see you later, alligators

a note from the editors

This is it: the hiatus is now upon us. We are so proud of these last two issues for a few reasons, not least of which is that the month of their release marks our three-year anniversary of starting this crazy venture! It’s astonishing how much we’ve learned in those three years, from tiny design tricks (that make a huge difference) to grant applications to business bank accounts and beyond. More than anything, we are grateful for the hundreds of stories and poems that have come our way and broken our hearts, opened our minds, and changed our world. Narrowing down the submissions into a single issue was always the hardest part, and narrowing down those selections into these editors’ choice issues was damn near impossible.

The pieces in these issues are not necessarily the best we’ve published. They’re not necessarily our favourites, either. These are the pieces that stuck to us, that have defined and represented us as a magazine, as publishers. They are stories and poems that have pushed us outside of what we believed to be our editorial norms: writing we debated over, writing that forced us to grow. At every point in our journey so far, we have paid extra attention to the writing that sits outside of our own experiences, the writing that makes us uncomfortable, and the writing that made us start re-reading immediately.

There has been so much more to (parenthetical) than what makes it out in an issue. We started (parenthetical) as loudly as we could, pitting ourselves up against the establishment of CanLit. Along the way, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to meet and publish writers in all stages of their careers, from being a first-time publication to being just one on a list of dozens. We have met the quiet writers, the quiet publishers, and they are an inspiration—to us, and to Canadian literature. Loud is still good—we will always need loud writers, being the traditionally quiet bunch that we are—but right now we’re looking forward to stepping back and turning down our volume a little bit.

With that, we leave you with these selections from our previous eighteen issues. They are at once quiet and deafening, and they have lingered with us for—in some cases—years. We hope they stick to you the same way.