Versus Narrative: The Addiction Issue

Winter 2024. Vol. 46 No.3

Welcome to Versus Narrative: The Addiction Issue. Writing about our own experiences with addiction has been a way for us to regain a sense of agency around ourown narratives; and through openly writing about addiction, our hope has been to help remove the stigma around it. As guest editors for this special issue, we can’t tell you, readers, how honoured and humbled we are to have read the breadth of vulnerability, craft, and depth of life experience and knowledge on display within the submissions sent our way. Our hope is that this issue can be a small statement against stigma. A place of openness to centre these experiences and voices with compassion and care.

In our view, simply holding intentional space for these conversations is a step in the right direction. Thank you to everyone who sent something in, and thank you for your vulnerability. Our eventual (difficult) selections reflect that immense variety. Addiction is not a monolith, and neither are these poems. We can’t wait for you to be perfectly unsettled by the dog/human hybrid in Zoë Mills’ “Lanugo”; be taken in by the tragic blissful ride of Shannon Quinn’s “Objects in the mirror may appear form-
less”; to get lost and found in the spaces of Brandi Bird’s “Hunger Bores”; to enjoy the strangeness of a slightly biblical ham sandwich with Gordon Taylor’s “Mow Blow and Go”; to watch the butter melt over generations in Cole Mash’s moving
prose piece “In Brightest Day.” Whether these narratives are sad, strange, reckless or ruthless, whether they centre
technique, emotion, form, humour or softness, relationality or surreality, living with addiction, life outside of it, or the grief of losing a loved one to it, these poems show up.

We are so grateful to everyone who has contributed to this issue. So enough with us, turn the page and say hello.

Conyer Clayton & Hannah Green
Guest Editors