November 14, 2019
Congratulations to our former poetry editor Stephen Collis for winning this year’s Latner Writer’s Trust Poetry Prize!
The Prize considers all Canadian poets and awards a mid-career poet in recognition of a remarkable body of work, and in anticipation of future contributions to Canadian poetry.
The Writers’ Trust recognizes Stephen’s works Once in Blockadia (Talonbooks 2016), The Commons (Talonbooks 2014), To the Barricades (Talonbooks 2012), and On the Material (Talonbooks 2010).
Jurors Hoa Nguyen and Margo Wheaton writes:
Through six collections of poems, Stephen Collis has achieved something remarkable: an invigorating body of work that convincingly addresses both the urgency of the present moment and the long echoes of our historical and lyrical past.
In disrupted language simultaneously unsettled and musical, Collis passionately investigates subjects as diverse as the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, John Clare and the English countryside, the increasing disappearance of public space, and, in a hauntingly beautiful sequence, the death of his sister from cancer. The depth and scope of Collis’ vision is startling and impressive; so are the courage, precision, and care he brings to the poems he creates.
In Collis, we find a poet ferociously hitting his stride. We’re looking forward with eagerness to what comes next.
Likewise, Canadian Literature is excited to see what’s in store for Stephen and we wish him all the best.
Links to Stephen Collis’ works in Canadian Literature
October 29, 2019
In the five years since the first call for our inaugural Emerging Scholars issue, both the world and the field of Canadian literature have changed. A climate emergency has been declared. There has been a global rise in dangerous and exclusionary forms of nationalism. There have been wars and humanitarian crises. Large-scale public protest has become the norm. There has been a spotlight on the pervasiveness of sexual violence, intimidation, and bullying. Social media has both helped create communities and become a place for sharp dissent. We seem to be living in a state of sustained urgency. Urgent times prompt us to want to hear from emergent voices. The submissions for the first two Emerging Scholars issues (226, 228/9) dynamically showed the state of the field five years ago. How are researchers who will shape the field and its future engaging with it today?
How do emerging scholars critically engage with works of fiction, drama, poetry, intermedia, memoire, creative nonfiction, or adaptation today. Whether through a lens of environmental, energy, public, or medical humanities, or by way of critical race, decolonial, migration, refugee, or gender studies, or any other approach, what are newer scholars contributing to contemporary scholarship? Why study the history of literature and the historical contexts of cultural production and reception today?
We again turn to people who are (relatively) new to the field to call attention to new work in the field of Canadian literature. This issue will highlight the work of Emerging Scholars and showcase the directions the field is taking. We welcome submissions on any topic in English or French from senior graduate students, postdocs, and those who might consider themselves to be Emerging Scholars (we place no time limit on this category).
We are actively seeking submissions for this issue NOW, so please help spread the word!
All submissions to Canadian Literature must be original, unpublished work. Essays should follow current MLA bibliographic format (MLA Handbook, 8th ed.). Word length for articles is 6,500-7,000 words, which includes endnotes and works cited.
October 4, 2019
We are pleased to announce the arrival of Canadian Literature, Issue 238, Rescaling CanLit: Global Readings. In her editorial, guest editor Eva Darias-Beautell reminds us of the original questions posed in the initial Call for Papers for this special issue: “How are Canadian texts read and circulated beyond the national borders? What is the place of Canadian literature in the institutional spaces of universities outside Canada? Are there defining differences in the ways non-Canadian scholars approach CanLit? And how does transnational scholarship influence, challenge, enrich and rescale Canadian literary production?” She further elucidates the concept of “Rescaling CanLit”:
Rescaling in this sense means recontextualizing, establishing the value of Canadian writing on a different scale, shifting the site of reading to look at texts from new critical lenses. While it is now commonly accepted that Canadian literature has become a global literature, implying that any understanding of textual localities is traversed by vectors that exceed, complicate, and extend the nation in literal and metaphorical ways, the gaze is seldom reversed and little attention has been paid to the role of international scholarship in the current transformation of the field.
