The Bull Calf

Reviews of Fiction, Poetry, and Literary Criticism

The Bull Calf 7.1

Editors' Note 7.1

Initially, The Bull Calf was something of an intellectual whim, spurred when two Ph.D. students at McGill became the closest of friends. In our very first editors’ note in January 2011, we described a review journal that would both “provide accessible online reviews for the Canadian reading public” and “introduce original ways of reviewing and of reading.” In our inclusion of group and retrospective reviews in issues that also featured author interviews and single-authored reviews of contemporary prose, poetry, and criticism, we hoped to generate invigorated discussions of Canadian literature and culture, to engage general readers in scholarly writing about past and present textual traditions. Thanks to a team of reviewers, editors, and web assistants, The Bull Calf has produced fifteen issues that delivered those hopes and aspirations.


Over the past six and a half years, The Bull Calf has witnessed many changes in the landscape of Canadian culture—with pleasure we recall that our issue devoted to Margaret Atwood was dedicated “for obvious reasons” at that time to Rob and Doug Ford—North American and world politics, and, more personally, the graduations and jobs that have led us away from the journal’s first home in Montreal. These changes, along with the development of new social media platforms and technology for sharing ideas across the country and the world, require us to re-evaluate and re-invigorate our work.


When The Bull Calf began, we thought, rather spontaneously, to borrow our title from Irving Layton’s poem of the same name. Although, like the doomed calf, in those first days our review “could barely stand,” we nonetheless felt “pride” and “the promise of sovereignty” that comes with starting something new. If the journal is not so new today, it still evidences its editors’ desire to engage with readers through innovative forms and genres of review. Thinking further about such innovation, we would like to announce that The Bull Calf will be on hiatus following this issue. Unlike our emblematic calf, however, we have not “tottered,” but need time to restructure and refresh the journal so that it can fulfill the highest goals we have had for it and reach a wider audience through even more innovative forms.


As we prepare to return, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you would like to be involved in the new Bull Calf in any capacity.


Until then, borrowing the words of another Montreal poet, “Welcome to you, darling and friend” to The Bull Calf 7.1.


To the friends who have worked as editors and assistants, to the publishers who have supported us, and to the readers who have sustained our own passion for this little journal, we thank you.


With gratitude,


Kait and Jeff

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