Owen Schalk is a writer from Manitoba. His short stories have been distributed by a variety of print and online publishers, including Quagmire Literary Magazine, Sobotka Literary Magazine and The Anti-Languorous Project. He is a columnist at Canadian Dimension magazine and a contributor to Jacobin, Monthly Review, Protean Magazine and many others. His book on Canada’s role in the war in Afghanistan will be released by Lorimer Books later this year.
Owen is currently enrolled in the University of Saskatchewan’s MFA in Writing program, where he is working on a novel thesis. The novel’s themes include the need to decolonize social relations with people and nature, and the necessity of engaging critically with personal and regional histories in order to foster a more ecological way of being.
Q: If you could travel back in time, which of the great writers would you like to meet and why?
A: Walter Benjamin or Pier Paolo Pasolini, both of whom foresaw the rise of the modern consumer society and tried to warn us in their own incomparable ways.
Q: What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you as a child?
A: One of my most creatively formative memories is of my grandfather gifting me his copy of A Confederacy of Dunces when I was eight or nine years old. Though at the time I was too young to understand much of it, I have valued that book (and literature of the American South) very highly ever since.
Q: Do you have a favourite quote? (From a book, film, song, speech…)
A: ‘Between my finger and my thumb / The squat pen rests / I’ll dig with it’ – Seamus Heaney, ‘Digging’
For a city named after debris, Windthrow is surprisingly orderly. The industrial outskirts form a seething ring of poverty and unemployment, but once you overfly that unsavoury moat and breach the city proper, it undercuts the detritus of its name. Downtown Windthrow is a vibrant concatenation of start-ups, arts spaces and artisanal eateries which serve …
October floated like a glacier into town. Abigail remembered the chill from her childhood, but memory alone could never summon its sensate richness: the sawdust-dry air, the biting wind that snaked up your sleeves no matter how you held your arms and the leaves that crunched like brittle insecurities at every step. No form of …
Two months ago, Anna’s mother withdrew from public life and began collecting assassinations. Her first acquisition, according to most reports, was a cumbrous reproduction of Gérôme’s The Death of Caesar, which she dangled above the fireplace of her dimly lit sitting room. The exact order of her subsequent purchases was not established, but by all …