It’s 2014 and I arrive with a bag full of books and the dry winds of Calgary still sticking to my skin on a campus that looks like a murder mystery. Smashed art, a sealed off building, whispers.
I sat down on a damp seat outside nestled between Arbutus and the Library, drinking free orientation day tea out of a plastic cup. It’s a university now, I was told. Studio art is gone. No money. Things are changing. I was lucky enough to meet a recent graduate of the creative writing program sitting across from me. Steam rising off his black coffee and disappearing like my memory of his name. He told me about a journal.
The Liar found me before I ever went looking for it. I never saw him again, but I did see The Liar.
I submitted my first piece in 2015, joined the editorial team later that year and was elected Editor-in-Chief last fall. I felt like Alice, falling down the rabbit hole. Never quite sure where to fit, never sure what the real history was or where it was recorded. The deeper into my work with The Liar I got, the more I realized that almost no one knew The Liar existed. A sick and lonely zine floating somewhere in the ether. Neither here nor there. A fragmented oral tradition not meant for everyone, but for those whom it is meant will find it, and be changed by it.
Originally known as THURSDAY, the only trace of it is an archive tucked away in a filing cabinet in the writing centre. Preserved, somehow, like christmas cards from a family I’ve never met. A Rosette Stone of unknown somewhere in the liminal.
After watching the Capilano Review fade away and discovering our budget had been cut once again so we were only able to publish once a year I decided to take on the arduous task of archiving it; betamax tapes and all. The Liar deserves to exist somewhere outside of memory.
Of course, my representation won’t be the last. When I’m gone sipping a black coffee outside somewhere, there will be a new Liar, a new story I haven’t heard yet. But maybe this time I’ll leave a trace.