—Eva Darias-Beautell, “Rescaling CanLit: Global Readings”
This issue also features:
- Articles by Simona Bertacco, Anna Branach-Kallas, Ana María Fraile-Marcos, Hsiu-chuan Lee, and Kristiana Karathanassis and Andrea King
- Poetry by John Donlan, Chris Johnson, Sherry Johnson, Jake Kennedy, Shane Neilson, and Catherine Owen
- Reviews by Zachary Abram, Joel Baetz, Emily Ballantyne, Alex Bellemare, Gregory Betts, Nicole Birch-Bayley, Myra Bloom, Natalie Boldt, Liza Bolen, Marie-Eve Bradette, Nicholas Bradley, Sunny Chan, Tim Conley, Paul Denham, Joel Deshaye, Jamie Dopp, Scott Duchesne, Margery Fee, Ryan Fitzpatrick, James Gifford, Patricia Godbout, Dominique Hétu, Nancy Holmes, Evangeline Holtz Schramek,Weldon Hunter, Renée Jackson-Harper, Suzanne James, Jenny Kerber, Daniel Laforest, Rebekah Ludolph, Jessi MacEachern, Kenneth Meadwell, Dana Medoro, Jean-Sébastien Ménard, Geordie Miller, Nathaniel G. Moore, Saghar Najafi, Catherine Owen, Olivia Pelegrino, Carl Peters, Richard Pickard, Catherine Rainwater, Madeleine Reddon, Michael Roberson, Laurel Ryan, Dani Spinosa, Neil Surkan, Dale Tracy, Véronique Trottier, Hilary Turner, Nathalie Warren, Carl Watts, Jeffrey Aaron Weingarten, Bart H. Welling, R. J. (Ron) Welwood, Kinga Zawada, and Suzanna Zelazo
- Opinions and Notes by Tereza Virginia de Almeida
The new issue can be ordered through our online store. Happy reading!
September 9, 2019
Since we launched the 2018 Collection of our open-access educational resource CanLit Guides last May, we’ve seen a significant increase in engagement and readership in Canada and around the world.
[F]or an entirely online resource such as this, the most accessible and powerful tool at our disposal for gauging engagement is web analytics (Google), which offers a range of data sets that enable us to better understand how the site is being used, from where, on what platforms, in which languages, for how long, on what pages, and so on. It also helps us to see how trends develop over time as the content of the CanLit Guides evolves and as the interests amongst its users shift. In late April, we conducted an audit of some of our high-level web statistics for the ~11-month period since the May 2018 launch of the 2018 Collection. We then placed this data alongside the comparable prior-year period to see what we could learn. What story do the numbers tell?
Read here for Brendan McCormack’s summary illuminating noteworthy traffic changes of CanLit Guides.
July 3, 2019
A huge congratulations to Dionne Brand for winning Ontario’s Trillium Book Award! Her book The Blue Clerk (McClelland & Stewart) was named the best English-language title in the province.
In The Blue Clerk, award-winning poet Dionne Brand stages a conversation and an argument between the poet and the Blue Clerk, who is the keeper of the poet’s pages. In their dialogues—which take shape as a series of haunting prose poems—the poet and the clerk invoke a host of writers, philosophers, and artists, from Jacob Lawrence, Lola Keipja, and Walter Benjamin to John Coltrane, Josephine Turalba, and Jorge Luis Borges.
—from Penguin Random House Canada
The Blue Clerk was also a finalist for the 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize and the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. As well, it was on the longlist for The League of Canadian Poets’ 2019 Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Brand’s poetry collection Land to Light On also won the Trillium Book Award in 1998.
