If one of your resolutions for 2020 was to read more, we’ve got just the thing to help! Our Get Current Deal—the most recent four issues of Brick (101, 102, 103, and 104)—is only $20 (plus shipping). A fantastic way to get up to date on all of Brick‘s latest literary offerings. Plus, a limited-edition Brick tote bag!
In these issues, you’ll find Tsitsi Dangarembga, Billy-Ray Belcourt, C.D. Wright, Eden Robinson, Michael Ondaatje, Laurie Anderson, Teju Cole, and more!
Over the last few months Brick folk have been working quietly on digitizing past issues. Now, we’re so excited to share with you that Brick‘s entire Modern Archive–that’s eight years, or the last sixteen issues–is available online, thanks to the expert work of UK-based Exact Editions.
If you’re a subscriber you have FREE access to the Brick Modern Archive and will receive your access code and the login instructions in your next print issue, due out in early December.
If you have not subscribed yet but would like to read Brick on your device, you’re in luck: digital-only subscriptions start as low as $6.99 CAD.
One last thing: the entire Brick Archive will be available early in the New Year! That’s a whopping forty years of Brick, all online! Please stay tuned to brickmag.com and our social media channels for the announcement.
We hope you enjoy the Brick Modern Archive and its treasure-trove of great reads!
Brick will celebrate the launch of the Winter issue on Monday, December 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Gladstone Hotel’s Melody Bar, with readings by Souvankham Thammavongsa and Ken Babstock and a celebration of translation with Canisia Lubrin, Anne McLean, and others. The Gladstone Hotel is wheelchair accessible, AODA compliant, and has gender-neutral washrooms.
Buy the new issue, subscribe at a discount, get your limited-edition Brickbag, do your gift shopping, and eat/drink/be merry with us. ‘Tis the season to be Bricky!
What: Brick 104 Winter Issue Launch Party
When: Monday, December 2, 2019
Time: Doors at 7:30 p.m. Readings at 8 p.m.
Where: The Melody Bar at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto
How: Come for the readings, stay for the party
Shuang Xuetao’s gripping short story “Teeter-Totter,” translated from the Chinese by Jeremy Tiang, can now be read here. Set in a rapidly industrializing China, this story follows a young couple who gets entangled in the last wish of a dying man.
“Teeter-Totter” was originally published in Brick 103.
Brick could use a hand around the office. We’re looking for volunteers based in Toronto to help with a variety of tasks, from keeping our social media accounts active to proofreading and editorial assistance. And we’re always eager to find smart, thoughtful readers with a good understanding of the type of work that appears in Brick to help read unsolicited submissions.
If you’re interested in getting involved with “the best literary magazine in the English language” (so described by Robert Hass), please send a copy of your CV and a brief email to firstname.lastname@example.org outlining your interest in Brick and the kind of work you’d like to do. Applications will close on October 15, 2019.
Sadiqa de Meijer’s “Mother Tongue” on Literary Hub
Sadiqa de Meijer’s lyrical essay “Mother Tongue” from Brick 103 was recently featured on Literary Hub. The piece is an exquisite exploration on the intimacy that’s formed with one’s first language—in de Meijer’s case, Dutch. Read the full piece here.
Episode 4 of Brick Podcast is the highly-anticipated recording of the April 3 book launch for Saidiya Hartman’s Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval. Following a reading, Saidiya Hartman is joined by Christina Sharpe, Canisia Lubrin, and Brick editor Dionne Brand for a conversation.
If that’s not enough, we’re also serving up a second podcast: Ed Pavlić reads “Beyond Simplicity: The Journey Toward James Baldwin’s Letter from the Birmingham Motel, Parts 1 & 2,” which was a two-issue feature in Brick 101 and 102.
Please join us for a joyful night as we celebrate the launch of Brick 103!
Our Summer issue features new writing by Michael Ondaatje, Laurie Anderson, Sadiqa de Meijer, Amitava Kumar, Martha Baillie, Karen Solie, Hebe Uhart, Fanny Howe, Louise Bernice Halfe–Sky Dancer, and Michael Redhill.
