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Home Ground and Foreign Territory

Fiamengo, Janice (Hrsg.) | University of Ottawa Press | Reappraisals: Canadian Writers


Home Ground and Foreign Territory is an original collection of essays on early Canadian literature in English. Aiming to be both provocative and scholarly, it encompasses a variety of (sometimes opposing) perspectives, subjects, and methods, with the aim of reassessing the field, unearthing neglected texts, and proposing new approaches to canonical authors. Renowned experts in early Canadian literary studies, including D.M.R. Bentley, Mary Jane Edwards, and Carole Gerson, join emerging scholars in a collection distinguished by its clarity of argument and breadth of reference. Together, the essays offer bold and informative contributions to the study of this dynamic literature.

Home Ground and Foreign Territory reaches out far beyond the scope of early Canadian literature. Its multi-disciplinary approach innovates literal studies and appeals to literature specialists and general readership alike.

 
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A Journey in Translation

University of Ottawa Press | Canadian Literature Collection


This book traces the remarkable journey of Hébert’s shifting authorial identity as versions of her work traveled through complex and contested linguistic and national terrain from the late 1950s until today. At the center of this exploration of Hébert’s work are the people who were inspired by her poetry to translate and more widely disseminate her poems to a wider audience.

Exactly how did this one woman’s work travel so much farther than the vast majority of Québécois authors? Though the haunting quality of her art partly explains her wide appeal, her work would have never traveled so far without the effort of scores of passionately committed translators, editors, and archivists. Though the work of such “middle men” is seldom recognized, much less scrutinized as a factor in shaping the meaning and reach of an artist, in Herbert’s case, the process of translating Hébert’s poetry has left in its wake a number of archival and other paratextual resources that chronicle the individual acts of translation and their reception.

Though the impact of translation, editions, and archival work has been largely ignored in studies of Canadian literary history, the treasure trove of such paratextual records in Hébert’s case allows us to better understand the reach of her work. More importantly, it provides insight into and raises critical questions about the textually mediated process of nation-building and literary canon formation.

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Lee Skallerup Bessette is an instructional technology specialist in the Division of teaching and Learning Technology at the University of Mary Washington. She has a PhD in Comparative Literature in Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta, with a particular interest in comparative Canadian and Caribbean literatures, translation, and canon formation.

 
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Leak

BookThug


Welcome to Kate Hargreaves' Leak, where the relationship between language and the body lives in the bumps and bruises that in turn become new ways of understanding the borders and leaks of our everyday existence. In Leak, bodies lose pieces and fall apart, while words slip out of place and letters drop away. Emergency room signage becomes incomprehensible, the census requests bodily measurements, a cyclist confuses oil with her own blood. This visceral deconstruction of the body and its multiple representations tests the boundaries of body politics — pathologically, emotionally, and lyrically.

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Praise for Leak:

Inside Kate Hargreaves's stunning new book, words bite and yawn and breathe the page, chipping away at the dictionary, diagnosing the alphabet. A tour de aperture, these poems will leak from your tongue into your brain, gushing pleasure: pleasure: pleasure: pleasure.

– Nicole Markotic

With deliberate caprice, Kate Hargreaves executes, deranges, disentangles, fractures, accidenting language into dazzling constellations.

– Rosemary Nixon

Leak is an exciting poetic debut which performs a relentless and passionate anatomy through syntax that spills, kicks, craves, bloats, sheds, and spits. Hargreaves reminds us that, for worse and for better, parts of speech and speaker tend to gurgle beyond their notional grammars. Read it and gush.

– Susan Holbrook

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Kate Hargreaves is a writer and roller derby skater. Her first book, Talking Derby: Stories from a Life on Eight Wheels (2012), is a collection of short prose vignettes inspired by women's flat-track roller derby. Her poetry has been published in literary journals across North America, including Descant , filling Station, The Puritan, Drunken Boat, The Antigonish Review, Canada and Beyond, Carousel , and Rampike , in the anthologies Whisky Sour City (2012), Detours (2012), as well as in the Windsor Review's "Best Writers Under 35" issue. Hargreaves was the recipient of a Windsor Endowment for the Arts Emerging Literary Artist Award in 2011 and a Governor General's Gold Medal in Graduate Studies at the University of Windsor in 2012, where she obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in English and Creative Writing. Kate grew up in Amherstburg, Ontario, but now lives in Windsor, where she works as a publishing assistant and book designer.