We are proud to congratulate Brand on this honour, and we invite you to visit Canadian Literature’s articles on and book reviews of her work:
- “It is life you must write about”: Fixity and Refraction in Dionne Brand’s A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging
by Sharlee Cranston-Reimer
Published in Emerging Scholars 2. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 228-229 (Spring/Summer 2016): 93-109
- Spaces of Agency: Installation Art in Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For
by Veronica Austen
Published in Agency & Affect. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 223 (Winter 2014): 67-83
- Dionne Brand’s Ossuaries: Songs of Necropolitics
by Anne Quéma
Published in Recursive Time. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 222 (Autumn 2014): 52-68
- Roughing It in Bermuda: Mary Prince, Susanna Strickland Moodie, Dionne Brand, and the Black Diaspora
by Andrea Medovarski
Published in Tracking CanLit. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 220 (Spring 2014): 94-114
- Soccer and the City: The Unwieldy National in Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For
by Michael Buma
Published in Sport and the Athletic Body. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 202 (Autumn 2009): 12-27
- Affective Coordination and Avenging Grace: Dionne Brand’s In Another Place, Not Here
by John Corr
Published in Disappearance and Mobility. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 201 (Summer 2009): 113-129
- “Streets are the dwelling place of the collective”: Public Space and Cosmopolitan Citizenship in Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For
by Emily Johansen
Published in Diasporic Women’s Writing. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 196 (Spring 2008): 48-62
- Wondering into Country: Dionne Brand’s A Map of the Door of No Return
by Maia Joseph
Published in Canada Reads. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 193 (Summer 2007): 75-92
- Picking the Deadlock of Legitimacy: Dionne Brand’s “noise like the world cracking”
by Ellen Quigley
Published in Women & the Politics of Memory. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 186 (Autumn 2005): 48-67
- Dionne Brand’s Winter Epigrams
by Edward Kamau Brathwaite
Published in Poets & Politics. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 105 (Summer 1985): 18-30
- Theory reviewed in Love under Capitalism by Natalee Caple
- The Blue Clerk reviewed in Postnational Argonauts by Gregory Betts
- At the Full and Change of the Moon reviewed in Uses of Cultural Memory by Maureen Moynagh
- The Journey Prize Stories 19: The Best of Canada’s New Writers by Caroline Adderson, David Bezmozgis and Dionne Brand reviewed in New Short Fiction by Heidi Tiedemann Darroch
- What We All Long For reviewed in Soul Survivors by Evelyn C. White
- Inventory reviewed in Poems of Witness by Hilary Clark
- Land to Light on reviewed in Still Need the Revolution by Susan Gingell
- “We’re Rooted Here and They Can’t Pull Us Up”: Essays in African Canadian Women’s History by Dionne Brand et al. reviewed in Others’ Histories by Donna Palmateer Pennee
- Thirsty reviewed in Orbiting Toronto by Heather Smyth
- Bread out of Stone reviewed in Making Bread out of Stone by Guy Beauregard
- Chronicles: Early Works reviewed in Black Chronicles by Pilar Cuder-Domínguez
See also CanLit Guides chapters on Dionne Brand’s works
- Dionne Brand: No Language Is Neutral
by Carl Watts
- Diaspora Studies and Canadian Literature
by L. Camille van der Marel
- What We All Long For by Dionne Brand
June 7, 2019
We have some great news to share! Canadian Literature has been awarded the 2019 Scholarly and Research Communication Journal Innovation Award for the CanLit Guides project, more specifically for the 2018 Collection of chapters. The award intends to recognize “new Canadian scholarly journal communication initiatives that are designed to increase the influence of a journal among readers and are noted by peers as significant. More generally, the award is intended to underline the creative and innovative contributions that scholarly journals make to effective and inspired scholarly communication.”
The CanLit Guides 2018 Collection was edited by Kathryn Grafton, Ceilidh Hart, Laura Moss, and Shannon Smyrl. Congratulations to the editors, the contributors, and the journal staff who worked together to make the innovations happen. The authors of the 2018 Collection include:
- Sarah Banting
- Shelley Boyd
- Nathalie Cooke
- Nadine Fladd
- Brenna Clarke Gray
- Ceilidh Hart
- Tiffany Johnstone
- Christine Kim
- Lucia Lorenzi
- Bronwyn Malloy
- Sophie McCall
- Brendan McCormack
- Farah Moosa
- Gillian Roberts
- Shannon Smyrl
- L. Camille van der Marel
- Carl Watts
We were presented the award at the Canadian Association of Learned Journals AGM at Congress held at the University of British Columbia this past weekend. It is a wonderful way to celebrate the anniversary of the launch of the new chapters one year ago at Congress 2018. For more information about the award, kindly visit https://www.calj-acrs.ca/news/src-innovation-award.
