The Ephemera

Goings on at the magazine.

Winter, 2018–2019 / No. 42
Illustration by Hartley Lin
Hartley Lin

Soon after the summer issue of Taddle Creek began arriving in mailboxes, the magazine received a letter from Richard Sanger, of Toronto, stating, “My issue No. 41 arrived today and seems to be missing quite a few pages: pages 19, 20, 29, and 30, at least. Can you send me a complete issue? Otherwise, I’ll summon the ghosts of Clem and Sylvia Holden to disown Alfred.” Taddle Creek was unable to take Richard’s threat seriously, as Clem and Sylvia, the Vermont-residing parents of the longtime Taddle Creek contributor Alfred Holden, are still very much alive, at ages ninety-five and eighty-eight, respectively. This news so overjoyed Richard that no follow-up intimidation was forthcoming: “How wonderful to hear that Clem and Sylvia are still going strong! Please ask Alfred to give my and my brother Matthew’s congratulations to Clem on his ninety-fifth. Clem used to take us up to cross-country ski in the Gatineau Park in the nineteen-seventies, and I’ve always remembered his enthusiasm for those beautiful trails.” Of course, Taddle Creek still made good on replacing Richard’s faulty issue, which appeared to be an isolated printing error, though any reader in possession of a similar misprint should contact the magazine for a replacement.

The debut edition of Brian Francis’s cooking column, The Kitch, in Taddle Creek No. 41, incorrectly directed baking the recipe Devilled Eggs and Asparagus in Casserole at three hundred and fifty degrees Celsius for twenty minutes. This will, in fact, result in a charred mess, and not the delicious summertime treat Brian intended. The correct temperature is three hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Taddle Creek takes full blame for this mistake, with no good excuse other than to say the magazine is new to this whole cooking thing. Taddle Creek regrets the error and any pool parties it may have ruined.

Taddle Creek lost a record four National Magazine Awards this June, bringing its career total losses to twenty. Apologies once again to the magazine’s nominees for the false hope Taddle Creek indirectly provided by entering their work for an award the magazine is very good at getting nominated for but very bad at winning: Lisa Moore, nominated for her short story “Visions,” from Taddle Creek No. 39, in the Fiction category; Katherena Vermette, nominated for her poem “When Louis Riel Went Crazy,” also from No. 39, in the Poetry category; Michel Rabagliati, nominated for “Paul Goes West,” his cover to No. 39, in the Illustration category; and Jeff Speed, nominated for his photographs of the First Nations hip-hop scene, accompanying the story “Birthright,” from Taddle Creek No. 40, in the Portraits Photography category.

Donna Robinson recently wrote: “I just read Shannon Webb-Campbell’s short story “Can You Tell Me a Joke About Your Profession?” I was puzzled by the word “slouth,” as in ‘Rachel received a slouth of e-mails.’ Neither of my two dictionaries, nor a Web search, gave me a definition. Help, please! I’d like a definition for my word journal.” Funny—and true—story: Earlier this year, Shannon very kindly provided Taddle Creek with a link to the Urban Dictionary page she referenced while writing her story, which defined “slouth” as a large pile, or something along those lines. However, in going back to review the definition again, the magazine discovered it changed to “water that has been sitting stagnant.” A trip in the Wayback Machine shows this to have been the dictionary’s meaning of the word in 2015 as well, leaving Taddle Creek unable to explain the definition blip. The magazine suggests marking “slouth” as an unsolved mystery in your word journal for the time being, Donna.

Next issue, Taddle Creek will undergo one of its occasional transformations, as it presents a collection of genre fiction, poetry, and comics, designed in the style of a traditional pulp magazine. The ninety-six-page issue will feature stories ranging from western to sci-fi to erotic to . . . whatever the hell it is Tony Burgess writes. Don’t miss it.