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Parentheses Journal

Toronto, ON

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Founders and Editors

Sneha Subramanian Kanta, Founding Editor, is a writer from Canada. She is a Vijay Nambisan Fellow (2019) awarded by The Nambisan Foundation. She was the Charles Wallace Fellow writer-in-residence (2018-19) at The University of Stirling. Her work has appeared in Waxwing Magazine, The Puritan, Contemporary Verse 2, Bywords, and elsewhere. She is the founding editor of Parentheses Journal. She has been awarded a fellowship to attend Poets on the Coast 2020. She has received scholarships for her writing from Hugo House, The British Council, and Kundiman.

Harshal Desai, Founding Editor, is a fine art photographer, graphic designer, and writer from Canada. His work has appeared in National Geographic, London Photo Festival, Indianapolis Review, and elsewhere. He is the founding editor of Parentheses Journal. He has received a scholarship for his writing from Kundiman. He is on Instagram and Twitter @Iamharshaldesai.

Cathy Ulrich, Fiction Editor, is a mixed-race writer from Montana. Her work has been published in various journals, including Black Warrior Review, Passages North and Wigleaf, and can be found in Best Microfiction 2019, Best Small Fiction 2019 and Wigleaf’s Top 50 Very Short Fictions 2017 and 2019. She is the author of Ghosts of You (2019, Okay Donkey Press).

Tell us a bit about your press. How did you start? Who are your influences, in Canada and beyond? What is your mission?

We began the idea for Parentheses Journal in December 2016. I (Sneha) was a research scholar at The University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, and corresponded with Harshal about the possibility of forming a literary journal. We began assimilating ideas, and spoke at-length about the beginning of this endeavour. Soon, with the design and craft skills and expertise of Harshal, we had a website and social media pages up and running.

We aim to incorporate a myriad range of voices, and especially welcome submissions from writers who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, disabled, queer, immigrant, and arrive from diverse intersections of identity. We seek to amplify those voices traditionally denied access to literature by academia, gatekeeping, and systemic biases. In Canada, we adore the work put out by The Puritan, CV2, and Vallum Magazine. We also trace resonance with the works published by Waxwing Magazine, Porridge Magazine, Up the Staircase Quarterly, The Shore Poetry, Muzzle Magazine, among many other publications.

What about small press publishing is particularly exciting to you right now?

We are a POC-led publication and operate with the aesthetic of amplifying a diverse range of experiences. We truly believe that work currently changing the landscape of literature is mostly put out by small presses. It is a responsibility we take seriously, and with much reverence. This is an incredible time for writers and writing, and we are honored to both; witness, and be a part of the larger framework.

How does your press work to engage with your immediate literary community, and community at large?

We support previous contributors continually, and are happy to contribute in any capacity to help promote their work. We also have a supportive editorial team where each editor strives to work with creators and contributors to assist in the process of editing and publishing their work. We are active on social media and encourage those interested to follow us on Twitter @ParenthesesArt and on Instagram @parenthesesjournal to keep up with our updates and community engagement.

How have the current multiple global crises impacted your work with the press?

We are new immigrants in Canada, and the pandemic has impacted those working in the creative industry majorly. We hold the words of Maxine Hong Kingston: “In a time of destruction, create something.” We would like to bring to attention that despite the global crises, there is a delay in the paradigm shift of how creative labor is warranted. We are editing our tenth issue, and one of our largest issues amid moving residences and several systemic changes. Our editorial mission hopes to be a place where creation triumphs over despair.


Parentheses Journal n.09 cover

Parentheses Journal n.09
Summer 2020


Parentheses Journal n.05 cover

Parentheses Journal n.05
Winter 2019