A Conversation With a Friend:
Terry Morris

Terry MorrisTerry Morris joined the Friends of The Malahat at our Summer issue launch in September, 2011. Malahat volunteer, Carolina Skibinski interviewed him.

I heard that you joined up as a Friend of The Malahat at the Summer launch. Was there a piece in the Summer issue that that drew you in? I’d love to know how it captured you.

It is my opinion that stories take on a realistic dynamic when read aloud, especially by the author. This was evident when Kevin Leenders read his creative nonfiction piece, “Double Drowning.”The story was intriguing from start to finish. Barbara Colebrook Peace read from Maggie Schwed’s “The Constant Gardener.” This was my favourite poetry piece from the Summer issue. Any poem that starts with an historical pretext grabs my attention immediately. I concur with the judges on their selection of this poem for the 2011 Long Poem Prize. “Undercurrents”by Dee Hobsbawn-Smith was a delightful short story (my favourite) and illustrates how a reader can discover a literary gem in The Malahat Review

You wrote in an email to our Circulation and Marketing Manager, Susan Sanford Blades, that The Malahat Review is a “‘must have’ for any emerging writer in Canada.” How can one little ol’ magazine be that important?

 I have been an avid reader of The Malahat Review for over ten years. The poetry and fiction I have read in the many editions has inspired and influenced my own emerging writing career. As I read each issue you can hear me say, “I like how she wrote that,” “gee his play on words and syntax was so cool,” and “the style and tone of this poem is something I must try myself.”

My recommendation to all emerging writers is to subscribe to a literary journal. There are so many tips, tricks, and technique enhancements that can be learned by just reading the poetry, short stories, and creative nonfiction.  My top pick is The Malahat Review. In ten years I have never found a typo or spelling error. The Malahat Review is high quality and lets emerging writers express themselves in new and exciting directions.

What are your favourite ways to meet writers?

First and foremost I enjoy meeting writers at literary events, such as The Malahat Review issue launches, spoken word shows (check out The Well on Fort St.), literary forums, and through educational classes (University of Victoria’s Continuing Studies). Secondly via social media, some of Canada’s current outstanding authors can be found on my Facebook friend list. 

Are there any creative writing projects of yours that you suggest we investigate?

My previous publication history has been limited to Island Writer and Monday magazine.  I am currently working on three manuscripts for submission (two poetry chapbooks and a collection of short stories). My best advice is to keep watch for my name in the Canadian and American literary journals. As I weed through some 850 poems (from the last ten years) new versions will likely become submissions.

What are your current reading interests?

Forge by Jan Zwicky, The Essential P.K. Page, The Bare Plum of Winter Rain by Patrick Lane, Apologetic by Carla Funk, Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen, Malahat Review /Prism / Event / The Dalhousie Review / TCR - current issues, The History of Civilization - VIII - Age of Louis XIV