Readings by five area authors will be part of a celebration Friday, Nov. 3 starting at 7:30 p.m. at Nelson, B.C.’s Oxygen Art Centre to mark the final issue after 20 years of the West Kootenay’s only regularly published literary magazine, New Orphic Review.
The event, called “The Living End,” is free ($5 donation appreciated) and open to the public. The Oxygen Art Centre is located at 320 Vernon St. (alley entrance).
“I’ve always been susceptible to romantic notions,” said New Orphic Review’s co-founder and editor Ernest Hekkanen, “and one doesn’t devote one’s life to literature without suffering from this malady.” Hekkanen’s many books include the 2008 novel Of a Fire Beyond the Hills, a finalist for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness, and the 2014 novella I’m Not You. He and associate editor Margrith Schraner launched the magazine in Vancouver in 1998, bringing it with them when they moved to Nelson three years later.
The magazine appeared twice annually.
Hekkanen pointed to one of his magazine’s highlights, a story first published in the New Orphic Review that was awarded the national $10,000 Journey Prize for short fiction in 2014, as an example of romantic inclinations such as his. In that story, Hekkanen noted, “a boat repairman befriends a seal but when it’s killed he heads into the sunset.
“Not that I’m headed in that direction,” Hekkanen continued,” “but sadly, after 20 years, Margrith Schraner and I feel it is the right time to bow out, before we completely lose our defining edge.”
Reading at the Nov. 3 event, besides the magazine’s editors, will be Slocan poet, fiction writer and journalist Barbara Curry Mulcahy, Nelson poet, fiction writer and teacher Bobbie Ogletree, and Nelson memoirist and technical writer Jude Schmitz.
Books by readers as well as copies of the magazine will be available. The evening is co-sponsored by Oxygen Art Centre, and Nelson’s Elephant Mountain Literary Festival.
Bio picture: Ernest Hekkanen