 
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Bad Ideas

ECW Press


Wildly funny and wonderfully moving, Bad Ideas is about just that — a string of bad ideas — and the absurdity of love

Trudy works nights in a linen factory, avoiding romance and sharing the care of her four-year-old niece with Trudy’s mother, Claire. Claire still pines for Trudy’s father, a St. Lawrence Seaway construction worker who left her twenty years ago. Claire believes in true love. Trudy does not. She’s keeping herself to herself. But when Jules Tremblay, aspiring daredevil, walks into the Jubilee restaurant, Trudy’s a goner.

Loosely inspired by Ken “the Crazy Canuck” Carter’s attempt to jump the St. Lawrence River in a rocket car, and set in a 1970s hollowed-out town in eastern Ontario, Bad Ideas paints an indelible portrait of people on the forgotten fringes of life. Witty and wise, this is a novel that will stay with you a long time.

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“This novel of working class women and the men they let into their lives is like a small town: both tough and soft. These strong, funny, and intense characters have unique and deep-seated ideas about love and family, have dreams that are big enough. Marston writes with love and verve. In Bad Ideas people take life as it comes, and think those bad ideas are probably going to play out just fine.” — Dina Del Bucchia, author of Don't Tell Me What to Do

“I’d follow Missy Marston’s writing anywhere, even off an ill-conceived launch ramp across the St. Lawrence River in a rocket-car. In Bad Ideas, she tells a story with hard edges, humour, and so much tenderness, affirming her place as one of Canada's funniest and original writers.” — Kerry Clare, author of Mitzi Bytes

“An astonishing, funny, and beautiful book. It’s full of terrible, lovable, broken people doing their best to find happiness wherever they can — in fast cars, booze, or in the arms of the right-but-wrong person. It's about the parts of ourselves that remain underwater in the murk and the bits we choose to showcase. It’s about what it means to love the wrong people — the broke stunt driver, the married man, the absent mother. Always illuminating and never sentimental, Bad Ideas is an honest look at what it means to dream big in a small town. Oh, and there’s a surprise ending that’s absolutely glorious.” — New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McCartney

“An unusual story of both familial and romantic love, the strange dreams humans have, and the cost and benefits of loyalty.” — Kirkus Reviews

 
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repeater

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SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2013 GERALD LAMPAND MEMORIAL AWARD

repeater is a poetic investigation into the coding, function, language, and structure of computer programming. Using the ASCII 8-bit binary code as an acrostic, each lower-case letter of the alphabet is arranged alongside the lines of the title poem. As a result, this poem "programs" an investigation of layered and digitalized language that is coded into the heart of the code itself. Appendixes to this code form supplementary studies, and deviate into additional problems and concepts at the convergence of poetry and computer programming. Ultimately, repeater reveals what happens when the creative variability of poetry is "inputted" into the rigid binaric structure of computer language.

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Praise for repeater:

Louis Zukofsky famously located poetry as upper level music, lower level speech. Andrew McEwan’s repeater moves between just those poles. The difference is that McEwan is tracking through the coded moments of a world of language where the lower level operates within the patterns of “information interchange” that increasingly dominate what’s left of the human and “authenticity marks obsolescent outline / to transform the set.” Remarkably, McEwan still makes it sing amidst the “unbound bits [that] float in gravity’s delay.” repeater is a terrific debut book that promises much more to come.

— Michael Boughn

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Andrew McEwan was born May 20, 1988.  He is the author of the chapbook Input / Output from Cactus Press. His writing was awarded the E.J. Pratt Poetry Medal. He is finishing his undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto where he has been the editor-in-chief at the Acta Victoriana Literary Journal and poetry editor at The Hart House Review. repeater is his first book.

 
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Conflict

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SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2013 OTTAWA BOOK AWARD

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2013 ARCHIBALD LAMPMAN AWARD

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2013 RELIT AWARD

Conflict interweaves ghosts, bad communication, the uncanny and the archival, to create a collection of poems that break down remembrance into abandoned historic markers, jet fuel, keening, or teeth. What you are given (this is a gift) is an insistent refusal to silence or shift. In exchange, the reader must face the impossibility of erasure, a gritty resistance to mourn a fight. Conflict is a collection of red balloons that intersplices and interweaves through various forms of conflict that occur in language, motion, architecture, emotions; between individuals, systems, and mechanical silences.

