New Poetry Editor, Phinder Dulai

November 24, 2017

Canadian Literature is pleased to welcome Phinder Dulai as our new poetry editor, with many thanks to Stephen Collis for his wonderful and dedicated service as poetry editor from 2014 to 2017.

Phinder Dulai is the author of three poetry collections: dream / arteries (Talonbooks, 2014), Basmati Brown (Nightwood Editions, 2000), and Ragas from the Periphery (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1995). His work has also been published in Canadian Literature, Offerings, Cue Books Anthology, Ankur, Matrix, Memewar Magazine, Rungh, The Capilano Review, Canadian Ethnic Studies, Toronto South Asian Review, subTerrain and West Coast LINE.

A consulting editor and member of the Talonbooks’ Poetry Board, Phinder Dulai is also a co-founder of the interdisciplinary contemporary arts group South of Fraser Inter-Arts Collective (SOFIA/c), and a past adjudicator for the Canada Council for the Arts.

Recently, Phinder Dulai led the design and served as faculty lead for Centering Ourselves: Writing in a Racialized Canada. This residency was hosted at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada’s first dedicated literary incubator for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour authors.

We look forward to the creative directions Phinder Dulai will take Canadian Literature’s poetry section. We welcome him to our CanLit team!

New Issue: Indigenous Literatures and the Arts of Community #230-231 (Autumn/Winter 2016)

September 14, 2017

 We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Canadian Literature, Issue 230-231 (Autumn/Winter 2016), Indigenous Literature and the Arts of Community! Guest Editors Sam McKegney and Sarah Henzi write:

Indigenous literatures not only emerge from, depict, and address particular communities; they grapple with the meaning of community itself, while expanding our understandings of how communities might be imagined, lived, and sustained in pursuit of decolonial futures. Indigenous literatures don’t just represent communities; they call communities into being. This special issue considers what Kristina Fagan Bidwell calls “the messy multiplicity of communities” as they manifest in Indigenous literature and its study. We invited Indigenous creative artists and scholars, along with settler, diasporic, and allied artists and scholars, to explore the relationships among (i) diverse expressions of Indigenous literary art, (ii) the myriad Indigenous (and other) communities out of which such art emerges and toward which it is directed, and (iii) the responsibilities embedded in such art’s ethical study. In this “Afterword,” we are interested in whether the ethics of community implied by the Indigenous Literary Studies Association’s support of the “ongoing production of Indigenous literatures” are in fact commensurate with those implied by its advancement of “the ethical and vigorous study and teaching of those literatures”—in other words, whether “community” means the same thing(s) in creative and critical contexts; if it doesn’t, we wonder if maybe it should and whether this might be the direction in which the Indigenous literary arts are, in fact, guiding us.

—Sam McKegney and Sarah Henzi, “Indigenous Literatures and the Arts of Community: Editors’ Afterword

This double issue also features:

  • An Opening Note by Daniel David Moses
  • Articles by Dallas Hunt, Michele Lacombe, Max Karpinski, Lianne Moyes, June Scudeler, Pauline Wakeham, Keavy Martin, Brandon Kerfoot, Sophie McCall, Sarah Henzi, and Judith Leggatt
  • Extraordinary Poetry by Janet Rogers, Sharron Proulx-Turner, Jordan Abel, angela semple, Garry Gottfriedson, Shannon Webb-Campbell, Armand Garnet Ruffo, annie grace ross, Sonnet L’Abbé, and Dani Spinosa
  • Reviews by Lourdes Arciniega, Alison Calder, Susie DeCoste, Jeff Fedoruk, Graham Nicol Forst, Rebecca Fredrickson, Evangeline Holtz, Madelaine Jacobs, Suzanne Jacobs, Kyle Kinaschuk, Ariel Kroon, Tina Northrup, Catherine Rainwater, Michael Roberson, Dale Tracy, and Paul Watkins