June 4, 2019
Congratulations Christina Turner!
Canadian Literature is pleased to announce the winner of the 60th Anniversary Graduate Student Essay Prize, awarded as part of the journal’s anniversary celebrations taking place during Congress 2019 at UBC. The winner is Christina Turner for her article “Atlantic Cosmopolitanism in John Steffler’s The Afterlife of George Cartwright” published in the Emerging Scholars special issue of Canadian Literature (no. 226, Autumn 2015, pp. 55-72). The prize is awarded to the best essay by an author who was a graduate student at the time of publication among the most recent sixty articles appearing in Canadian Literature—a corpus that includes two special issues on the work of emerging scholars.
Our thanks to past editors W. H. New, Laurie Ricou, and Margery Fee who served as the selection committee for the prize. The committee praised Christina Turner’s article for the quality of writing and the quality of organization. They note that Turner establishes her thesis early and allows the argument to unfold clearly, drawing as necessary on Steffler’s text, on Cartwright’s journal, and on existing research. The committee in particular applauded the way she reads the novel both for the implications of its formal strategies and in the context of international economic history.
The prize was established on the occasion of the journal’s anniversary to simultaneously reflect on the journal’s history and celebrate the future of the field. We also want to signal Canadian Literature’s continuing commitment to recognizing the significant contribution graduate student scholarship is making to the discourse of the journal and the field of Canadian literature.
Congratulations also to the wonderful shortlisted authors:
“Nikîkîwân: Contesting Settler-Colonial Archives through Indigenous Oral History”
Published in Indigenous Literature and the Arts of Community. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 230-231 (Autumn/Winter 2016): 25-42.
“Humour, Intersubjectivity, and Indigenous Female Intellectual Tradition in Anahareo’s Devil in Deerskins”
Published in Literary History. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 233 (Summer 2017): 109-126.
“Claire’s Head and Pain: Beyond the Sign of the Weapon”
Published in Emerging Scholars 2. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 228-229 (Spring/Summer 2016): 73-90.
“‘the absolute / of water’”: The Submarine Poetic of M. NourbeSe Philip’s Zong!”
Published in Emerging Scholars 2. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 228-229 (Spring/Summer 2016): 111-130.
May 23, 2019
Deadline extended to July 1, 2019 from May 15, 2019.
Special Issue: “Decolonial (Re)visions of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror”
Whether in outer space, an alternate universe, a haunted house, or a mythic time, the worlds built in genre fiction re-present and transform the colonial conditions of our shared and still incommensurable world. We seek contributions on Black Canadian and Indigenous work in the genres of SF, fantasy and horror. How, for example, do Black and Indigenous writers respond to the different positions colonialism historically imposed on those who were subjected to alien abduction versus alien invasion? How might genre fiction address relations with other racialized immigrant peoples? Possible themes: diaspora, critical utopias, futurity, haunting, Enlightenment critique, racial science.
Special issue editors: Lou Cornum, Suzette Mayr, and Maureen Moynagh
Submissions should be uploaded to Canadian Literature‘s online submissions system OJS by the deadline of May 15, 2019. Questions about the special issue may be directed to can.lit(at)ubc.ca.
For more details about the special issue, visit our Calls for Papers page.
May 9, 2019
We are pleased to announce the arrival of Canadian Literature Issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality! Brendan McCormack’s editorial reflects on notions of house, home, and hospitality in this issue and over the journal’s history as we prepare to host celebrations of Canadian Literature’s sixtieth anniversary at Congress 2019. He writes:
Which brings me back home, to the house this journal’s pages started building six decades ago. How has the house become a home? How does Canadian Literature enact hospitality? Whom does it welcome as visitors? What conversations can it still productively host? How might it become a better guest? Where is its welcome worn, and when is it time to step away and listen? On one hand, these are practical questions of feasibility in a rapidly changing publishing landscape, particularly as the move to open access shifts the foundations of traditional publishing models. Like other journals, we are deeply invested in welcoming more visitors and subscribers, and in making the journal the kind of accommodating space that all sorts of scholars see as a valuable home for their work. On the other hand, these are ideological questions of responsibility for a journal such as this, whose creation in 1959 not only reflected the cultural nationalist climate that made its title possible, but helped support the institutional framework of a cultural formation, “CanLit,” that now appears so inhospitable, so unhomely, and for many always has been. . . . At this moment when CanLit is at once uninhabitable and ripe for rebuilding, it is incumbent upon its institutions—including its journals—to reimagine their hospitality and social relations.
