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Regenerations/Régénérations Launched on November 13

In collaboration with the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and the Canadian Literature Centre, the University of Alberta Press launched Regenerations/Régénérations: Canadian Women’s Writing / Écriture des femmes au CanadaAlmost 40 of us enjoyed Marie Carriere’s introduction of Patricia Demers, who then said a few words about the book. Both are co-editors of the collection of sixteen essays exemplifying the progress of interdisciplinary research, collaboration, and publishing surrounding Canadian women’s writing.

Then Marie introduced the two mentors of the Blue Pencil Café, who read their work to the delight of all present.  Thea Bowering read from her new novel, Love at Last Sight, and Kimmy Beach read from her first collection of poetry, Nice Day for Murder, which celebrated its 20-year anniversary of publication that week.

There was a door prize of two tickets to the closing night of the Festival of Ideas, followed by a wine and cheese reception with lively conversation and book buying.


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Launch of the Scholar-in-Residence Blog

In 2014, the University of Alberta Press introduced a new concept in academic publishing, the Scholar-in-Residence. The purpose was to bring a professor’s voice to strategic planning at the Press and among administrators at the University of Alberta concerned with the future of scholarly publishing. Our first Scholar-in-Residence is Colleen Skidmore, a professor of the history of photography and a former senior administrator at the University of Alberta, most recently serving as Associate Vice-President (Academic).

The publishing and library sectors of public universities in Canada are engaged in deep and lively debates. Issues include present tensions and future forces on the timely and accessible dissemination of research findings, the evolving roles and structures of research libraries, expectations for new technologies, open access to and timely distribution of research findings, copyright and fair dealing, financial sustainability in academic publishing, and the future of the scholarly monograph.

Professor Skidmore wants to share what she is learning and thinking about the issues at play in Canadian scholarly monograph publishing with her colleagues: faculty, students, and independent scholars, as well as acquisitions editors at U of A and beyond. The blog, which launches today during University Press Week 2014, is one aspect of that work. Researcher-authors, students, and editors are the drivers of the future of book-length study, argument, and analysis that has been essential in the past to knowledge creation and social transformation. The debate about what is happening and how we will get there is of critical importance to the academy and one that UAP believes needs to be fostered.

Linda Cameron,


International Convention of University Presses at Frankfurt Book Fair

Academic publishers from around the world gather each October at the Frankfurt Book Fair to buy and sell international publishing rights and licences, to seek information and compare notes on new publishing technologies and services, and to explore means by which to develop and improve their roles and value in the university enterprise to disseminate new knowledge. The modern Frankfurt Book Fair, established in 1949, is an ideal venue for this exchange. It attracts over 7000 exhibitors, including academic presses, trade publishers, and technology vendors, from 100 countries, as well as nearly 300,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists over its five-day assembly.

In 2014, the second annual, multilingual International Convention of University Presses took place during the fair. Latin American university press networks initiated the International Convention with the goal of establishing links among national and regional university press networks around the world. A roundtable discussion explored the purpose and potential of an international association of university press associations. Taking up the question were representatives from eight countries: Argentina, Columbia, Brazil, Mexico, France, South Africa, the United States, and Canada. Five Canadian university presses (Alberta, Ottawa, Wilfred Laurier, McGill-Queen’s, UBC) attended as members of the Association of Canadian University Presses (ACUP). Linda Cameron, Director of the University of Alberta Press and Past President of ACUP, represented Canada on the roundtable panel.

Among the issues debated, three stood out: 1) with the internationalization of knowledge and the emergence of a global knowledge economy, academic publishing needs better infrastructure to enable and support more translation; 2) more international publishing partnerships are needed to facilitate the wider dissemination of knowledge; and, 3) in support of both of these two issues, a shared understanding of peer review practices is needed, and perhaps international standards for peer review need to be articulated.

Linda Cameron proposed a well-received concrete first step: that group members establish a database of grants and other funding support available in each country for enabling translation into other languages. Later sessions on support for international awareness of the humanities as well as open access cited such an initiative as the type that an international network of university press associations could undertake to effectively support the international flow of knowledge.


Round table "Toward the Formation of an Association of University Press Associations". On stage with Linda Cameron of the University of Alberta Press are: Peter Berkery, Executive Director of the Association of American University Presses; Emmanuelle Corne, AEDRES (L’Association des éditeurs de la recherche et de l’enseignement supérieur), France; and Hetta Pieterse, Unisa Press, South Africa.

