Creativity and Kinship: the Birth of WordCity, a Literary Journal

butterfly on a flower
Photo by Ray Hennessey

Introducing WordCity Monthly a literary journal of social conscious. It is a call to action, a rallying cry, a show of solidarity, a kinetic forum where light bounces off art and collides with words. Something earthbound and urgent.

There are not enough adjectives for me to express just how deeply honoured, humbled, and proud I am to be a tiny part of the meaningful and necessary and timely first issue of WordCity Monthly, an online magazine “founded on the values of promoting writing, diversity, dialogue, literary arts exchange and global tolerance.”

This issue is dedicated to Chadwick Boseman and commences with “Wakanda Never Dies,” a stirring poem in his honour by AD Ibrahim, who has captured our grief and transformed it into something inspirational.

Friends, I encourage—no, I implore—you to have a look. The writers and artists featured here are beyond gifted; I am truly privileged to share their stage when I would be honoured simply to pull open the curtain for them.

butterfly resting on flower
Photo by Rob Affuso

Commonwealth Prize-nominated Canadian author and storytelling revolutionary, Darcie Friesen Hossack, is a bad-ass warrior for all the things that are good in this world. I cannot thank her enough for including me in this very important project.

Governor General Award-winning Canadian author, Karen Connelly, has my abiding gratitude for her editing prowess and inexorable insights. She, too, is an unstoppable advocate for human rights.

WordCity‘s entire editorial team is masterful. They have put forth something truly magical and moving and vital.

This space is graced with essays and excerpts, creative nonfiction and spoken word, prose and poetry crafted and delivered by people across six continents, united by art and an unrelenting dedication to the rights of all living things.

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history – Plato

I love, appreciate, and respect poetry. I read it with deference and awe, unfold it like Scripture.

But I am not a poet.

I am someone who writes stories so long it takes three novels to tell a single tale. Poetry, therefore, always seemed like an insurmountable feat.

And yet, with Darcie’s and Karen’s help—the collective wind created by their beating wings—I did what I thought I could not. I metamorphosed a whimsical essay I had written many years earlier into a poem, “The Flying Habits of Butterflies.”

We are all butterflies.

Now, let’s cause a hurricane.

The Flying Habits of Butterflies

Butterflies do not fly very high.

They grace forest and canyon and sunny woodland glades

play on streams of light

splashing through leafy canopies.

They rise and fall.

Pass into shadow and out.


even the light might bruise them.

Is that why

they stay close to the ground?

Are they loathe to test their wings

because they might fail?

That one

What made her think she’d falter?

Who told her to stay low?

Someone concerned

that the beating of her wings

might cause a hurricane.

Or that she might achieve

the full potential of flight

Touch the sky.

Climb above

The sky was never the limit.

Just a page to write on.

And yet, butterflies do not fly very high.

Even when we could carry each other up

with the collective wind

of our own beating wings.

A defiance against those

who would have us stay low


Beyond the sky.

And if it pleases

bring forth

a fucking hurricane.

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Marthese Fenech is the author of historical novels set in sixteenth-century Malta and Istanbul. Research has taken her to the ancient streets her characters roamed, the fortresses they defended, the seas they sailed, and the dungeons they escaped. Read More

Reader Interactions


  1.'Mbizo Chirasha says

    Dearest Mar Fenech,
    My name is Mbizo Chirasha. I work with the multi-talented and prolific Darcie Friesen Hossack. Darcie shared this link with me. I am wowed. I want to register my profound gratitude for this your solidarity highlight. We keep going and we keep shining . Aluta Continua.

    • Marthese says

      Dearest Mbizo,
      I am deeply honoured by your beautiful words and so grateful for your dedication to human rights. Together, we rise. Thank you so much for the work you do.

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