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Cover of issue #223

Current Issue: #223 Agency & Affect (Winter 2014)

Canadian Literature's Issue 223 (Winter 2014), Agency & Affect, is now available. The issue features articles by Ranbir K. Banwait, Paul Huebener, Lisa Marchi, Veronica Austen, and Andrea Beverley, as well as an interview with Laurence Hill by Kerry Lappin-Fortin, along with new Canadian poetry and book reviews.

National Poetry Month

April 17, 2015

What poems have you read for National Poetry Month? Can’t decide where to start? We’re already halfway through this annual literary celebration, but poetry editor Stephen Collis has an exciting announcement to make:

When T. S. Eliot dubbed April the cruellest month, he had something about the inseparability of birth and death in mind. In the evolution of April as National Poetry Month, however, we tend to emphasize the birth side of that equation. At Canadian Literature, we certainly look forward to the arrival of dozens of new poetry titles at this time of year, and the reviews and intellectual discussion that should soon follow in their wake. From where we are standing, Canadian small presses and their poets have never seemed so robust.

Maybe we have resurrection on our minds too. This month we will dig into our archives to share a number of poems from past issues of Canadian Literature—some greatest hits that might stoke the fires of new production. We certainly have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to our online archive. Watch for reminders about some of the fine poems we have published, and watch for the excellent poems that will be appearing in upcoming issues.

This year, National Poetry Month focuses around the theme of food and poetry, as inspired by Vancouver Poet Laureate Rachel Rose’s inaugural speech: Food is personal, political, sensual, and powerful. We hope you’ll enjoy this journey through our archives as we serve up some delicious poems on Twitter, every day until the end of the month starting next Monday.

To learn more about Canadian poetry, visit CanLit Guides for an exploration of Poetic Visuality and Experimentation.

Happy readings!

Canadian Literature Best Essay Prize 2014 Shortlist

April 7, 2015

We are pleased to announce the Canadian Literature Best Essay Prize 2014 Shortlist. Each year, Canadian Literature recognizes and celebrates the best article published during the previous annual cycle. Nominees are selected from a pool of approximately 24 articles, and previous winners include Michel Nareau, Meredith Quartermain, Deanna Reder, Susan Gingell, Allison Hargreaves, Daniel Heath Justice, Kristina Bidwell, and Jo-Ann Episkenew.

Editor Margery Fee says:

We hope … to signal our eagerness to receive and recognize the best submissions in our field. We know that some readers are graduate students and junior academics looking for the best examples on which to model their own writing, and one goal of this award is to make it clear what our adjudicators (selected from the editorial team and the editorial board) think is the best. We know that to receive such an award from ones peers is always welcome, and we hope that the award will encourage those who win it to continue to produce their best writing.

The 2014 nominees are as follows:

  • Jamieson, Sara. ‘Surprising Developments’: Midlife in Alice Munro's Who Do You Think You Are? Canadian Literature 217 (2013): 54–69.
  • McKegney, Sam. ‘pain, pleasure, shame. Shame’: Masculine Embodiment, Kinship, and Indigenous Reterritorialization. Canadian Literature 216 (2013): 12–33.
  • Szabo, Lisa. Adventures in Habitat: An Urban Story. Canadian Literature 218 (2013): 67–84.
  • Williams, David. Spectres of Time: Seeing Ghosts in Will Bird's Memoirs and Abel Gance’s J’accuse Canadian Literature 219 (2013): 113-30.

Congratulations to Sara Jamieson, Sam McKegney, Lisa Szabo, and David Williams on their excellent work. The winner will be announced at the Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures reception at the Congress. Event details can be found at the University of Ottawa's website.

Canada Reads 2015

March 16, 2015

Canada Reads, CBC’s annual battle of the books, takes place this week! Over the next seven days, five celebrity panellists will defend five different books on their adherence to the competition theme. This year, they're searching for the One Book to Break Barriers, which must change perspectives, challenge stereotypes, and illuminate issues. After each debate, a book will be eliminated and the ultimate victor will be crowned the book that all Canadians should read. The debates can be followed online, on the radio, or on the television.

