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Cover of issue #220

Current Issue: #220 Tracking CanLit (Spring 2014)

Canadian Literature’s Issue 220 (Spring 2014) is now available. The issue features a wide range of articles and book reviews as well as a selection of new Canadian poetry.

Sherrill and John Grace, O.C.

May 8, 2014

Sherrill Garce

This month, UBC English professor and frequent Canadian Literature contributor Sherrill Grace was named an officer of the Order of Canada at a ceremony in Ottawa. Dr. Grace was honoured alongside her husband John Grace, a UBC professor of chemical engineering and a longtime supporter of Canadian Literature.

You can watch the ceremony on the CBC website. Drs. John and Sherrill Grace appear starting at 55:09 into the video.

For more on Sherrill Grace, we have collected her extensive contribuitions to Canadian Literature from our archives.

Farley Mowat, 1921–2014

May 7, 2014

Popular Canadian writer and environmental activist Farley Mowat has died at age 92. Mowat wrote dozens of books and recived many honours, including the Governor General’s Award in 1956 for his children’s book Lost in the Barrens. Although Mowat’s work was beloved by many, it was controversial as well, with experts questioning his portrayal of the Arctic and Inuit peoples. In Canadian Literature 206 (Autumn 2010), Katja Lee wrote about the controversy surrounding Mowat’s 1963 book Never Cry Wolf (order issue #206 to read the article).

Canadian Literature has been reviewing Mowat’s work since 1960—the following is a list of book reviews from our archives:

Book Reviews of Farley Mowat’s Works

Bud Osborn Remembered

May 6, 2014

Vancouver poet and activist for social justice in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood Bud Osborn died on May 6. In his Canadian Literature review of Osborn’s books Hundred Block Road and Keys to Kingdoms, Adam Beardworth notes that Osborn’s work offers piercing observations of society’s marginalized people and the social factors that sustain their dispossession.

Uniting activism and poetry, Osborn memorably wrote:

to raise shit is to actively resist
and we resist with our presence
with our words
with our love
with our courage

derek beaulieu named 2014 Calgary Poet Laureate

April 30, 2014

CanLit Guides Logo

This week, derek beaulieu was named Calgary Poet Laureate for 2014–16. We featured beaulieu's work on our CanLit Guides resource on Poetic Visuality and Experimentation. In particular, check out the Reading Visual Poetry chapter for an in-depth close reading of his poem this half is for the ceremony.

You read more about beaulieu and his work as Calgary Poet Laureate on his blog.

Alistair MacLeod, 1936–2014

April 22, 2014

Cover of Canadian Literature issue #89

Alistair MacLeod, the acclaimed Cape Breton short story writer and novelist, passed away Sunday. Known for his carefully crafted short stories, MacLeod published just one novel, 1999’s No Great Mischief. The novel was feted both in Canada and abroad, winning multiple prizes including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Trillium Book Award.

MacLeod’s work also received attention from scholars in the pages of Canadian Literature over the years. The following is a list of articles, reviews of MacLeod’s works, and reviews of scholarship on MacLeod’s writing from our archives:


Book Reviews of Alistair MacLeod’s Works

Reviews of Scholarship on Alistair MacLeod and His Work

  • Editing Talent by Dee Horne. #205 (Summer 2010): 160. HTML available. Review of: Douglas Gibson Unedited: On Editing Robertson Davies, Alice Munro, W.O. Mitchell, Mavis Gallant, Jack Hodgins, Alistair MacLeod, etc. by Christine Evain.
  • Atlantic Myths by Lawrence Mathews. #180 (Spring 2004): 119–20. HTML available. Review of: Alistair MacLeod: Essays on His Work by Irene Guilford.

April is National Poetry Month

April 2, 2014

Cover of issue 210-211

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Canadian Literature has been publishing Canadian poems in our journal throughout our history. You can read poems by browsing through back issues, and we have an archive of poems and interviews with poets on our CanLit Poets resource.

You’ll also find lots of poetry content on CanLit Guides, including our guide to Poetic Visuality and Experimentation.

Also make sure to browse through Reading and Writing Canada: A Classroom Guide to Nationalism to find lots of Canadian poems published in Canadian Literature.

