s metaphorical, and then there’s just reaching.

To be fair, some of Dodson’s notions cast a romantic light on that insomnia and Ouija board heebie-jeebies you can’t shake. Brought together by a single clever word or twist, these diamonds in the rough spark the expansion of the author’s idea in each reader’s mind. Occasionally told from the point of view of someone pondering simple happenings from the comfort of their home, it is both haunting and refreshing to consider “the profound period of darkness between television ads.” However, I’d prefer to hear about this topic with Hitchcock’s direction, and James Stewart’s cool cameras. (Grace Bueler)

Zine Review: 10 Poems

10 Poems

Chapbook, Christian Bök, 16 pgs, above/ground press,, $4

Christian Bök has become, since the popularity and critical success of his 2001 Eunoia, something of a (divisive) house-hold name in Canadian poetry. It is likely that anyone already familiar with his work has a strong opinion on it, and it is equally likely that 10 Poems will further entrench that opinion, whether it be positive or negative. I happen to really enjoy Eunoia, Bök, and — no surprise — 10 Poems.

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Zine Philosophy: Return to the Night: Starting a Band When You’re Over 35

by Stephanie Johns

Hello from Not You, a four piece rock band from Halifax, NS. This is Stephanie. Here’s my advice about how to start a band when you’re older (over 35, that special time).

First, it helps if you’ve played music before, and feel comfortable on a stage and holding and playing and instrument but I don’t think this is a requirement. What IS a requirement is a mutable tuner. Don’t even mess around on this point.

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Burgomasterpiece Theatre 13

Burgomasterpiece Theatre is the Broken Pencil comics column by artist Patrick Burgomaster. Patrick is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is very handsome and has a great sense of humour. Patrick is a graduate of NSCAD University and teaches drawing and children’s art classes there.