MRU alumna revives groundbreaking magazine
Feminist magazine, Forum, gets new life
Forum, a groundbreaking feminist magazine that was published in Calgary from 1988 to 2002, is back and hitting the streets, thanks, in part, to MRU alumna Silvia Pikal. New Forum is an homage to the original magazine and will serve as a platform for writers and artists in Alberta.
“We wanted to celebrate and revive a feisty, grassroots magazine that tackled topics that affected women – and continue to affect women,” Pikal explains. “It’s also a good opportunity to champion for underrepresented voices – we want Albertans to see themselves reflected in Canadian literature.”
The magazine launch party took place at Loft 112 on June 22. Loft 112 is a central hub for the literary and creative community, and hosted a series of events leading up to the launch party to celebrate women’s writing, art and film.
“Our festival pays homage to the spirit of the original Forum with an exploration of the politics of knitting, a feminist film night, an art show that explores women’s work and women at work, and a workshop with writer Cecilia Frey, who hosted a workshop for the original magazine.”
The original Forum was a launching pad for several well-known writers and artists, and Pikal predicts this will be the same with the new version.
“Our goal is to publish emerging and established writers in Alberta. We hope to partner with different organizations in Calgary to provide support, mentorship and publication opportunities to emerging writers. It can be difficult to be accepted in literary magazines if you don’t have other publication experience or workshop training from creative writing courses.”
The first issue of New Forum includes non-fiction, fiction, artwork and poetry. Pikal gave a sneak peak of one of the non-fiction stories in the first issue.
“In 1993, the original magazine published a transcript by Beth Brant where she spoke about how colonialism forced the English language on Indigenous people and destroyed the Mohawk language in her family. In this issue, writer Sable Sweetgrass tells us about a similar experience in her family, where her parents and grandparents were forbidden from speaking Blackfoot in residential schools, and what impact that had on her life.”
Further details on the New Forum are available here.
June 20, 2019 ― Erika Holter