Come get your copy of the new issue and enjoy readings by Brick contributors and friends (TBA).
What: Brick 103 Launch Party
When: Monday, June 17, 2019
Where: The Melody Bar at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, Toronto
Time: Doors at 7:30 p.m. Readings to get underway at 8:00 p.m.
The launch venue is wheelchair accessible, AODA compliant, and has gender-neutral washrooms.
We’re excited to announce a brand-new endeavour: Brick Podcast. Featuring readings and interviews with writers, poets, artists, and storytellers from the journal’s pages, Brick Podcast offers readers even more to enjoy with each issue of the magazine. Hear what moves Brick’s contributors to create, what fuels their practice, and what they can’t stop thinking about. The series is hosted and produced by Sarah Melton and is now available on iTunes and through Brick‘s website. The series kicks off with episodes featuring interviews with Billy-Ray Belcourt, Jennifer Baichwal, and Eden Robinson. And stay tuned for a reading from Ed Pavlić and a special episode with Phoebe Wang.
It’s important to us that a subscription to Brick be something every reader can afford. It’s been years since we last increased our prices, but as production and mailing costs continue to increase and stretch our shoestring budget ever thinner, we find we must charge a little more to bring you two beautiful and marvellously rich issues of Brick a year. And we mean a little: a two-year Canadian subscription will go up by just $4. You can still enjoy a wealth of invigorating essays, riveting conversations, and sustaining art for less than you might spend to going out for dinner.
That said, we understand that even a slight rate increase might strain some readers, and we don’t want you to go without Brick. Until the end of December, we’re offering a discount so that you can renew at our old rates. Plus, if you sign up for auto-renewal, your subscription will be held at this rate for each upcoming renewal. If you can’t renew before December 31, but a discount will make the difference between whether or not you can subscribe or renew, please send us an email, and we’ll do what we can to help.
We’re excited to be launching a brand new Brick on Monday, December 3, 7:30 p.m. at the Melody Bar in Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West). Please save the date and join us for a joyful night as we celebrate another issue chock-full of essays and art, boasting such contributors as Edward Burtynsky, Kyo Maclear, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Jennifer Baichwal, Lisa Moore, Hiromi Goto, and Eden Robinson.
Come get your copy and enjoy readings by Catherine Bush, Phoebe Wang, and Chris Bailey. Follow along on Facebook page for more details closer to the event.
Chris Bailey is a fisherman from North Lake, P.E.I. He holds an M.F.A. from the University of Guelph. His work has appeared in Grain, the Town Crier, and on CBC Radio. His debut poetry collection, What Your Hands Have Done, is available from Nightwood Editions. Chris splits his time between P.E.I. and Hamilton.
Catherine Bush is the author of the novels Accusation, Claire’s Head, The Rules of Engagement, Minus Time, and Elemental, forthcoming in 2020. She lives in Toronto, where she is the coordinator of the University of Guelph’s creative writing M.F.A. program.
Phoebe Wang is a writer and educator based in Toronto. Her debut collection of poetry, Admission Requirements, appeared in 2017, and she recently co-edited The Unpublished City, Volume II. She works with Poetry in Voice and at OCAD University as a writing and learning consultant.
The launch venue is wheelchair accessible, AODA compliant, and has gender neutral washrooms.
A Brick Podcast: Ed Pavlić Reads from Part 1 of “Beyond Simplicity”
As part of an upcoming Brick podcast, we’re delighted to present Ed Pavlić sharing his Brick 101 essay, “Beyond Simplicity: The Journey Toward James Baldwin’s Letter from the Birmingham Motel, Part 1.” Produced by Sarah Melton, this podcast explores the complex motivations that brought Baldwin back from France to the U.S. and sent him on a tour of the freedom movement in the Deep South. And it’s sure to get you excited about part 2, which will be included in issue 102, due out at the end of November.
