literature • art • faith

Illuminate is an online journal exploring literature, visual art, and faith. We publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, book reviews, and art.

“The art that matters to us, which moves the heart, or revives the soul, or delights the senses, or offers courage for living, however we choose to describe the experience, that work is received by us as a gift is received.”

~ Lewis Hyde, The Gift

call for submissions


Illuminate Journal stands in solidarity with the Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour communities during this time of pain and public outcry for change and justice for those who have been the victims of racism, prejudice, police brutality, and acts of violence. We also acknowledge the increased acts of anti-Asian racism and hate fueled by COVID-19. We support all who peacefully speak out, take action, and protest to bring an end to systemic racism.

We grieve for the lives lost at the hands of violence. Collectively, we can no longer sweep it aside, rationalize it, or ignore it.

It is time for us to deeply listen, further educate ourselves, and take action.

At Illuminate Journal, we are reflecting on how to respond and be a catalyst for change in the arts community and beyond. We want to take a stand to support and amplify the voices of racialized and marginalized artists. We want to learn about and dismantle the conscious and unconscious biases that breed racism and fuel hatred.

We believe that literature is a means to give voice and words to the unspeakable. Literature has the power to effect change, the ability to offer hope in times of hopelessness. It provides solace and guidance for those in need. It helps us to imagine a better future.

In Breaking Down the Silence: Race Matters we are inviting the work of writers and artists of all racial backgrounds to submit works that speak to the themes of racism, social justice,  and discrimination.

We are accepting works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, hope stories, and book reviews.

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The Priceless Gift

The Priceless Gift

Written by Luiz De Souza July 9, 2020   I. The father thought about his family About what was right And about what was wrong Every morning and night And after midnight all night long.   The thoughts were so tender Dreams about night and day About kindness once in...

A Thousand Miles With My Father

A Thousand Miles With My Father

When you walk a thousand miles with someone, you really get to know who they are. And so it was with my father, Alton Bernard, because  I walked with him. A lot. Throughout my childhood, I went where he went, and it was my pleasure to do so. There is no place on earth...

In the End Poppies United Us

In the End Poppies United Us

One day I painted poppies a field rich in hues my heart did soar on flights of fancy purple yellow green and blue.   This painting hangs anchored wide deep and high prominent in our home little did I realize then the import pressing homage to hang ‘till I die....

The Living Years

The Living Years

There was a concert I attended way back in the day. The band performed many songs, and my friends and I enjoyed them all. But, being so long ago, my memory of that night pretty much stops there. Many evenings in our lives are destined to be recalled like this, I...



Lanterns bend over the street Dividing the night where people meet Some in shadow Some in light Lanterns see everything in the night   A wanderer has fallen asleep His bed is a grate where he will not weep Some never wake Some cannot wait For the light of the...

Where I’m From

Where I’m From

I am from under a crab-apple tree, from tangy tart and pink-purple blossoms. I am from the basement, weaving spotted spiders and hidden candy bar wrappers. I am from safety, and fear kept swallowed and chewed, broken and bruised.   I am from torment and gunfire,...

The Race

The Race

Let’s get serious.  Let’s get ser-i-ooooous. Let’s get serious and fall in looove.   It is June of 1980 and the chorus from Jermaine Jackson’s latest hit is on auto play in my head.  Shaky and vulnerable as a newborn colt, I stand behind the starting line in my...

Always Been

Always Been

Beneath the façade and bravado and opinions and gavel beyond the world traveler seeking to belong words spilling dreams spinning catchers under the stars moonbeams weaving stories behind collections of burnt castles sunlight casting shadows shards of lies and truths...

Take My Yoke

Take My Yoke

Some years ago, I asked my father what was his favourite scripture in the Bible. I didn’t know what to expect as an answer from him. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had somehow gently dismissed my question. At the time I was trying to connect with a man who was...



Book Reviews
Hope Stories

Gadgets & Devices



celebrating fathers


featured story

The Living Years by Peter Boven

There was a concert I attended way back in the day.

The band performed many songs, and my friends and I enjoyed them all. But, being so long ago, my memory of that night pretty much stops there. Many evenings in our lives are destined to be recalled like this, I suppose. Maybe most evenings. If you ask me the details of any of the innumerable evenings in my life so far, I will most likely have to answer in generalities. An evening with friends? —we ate pizza and watched the Toronto Maple Leafs play hockey. An evening with family? —we ate dinner and watched “The Walking Dead” or played cards. An evening alone? —I read a book. Did we genuinely enjoy those evenings?  —Yes. But we have lost the details. They live in no one’s memory.


A Message From Our Editor

Illuminate Journal’s mission is to create a platform for writers to showcase their work, build a thriving community for writers, and to bridge the gap between writers, artists, and the church.

The Illuminate team is excited to publish your best literary and artistic work. We’re interested in what compels you to write, whether that be about the writing life, mountain climbing, dance, photography, sports, under-water sea diving, travel, artistic passions, history, photography… as well as stories of faith and living in purpose.

If you enjoy the content published, we urge you to leave a positive review, contact our authors and artists, follow them on social media, and spread the word. If you’d like to get involved— please contact us!

Kiernan Antares