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

Littératures autochtones et traduction

September 12, 2017

Un nouveau souffle vient agrémenter les corpus anglophones et francophones de la littérature autochtone — et ce grâce à la traduction. Depuis quelques années, notons plusieurs traductions d’œuvres d’écrivains autochtones anglophones maintenant disponibles en français, publiées chez Mémoire d’encrier et Hannenorak. Notons, par exemple : La guerre des fleurs de Domingo Cisneros, Nous sommes les rêveurs de Rita Joe, Ballades d’amour du North End de Katherena Vermette, La force de marcher de Wab Kinew et Paix, pouvoir et droiture de Gerald Taiaiake Alfred. De façon similaire, la maison d’édition Mawenzi a publié, en traduction anglaise, le premier recueil de Joséphine Bacon, Message Sticks, et deux recueils de Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, Do Not Enter My Soul in Your Shoes et Assi Manifesto; Arsenal Pulp Press, Kuessipan de Naomi Fontaine; et, tout récemment, Winter Child de Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau, par Freehand Books. Mentionnons aussi des recueils bilingues Languages of Our Land/Langues de notre Terre (Banff Press) ou Terres de Trickster/Lands of Trickster (Possibles Éditions). Ainsi, un nouveau dialogue au-delà des frontières linguistiques s’établit enfin, et les intéressés de la littérature autochtone ont accès à un véritable corpus transnational.

Margery Fee, Lucie Hotte, and Lorraine York named Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada

September 7, 2017

Congratulations to Margery Fee, past Editor of Canadian Literature (2007-2015), who has been named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) in recognition of her outstanding contributions to scholarship in Canadian and Indigenous studies. Fee joins previous editors Laurie Ricou (2003-2007; elected FRSC 2006), Eva-Marie Kröller (1995-2003; elected 2006), W. H. New (1977-1995; elected 1986), and George Woodcock (1959-1977; elected 1968, resigned 1974) who have also received the same honour.

Two members of Canadian Literature’s Editorial Board have also been named among the Class of 2017. Lucie Hotte (Département de français, University of Ottawa) and Lorraine York (Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University) were elected Fellows in the Division of the Humanities of the RSC’s Academy of the Arts and Humanities for their exceptional contributions to Canadian literary and cultural studies.

Congratulations to Dr. Fee, Dr. Hotte, and Dr. York for receiving the highest national honour for scholars in the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences in Canada. The induction ceremony for the RSC’s Class of 2017 will take place in Winnipeg on November 24.

The Royal Society’s news release and a full list of this year’s Fellows are available here.

Disappearing Moon Cafe: A Virtual Field Trip

May 30, 2017

Sepia toned shot of the entrance to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park. Taken by UBC Studios 2017.


See Chinatown from a brand new perspective! This interactive collection of photospheres provides 360° views of the famous Vancouver neighbourhood. Through an immersive digital experience, the field trip highlights key settings in SKY Lee’s Disappearing Moon Café, featuring commentary about the novel and reflections on Chinatown by the author.

This virtual tour supplements Canadian Literature’s special issue Asian Canadian Critique Beyond the Nation, guest edited by Chris Lee and Christine Kim, and was motivated by NeWest Press’ second reprint of this seminal novel.

An unflinchingly honest portrait of a Chinese Canadian family that pulses with life and moral tensions, this family saga takes the reader from the wilderness in nineteenth-century British Columbia to late twentieth-century Hong Kong, to Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Intricate and lyrical, suspenseful and emotionally rich, it is a riveting story of four generations of women whose lives are haunted by the secrets and lies of their ancestors but also by the racial divides and discrimination that shaped the lives of the first generation of Chinese immigrants to Canada.

NeWest Press on Disappearing Moon Café

This project has been created with the generous support of UBC’s Asian Canadian and Asian Migration program, UBC Studios, and NeWest Press. Special thanks to Christy Fong, Christopher Aitken, Szu Shen, and Brooke Xiang for their work on this tour. Please note that older browsers and operating systems may have difficulties rendering the field trip.