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Praise for Christine McNair:

"McNair is a one-woman fireworks spectacle."

— Grady Harp via literaryaficionado.com

"McNair takes us through poetry that forms together, while simultaneously breaking free from itself and forcing us to focus on our own loves and limitations."

— Cassie Leigh via greyborders.blogspot.ca

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Christine McNair was born on June 6, 1978, (the sixth day of the sixth month at six-fifty-six.)  She completed a BA (Hons) from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, with a major in English Literature and a minor in Art History.  She also completed a Master's degree in Conservation Studies (Books and Library Materials) at West Dean College in the UK.  Besides being a writer, McNair works full time at the Canadian Conservation Institute in Ottawa, in a special agency of the Department of Heritage, as a book "doctor" or Conservator. Conflict is her first book.

 
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Challenging Mountains

BWL Publishing Inc. | Settlers


By 1840 the colony of New South Wales was expanding. Transportation of convicts to the east coast ended, and many free squatters set out to settle on lands to the south. In 1836, the Government in London authorised Governor Bourke to establish a settlement in The Port Philip District of New South Wales, and an Association was formed to make the district a separate colony. Timothy, Tiger and Bella Carstairs eldest son has turned 21. Bored with his Government job and intent on seeking adventure and a new life away from Sydney, Tim decides to journey south in an endeavour to find this adventure, accompanied by his Uncle Carlos. Where else to find it, but in a newly formed settlement. In the 1840s the road south might not be as hazardous as the one across the mountains travelled by his parents when he was a child, but the month long journey overland holds many dangers and challenges to be faced. Escaped and ex-convicts seek the easy life by forming gangs to take what they can where they can. Forced to fight off the intruders who take claim to the land they have cared for over many, many generations, the Indigenous people are faced with many trials and battles of their own. Not the least of Tim’s personal challenges is a young headstrong woman who, uninvited, takes it upon herself to join him on his travels. When they reach their destination, their troubles have only just begun.

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I loved this story. It has everything. Happiness, tears, love, hate. I recommend it highly for all lovers of romantic adventure tales.

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Award winning author Tricia McGill was born in London, England, and moved to Australia many years ago, settling near Melbourne. The youngest in a large, loving family she was never lonely or alone. Surrounded by avid readers, who encouraged her to read from an early age, is it any wonder she became a writer? The local library was a treasure trove and magical world of discovery through her childhood and growing years. Tricia is a dreamer who still dreams every night; snippets from those dreams have translated into ideas for her books. Although her published works cross sub-genres, romance is always at their heart. Tricia loves reading and writing historicals and her other great passion, time-travels.

 
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Cat and Mouse

Books We Love Ltd. | A Dr. Erica Merrill Mystery


A woman is shot dead while looking for her dog in a woodlot below her house. But local vet, Dr. Erica Merrill, who heard the shot, and her boyfriend Clay Caldwell, a deputy sheriff, don't think the killing was an accident, but that the wrong person was accidentally shot. When another attempt at murder is made, the police have two crimes with no suspects, and with no idea who was supposed to be murdered. The killer is furious at having shot the wrong person, the first episode in a grisly game of cat and mouse, where one player tries to trap the other, who succeeds in evading the deadly traps until the final resolution, which Erica tries to prevent.

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Cat and Mouse was short-listed for the Dark Oak mystery contest.

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Anne Barton is a retired veterinarian and flight instructor. Born in Drumheller, Alberta, she grew up in Idaho, and now lives in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia where she is deeply involved with Habitat for Humanity and the Anglican Church, when she isn't riding her horse or curling.

For more information about Anne's books including blurbs, reviews and purchase links, please visit her website: http://annebartonmysteries.ca/

 
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You Must Work Harder to Write Poetry of Excellence

BookThug


While Canadian poetic practices have steadily pluralised since the early 1960s, the poetry review has remained stubbornly constant. You Must Work Harder to Write Poetry of Excellence is a critical, and at times hilarious survey of reviews of innovative Canadian poetry in English since 1961. What is at stake in the reviewing of poetry? What fantasies are inherent to the practice? How is poetry itself produced in the reviewing of poetry? Why has the reviewing of poetry remained largely invisible to self-reflexive critique? These are some of the many questions You Must Work Harder to Write Poetry of Excellence dares to ask in its query to determine if poetry reviewers can claim to have the authority they imagine they have over their chosen subject. As a retort to the retrograde trend that is poetry reviewing in Canada, You Must Work Harder to Write Poetry of Excellence is the first book to detail the production and structure of an "aesthetic conscience" and demonstrate how this functions as the dynamic administrative apparatus of any aesthetic ideology. In short, this book opens for the first time a new and desperately needed channel in Canadian criticism.