Round table “Toward the Formation of an Association of University Press Associations”. On stage with Linda Cameron of the University of Alberta Press are: Peter Berkery, Executive Director of the Association of American University Presses; Emmanuelle Corne, AEDRES (L’Association des éditeurs de la recherche et de l’enseignement supérieur), France; and Hetta Pieterse, Unisa Press, South Africa.

Conrad Kain Launch on October 21, 2014

October 21, 2014 saw another excellent event come together. Our thanks to the Alpine Club of Canada members and their guests, who welcomed us to their monthly meeting.

Author Zac Robinson has spent close to ten years working with the letters of Conrad Kain, and gave a great talk about the life of the man who was one of Canada’s most legendary mountaineers.

Conrad Kain was born and raised in Austria, so it made sense to partner on the event with our colleagues from the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies. Thank you for helping us put together and publicize this convivial event.

Between the snacks, the beer, and an animated Q&A session, it was a lively evening and the perfect way to launch Conrad Kain: Letters from a Wandering Mountain Guide, 1906-1933 in Edmonton.

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US Colleague Comments on Events of October 22, 2014

To my friends and colleagues in Edmonton,

Yesterday we all watched in shock and disbelief as a Canadian soldier in the honour guard at the War Memorial in Ottawa was murdered and the assassin himself was killed in a gun battle inside Parliament. Among the thoughts racing through my head during the hours that followed were ones about all of you there in Ring House 2 busily working away doing all sorts of things related to scholarly publishing. As the afternoon ground on, and as reports trickled in on Twitter, Facebook, and on various websites, I kept coming back to those “things related to scholarly publishing.” It struck me that if UAP and other scholarly presses don’t continue to carry on with the dissemination of scholarship and research, ideas and ill-founded beliefs, such as those that inspired yesterday’s acts, will spread ever more rapidly.

To be sure, vigilance, preparedness, and all of those policing and military things are important in this wacky post-Cold War, post-modern, post-Vietnam, post-World War II, information besotted twenty-first century. But the publishing of good books grounded in reason, logic, and sound scholarship is equally crucial to our future.

My thoughts are with all of you and all of Canada as you mull over “what will happen next.” Whatever that is, don’t give up being a great publishing house and don’t stop being Canadians! I’m pretty certain that none of you need this advice from someone south of 49, but I just wanted you to know I was thinking of you and that I do care about what happens.

Fredric C. Bohm, Acquiring Editor
University of Alberta Press

Poetry Reading Season

A Notice to Poets:

The Robert Kroetsch Series of Canadian creative writing has gained significant recognition locally and internationally since its inception and, as a result, the number of poetry submissions to the University of Alberta Press has increased dramatically. In order to manage the acquisition and publication of poetry more effectively, beginning in September 2014 the Press will be instituting a Reading Season for poetry.

The Press remains committed to publishing innovative poetry by Canadian authors. We believe instituting a Reading Season will prove more satisfactory for authors and the Press.

The submission period for manuscripts will be between September and November of each year. At the end of the Reading Season, the manuscripts will be evaluated by an independent committee and up to three will be selected for publication.

Questions? Please contact Peter Midgley at (780) 492-7714 or pmidgley@ualberta.ca.


Rudy Wiebe at LitFest

Cathie and I have just spent a wonderful hour at LitFest’s CBC Centre Stage. Three emerging writers, who have been published in the award-winning Glass Buffalo Magazine, each read a short excerpt from Rudy Wiebe’s new book, Come Back (Alfred A. Knopf), read a piece of their own writing, and then discussed how it was connected in tone or inspiration to his book.

Deborah Ramkhelawan, Nicole Harrish, and Karla Comanda all graduated from the University of Alberta, as did Rudy Wiebe, who also taught creative writing there for many years. And so did Matthew Stephanic, host and editor of Glass Buffalo.

After the emotionally-charged readings, Rudy Wiebe took to the stage and talked about the writing process and how it took him almost 30 years to write about the tragic topic of suicide, the loss of a son.

He spoke about how we remember and how we use those memories and emotions in our writing. For instance, in Come Back, he uses a memory that “walks past the coffee shop and explodes in his character’s head.” He challenged the character to track that memory back, further and further, to create what happened and why.

You can hear Rudy Wiebe, who just celebrated his 80th birthday, on Tuesday, October 21 at the Milner Library Theatre. He’ll be appearing with Myrna Kostash, Aritha van Herk, and Thomas Warton.


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