The following is a list of poetry-related special issues we’ve published over the years:

Jordan Abel’s The Place of Scraps shortlisted for BC Book Prize

March 12, 2014

CanLit Guides Logo Today the BC Book Prizes announced their 2014 shortlist. Jordan Abel’s poetry collection The Place of Scraps, which we wrote about on CanLit Guides in the Indigenous Literatures in Canada resource, is among the finalists for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.

In the chapter Visual Poetry and Indigenous-Settler Issues: Shane Rhodes and Jordan Abel, we compare The Place of Scraps to the visual poetry of Shane Rhodes to consider how the poets engage with assumptions about Indigenous-settler relations in the past and present.

Also check out our guide to Poetic Visuality and Experimentation for help reading visual poetry.

Fred Wah’s Poetry Connection

February 28, 2014

During his time as Parliamentary Poet Laureate, Fred Wah created a collection of resources for teachers and students of Canadian poetry. The collection features a series of videos on YouTube of poets reading their work, and accompanying PDFs that contain the poems, questions and prompts for classroom use.

Wah’s project serves as great accompaniment to the content on CanLit Guides—for example, our guide to Poetic Visuality and Experimentation. We encourage you to check out our guide and apply what you’ve learned to the poems in Wah’s Poetry Connection: Link Up with Canadian Poetry video series!

New CFP: Queer Frontiers in Canadian and Québécois Literature / Frontières queers dans la littérature québécoise et canadienne

February 26, 2014

The concept of frontier is most productive in thinking about queer experience. The spatial frontier separates the invisibility of private intimacy from the visibility of public life; the freedom and security of queer districts (for instance, the Village in Montreal, Church Street in Toronto, and Davie Street in Vancouver) from the heteronormative erasure of queer life in towns and cities throughout Canada. The border is also temporal and generational, separating childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age of those who live their queer experiences in extremely different ways. It marks queer legal status before and after same-sex marriage; queer history before and after the appearance of HIV, AIDS and tritherapies; and larger social histories before and after the sexual liberation struggles of the sixties and seventies. […more details…]

La notion de « frontière » est des plus productives afin de penser l’expérience queer. La frontière spatiale sépare l’invisibilité de l’intimité et la visibilité socio-culturelle ; la liberté et la sécurité des quartiers queers (par exemple le Village à Montréal, Church Street à Toronto et Davie Village à Vancouver) et l’oppression, le danger et l’effacement de la vie queer dans de nombreux villages et villes à travers le Canada. La frontière est aussi temporelle. Elle sépare l’enfance, l’adolescence, l’âge adulte et la vieillesse des personnes qui vivent leur expérience queer de manières fort différentes. Elle marque aussi l’histoire queer avant le droit au mariage de personnes de même sexe, et après ; avant la trithérapie contre le VIH, et après ; avant l’apparition du sida, et après ; avant les luttes de libération sexuelle des années 60 et 70, et après. […plus de détails…]

New Issue: Of Borders and Bioregions #218 (Autumn 2013)

February 20, 2014

Cover of issue 218 Canadian Literature’s Issue 218 (Autumn 2013), Of Borders and Bioregions is now available to order. Guest editors Anne L. Kaufman and Robert Thacker have compiled a tribute to former Canadian Literature editor Laurie Ricou, as they write in their Introduction:

The essays that follow here speak clearly and eloquently to the ongoing effects and wide-ranging influences of [Laurie] Ricou’s research and writing. But more than that and, frankly better than that for those of us who see ourselves as teachers, some of these essays recreate Ricou in the classroom—carrying and using that (mostly empty) attaché case on the first day of class to create the course atmosphere sought—and ultimately making courses which, palpably, have had life-altering and career-directing effects on his students. Together, as most of these writers make sharply clear, he is still teaching them and—coequally—they are still teaching him. And us. What better might be said of him?

—Anne L. Kaufman and Robert Thacker, Introduction: Reading Ricou.

Issue 218 features articles by Laurie Ricou himself; Tamas Dobozy; Maia Joseph, Travis Mason, and Angela Waldie; Lisa Szabo-Jones; Magali Sperling Beck; and Katherine Ann Roberts. Also in this issue, new Canadian poetry by Sonnet L'Abbé, Christopher Patton, Nancy Pagh, TV Mason, and Susan McCaslin … plus book reviews!

Order this issue now from our online store.

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