Literary Magazine ‘Bad Nudes’ Releases Its First Anthology

Poetry, Prose Dipped in Internet Culture & Aesthetics Take Over Brasserie Beaubien

  • Pamela Beyer is on stage at Brasserie Beaubien for the ‘Bad Nudes’ anthology launch. Photo Olivier Cadotte

  • Toronto-based writer André Babyn is part of the anthology. “It’s a symbol of a community that’s built up around the magazine,” he said. Photo Olivier Cadotte

Bad Books, the sister press of the quarterly literary magazine Bad Nudes, just released the publication’s first anthology.

But no, these are not your typical nudes. Since 2016, Bad Nudes “has been pairing dynamic and innovative writing with boundary-pushing design.”

Avid Bad Nudes readers will be able to revisit writers who particularly made a mark on the magazine. The anthology features new poetry and prose by authors whose contributions made a significant mark at the publication. It was designed and laid out by Sandy Spink.

The anthology, launched on Oct. 20, will be Bad Nudes‘s first print exclusive.

Fawn Parker, co-founder and poetry editor, feels that the anthology gives the magazine a chance to publish its milestones.

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“We try to exist in a space where writing can be eccentric, push boundaries, and writers can experiment a bit,” said Parker.

Alongside poems and stories, colourful illustrations by Jake Jackson also appear in the 50-page print issue.

For one, the cover page captivates the attention of the reader with graphics of the authors’ faces. However, only Parker and Thomas Molander, co-founder and story editor, knew about the content of the issue until its launch.

“We try to exist in a space where writing can be eccentric, push boundaries, and writers can experiment a bit.” — Fawn Parker

“There are a lot of people who have been in Bad Nudes, and I know their work, […] but I’m really curious to read the other fiction,” said Toronto-based writer André Babyn, whose work is featured in the anthology.

“To me it’s really special because it’s the anthology, it’s a little bit more intentional,” he added. “It’s a symbol of a community that’s built up around the magazine.”

The authors chosen for the issue are not only the editors’ favourites, said Molander, but also the ones readers have responded to the most.

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“These authors are kind of iconic in the world of Bad Nudes,” said Molander.

It was on a regular Sunday night that a few authors appeared on stage at Brasserie Beaubien to showcase their work to the audience, each introduced by Parker, who shared stories of the authors’ writing journeys.

To properly launch its first anthology, Bad Nudes editors invited local bands to entertain the crowd after the readings were done.

Montreal venues such as Brasserie Beaubien are how the magazine survives.

“The venues really keep us alive,” said Parker, “and our readers obviously.” These places are really helpful as they give them time and space to showcase their work.

Bad Nudes is also seen as a place where authors can realistically be published and submit their work.

“There are already dozens of excellent magazines publishing polished Canadian literature,” said Parker. “So, we try to fill in the gaps with the weirder risk-taking work.”

Bad Nudes editors have big expectations for the future of the magazine. Parker hopes that it becomes a full-time job.

Get your copy of the anthology here.

With files from Victoria Lamas.

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