Congratulate Donna Chin on her Retirement!

Congratulate Donna Chin on her Retirement!

Cake design by Sharon Engbrecht (2023)

Canadian Literature wishes to congratulate Donna Chin on her forthcoming retirement. After many years and achievements at our journal, Donna will be stepping down from her position as our Managing Editor.

We are pleased to invite friends and community of Donna to share messages of tribute, congratulations, and best wishes as she continues this next part of her life.

We also welcome messages from friends of CanLit—local and international—including editors (current and former), associate and assistant editors, acting editors, members of our editorial board, staff and students, and the many others who have benefited from Donna’s professionalism over the years.

Fill out the form below, and your message will be shared with Donna and posted on our website and social media!


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Calgary Distinguished Writers Program (Sept – 15 Jan. 2024)


The Calgary Distinguished Writers’ Program call for applications. Apply now!

Issue 251 Author Spotlight – Adam Dickinson

Adam Dickinson is the author of four books of poetry. His latest book, Anatomic (with Coach House Books), involves the results of chemical and microbial testing on his body. His work has been nominated for awards including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry. He teaches at Brock University.

Forum: Writing with/against/as Extraction in So-Called Canada: Poets on Poetics

Canadian Literature special issue #251 on poetics and extraction is available to order through our online store at

Call for Papers: “How to be at Home in Canada: Placemaking in Indigeneous, Diaspora, and Settler Texts”

In the landmark 1997 Delgamuukw land claim brought before the Supreme Court of Canada (Delgamuukw v. British Columbia), the Court ruled that traditional Indigenous story was admissible in court as evidence of land ownership, legitimizing a kind of literary land claim. This special issue of Canadian Literature examines the way literary texts claim space and explore questions of belonging for Indigenous, diaspora, and settler populations.

The issue will consider narratives from communities in Canada that assert or contest relations between land, story, ownership and belonging—whether it be in rural or urban environments, and in forms as varied as traditional Indigenous stories or hip hop’s practice of paying tribute to home through “reppin’.” Processes of claiming or challenging narratives of belonging are clearly different for Indigenous, diaspora and settler populations, since one consists of original inhabitants; another of immigrants with ties to elsewhere; and a third of settler populations who examine an uneasy colonial relationship to the land, which ultimately contributes to either a sense of national belonging or alienation. Okanagan scholar, author, and activist Jeannette Armstrong writes, “I am claimed and owned by this land, this Okanagan” (174), and her poetry and prose embody that relationship. In Literary Land Claims (2015), settler scholar Margery Fee traces how texts use strategies to claim – or problematize the act of claiming – land, story, and belonging. How do other populations describe their belonging in territories claimed by Canada?

Black scholar Rinaldo Walcott, in his essay “Towards a Poetics of Black Space(s) in Canada,” signals the importance of such an undertaking: “It seems that one of the challenges facing contemporary Black Canadian art is to move beyond the discourse of nostalgia for an elsewhere and toward addressing the politics of its present location” (46-7). By centring the politics of the present, this issue seeks to demonstrate the ways writers address the politics of place through literary land claims. Connecting community to place in the multiple national imaginaries both engenders and demonstrates belonging, helping us redress systemic racism and assert the right to safe spaces. We will consider the politics of claiming stolen land, and the ways that class, race, cultural practice, gender, sexuality, and disability intersect into questions of territorial belonging, nationhood, and connection to place.

All papers examining space and place in relation to belonging in Canada are welcome, in particular those examining questions of race, cultural practice, gender, sexuality and disability. Papers dealing with “third space” or “liminal space” are also encouraged.

We particularly encourage submissions from emerging scholars. In an effort to include a wide range of perspectives and approaches, this issue will include shorter-form submissions combined with longer forms, and an opportunity for emerging scholars to engage in a mentorship process in implementing editorial comments after the double-anonymized peer-review process.