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This lively, engagingly written, and theoretically sophisticated study takes a provocatively pointed look at postmodern Canadian poetry through the revealing lenses of its reviews: their ideological and moral blindspots, their lamented critical belatedness, and the "ongoing positions war" of their canonization practices. Mancini's theorizing of the "aesthetic conscience" and his astute analysis of the discourse of the "craft" of poetry are major additions to the critical work on reviewing. This is a "must" for anyone interested in Canadian poetry - and reviewing.

– Linda Hutcheon, author of The Canadian Postmodern; A Poetics of Postmoderism: History, Theory, Fiction; The Politics of Postmodernism.

In You Must Work Harder to Write Poetry of Excellence, Donato Mancini exposes and delimits the ideology behind a practice of poetry reviewing that functions more like diamond appraisal than intellectual engagement. If you read or write poetry whose clarity, carat, colour or cut is deemed flawed in such a critical political economy, you will find in Mancini’s work a challenge to aesthetic exclusivity that is incisive, expansive and potentially liberatory.

– Wayde Compton

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The interdisciplinary practice of Donato Mancini focuses mainly on bookworks, poetry, and text-based visual art. He is the author of four books of procedural and visual writings: Ligatures (2005) and Æthel (2007), Buffet World (2011), and Fact 'N' Value (2011). His collaborative visual works have been exhibited in Canada, the United States, Scandinavia and Cuba.

 
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How a Poem Moves

ECW Press


A collection of playfully elucidating essays to help reluctant poetry readers become well-versed in verse

Developed from Adam Sol’s popular blog, How a Poem Moves is a collection of 35 short essays that walks readers through an array of contemporary poems. Sol is a dynamic teacher, and in these essays, he has captured the humor and engaging intelligence for which he is known in the classroom. With a breezy style, Sol delivers essays that are perfect for a quick read or to be grouped together as a curriculum.

Though How a Poem Moves is not a textbook, it demonstrates poetry’s range and pleasures through encounters with individual poems that span traditions, techniques, and ambitions. This illuminating book is for readers who are afraid they “don’t get” poetry but who believe that, with a welcoming guide, they might conquer their fear and cultivate a new appreciation.

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“Going beyond the question of what poems mean, Sol investigates how they work — how they elicit emotion, provide or withhold information, and construct memorable images. His selections, largely derived from his time as a juror for the 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize, tend toward the relatively lesser-known, making this survey equally worthwhile for beginners who can learn from Sol’s instruction and for more seasoned readers who will delight in the new discoveries contained within.” — Publishers Weekly

“Adam Sol approaches poetry with a unique sensitivity; one that illustrates with exceptional clarity and insight, just how a poem moves.” — Scott Griffin, founder of the Griffin Poetry Prize

“In short, conversational essays that tease out music and meaning in equal measure, Adam Sol explores the living, beating heart of poetry. With an eye to poets of diverse backgrounds and aesthetic modes, and featuring impromptu asides on rhythm and meter, How a Poem Moves is just as at home in the university classroom as the doctor’s waiting room. Rich with lively commentary and shrewd insight, these essays trace a sharp and considerate mind at work. Sol is a thoughtful and affable guide to ignite — or reignite — a love of poetry.” — Cassidy McFadzean, award-winning author of Hacker Packer

“How a Poem Moves is the perfect antidote to the condition commonly known as Fear of Poetry. And Adam Sol is the perfect companion on this tour of the sounds, sights, and emotional delights of poetry. As someone who’s spent most of her life reading and writing poems, I’m thrilled by Sol’s ability to describe what he loves in a way that teaches me to see it, too.” — Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Life on Mars

“There is in our wounded world a great need for the balm and challenge poetry can provide. These beautiful, rich, and often surprising meditations get the reader excited about the gift that poems contain. Adam Sol trains the ear as much as the mind's eye. He is the Roger Tory Peterson of poetry. This is a book I will pass out like religious tracts to my friends. I am grateful for it.” — Shelagh Rogers, Host and Producer at The Next Chapter, CBC Radio One

 
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