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There is a cemetery at the edge of the village.

Carpathian Mountains,
field of sunflowers.

By the river Maros, Kisjenö.
Gilded icon guards white-washed farm house.
Mud-brick fireplace. Stone benches.
Spinning wheel, bed, table, and chairs.

Accordion with violin,
cimbalom, the zither.

Great-grandmother Victoria wears a párta diadem,
woven of gold and silk and crystal glass beads.
Embroidered linen blouse, cashmere skirt.
Calla lilies and white roses bridal bouquet.

Three sons and one daughter.

Grandmother Mariska
has no memory of her mother.
Not to know her mother's hands.

Green gooseberry of a thorny shrub.
Tree trunks limed against the codling moth.
Peach tree and pear. Cackling hens, geese.
Close to the house, stables.

Great-grandfather György deserting his wife.
The year was 1897. Victoria farmed out
her daughter. Kept her three sons at home.

Faded homespun, knee-high boots.
Four years of grade school. A servant girl at nine.

Tallow candles and oil burning lamps.
On the oak table, bean soup with dumplings.
Maize bread baked in outdoor clay oven.


Palascinta filled with ground walnuts and sugar.
Served with warm apricot marmalade.

Ilona Martonfi is the author of three poetry books,
Blue Poppy, (Coracle Press, 2009.) Black Grass,
(Broken Rules Press, 2012). The Snow Kimono,
(Inanna Publications, 2015).

Image courtesy of Wikicommons.

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How many dispossessed?

"Enemies of the people"

for many long years

labour camps in the Ural taiga

white sun, white sky


uninhabited.


"You have 15 minutes!"

pack a bag, sepia photographs.

Grandfather's sister, Lia,

brother Yaakov, deported

accused of being a kulak

owner of lands

in Sudilkov village


windowless cattle cars

for one thousand versts around:

Where to? For how long?

Wolf carcasses

earth dugouts and huts

ragged, lice-ridden.

Logging timber

rye bread rations

thin, watery soup

barbed wire of the camp.


But how long can a song last?

Smuggled out with prison letters

sphagnum, bog cranberry


steppe wildflowers

buried beyond the river.


Ilona Martonfi is the author of three poetry books, Blue Poppy, (Coracle Press, 2009.) Black Grass, (Broken Rules Press, 2012). The Snow Kimono, (Inanna Publications, 2015).


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In honour of trees
leave a blank page


at the site on behalf of Inuit.
This is for you
aligning holes between rocks
in likeness of a person
its extended arms


a flock of ravens
leave Inukshuk stone carving


almond­shaped openings
in honour of Cpl. Cirillo
sacred katajjaq --
throat singing
other side of the hill
ominously reply
issue ultimatums
as parliament returns
day after shooting
direction markers
constructed as memorial


a soldier's final journey
along Highway of Heroes:
keep people silent
still frame taken from video
hearse procession.
That dividing line,
humbleness to that man
burden only he can carry
cross-shaped cairn


keeps vigil over the land
not the caw of a seagull
I heard no sound.

(Nunatsiaq News: Staff with Inuit, Tapiriit Kanatami, laid a card and an Inukshuk carving at the granite cenotaph National War Memorial in Ottawa in honour of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was killed there October 22 2014).

Photo courtesy of ITK.


Ilona Martonfi is the author of three poetry books, Blue Poppy, (Coracle Press, 2009.) Black Grass, (Broken Rules Press, 2012). The Snow Kimono, (Inanna Publications, 2015).

Book review: NEW TAB by Guillaume Morissette

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Guillaume dodges the sophomore slump with his latest, New Tab, a semi-autobiographical take on underbelly city life and crippling self-doubt, two ideas that vary in magnitude. Montreal, as depicted by Gui, is lawless and completely dissimilar to our classical understanding of this picturesque town enhanced by our most famous literary exports. Imagine instead a much rougher appearance, and your favorite neighborhood looted by millenials. Wi-Fi signals are stolen with cash on stowaway. A young man's vision of desire is taken from him. Poor life choices lead to possible bereavement.

A network of relationships is at the core of this 'event'. As is Thomas' view on art for the sake of art. His self-awareness is not only a fundamental issue but also a hilarious plot device that conjures the best of the author's ability to alleviate and make sense of sadness.

The characters are intentionally homogenous to highlight Thomas' character. Shannon is especially well written. Her humorous quips in light of other more pressing issues are proof that Facebook chat is fast becoming a literary pastiche.

