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No. 201 (Autumn 1999)

Newfoundland Issue

What is regional literature and why is it important to distinguish pieces of work based on their home? Regional literature refers to literature capturing features, such as characters, dialect, and culture, specific to a region. The 201st issue of The Fiddlehead is a collection of works by prominent Newfoundland writers. Editor Ross Leckie elucidates the importance of capturing literature through region in the issue’s editorial. All regions are unique in their own way. All have different cultures and histories distinctive from the rest of the provinces. As Ross Leckie points out, Newfoundland has “a unique culture, a geographical isolation, an historical experience quite separate from Canada’s, and an island mystique that gives its literature a special resonance.” The focus on Newfoundland literature, or lack thereof, is what propelled the issue itself. Newfoundland’s emerging literature, “remarkable for its diversity and excellence,” seemed to be overlooked by the rest of the country. The goal was to give it its own space to be prominently displayed and recognized.

This issue captures Newfoundland life and culture, while exhibiting the talent of Newfoundland writers whose work may not have anything to do with the region at all. Kenneth J. Harvey contributes with his work “An Argument with God,” a compelling story that explores a man’s struggle with finding faith after experiencing the excruciating loss of his wife. “The Whittler” by Lillianne Bouzane showcases how region can influence literature, as she tells the story of a tight-knit community undergoing the loss of three young men during a five-day long storm. Poetry and fiction works are gathered in this issue to create a regional reading experience that, as Ross Leckie puts it, “is by no means exhaustive.” It simply offers a glimpse into the discovery of the brilliance of emerging Newfoundland literature.

Bailey Noiles 
Intern, February 2022 


5        Ross Leckie

7        Claire Wilkshire: Contribution
19      Lisa Moore: Craving
25      Libby Creelman: Boat Ride
37      Don Austin: Lotty Amazona
48      Joan Clark: from Latitudes of Melt: The Drook
63      Lillian Bouzane: The Whittler
77      Bernice Morgan: Cautionary Tales
95      Kenneth J. Harvey: An Argument With God

13      Michael Crummey: Five Poems
40      Michael Winter: Three Poems
46      Barbara Nickel: Two Poems
70      Robin McGrath: Two Poems
72      Mary Dalton: Two Poems
74      John Steffler: Three Poems
89      Patrick Warner: Three Poems

104    Bill Bauer: Powerfully Part of the Present
          Flesh and Blood and
          Hard Light, Michael Crummey
107    Lance Callahan: An Abandoned Nation: The Strange Case of Joseph Smallwood and Sheilagh Fielding
          The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, Wayne Johnston
109    Anne Compton: Seeing Things
          Before the Flood, Alan Wilson
112    Ian Colford: ...piled here like kindling
          Man of Bone, Alan Cumyn
114    Adam Dickinson: Headwaters
          Weighted Light, Allan Briesmaster
          flowers in the empty house, albert fuller
          Ophelia After Centuries of Trying, Merike Lugus
119    Ross Leckie: The Resources of Poetry
          Waterglass, Jeffery Donaldson
          All the God-Sized Fruit, Shawna Lemay 
          Chess Pieces, David Solway

125    Notes on Contributors

Peter Gross
Ektachrome Photograph

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