“I like you. But not as much as I like self-portrait island love poems.” by Eric Wang.

First prize poetry winner of the Hart House Literary Contest in 2020 was Eric Wang, a student at UTSC pursuing a major in English and creative writing.

This is what the judges – poets Prathna Lor, Kate Cayley and Ingrid Ruthig – said about Wang’s poem:

“Our winning poem, ‘I like you. But not as much as I like self-portrait island love poems’, is an exquisite lesson in playful self-love. If you’ve ever wanted to jump into a synesthetic, effervescent waterfall of language that reads like The Metamorphoses in miniature, it is this poem.”

I like you. But not as much as I like self-portrait island love poems.

by Eric Wang

I am here, waiting for you on every island

my body has become. I pluck a scuttling

crab from my belly button. I fish a yellowtail

from my waistband. I trim the furled

seaweed from my pubic hair, then I turn my belt into

a sushi train. I’m saying I’d like to be a perpetual

feeding machine, a circular ecosystem

for you to sample. My heart swells from island

gigantism. My ample biodiversity


for your arrival. Though for lack of a dove, I give you a

mallard from my sleeves, flightless and ambling,

stub-wings opened to the cumulus clouds

darkening over my head. Shelter your dry hands

in my palm-tree hair, nuzzle and shake out

a coconut. If you scalp the fruit, you can

drink. Meanwhile, I’ll work the fibrous husk

into wiring for a coconut-radio playing:

how deep is your love, how deep is your love,

how deep — too near the coast, a whale

bearing a rainbow in its spout-breath breaches.

Beaches on my chest.

Editorial Board

Have you ever wondered who is behind the Hart House Review? The core, of course, is our amazing contributors with their prose, poetry and art that we are extremely happy to get to publish. But then there is also a whole board of editors who participate in all the work that is behind each issue of the Hart House Review.

The 2021-2022 editorial board consists of:

Editor in Chief: Eva Wissting

Managing Editor: Jingshu Helen Yao

Poetry Editor: Noah Farberman

Prose Editor: Juliann Garisto

Design Editor: Chanel Chin

Social Media Editor: Jaclyn Pahl

Web Editor: Alex Gordienko

Associate Editors: Bruce Crown, Clay MacDonald, Elizabeth Bolton, Eric Wang, Jennifer Chen, Rhiannon Cobb

S2 E14: Investigative Journalism: An Introduction

On this episode, Alex offers a short introduction to investigative journalism—in particular, its beginnings in the 19th century. After a sketch of English journalistic history through the 1850s, he examines Dickens’s “On Duty with Inspector Field” (1851) and Henry Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor (1861–62), two early examples of investigative journalism, focusing on these journalists’ intermingling of fictional and non-fictional reportage and their negotiation of disparate professional discourses.

You can listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or via our RSS feed on your podcast platform of choice. You can find the book list for this episode here.

“Adventure and Mediation”

Social justice reading list

March 2022


Aquariums by J.D. Kurtness, translated by Pablo Strauss

Celia, Misoka, I by Xue Yiwei, translated by Stephen Nashef

Swimming Back to Trout River by Linda Rui Feng

Astra by Cedar Bowers

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson 

You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson 

Non-Fiction Novels 

Nishga by Jordan Abel

Return by Kamal Al-Solaylee

Praying to the West by Omar Mouallem

Small Bodies of Water by Nina Mingya Powles

Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaouad

Short Fiction Anthologies 

Stray Dogs by Rawi Hage

Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century by Kim Fu

Tainna: The Unseen Ones by Norma Dunning

A Dream of a Woman by Casey Plett

How to Date a Flying Mexican by Daniel A. Olivas

Lingua Fantastica: A Shale Project Writer’s Co-op Workshop

More often than not, advice about making a language for your fictional world gets lost in translation. That’s where the good folks of The Shale Project come to the rescue!
Sienna Tristen, fantasy author and linguist by training, returned to the Writer’s Co-op with their partner Avi Silver for a brand-new workshop at Hart House. In this workshop, they discussed the benefits and pitfalls of building a language from scratch, and how to effectively use a fictional tongue in your science fiction and fantasy stories.

S2 E13: Book Club 5 w/ Subhi Jha and Jacky Yu

On this episode, Subhi Jha, one of L&L’s equity and diversity officers, considers temporality and the absurd in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot; then, Jacky Yu, L&L’s first-year representative, discusses the critique of “superhero morality” articulated in Alan Moore’s Watchmen.

You can listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or via our RSS feed on your podcast platform of choice. You can find the transcript for this episode here.

Black History Month Reading List

February 2022

Jacob Lawrence, This Harlem, 1943, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Third Life of Grange Copeland by Alice Walker 

Sula by Toni Morrison 

The Tradition by Jericho Brown 

Cantos by George Elliott Clarke

Zong! by M. NourbeSe Philip

Selected Poems of Gwendolyn Brooks

Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks

March Trilogy by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School by Carlotta Walls Lanier and Lisa Frazier Page 

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs 

Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals by Sadiya Hartman

“Grief and Healing”

Social Justice Reading List

February 2022

Fiction Novels

At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop

How High We Go At Night by Sequoia Nagamatsu

The Boat People by Sharon Bala 

Crow Winter by Karen McBride

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese

Non-Fiction Novels 

I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You by David Chariandy 

Life in the City of Dirty Water by Clayton Thomas-Muller 

You Are Your Best Thing by Tarana Burke + Brene Brown

Deep Salt Water by Marianne Apostolides 

Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford

To the River by Don Gillmor

Short Fiction & Anthologies 

The Book of Healing by Najwa Zebian

Ezra’s Ghost by Darcy Tamayose 

After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

Lovers on All Saints’ Day by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

The King Is Always Above the People by Daniel Alarcón

Disintegrate/Dissociate by Arielle Twist (Poetry Anthology)

S2 E11: Hollywood Film w/ Garry Leonard

On this episode, Alex speaks with Professor Garry Leonard (UofT English) about several Hollywood films, including It’s a Wonderful Life, It Happened One Night, and Pretty Woman, as they relate to his current book project, Six Ways of Looking at Modernity: Cinematic Genre and the Structure of Modern Subjectivity. Key topics of discussion include the relationship between cinema and modernism, the structure of cinematic genre, and the representation of the capitalist market and professionalisation in the Hollywood romance.

You can listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or via our RSS feed on your podcast platform of choice. You can find the book list and transcript here.