2017 Journey Prize Finalist

Journey Prize Stories 29

Darlene Naponse
“She Is Water” 
Published in The Malahat Review 

Darlene Naponse The Malahat Review, 2017 Journey Prize

About the Story

Darlene Naponse’s “She Is Water” will haunt you for days. It will also break your heart. This is the power of Naponse’s storytelling; she writes about family, love, hate, and tremendous loss in language that is, by turn, clear and poetic yet never sentimental. Told in the voice of a young girl and infused with wonder, “She Is Water” evokes life on a northern reserve with a keen cinematic eye. The River that runs through the reserve is a key character in the story; a source of nourishment and enjoyment for the community, and the scene of unspeakable violence and tragedy, its presence is threaded through the narrative along with a chilling sense of menace. Raw, gripping, and mesmerizing, “She Is Water” is a story that demands to be told.

-2017 Journey Prize jury Kevin Hardcastle, Grace O’Connell, Ayelet Tsabari

About the Author 

Darlene Naponse is an Anishinaabe from Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, Northern Ontario, where she was born and raised. She is a writer, independent film director, video artist, and community activist. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe. Several of her short stories have been published in the Yellow Medicine Review, Along the 46th Anthology, and The Malahat Review. She is currently working on a book of short stories. She works from her studio on the Rez (Atikameksheng Anishnawbek).

About the Magazine

The Malahat Review, 2017 Journey Prize

The Malahat Review, established in 1967 by University of Victoria English professors Robin Skelton and John Peter, is among Canada’s leading literary journals. The magazine aims to discover the most promising of new writers and publish their work alongside the best established writers. Published quarterly, it features contemporary Canadian and international works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction as well as reviews of recently published Canadian poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction. On occasion, it also publishes interviews, essays, and issues on a single theme or author.






Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize


July 18 for books published between May 16 and Sept 30, 2018


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