This is Guillaume's first full-length novel published through Véhicule Press. Guillaume's brand potential has almost overshadowed his overall end product, which raises important questions about the nature and the structure of Quebec's literary landscape. But his work far surpasses that, and its target audience is all consuming and ever expanding. Guillaume's anxiety is very much enjoyable as a second hand experience. If you happen to live in the Montreal area, you should try and hear him read a portion of New Tab while the getting is good.


Five of the Most Popular Fan Fiction Tropes: Part 1

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Thumbnail image for GP"Trope [the word] refers to a conventional literary device or figure of speech in which elements within a story plot, setting, characterization, or 'behind the scenes' of a fanwork (or canon source material) are a common concept that audiences are already familiar with and can easily recognize. Tropes are related to the concept of clichés but are not actually the same thing, especially in that they are not necessarily overused to the point of being distracting. Rather tropes are significant or recurrent themes whose universality makes them a convenient conduit for familiar concepts." - Fanfiction Terminology

No matter how small a fandom might be, one can always count on finding at least one trope fic, if not dozens, hundreds, or even thousands more. The fact of the matter is, that trope writing is an inescapable aspect of fanfiction. One would be hard pressed to find a seasoned, or even moderate, fanfiction author that hasn't at the very least written one trope fic. Which is why, when exploring the world of fanfiction, one ought to become familiar with the most basic of tropes. The following review will not only list five of the most popular fanfiction tropes - but five of the oldest as well.

However, before moving on to the review itself, the reader should be made aware of the following terms prior to proceeding with the article.

Cannon: "refers to elements established by the original source material (TV show, book, movie, etc...) itself for either plot, setting, or character developments." - Fanfiction Terminology

Fandom: "refers to the fan-based community dedicated to a particular TV show or other cult-inducing medium, including movies, books, music, comics, and any other canon source material. The term "fandom" can be used to represent either the fans and the multitude of ways in which they follow and enjoy the original source material, or as a generic way of referring to the original source material that supports a fan-based community itself. Fandom includes both the internet presence and real-life existence, and is expressed in many ways including websites, mailing lists, archives, fanart, fanfic, Cons, etc..." - Fanfiction Terminology

Five of the Most Popular Fan Fiction Tropes - Part 2

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The following is a list of some of the most popular tropes in fanfiction nowadays. No matter how small a fandom, it's likely you will find an example of at least one of these tropes - if not more. With them, I've included examples of fanfictions that fall into that particular trope category. In our last post, we discussed the top two most popular tropes: What If Fics, and The Fake Relationship/Mariage trope. In this post, we wrap-up our review of The Top Five Most Popular Tropes. Next post - we begin our examination of Five Fanfiction Tropes That Have Seemingly Been Around Since the Dawn of Time.

3. The Pregnancy/Baby trope is rather self explanatory. One of the characters is either pregnant, becomes pregnant or has a baby/child. The circumstances surrounding this particular situation depends entirely upon the time of sub-trope the author has chosen - of which there are too many to name. The pitfalls of this particular trope is once again dependent upon the particular sub-trope the author utilises, although an overall conscern with these fics is finding a delicate balance between over-exposing and under-exposing the subject. Examples include:

KY

"I Took A Wrong Turn Somewhere (Somehow I Ended Up Right)" By LadyChi: Felicity Smoak made one mistake in her whole life, and his name was Oliver Queen. They had one night together, and then the Queen's Gambit went down. Then she found herself crying in a dormitory bathroom, hoping what she knew down to her bones to be the truth was a lie...Felicity Smoak has Oliver Queen's children.

"Obligations" By A True Dreamer: Choices are made. Secrets are kept. Sides are taken. Nothing is the way its supposed to be, and the person with the power to make it all alright again refuses. Kessi Story.

Five of the most popular fan fiction tropes - Part 3

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Five Fanfiction Tropes that Have Seemingly Been Around Since the Dawn of Time:

The following is a list of some of the oldest fanfiction tropes around. Like the most popular tropes of today, it's highly likely that you will find at least one example, if not dozens more, of one or more of the following tropes. In addition to having been utilized in some of the most popular fanfictions around, the following tropes have also managed to spawn their own sub-tropes - some of which are even fandom specific. With them, I've included examples of fanfictions that fall into that particular trope category. In our last post, we wrapped-up our review of The Top Five Most Popular Tropes. In this post we examine the top two tropes of Five Fanfiction Tropes That Have Seemingly Been Around Since the Dawn of Time. In our next post, we shall reveal the last three tropes, and conclude our review.