Since its inception in 2002, the program has invited a great amount of critical interest, Canadian Literature included. Associate editor Laura Moss asks:

Why is it imperative that we, those who work on and in Canadian literature, take [Canada Reads] seriously? As a public presentation of a literature that is depicted as coming of age, Canada Reads has helped to open up Canadian literary works to a large market. Over the three years, it has brought eighteen writers’ names into prominence in the public domain. (Margaret Atwood and Yann Martel are listed twice.) It has become an important indicator of public support of the literary arts in Canada.

With these assertions in mind, we published a special issue on the program in 2007. Other critical works on Canada Reads from our journal include:

If you’ve enjoyed reading through longlist as much as we have, see below for a compiled list of works about the longlisted authors from our archives. Reviews of the nominated books are in bold.

Dionne Brand

Reviews of Brand's Works

Articles about Brand

Thomas King

Reviews of King's Works

  • Rev. of The Inconvenient Indian. By Brendan McCormack. Upcoming.

Also see our Governor General's Literary Awards 2014 post for other works about and by Thomas King from our archives.

Lee Maracle

Reviews of Maracle's Works

Articles by Maracle

Articles about Maracle

Saleema Nawaz

Reviews of Nawaz's Works

Eden Robinson

Reviews of Robinson's Works

Articles about Robinson

Doug Saunders

Reviews of Saunders' Works

Mariko Tamaki

Reviews of Tamaki's Works

Kim Thúy

Reviews of Thúy's Works

Miriam Toews

Reviews of Toews' Works

*Also nominated for the 2015 Folio Prize.

CanLit Submit Updates

March 5, 2015

As some submitters may have already noticed, we moved to Open Journal Systems over the weekend. CanLit Submit now redirects to our new submissions portal. We are excited to join fourteen other journals at UBC Library in providing open access to journal content.

Please be sure to register for an account in order to access the full functionality offered to OJS users with our journal, such as submitting articles, poetry, and book reviews. As an open source project, OJS provides many online resources that help new users with understanding the system. Guidance on how to create submissions can be found at:

For general questions, please feel free to contact us at can.lit@ubc.ca, or cl.submit@ubc.ca for more specific inquiries about OJS and submissions.

New Website and Submission System

February 16, 2015

Canadian Literature has just turned 55! Since the first web server was activated in 1991, our online presence has grown in ways we never could have imagined. Over the last two decades, we have developed a robust website of new book reviews, video and transcribed interviews, and databases of Canadian publishers, poets, and scholars; the dedicated submission system CanLit Submit; our popular teaching resource CanLit Guides; and an engaged social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. We’ve been working hard to keep up—by the time we turn 60, we know that everything will have changed again.

New ways of thinking about knowledge and its dissemination have encouraged us to remodel our online connections. We are excited to announce that we are currently preparing a new website and moving to Open Journal Systems to enhance our interactions with CanLit readers, contributors, and peers. With these developments, we hope to improve our open access commitments, ease of submissions, and connections with the broader community.

We hope you’ll like the new website and submissions system as much as we do, and thank you again for 55 years of support!

New Issue: Science & Canadian Literature #221 (Summer 2014)

February 6, 2015

Canadian Literature’s Issue 221 (Summer 2014), Science & Canadian Literature, is now available for order. Janine Rogers introduces this special issue with Duncan Campbell Scott's metaphor on the intersection of literature and science:

In 1922, when Duncan Campbell Scott gave the annual address to the Royal Society of Canada, he spent some time considering the relationship between literature and science. On the whole, he saw it as a positive one: Science has taught the modern [poet] that nature lives and breathes, Scott mused, although he also felt that poetry has no connection with material progress and with those advances which we think of as specialties of modern life (266, 269). Wrestling with these contradictory instincts, Scott tried to articulate how both the natural and mechanical aspects of science might be poetically combined. He imagines what he calls the poetry of the aeroplane (270).

