Portal magazine celebrates a garden of stories at Bowen Park

Portal cover. A list of contributor names runs along the left side and several multi-coloured swan boats line the shore of a lake with a mountain range in the background.

Portal 2023, VIU’s full-colour magazine is on newsstands across the country in May. Portal cover photograph by Seth Scott

April 14, 2023 - 10:00am

The magazine launches April 21 at the Bowen Park Auditorium from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) student-run annual literary magazine, Portal, celebrates the release of its largest and 32nd issue at a new venue – the Bowen Park Auditorium

VIU’s full-colour, 108-page literary magazine is on newsstands across the country in May. It launches in Nanaimo on April 21 at the auditorium, 500 Bowen Road, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Doors open at 6 pm. The evening’s theme is “Garden of Stories” and will feature a catered reception, readings from many of its 27 contributors, a performance by local musician Bob Wilson and the awarding of the 2023 Creative Writing department scholarships. 

The issue’s Managing Editors Tammi Carto and Jack Corfield will emcee the event as Portal 2023 celebrates new works of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, scripts, artwork and photography that transports readers from the mountains of Peru to the edges of our galaxy. 

“From the vibrant cover to the final page, this diverse and entertaining collection of written and visual work will take the reader on a journey. Bringing Portal to life has been an exciting and inspiring collaboration and our VIU students are proud to launch it into the world,” said Carto. 

This issue also bravely tackles homophobia, environmental issues and free access to education for women in Afghanistan as well as establishing bylines for students heading out in search of a summer job in the field.

Portal is the best way to support student writers and artists in growing their publishing portfolio, and a must-read for members of the BC literary community. There is so much unique talent and beauty to behold within,” said Corfield.

In assembling these 108 pages, Portal also highlights current success stories from recent grads of the Creative Writing­­­ program: the publication of Margot Fedoruk’s memoir Cooking Tips for Desperate Fishwivesand Delani Valin’s poetry collection Shapeshifters. Reviews and interviews with each of these VIU alumni can be found in this issue. Also, student Seabacola Beaton co-wrote Andy’s Tribal Canoe Journey with Jorja Johnson and Cadence Manson, which will be featured on Portal's website.

The issue also shares an exclusive interview with celebrated Canadian poet M. NourbeSe Philip, conducted in October when Sam Bollinger and Tianna Vertigan sat down with Philip to discuss “unspelling silence,” the untold true stories of colonialism, slavery and the Black experience.      

Also unique to this issue is an expanded Portfolio Spotlight featuring three students—Nittu Prasai, Verioska Solano and Barbara Burgardt – who share personal stories from their Nepali, Chilean and Brazilian cultural backgrounds respectively. 

The issue also features the winning article from Portal’s Portent non-fiction contest by Rachel Davidson, “Free and Hard,” an essay about squatting in California’s desert off-grid encampment Slab City. Next year’s $500 Portent Prize will be awarded to a work of fiction.     

Tickets are $18 and include a copy of the 2023 edition of the magazine. They can be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing Portal’s Publisher, Joy Gugeler at joy.gugeler@viu.ca. Capacity is 120 people.

“Reading the new Portal issue always feels like spring has arrived with new life springing up in full colour, so the ‘Garden of Stories’ theme is the perfect metaphor for this burgeoning talent,” said Gugeler.

Follow Portal on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for sneak peeks of the cover and excerpts from the magazine.

Portal can be purchased for $12 at the launch, on newsstands, and at VIU’s Campus Store and online shopping cart.  


Media Contact:

Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

C: 250.618.0373l E: Rachel.Stern@viu.ca | T: @VIUNews

Tags: Creative Writing | Announcements

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