1. Alternate Universe (AU) Fics "refer[s] to a story of which there is a (often major) plot, setting, or character deviation away from established canon. AUs may be anything, but there are some themes that are quite common in a variety of fandoms such as All Human AUs, Animal AUs, Highschool AUs, and/or Modern AUs, for example. Authors may also create and develop their own unique worlds in which to place familiar characters. Sometimes referred to as Alternate Realities, Alternate Timelines or Parallel Realities, but such precise distinctions are not usually necessary." - Fanfiction Terminology. Examples of Alternate Universe (AU) Fics include:

2.jpg"we keep all our promises (be us against the world)" By Tarafina: [au - no island] Oliver Queen has no idea what he's doing with his life, but when his father gives him an ultimatum, he has to figure it out. After meeting Felicity Smoak, he finds himself on a new path and his eyes are opened to what happiness really means and how finding it takes more courage than he ever thought he had.

"Benefits of Boredom" By Writingwife83 : Regency AU- Sherlock Holmes prefers London to the country, so he isn't happy about spending a summer with his family at their country estate. He hopes that some beekeeping will keep him entertained. But he also meets Miss Molly Hooper, daughter of the town's doctor. Maybe the summer will end up being more eventful than he thinks. (cover art by the talented melamungous on Tumblr)

Five of the Most Popular Fanfiction Tropes: Part 4

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The following is a list of some of the oldest fanfiction tropes around. Like the most popular tropes of today, it's highly likely that you will find at least one example, if not dozens more, of one or more of the following tropes. In addition to having been utilized in some of the most popular fanfictions around, the following tropes have also managed to spawn their own sub-tropes - some of which are even fandom specific. With them, I've included examples of fanfictions that fall into that particular trope category. In our final post, we conclude our review of Five Fanfiction Tropes That Have Seemingly Been Around Since the Dawn of Time.

3. Backstories explore the background of a particular character. We not only learn about that character's life before they've been introduced in the storyline cannon, but we learn more about them in the canon timeline. For example, character C is more of secondary character, despite her popularity with the audiences. As such, we don't know much about her save a few random facts. The backstory trope allows the fanfiction author to write an in-depth examination of the character. Examples include:

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"You Should Have Met Me in 1864" By Shnook35: Set after season 3, What if, after a spell gone wrong, Elena is sent back to 1864 in the middle of the Stefan/Katherine/Damon love triangle? Will she fall in love with Stefan all over again or choose the other brother. Full summary in first chapter.

"The Reunion" By Sandys18: Felicity can't find a date to her high school reunion and Felicity doesn't want Oliver's help. One thing leads to another and they both run into a bit of a problem, thanks to one of Felicity's enemies that she meets at the reunion.

"Once Upon A Time"... There Was Fanfiction.

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Once Upon A Time (2).jpgOver the course of the past year, Montrealites has explored the world of fanfiction. We have discussed such topics as Fanfiction Ethics and Fanfiction Reviewing Etiquette in two blog entries. We have interviewed no less than three fanfiction authors: Col3725, Lenora Colledge and threesquares. In addition we've been working on a review of the top five fanfiction tropes, which will be posted on Montrealites in weeks to come. We also plan to close off our segment with an interactive assignment on the various fanfiction downloading methods available. However, prior to posting our review and final assignment, we will, in the present feature article, examine the historical origins of fanfiction and its evolution.

First, the reader should be made to understand that the term fanfiction, is in and of itself, relatively new. The term fanfiction has only emerged in the past few decades, and its widespread use and definition, can be somewhat attributed to the advent of the internet. Nonetheless, the concept of fanfiction - the concept of "using existing characters and situations to develop new plots" has been around for centuries.

Thumbnail image for Lwowska_Galeria_Sztuki_-_Paul_Merwart_-_The_Flood.jpgNow, we might go on and on about the subject - and retrace the origins of fanfiction all the way back to ancient times. We could go into extensive detail about how ancient cultures were overly fond of merging various folktales, or how they would often incorporate the mythologies of other cultures, specifically those cultures which they had conquered, into their own mythologies - all in a bid to avoid alienating the newly incorporated populace, and homogenise their society and cultural history. This, of course, is the one of the reasons why there exists so many different versions of the same myth - for example, that of the flood myths. As a result of their different origins, the characters themselves often differ. But the end result is almost always the same - the human populace is reborn. Now, whether humanity is reconstructed through traditional means, or by throwing rocks over one's head, is once again dictated by the myth's origin.

Again, we can go on...

But really, we'd rather not - if only for the sake of expediency and a set word count.