Skip to content

From the archives

Pax Atlantica

NATO’s long-lasting relevance

The Melmac Years

My peculiar resin d’être

Cecily Ross

Cecily Ross is an editor, novelist, and poet in Creemore, Ontario.

Articles by
Cecily Ross

Truths Be Told

I often pretended to have read it May 2024
Shortly after my debut novel came out in April 2017, the Chapters in Belleville, Ontario, invited me to be part of an event to mark Canada’s 150th birthday. The store’s interest in my book — a fictional diary of the Canadian pioneer Susanna Moodie — seemed understandable. This was the sesquicentennial year, after all, and here was a story about a renowned (and sometimes maligned) settler who spent the latter half of her life in town and who is buried there in a cemetery overlooking Lake…

Freedom in Verse

Why I took up poetry November 2023
I write poems.Does that make me a poet?What if nobody reads them? If you know anything about poetry, you’ll recognize the above as a haiku. The form is simple. Three lines: five syllables, then seven syllables, then five again. Those are the rules. Poetry has a lot of…

In the Ottawa Valley

An energetic debut April 2023
If you want to understand the real Canada, observes a character in Jim McEwen’s invigorating debut novel, a good place to start is Wing-nite Wednesday in any small town, including the eponymous Fearnoch, a once thriving, now collapsing farming community in the Ottawa Valley. There — at the local pub, some dank hotel bar, the smelly arena locker…

Leaving Them

The hardest thing I’ve ever done May 2022
Birth is not merely that which divides women from men: it also divides women from themselves.— Rachel Cusk I left my daughters when they were eleven and eight. I didn’t leave them entirely, but I did remove them from the place in my life — the centre — they had previously occupied. I put them off to one side and moved into that centre…

Cascading Uncertainties

The latest from Tessa McWatt November 2021
In her 2019 memoir, Shame on Me, Tessa McWatt recalled a time when a teacher asked her, “What are you?” She was just eight years old, but she had a kaleidoscopic lineage: Guyanese, Canadian, Chinese, Portuguese, Indian, Arawak, Scottish, English, and French. Her great-great-grandfather was the cousin of an overseer on a sugar plantation in the former British…

This Story Is Mine

Why I’m finally telling it October 2020
This, I think, is the cost of telling, even in the guise of fiction. Once you do, it’s the only thing about you anyone will ever care about. It defines you whether you want it to or not. — Kate Elizabeth Russell Who would have thought something that happened that long ago could have such

An Urgent Realm

Mallory Tater’s dark debut July | August 2020
A pandemic is not a dystopia, Margaret Atwood recently said in an interview with the BBC. A dystopia is “an arranged unpleasant society you don’t want to be living in”— a frightening and usually totalitarian place. It is a cautionary tale that says, This is the house you could be living in if things continue this way. How do you like this…

An Eye-Popping Debut

The chaotic highs and lows of returning home March 2019
In the annals of plucky female ­protagonists, Crow Fortune is certainly the most profane. The heroine of Amy Spurway’s quirky debut novel, simply entitled Crow, is a trash-­talking, hard-­drinking train wreck of a woman who has gone home to die after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Without much regret, she abandons her life in Toronto — a mediocre marketing…