Flipping through an issue of Plenitude Magazine is like paying admission to a weird, wonderful amusement park: each new ride you hop on is going to take you somewhere completely different, new and exciting.
Victoria writer and editor Andrea Routley created Plenitude, an online biannual literary and art publication, to collect and highlight Canadian queer literary talents. I fell in love with the publication after perusing the second edition, and the third issue is more evidence of Routley’s vision to collect fresh, exciting, fun, sexy work by Canadian writers.
One of my favourite things about each issue is that you can open up the document, flick the mouse and, like a game of chance, let the scroll bar fall on a random page. You’re always going to find something wonderful. I’m not a big poetry person, but I always end up devouring a lot of the poetry in Plenitude. For example, Daniel Zomparelli’s “Grindr or Scruff” poeticizes the melancholy disconnect that goes hand-in-hand with hook-up apps.
Bookending the collection of work on one end is a short story by award-winning author Amber Dawn, chronicling the relationship between a lonely seven-year-old girl who converses with and falls in love with a piece of art by Louise Nevelson. The story incorporates text from an interview with Nevelson, blending coming-of-age fiction with art theory.
On the other end is a piece of literary criticism by John Barton, looking at problems with the idea of “universal” art and writing. Through the lens of sexuality and gender, Barton deconstructs the idea alongside his own career: “I have become suspicious of the universal, however consciously or unconsciously I may have sought to attain it myself. I have come to wonder what my peers and I have accomplished when we try to make what we write smack of an uncommon, common profundity.” On their own, Dawn’s and Barton’s works are worth the price of admission, but these are simply a couple of the amazing works that await within.
Plenitude Magazine is, most importantly for me, completely accessible. Instead of feeling like some monolithic literary magazine, Plenitude is something I look forward to delving into. It’s always a wild ride.
A one-year subscription to Plenitude Magazine is $10.