Author Spotlights

House, Home, Hospitality: Author Spotlight – Dawn Macdonald

August 8, 2019

Dawn Macdonald is a re-emerging poet, returning to the craft after many years of working on unfinished novels and generally not completing projects. She holds a degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Western Ontario, and lives in Whitehorse, Yukon where she was raised off the grid.

Her poem “Compression” can be read on our website at https://canlit.ca/article/compression/.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality: Author Spotlight – Julie Cairnie

August 1, 2019

Julie Cairnie is an Associate Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on connections between southern African and Canadian literatures and contexts; postcolonial sport, especially hockey and running; and Zimbabwean childhood narratives.

 

Article Abstract

Sport is one of the key recommendations in the TRC’s final report, and it is imperative that scholars of sport literature and culture take this seriously. Hockey, as Canada’s national sport, is a critical place to begin. It is assumed that hockey is unifying, but it is a “contact zone” (Pratt) where “players” present competing narratives about the meaning of hockey, “our game,” in a post-TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) Canada. Here I present a contact zone reading of two books about hockey: Stephen Harper’s A Great Game (2013) and Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse (2012). The books were published a year apart and each one has national significance: Harper’s history was published when he was the sitting Prime Minister, and Wagamese’s novel was a strong contender in CBC’s “Canada Reads” in 2013. Harper presents a neat progress narrative (from amateur to professional hockey), while Wagamese refuses the conventional narrative of hockey development and progress, and tracks the movement away from professional to community-based hockey. In Indian Horse both hockey and masculinities undergo a process of truth and reconciliation, and hockey is provided a far more nuanced narrative than Harper’s text allows.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality: Author Spotlight – George Elliott Clarke

July 25, 2019

Photo credit to Harvard University, 2014

George Elliott Clarke has published eighteen poetry “projects” since 1983—including verse-plays, opera libretti, poem-novels, narrative lyric suites, and also general collections. He’s won praise and prizes and has seen books translated into Chinese, Italian, and Romanian. The 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-2015) and 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada (2016 & 2017), his current project is a 3-part epic, Canticles, of which Canticles I has already appeared (2 vols., 2016 & 2017). Canticles II is due out—in 2 vols.—in 2019 and 2020.

His poem “Samson II” can be read on our website at https://canlit.ca/article/samson-ii/.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality: Author Spotlight – James Hahn

July 18, 2019

James Hahn is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Toronto who specializes in the Canadian documentary long poem. His research focuses on the ethical dimensions of the genre’s engagement with historical figures and events.

 

Article Abstract

This essay explores the ethical dimensions of documentary appropriation by staging a “resistant reading” of Stephen Scobie’s McAlmon’s Chinese Opera (1980). By dwelling on Robert McAlmon’s documented aversion to seeing his controversial marriage transformed into literature, Scobie’s long poem effectively commits the very transgression it thematizes while also encouraging the reader to further scrutinize McAlmon’s private life. Yet Opera’s proliferation of transgressions is inextricably linked to its efforts to rescue McAlmon from historical obscurity, and to pay homage to the values inherent in his own writings. With this in mind, Opera serves as a compelling example of the ethical ambivalence often at play in the documentary long poem’s engagement with historical figures and events.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality: Author Spotlight – Michael Penny

July 11, 2019

Michael Penny was born in Australia, but has lived his adult life in Canada. He has worked as a lawyer and consultant and been active as a volunteer board member for numerous arts and literary organizations. He has published five books, and now lives on Bowen Island.

His poem “Automobilia” can be read on our website at https://canlit.ca/article/automobilia/.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality: Author Spotlight – Jane Boyes

July 4, 2019

Jane Boyes is a PhD candidate in English at Dalhousie University, where she specializes in contemporary experimental literature, with emphasis on digital techniques, Canadian contexts, and marginalized perspectives.

