CapU’s literary magazine is going to burn the house down
Jenna Luscombe (she/her) // Contributor
Angelica Blanch (she/her) // Art Director
The Liar is Capilano University’s very own literary magazine. It is made for students, by students, and has been in print for the last 34 years. It was founded in the 1980s, when CapU’s poetry club published a single flyer, titled “Thursday.” It is now offered at the university as a two-semester literary publishing course.
The collective — a team of young designers, editors and publicists — operates with the goal of giving small writers and artists the chance to showcase their work. Members change every year, which means no two volumes will ever be the same. This type of creative process also means everyone’s opinions are heard and taken into account. Winston Barta, member of The Liar, says, “it feels like we are one big picture, instead of a bunch of puzzle pieces.”
One thing all collective members have in common is their desire to colour outside the lines. They don’t just want poetry, prose and art, The Liar provides the chance to showcase hybrid-genre works, creative nonfiction, literary essays, creative journalism, screenplays, photography, experimental art and more.
The theme this year is the “Burned Edition,” inspired by the recent fires that have devastated cities across western Canada. Families have been displaced, homes have been lost and Indigenous land has been permanently altered. In an effort to include submissions from those most affected by the fires, members sent out calls for art and writing to schools all over the province. “This theme will give the artists lots of room to maneuver and figure out what they want to express,” Barta notes. As a result, this new issue will feature an array of conceptual poetry, prose and visual art.
All current CapU students were also given the chance to enter The Liar’s annual writing and design contest and allowed to submit up to two pieces per category. This year’s faculty judges are Ki Wight, a Communication Studies and Motion Picture Arts instructor, as well as the convenor for Women and Gender Studies; and Andrea Actis, English instructor. Once the finalists for writing and design are narrowed down, Wight and Actis will anonymously choose two winners to receive $500 each. As per Liar tradition, the winning design will be featured on the cover of the issue. Last year’s judge Anne Stone believes that, “out there, in the multiverse, every piece submitted to this contest is being read by its ideal reader — and, in turn, recognized for its particular power.” The submissions closed on October 31, with the contest winners to be announced in early 2024.
Once completed, the zine will be approximately 200 pages of 100 percent student-created work. Following publication, there will be a launch party at the CapU Lonsdale campus. The date is yet to be announced. Attendees will be welcomed to celebrate with food, refreshments, and in-person readings. They will also receive a hard copy of the new edition.
The Liar is many things, but ultimately their mission is to prove student work deserves to be seen and heard, and that our local creative community is not only alive but flourishing.
To learn more about the Liar and submission details, visit theliar.capilanou.ca