—Janine Rogers, 'A Beauty and Daring all its Own': A Note on Science and Canadian Literature

Science & Canadian Literature contains articles by Tania Aguila-Way; Monica Kidd; Ghislain Thibault and Mark Hayward; Victoria Kuttainen; Sarah de Jong Carson; and Ceri Morgan, with additional notes by Kathleen McConnell and Graham N. Forst. This issue also features new work by Canadian poets Elana Wolff, David McGimpsey, Emma Stothers, and Dave Margoshes as well as a collection of book reviews.

Order now!

New Poetry Editor: Stephen Collis

January 22, 2015

Stephen Collis

We would like to thank long-time poetry editor Iain Higgins for a wonderful term and to extend a warm welcome to his successor, Stephen Collis.

Collis is an award-winning poet, academic, and activist. He lectures at Simon Fraser University, specializing in contemporary poetry, poetics, and American literature. His ongoing Barricades Project includes Anarchive (2005), The Commons (2008), On the Material (2010)—which won the 2011 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize—and To the Barricades (2013).

Collis is a former member of the Kootenay School of Writing and was a Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellow at Simon Fraser University in 2011/2012.

We look forward to the bright and exciting directions he will bring to Canadian Literature’s poetry. Welcome to the team, Stephen Collis!

Call for Papers: Teaching and Learning Literatures in Canada and Quebec

January 16, 2015

Kathryn Grafton of CanLit Guides is welcoming papers for the Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures (ACQL) panel at Congress 2015.

The panel aims to open up discussions on teaching and learning literatures in Canada and Quebec by considering questions such as: How can sharing case studies of particular texts, activities, and assignments offer us insights into best pedagogical practices? What happens when we teach a writer or text in a national as compared to a regional, Aboriginal, postcolonial, or world literature context?

Analyses of both historical and contemporary texts as well as a variety of theoretical and pedagogical approaches are encouraged, provided they have a focus on teaching and learning.

This is part of a larger project that includes further development of CanLit Guides, a modular online learning resource; a workshop at the University of British Columbia (2016); and a special issue of Canadian Literature on teaching and learning literatures in Canada (2017).

Proposals for papers are due 1 February 2015 (maximum 300 words with a short biography and a 50-word abstract). For more information, visit ACQL’s Call for Papers.

130th MLA Annual Convention in Vancouver

December 18, 2014

MLA Convention 2015

Promoting the studying and teaching of languages and literatures since 1883, the Modern Language Association (MLA) has become one of the world’s largest scholarly organizations, with nearly 28,000 members in approximately 100 countries.

Their 130th Annual Convention will be taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre, 8-11 January 2015. Visit the MLA website to learn about the presidential theme, Negotiating Sites of Memory, browse program events, speakers, and sessions, and access additional information about the convention.

All attendees must register to participate in or attend meetings, visit the exhibit hall, take part in job interviews, or reserve hotel rooms at special MLA rates.

For a discounted rate and other membership benefits, join MLA today.

Governor General's Literary Awards 2014

November 27, 2014

Cover of issue 161-162

The Canada Council for the Arts announced the results of the Governor General’s Literary Awards 2014 last week, and we are pleased to congratulate Canadian Literature contributor Thomas King on winning the fiction prize for his novel, The Back of the Turtle (2014).

Thomas King is a long-time figure of study for Canadian Literature scholars, among them Margaret Atwood, who have produced a significant body of critical work that includes articles, interviews, and a dedicated special issue.

Our online teaching resource, CanLit Guides, includes a module on King’s Green Grass, Running Water (1993). The guide provides an overview of key themes, critical questions, and suggested assignments, as well as an exercise on how to participate in/respond to journalistic academic discourse.

See below for a catalogue of work about and by Thomas King from our archives:

Poetry by Thomas King


Book Reviews of Thomas King's Works

Reviews of Scholarship on Thomas King's Works

Transcripts and Videos

Also see our reviews of other works by Governor General's Literary Award winners José Acquelin, Carole Fréchette, André A. Michaud, and Arleen Parée:

José Acquelin

Carole Fréchette

Andrée A. Michaud

Arleen Parée

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