—Brendan McCormack, “Be Our Guest”
This issue also features:
- Articles by Deanna Reder and Alix Shield, Aubrey Jean Hanson, Alec Follett, Jane Boyes, James Hahn, and Julie Cairnie.
- Poetry by Pauline Peters, Hendrik Slegtenhorst, Sabyasachi Nag, Michael Penny, George Elliott Clarke, Tas Elizabeth Beck, Jessica Brown, and Dawn Macdonald.
- Reviews by Angie Abdou, Alex Assaly, Paul Barrett, Guy Beauregard, Will Best, Magali Blanc, Natalie Boldt, Alexandra Bournelis, Marie-Eve Bradette, Nicholas Bradley, Olivia Burgess, Tim Conley, Joel Deshaye, Margery Fee, Shoshannah Ganz, James Gifford, Aubrey Jean Hanson, Evangeline Holtz, Brenda Johnston, Jan Lermitte, Denyse Lynde, Tanis MacDonald, Gabrielle Mills, Shane Neilson, Claire Omhovère, Kait Pinder, Eric Schmaltz, Monica Sousa, Dale Tracy, Véronique Trottier, Melanie Dennis Unrau, Sylvie Vranckx, Emily Wall, Chuan Xu, and Matthew Zantingh.
- Opinions and Notes by Sharanpal Ruprai and Sheniz Janmohamed, and Shazia Hafiz Ramji.
The new issue can be ordered through our online store. Happy reading!
May 8, 2019
The staff at Canadian Literature pay tribute to the memory of Wayson Choy who died on Saturday, April 27th, 2019. He was featured in an early interview in a special issue of Canadian Literature on Asian Canadian Writing (issue 163, Winter 1999), but his history at UBC dates back to his time as a student in the early 1960s. Known as “Sonny Choy” by the other aspiring writers in the English classes at UBC in these formative years, (his class peers included Fred Wah, George Bowering, and Frank Davey), he was mentored by Earle Birney, Jan de Bruyn, and Jacob Zilber. His short story, “The Sound of Waves,” was published in Prism (a journal edited by de Bruyn and Zilber), and in The Best American Short Stories (1962). After several years of teaching at Humber College, Toronto, Choy took a sabbatical leave after the death of his mother in 1977: he returned to UBC and completed a creative writing seminar with Carol Shields. She prompted him to write a story with a randomly selected slip of pink paper. The resulting work, symbolically focused on a pink jade amulet shaped like a peony, provided the core motif that would eventually evolve into the popular novel The Jade Peony (1995). The Jade Peony was a co-winner of the 1995 Trillium Award in Ontario and the 1996 Vancouver Book Award. Other books that explore the intricate patterns of family history followed in the wake of this success: his Vancouver memoir Paper Shadows: A Chinatown Childhood (1999) won the Edna Staebler Award for non-fiction; the sequel to The Jade Peony, All That Matters (2004), was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and won a Trillium Award; in 2009, he published another memoir that directly grappled with his own mortality and the special network of family support that was vital to his survival of a coma and heart attack, Not Yet: A Memoir of Living and Almost Dying. In 2015, Wayson Choy received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award. A man of deep compassion and generous in sharing his advice, support, and wit with fellow writers and loyal readers, he will be deeply missed.
—Glenn Deer, Associate Editor
Links to articles and reviews of Wayson Choy’s works in Canadian Literature
See also the CanLit Guides chapter on The Jade Peony