About Wordsmith's Intersection
From the very first issue of Jaywalker in March of 2003, poetry and prose played a vital role in rounding out the feel of the 'zine. With pieces by The Last Sellout and Yodelle Gorge, the first section was titled simply "Poetry", though its content and style stood out from the then-photocopied pages.
The second issue offered a tangent to the poetry of the first, with a frolicking piece titled Tuli, by Benjamin Pickett contrasting a poignant work of prose titled Hunger Humiliate by S. Jonathan Colborne. This helped broaden the range of acceptable style, bringing a sense of experimentalism to the budding poetry and prose section.
The third issue of Jaywalker, May 2003, was the first to include a work of submitted poetry. Concealing his friendship behind an anonymous pseudonym to avoid preferential treatment, now-publisher John Casnig wrote Snowball in the Sand, a decidedly angry political poem written under the name "Harry Sphincter". Meanwhile, Edmund J. Lear had entered a piece with an atypical syntax holding classic poetry titled Forgot.
The fourth issue brought back Casnig but no longer under an anonymous pseudonym. This time, he'd appear as G.G. Falderal, his poetic nom de plume for several years, with another sour-note poem titled Nothing Rots in Hollywood. This piece shared the printed stage with Kingston poet, musician and artist Robert J. Watson's first submission, Museum of Dead Cultures.
August 2003, with its muddled colour cover, introduced photography to the poetry section, using a house photo of a ginseng farm in southern British Columbia. Robert J. Watson reappears, with a piece titled Serene Exile. A new poet emerges, calling herself simply "Ang", with Distance, the first of several pieces she would add to the Jaywalker. G.G. Falderal begins a poetic trilogy, based on his allergies, the first installment a tribute to Robert Burns, To A Nose.
Kingston's downtown core, our in-house propaganda experts made short work of creating the illusion of a real intersection. The section expanded significantly, and focused on a more flattering presentation of the poetic material. The paper and print technology took a gigantic leap, aiding the visual quality of the print, giving it a silvery reflective quality that made the words stand out. Eriana shows up for the first time, with a beautifully expressed eulogy for her cat, named Mousy. Poet Muffy S. makes a first appearance too, with an untitled love poem that was an emotional fit to accompany Mousy. Ang, from the month before, became Angela, and served us Swarm Against the Body. Falderal returned with Ode to a 'Node, the second in his allergy trilogy.
October's Wordsmith's Intersection was the first to place the poetry right on the photos. An experiment in affordable full-bleed printing, the poems are held against a backdrop of an abstract photo on one side and a snap of the breakwater near City Hall, taken the winter prior in dense fog. Robert J. Watson re-emerges with Night Wanderings, and was the only suited submission for the theme. As a result, Casnig wrote as both an anonymous submission, with The King of Inkling, and as G.G. Falderal with his (supposedly) final poem of the allergy trilogy titled My Nose: A Running Gag.
Jaywalker's eighth issue, in November 2003, brought a major up-sizing to the Wordsmith's Intersection. Increased to four full pages, completely blanketed by three photos, and graced by three new faces, it was our poetic "best foot forward" in the issue dedicated to thanking Dr. Alfred Bader for his many fine gifts to the Agnes Etherington art centre. Letter to a Friend, by newcomer Rob Gillis helped present a feel of levity, in stride with Crest Fallin' by G.G. Falderal and A Kingston Love Story, also by Falderal, but entered again as "Anonymous". PIC Press editor John Pigeau submitted a sobering piece about love lost titled In Closing, and R.C. Aitkin reminded us of Days Gone By while in the background a stone skips at Collin's Bay Creek.
While Wordsmith's Intersection was developing, a new section of photography was separately growing. First appearing in October's issue, Inspiring Places promised to take readers to "places that stir our emotions". In December 2003, Wordsmith's Intersection merged with Inspiring Places, as both a space-saving effort and an experiment in presentation. We had to wonder if we could find a bridge between location and theme, without typecasting the location by association. Still a work in progress, we hope one day to have poetry, prose, artwork and photography all created at one of our Inspiring Places.
December's theme was joy, and since flight brings joy to many, we included a series of aerial shots, with a specific focus on rivers. Rob Gillis appeared once again, but this time as typo R. Willis, with The Perfect Joy of Innocence. Muffy S. submitted Fluttering, John Pigeau added Grace and Robert J. Watson delivered three untitled haikus. Adding a fourth part to his allergy trilogy, in silent remembrance of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams, Falderal wrote Alleluia to Allergies.
The printing of December's issue was largely unsuccessful. Although Wayne Westfall's artwork came out in rich colour, the large black and white images of Wordsmith's Intersection were not well suited to the printers colour-biased equipment settings. As a result, a phenomenon known as banding wreaked havoc on the images, leaving an unimpressive series of alternating image density across every photo of affected issues. In January 2004, we cut back the images considerably while awaiting resolution of the matter, switching to something reminiscent of the old Poetry section from long ago. This unwelcome retreat was one of a growing number of concessions forced on the magazine, and was very emotionally dampening.
January's issue had another fresh face - Jill Mulholland, with Letter to a Friend. Jill shared space with now-properly spelt Rob Gillis and his piece On Turning 20. Eriana Letaine Marcus, returning months after her Adversity and the Artist article, brought us Grey Havens (Homeland). Casnig, facing a debilitating depression, tells of the experience in Emotional Coma, writing again as G.G. Falderal. Inspiring places lifted away from Wordsmith's Intersection, becoming an article about dreams, in keeping with the theme.
After resolving the printing issue from December, February's Jaywalker rejoined Wordsmith's Intersection with Inspiring Places, this time at Lemoine Point. The theme was passion, although the photos were necessarily smaller to prevent banding, they were very suited to the poetry. Gary Bissel arrives for the first time with Lover, joining two other poetic debuts by Joe Grand (Mona Lisa's Chair) and Lisa Hughes (The Longing). G.G. Falderal's song, Penance, quietly alluded to the ritualistic nature of depressed thinking.
Wordsmith's Intersection is expected to expand considerably with the new website. Because of the very tiny circulation of tving the printing issue from December, February's Jaywalker rejoined Wordsmith's Intersection with Inspiring Places, this time at Lemoine Point. The theme was passion, although the photos were necessarily smaller to prevent banding, they were very suited to the poetry. Gary Bissel arrives for the first time with Lover, joining two other poetic debuts by Joe Grand (Mona Lisa's Chair) and Lisa Hughes (The Longing). G.G. Falderal's song, Penance, quietly alluded to the ritualistic nature of depressed thinking.
Wordsmith's Intersection is expected to expand considerably with the new website. Because of the very tiny circulation of the printed Jaywalker, it has been very hard to get a scope of submissions to round out the section every month. Since it usually takes many submissions to get a single poem published, submitters have been encouraged to send as many as they can. We hope that this new website can deliver far more of the submitted material over a far greater area.