Submission Guidelines

All submissions to Canadian Literature must be original, unpublished work. Essays should follow current MLA bibliographic format (MLA Handbook, 9th ed.). Word length for articles is 4,000-8,000 words, which includes endnotes and works cited.

Please feel free to contact the journal editor, Christine Kim, at, or the special issue guest editors, Heather Macfarlane (, Sophie McCall ( or Basmah Rahman ( to discuss ideas ahead of time. Submissions should be uploaded to OJS by the deadline of January 1, 2024. Our Submission Guidelines can be found at General questions about the special issue may be directed to

Please limit images accompanying the submission to those receiving substantial attention in the article. Note that contributors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce images in their article, and must pay any permission costs. The journal can provide a sample template for permission requests. Permissions must be cleared before publication. Please send low resolution images (small jpegs), in separate attachments. If the article is accepted, high quality images will be required.


Works Cited

Armstrong, Jeannette. “Land Speaking.” Speaking for the Generations: Native Writers on Writing, edited by Simon Ortiz, U of Arizona P, 1998, pp. 174-95.

Fee, Margery. Literary Land Claims: the “Indian Land Question” from Pontiac’s War to Attawapiskat. Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2015.

Lamer, Chief Justice. “Delgamuukw vs. British Columbia.” Canadian Native Law Reporter, vol. 1, 1998, pp. 14-97.

Walcott, Rinaldo. “‘A Tough Geography:’ Towards a Poetics of Black Space(s) in Canada.” Black Like Who? Writing Black Canada. 2nd revised ed., Insomniac Press, 2003, pp. 43-56.


Read more about Canadian Literature‘s Submission Guidelines

Submit your work through Open Journal Systems (OJS)


Issue 251 Author Spotlight – Rūta Šlapkauskaitė

Rūta Šlapkauskaitė is an Associate Professor of English literature at Vilnius University, Lithuania. Her research interests include Canadian and Australian literature, neo-Victorianism, and environmental humanities. Among her recent publications are “An Ecology of the Hewn in Susan Vreeland’s The Forest Lover” in the collective monograph The Northern Forests co-published by the University of Tartu and Montreal’s Imaginaire Nord; “The He(A)rt of the Witness: Remembering Australian Prisoners of War in Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North” in Anglica: An International Journal of English Studies; and “Precariousness, kinship and care: Becoming human in Clare Cameron’s The Last Neanderthal” in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature.

Article: Pro Pelle Cutem: On the Subject(s) of Extraction in Fred Stenson’s The Trade

This paper examines the poetic means Fred Stenson employs in his novel The Trade to dramatize the environmental and affective legacies of the fur trade in Canadian history. Taking its cue from the HBC’s motto and Hortense Spillers’ and Kathryn Yusoff’s thinking about race and flesh, the article considers how the novel expands our reading of the ethics of extraction, organized through the division between living and non-living matter, by correlating its use of the tropes of the skin, bones, and rum to the semiotics of the Windigo figure, which mediates settler colonialism’s extraction of subjectivity through the racial division between humans and nonhumans across the imperial body politic. In thus reappraising the HBC’s interventions into Indigenous ecologies, The Trade highlights the material and visceral impact of the extractive economy while also troubling our ethical readings of Indigenous trauma and resilience.

Canadian Literature special issue #251 on poetics and extraction is available to order through our online store at

Issue 251 Author Spotlight – Louis M. Maraj

Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Louis M. Maraj thinks, creates, and converses with theoretical black studies, rhetoric, digital media, and critical pedagogies. His projects specifically address anti/racism, anti/blackness, and expressive form. Maraj’s Black or Right: Anti/Racist Campus Rhetorics received the 2022 CCCC Outstanding Book Award and NCA’s Critical and Cultural Studies Division 2022 Outstanding Book Award. His essays appear in several journals and edited collections, including most recently in Women’s Studies in Communication, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and A Socially Just Classroom. He is an assistant professor in University of British Columbia’s School of Journalism, Writing & Media.