Special Promotion: Canadian Literature issues 230/231, 228/229, and 227—now with goodies!

May 16, 2017

We are excited to announce a special promotion for Canadian Literature’s upcoming issue #230/231: the first thirty pre-orders for the issue will include a complimentary button to celebrate its publication! We will also be including complimentary buttons for the next thirty orders of issue 228/229, Emerging Scholars 2, and the next thirty orders of issue 227, Asian Canadian Critique Beyond the Nation. At 1.75’’ by 2.75’’, these “mini issues” are a perfect replica of each issue’s cover, and can be attached to backpacks, purses, shawls, and more.

Issue 230/231, Indigenous Literatures and the Arts of Community, is guest edited by scholars Sam McKegney and Sarah Henzi. This double issue is slated to be published later this year.

Issue 228/229, Emerging Scholars 2, our newest published issue, is a double issue filled with the articles and poetry of Canadian literature’s finest up-and-coming scholars. Editor Laura Moss introduces this issue:

In the pages of a journal whose name implies a cultural nationalist mandate, given the current political climate, it is important to consider what is done in the name of nationalism, to scrutinize exclusionary, and often dangerous, paradigms, and to think about what role Canadian writers and critics have had and continue to have in resistance, protest, and activism. How have they been killjoys?

—Laura Moss, “Notes from a CanLit Killjoy”

Issue 227, Asian Canadian Critique Beyond the Nation, was guest edited by scholars Christopher Lee and Christine Kim. Of the issue, they write:

Extending Canadian Literature’s commitment to Asian Canadian studies, this special issue interrogates how national epistemes have become sedimented in the field itself, often in barely discernible ways. It is this self-reflexivity that we hope distinguishes Asian Canadian critique from the many cultural, activist, political, and institutional projects that have coalesced around this term.

—Christopher Lee and Christine Kim, “Asian Canadian Critique Beyond the Nation”

To take advantage of this special promotion, please click here to pre-order issue 230/231, or head to our online store to order issues 228/229 or 227. Remember, there are only 30 “mini issue” buttons available for each issue!


Canada Reads 2017 Winner

May 2, 2017

We are pleased to congratulate André Alexis on winning Canada Reads 2017 for his novel Fifteen Dogs! Since its inception in 2002, the program has invited academic interest from many publications, Canadian Literature included. Editor-in-chief 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.

—Laura Moss, Canada Reads in Canadian Literature 182

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:

We invite you to take a look at the critical works that have been published on this annual battle of the books, as well as our review of the winning novel by Hilary Turner. Happy readings!

Second Edition Launch for the Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles

April 25, 2017

Loonie and toque are familiar Canadianisms, but have you heard of aegrotat, tillicum, or bunny hug?

Stefan Dollinger and Margery Fee

The Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles (DCHP-1) was first published in 1967, on the anniversary of Confederation. Fifty years later, Stefan Dollinger (editor-in-chief) and former Canadian Literature editor Margery Fee (associate editor), both professors in the UBC Department of English, have launched a revised and updated edition of the Dictionary (DCHP-2). This revision includes the legacy data of the first edition, along with new twentieth- and twenty-first-century terms and definitions to highlight the changes over time. And just in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary!

From the press release:

This new edition (DCHP-2) is the result of the work of a team of UBC linguists of English over 11 years and explains, for 1239 meanings for the first time, why a given meaning is Canadian (in 1103 cases) and why not (in 136 cases). Words such as garburator, parkade, and eh are explained in accessible language based on precise data, such as newly discovered and less-widely known Canadianisms, e.g. idiot string, take up a test etc. or to table (legislation) etc. In addition to the 10,974 entries taken over from DCHP-1, DCHP-2 offers information on some 12,000 Canadian words, meanings and expressions, past to present.

For more information about the project and to browse the open access dictionary, please see the website. Happy searching!