Madeleine Thien, Teju Cole, and Dionne Brand on Writers and Company
Did you miss the Brick 100 panel at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram and Bluma Appel Salon this spring? Did you see it but wish you could revisit the riveting conversation? Well, you’re in luck! On September 9, CBC’s Writers & Company broadcast Dionne Brand, Teju Cole, and Madeleine Thien’s wide-ranging discussion of place, hosted by Eleanor Wachtel. The podcast version is now available for your listening pleasure.
For the latest in our interview series on the writing process, Madeleine Thien offers Chelsea Rozansky her honest and deeply felt responses about the possibilities and limitations of writing. Thien is the author of the award-winning novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing. She is also a contributor to Brick, and now member of our editorial board.
Brick: In your piece in Brick 100, you tell of an uncanny closeness you felt to Virginia Woolf while walking through the valley where she used to live and listening to Mrs. Dalloway on audiobook. And in Do Not Say We Have Nothing,touchstones to Chinese literature are woven throughout. It seems there is a literary canon alive in your work. Are you cognizant of your own writing’s placement in a literary history as you write? Why do you call upon tradition in your writing?
Madeleine Thien: I had been thinking a great deal about what literature can and, perhaps more painfully, cannot do. I imagined Do Not Say We Have Nothing as a book of books, existing during a time—in this case China during the Cultural Revolution—when history and memory are expected to serve the political orthodoxy. Believing otherwise, or expressing otherwise, becomes extremely dangerous.
In the novel’s book of books, life’s fragmentation and unorthodoxy are smuggled into fictional works. These hand-copied novels are like a hidden room, both as a text and within themselves. What does inner freedom look like? How do we live with it? Literature and art can’t save anyone, but they are a record of different attempts to see clearly, to remember and exist.
To answer the last part of the question, tradition does fascinate me, and also copying, newness, and originality—and their relation to politics. The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia called its revolution Year Zero, and in China, Mao Zedong was willing to sacrifice tens of millions of lives for his vision of the revolutionary society. Both regimes believed their citizens had to be purged of unacceptable ideas. I was more idealistic when I was younger. The idea of entirely reimagining the world and human relations is, of course, powerful and persuasive and moving. But people are full of illusions and partialities. Our knowledge is precarious, and we are easily won over by rhetoric. Most revolutions do, in the end, replicate the familiar power structures. So I think we might ask ourselves more difficult questions and find a way to articulate more painful answers.
Brick: In that same Brick 100 piece, you write, “I turn to writing to piece together character and time, to see the world that gives rise to action, twists inward to thought, and breathes out as character.” Is writing, then, essentially about character and time?
Thien: I think it could be, perhaps in the sense of the flux of both those things. Writing is linear, contained in time, and the mental images it creates are static—yet, if all goes well, those images and people move and transform before our eyes. So maybe writing is partly about attempting to hold something still while having the truthful experience that nothing at all is still, that the characters and the time expand far beyond the boundaries of the language. Everything spills over.
Brick: How do character and time work with one another in Do Not Say We Have Nothing?
Thien: I was experimenting with musical time, with the variations and canons of a piece of music that recurs throughout the novel, Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Bach’s motif (taken from a phrase in the opening aria) is rearranged with so much playfulness and rigour through thirty variations and canons. Unexpectedly, they give the listener a feeling of incredible freedom: we experience euphoria, sorrow, melancholy, joy. So the music is both a structure for the novel and a way of trying to make space for the vast inner lives of the characters. They are trying to survive, and believe in, a revolution that holds that there is no inner life, only a public one that must uphold the revolution and its ideology.
Bach always seems to me to be creating time. He makes space where there seems to be none and makes something feel eternal in a finite space. I thought a novel, which is also a book of books, could imagine something similar.
Brick: Do you have a writing routine?
Thien: Only to have a routine, which for me is so important! The regularity of writing and thinking, every day, inside the novel.