Vanessa Ratjen

Vanessa Ratjen is a reader and a writer. She’s done both in Nova Scotia, the Yukon and on Vancouver Island, where she currently resides in a yurt.

The ecological web: A story of salmon caught in the middle

“Nature is not something else, isolated, out there; it is as much a part of us as we are of it, and neither can be altered without impacting on the whole.” – Adam Weymouth The Yukon River holds many roles—the namesake of a territory, the history of peoples for thousands of years and home to …

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Bridging the Divide

Author Kate Harris shucked her space dreams and, with her friend, Mel Yule, picked up the courage to embark on a different trip: to cycle the Silk Road from end to end.

Through dark to the light

Winter Child, the first novel by Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau to be translated to English, is a lyrical journey through a mother’s grief of losing and outliving her child.

Canada’s first superheroine saved from obscurity

There’s no need to be a closet comic nerd anymore. The genre has exploded into accepted popularity over the last 10 years and it’s definitely something worth openly celebrating. If you’re like me, however, and relatively new to the scene, you might be surprised to find the roots of Canadian comic artists went mainstream more …

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At Home at Sea

“Ship’s logs, myths, stories of quiet exaltation and wrenching lamentations can all become poetry when the experience resonates deeply with the rhythm of the human heart…”— Anita Hadley in the introduction to Spindrift: A Canadian Book of the Sea. The sea, in Anita Hadley’s view, may not be a tangible part of your everyday, but …

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Slap on a Hat, Slip into this Book

Every summer, Rose and her family pack up and head to their cottage in Awago Beach. There, the long days melt into lake swims and beach fires, counting stars, five-cent candies, watching movies and running around with her summer-sister, Windy. It’s summertime, and the living is easy, right? But this year something feels off. In …

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A book Canadians “must read”

An attack leaves two girls hospitalized. Two families looking for answers. In the Break Metis writer, Katherena Vermette tells the stories.

Playing in the Dark

“Think of magic as a tree. The root of supernatural ability is simply the realization that all time exists simultaneously. Humans experience time as a progression of sequential events in much the same way we see the horizon as flat: our reality is shaped by our limitations.” –excerpt from Son of a Trickster by Eden …

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Of Breasts and Beyond

Breasts, boobs, tits, tatas. Mind the title, because, yes, this really is a story about tits, but it’s also, oh! so much more than that. Because, what are breasts to women? I won’t overstep boundaries and assume to know everyone’s relationship with their own; however, whether we have them or we don’t, and no matter …

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Superhero Highschool

Growing up is hard. And the microcosm of high school — with its changing expectations and responsibilities and the push-pull of social dynamics, while, at the same time, you’re trying to establish emotional coping mechanisms and, above all, dealing with the omnipresent questions about the rest of life…? Phew. It’s exhausting just reading that, nevermind …

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The Grass is Greener Wherever Convenience Resides

“We imagined ourselves free of the hassles and troubles we’d accumulated in Toronto. We imagined a life without rushing, without the subway, without neighbours at each other’s throats, without the noise and frustration of daily commutes. Life with space. Life without the massacre of endless winter, frozen pipes, cracking plaster and mountains of snow to …

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The Collapse of Family

“While a part of me was glad I wasn’t like my brother, no part of me wished to be more fortunate than my mother. To be luckier than her was to be different from her, it was to be apart from her, it was to have a life that would take me away from her. …

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