 

Article Abstract

In her 2014 poetry collection Janey’s Arcadia: Errant Ad^ent$res in Ultima Thule, Rachel Zolf thinks through the role of the archive in legitimizing colonial aims by playing with the source material of the archive itself. Zolf takes as a basis for her poems texts from the settler Canadian archive and feeds them through Optical Character Recognition software, which transforms scanned images of print texts into “malleable language” (Janey’s Arcadia 117). This study situates Zolf’s text in relation to archive theory and Canadian feminist innovative poetics, before moving on to argue that the OCR glitch in Janey’s Arcadia exposes, stirs up, and disrupts the workings of power in the archive, whereby the mis- and non-recognition of Indigenous and other racialized groups is mobilized to support the capitalist and colonialist aims of settler Canada.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality: Author Spotlight – Sabyasachi Nag

June 27, 2019

Sabyasachi Nag is the author of two books of poetry: Bloodlines (Writers Workshop, 2006) and Could You Please, Please Stop Singing (Mosaic Press, 2015). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in several anthologies and publications including, The Antigonish Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Crosswinds, Grain, Emerge, Perihelion, R.kv.r.y Quarterly, The Squaw Valley Review, The Rising Phoenix Review, Void, and the VLQ. Native of Calcutta, West Bengal, Sachi lives in Mississauga, Ontario with his wife and son. He is a member of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley and a graduate of the Writer’s Studio at Simon Frazer University. He works in Human Resources and Education.

His poem “Maria After the Concert” can be read on our website at https://canlit.ca/article/maria-after-the-concert/.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality: Author Spotlight – Alec Follett

June 20, 2019

Alec Follett is a white settler PhD candidate in literary studies at the University of Guelph who writes about Indigenous and Canadian environmental justice literature. He serves as co-editor of The Goose: A Journal of Arts, Environment, and Culture in Canada and works with various community organizations that promote local literary culture and environmental knowledge.

 

Article Abstract

Environmental activism often centres Western knowledge to the detriment of Indigenous peoples’ efforts to define and enact environmental justice on their own terms. In undercurrent, Rita Wong’s poetry centres Indigenous knowledge and approaches to water, while maintaining that non-Indigenous knowledges may be deployed strategically in support of Indigenous peoples’ fights for justice.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality: Author Spotlight – Hendrik Slegtenhorst

June 13, 2019

Hendrik Slegtenhorst is the author of The Cantatas of J.S. Bach: Trinity I-VII, On the Cantatas of J.S. Bach: Trinity VIII-XVI, and On the Cantatas of J.S. Bach: Trinity XVII-XXVII, the first three volumes of the series on the cantatas of J. S. Bach; Surviving Government: Municipal Powers and Surviving Government: Municipal Functions, the first two parts of the series on local government; and, of Caravaggio’s Dagger, the first book of the series on ethics and right action.

His poem “Legacy” can be read on our website at https://canlit.ca/article/legacy/.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.


House, Home, Hospitality: Author Spotlight – Aubrey Jean Hanson

June 6, 2019

Photo credit to Erin Burns, Avenue Magazine (avenuecalgary.com)

Aubrey Jean Hanson is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta and an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education. Her research interests span Indigenous literary studies, curriculum studies, and Indigenous and social justice education. Aubrey has previously published work in Studies in American Indian Literatures, the Canadian Journal of Higher Education, and The Walrus.

 

Article Abstract

This article reads Métis writer Katherena Vermette’s 2016 novel The Break in order to examine urban Indigenous women’s resilience in relation to understandings of home. As the women in this text gather around young Emily, who has endured a violent sexual attack, they embody a strength that resides in their kinship as well as in interconnected conceptions of home. This reading is significant given the issue of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada, as well as the growing numbers of Indigenous people finding home in cities. As a Métis woman, I also read this text through my own experience. Through these analyses, this paper contends that portrayals of strong Indigenous women can help to shift dominant understandings of Indigenous people, making space for Indigenous women’s well-being in urban spaces. This article offers a timely and Métis-focused consideration of Vermette’s novel.

Canadian Literature issue 237, House, Home, Hospitality, is available to order through our online store.