Article: “Quite here you reach”: T(h)inking Language, Place, Extraction with Dionne Brand’s Land to Light on

Performatively exhibiting its argument for “t(h)inking”—para- the usual verb “think,” a process that meditates on, critiques, and undoes extractive Euro-Western logics by which stitched meaning becomes undone, unfurled to fray—this study communes with Dionne Brand’s Land to Light on. It t(h)inks with apposite “tinker,” fiddling to no particular end, with specific regard to themes of language, place, and extraction in Dionne Brand’s collection of poems. Intertwined with deeply personal vignettes on its author’s first return to Trinidad after moving to so-called Canada, this unconventional prose/poem/essay avers that we might understand what has been noted as “ambiguity” by literary scholars in readings of Land as instead representative of para/ontological notions of Blackness: movings across, along, outside, adjacent to ontological nothingness and paraontological fugitivity for Black meaning-making energy in the Western world.

Canadian Literature special issue #251 on poetics and extraction is available to order through our online store at

Issue 251 Spotlight — Melanie Dennis Unrau

Melanie Dennis Unrau is a settler of mixed European ancestry living on Treaty 1 territory in Winnipeg. Melanie is a Research Affiliate and Visiting Fellow at the University of Manitoba. She is the author of the poetry chapbook The Goose (above/ground, 2023) and the poetry collection Happiness Threads (Muses’ Company, 2013), a co-editor of Seriality and Texts for Young People: The Compulsion to Repeat (Palgrave, 2014), and a former editor of The Goose journal and Geez magazine. Her forthcoming book The Rough Poets: Petropoetics and the Tradition of Canadian Oil-Worker Poetry is on contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Article: Editorial: Poetics and Extraction

Canadian Literature special issue #251 on poetics and extraction is available to order through our online store at

New Issue: 252 — General

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Canadian Literature, Issue 252. For this general issue, Sharon Engbrecht (Marketing, Outreach, & Communications Coordinator) and Sarah-Nelle Jackson (Assistant to Editor-in-Chief) write in their editorial:

When our Editor-in-Chief Christine Kim graciously agreed to let Sarah-Nelle and me write this editorial, she was interested in our perspective as graduate students on the production of Canadian Literature. As PhD candidates in the Department of English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia (UBC), we bring different experiences to the production of both the journal and the field of CanLit. The term production registers different modes of meaning: as an action of manufacturing raw materials, as a process of management, and as a larger project of providing ideas for consideration.  . . . In being a part of the production of Canadian Literature, [we are] cognizant of the politics involved in producing an enduring object of study that, on the one hand, helps promote our collective critical understanding of important texts and phenomena about Canada and, on the other, canonizes the right kind of critical attention through the production process.

As a journal led by non-Indigenous scholars that explores how Canadian identity creates and contests itself through literature, Canadian Literature cannot resolve the alchemical fiction of Canada any more than CanLit as a literary category or Sharon and I as individual settlers can. Following the authors in the present issue, rather, we might take the aporia of CanLit not as a problem demanding resolution, but as a potentially fruitful space to face Canada’s inherent tensions and contradictions. As readers, scholars, and editors of Canadian literature, we might seek to build on past successes and failures of those similarly situated—not to settle questions, but to be transformed by them.

– Sharon Engbrecht and Sarah-Nelle Jackson, “Producing Canadian Literature

This issue also features:

The new issue can be ordered through our online store at Happy reading!

Issue 250 Author Spotlight – Kyle Gervais

Kyle Gervais is a Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Western Ontario in London, where he lives with his husband and two cats. His academic work focuses on Classical Latin poetry and its reception from late antiquity to the modern day. He has original poems and translations published in Arion, Literary Imagination, PRISM international, and elsewhere.

Read his poem on our website: Said the Vines

Canadian Literature issue 250 is available to order through our online store at