Mark Anthony Jarman
Categories: Male Authors - Anglophone Authors - Novelists - Authors of Non-Fiction - Saint John River Valley
Mark Anthony Jarman is the author of 19 Knives, New Orleans Is Sinking, Dancing Nightly in the Tavern, and the travel book Ireland’s Eye. His novel, Salvage King Ya!, is on Amazon.ca’s list of 50 Essential Canadian Books and is the number one book on Amazon’s list of best hockey fiction.
He has published recently in Walrus, Canadian Geographic, Hobart, The Barcelona Review, Vrij Nederland, and he reviews for The Globe & Mail and The Literary Review of Canada. He is a graduate of The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a Yaddo fellow, has taught at the University of Victoria, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and now teaches at the University of New Brunswick, where he is fiction editor of The Fiddlehead.
His newest collection of stories, My White Planet, was published in 2008.
How has New Brunswick influenced your work?
New Brunswick has been a major influence. I have written stories and magazine articles about the 2008 flood, about playing old-timer hockey in rural New Brunswick, about a skateboarder who fell from the old railroad bridge in Fredericton and drowned, and an article about canoeing in front of my house on the Saint John River.
Also, when I was a student at the University of Victoria, I read David Adams Richards’ early novels, Blood Ties and The Coming of Winter, and he was an influence on my writing. I think New Brunswick is a good place for a writer. I like living here.
What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?
One highlight was when my very first poems and stories were published in The Fiddlehead, the University of New Brunswick’s literary journal, though I was living on the west coast at the time. I would not have predicted that I would move to New Brunswick many years later or that I would become an editor at The Fiddlehead.
Another more recent highlight was A.S. Byatt writing about me in The Guardian, a very fine newspaper in the UK, an article which came out of the blue. Because of that article, a British press wants to publish a book of my selected stories in the United Kingdom.
|Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award for Fiction
|Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest
|Maclean-Hunter Endowment Award
|Maclean-Hunter Endowment Award
|Gold National Magazine Award
|Shortlisted, CBC Literary Awards
|Shortlisted, Best American Essays Prize
|Shortlisted, O. Henry Prize
My White Planet
The bears, when they stand erect, are tall enough to peer in any of our windows. White mountains far away, and dark lines of whalebone scrimshaw. Where are my hallucinatory fields of yellow and purple?
Sharpening a hacksaw in a visegrip, I look up and see the bear staring in at me, its long neck extended earnestly, black paw pads, black nose, squinty black eyes hiding in that expanse of white rug (and I think of her naked on a fireside rug, bearskin, jealous of Malibu, the old highway). A window ten feet off the ground and I am on display like a lobster in a restaurant.
The bear looks goofy standing up, a carnival act, arms out, a myopic giant trying to balance on two legs with this doofus expression: Hey Ma, look at me!
They know us, big carnal carnivores peeking in at our parts. They spy us in the window and are nostalgic for the happy future when they will have us in their arms.