Summer 2022 Editorial
A story. A story. Please tell me a story.
I grew up around storytellers. My paternal grandmother offered up family stories alongside Sunday dinners. I myself performed storytelling in schools as an elementary schoolteacher, prior to becoming a writer. When someone shares a personal account, they are offering up the truth of their experience. What a gift that is to be shared and received. That is why I feel so honoured to be The Fiddlehead’s creative nonfiction editor for this special summer CNF issue that is most dear to my heart.
I’m often asked what creative nonfiction (CNF) is exactly. It’s true stories that make use of the conventions of fiction and poetry. The umbrella of creative nonfiction casts a vast shadow encompassing memoir, the personal essay, the lyric essay, and literary journalism. What I find exciting is that more and more contemporary nonfiction writers are pushing the boundaries of the genre even further by using such forms as the hermit crab essay, prose poem, flash nonfiction, diptych, triptych, visual, and decentred hermit crab essay.
In the twenty-four fantastic pieces presented in this issue, there are personal essays, lyric essays that follow a braided or collaged form, and lyric essays that take an outlier approach. You’ll discover pieces that speak to many themes, such as love and loss, being an outsider, death and goodbyes, motherhood and daughterhood, racism, vulnerability, sexuality, home and safety, sexual assault, family dynamics, ghosts, remembrances, and much more.
And let’s not forget the amazing artwork gracing our cover. The piece entitled, Beaverbrook Art Gallery Re-opening — Small by artist Cliff Turner is a beautiful, vibrant still life. A work of hyperrealism, the way Cliff Turner plays with light is simply awe-inspiring.
My thanks to Ian LeTourneau and Emily Skov-Nielsen, for your guidance and support. Thank you, Sue Sinclair, for the wonderful opportunity of being The Fiddlehead’s creative nonfiction editor.
I am grateful to the twenty-four talented writers who make up this issue and choose to share their brilliant stories with all of us. Writers, it was an honour to be trusted with your words.
— Rowan McCandless, May 2022