New Issue: Emerging Scholars 2 #228-229 (Spring/Summer 2016)

March 21, 2017

Canadian Literature’s Issue 228-229 (Spring/Summer 2016), Emerging Scholars 2, is now available for order. Editor Laura Moss introduces this issue:

In the pages of a journal whose name implies a cultural nationalist mandate, given the current political climate, it is important to consider what is done in the name of nationalism, to scrutinize exclusionary, and often dangerous, paradigms, and to think about what role Canadian writers and critics have had and continue to have in resistance, protest, and activism. How have they been killjoys?

—Laura Moss, “Notes from a CanLit Killjoy”

Emerging Scholars 2 features articles by Paul Barrett, Janie Beriault, Sharlee Cranston-Reimer, Jeff Fedoruk, Brenna Clarke Gray, Melissa Li Sheung Ying, Lucia Lorenzi, Jessica McDonald, Shane Neilson, Kate Siklosi, and Shaun A. Stevenson; new poetry; and new book reviews.

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

Call for Papers for a Special Issue on “The Concept of Vancouver”

March 2, 2017

Vancouver, located on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Watuth, and Stó:lō First Nations, is an important urban nexus of art, literature, activism, and other forms of social and political organizing and expression within Canada. While its diversity has led to the emergence of well-developed cultural and political communities, writers and artists in Vancouver have also originated new and innovative collaborations across disciplinary boundaries. Sometimes this transdisciplinary work has been inspired by political causes, such as the environmentalist resistance to pipelines and old-growth logging or the Indigenous-led challenges to the effects of settler-colonialism (including land rights, discussions of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Idle No More, ReMatriate, Red Power, and more) or the ongoing fights against neoliberalism and gentrification (especially of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside). Sometimes this transdisciplinary work has been inspired by aesthetic initiatives, such as the McLuhan-inspired intermedia work (of the Western Front) in the 1960s and 1970s, or the experiments with interdisciplinary Surrealism in the 1970s and 1980s, or the fusion of various visual arts and literary communities across the past century. Authors and artists in the 1960s wrote about Vancouver as a marginal community, outside of the glare of international attention. Today, though, Vancouver’s situation on the west coast as a vibrant hub in a trans-Pacific network of overlapping business and cultural industries demands a reconceptualization of the city that reflects its overwhelming connectedness. For better and for worse, the city has become a cultural capital. Papers are encouraged to address any combination of the arts, literatures, and politics of Vancouver, and the interconnections these have with other scales of engagement, including the national and planetary issues in which Vancouver participates.

Gregg Simpson, "Jou Jouka" (1973). Used with permission.

Gregg Simpson, “Jou Jouka” (1973). Used with permission.

This special issue invites essays that examine the representation of Vancouver in art and literature, that consider individual authors and artists, that explore the state of aesthetic communities (visual, literary, architectural, filmic, etc.) in the city, or that address the confluence of politics and aesthetics. We are particularly interested in papers that explore links between art and resistance, art and the archive and collective/institutional memory, art in the neoliberal gentrification of the city and housing crises, and art and settler-colonial histories and decolonization efforts. We are also interested in papers that consider avant-garde groups and affiliations (such as TISH, the hippy and Beat poets of the 60s and 70s, Press Gang, the Vancouver School of photo-conceptualists, and the Kootenay School of Writing, amongst others), contemporary urban space, the politics of architecture, micro-literary histories, and transnational or transborder considerations. Canadian Literature publishes essays on fiction, poetry, non-fiction, drama, and inter-genre collaborations.

All submissions to Canadian Literature must be original, unpublished work. Essays should follow the bibliographic format of the MLA Handbook, 8th ed. Articles should be between 6,000 and 7,000 words, including endnotes and works cited. Submissions should be uploaded to Canadian Literature’s online submissions system (OJS) by the deadline of August 31, 2017. See our submission guidelines for details.  Expected publication date of the issue is fall 2018.

Guest editors of this issue will be Gregory Betts, Julia Polyck-O’Neill, and Andrew McEwan.