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Three American Association of University Presses (AAUP) Awards for Design

Family Day Weekend started with a bang with some terrific news. On Friday, we received news that three University of Alberta Press titles had won design awards from the prestigious AAUP Book, Journal & Jacket Show.

Of 281 books submitted, only 46 books and journals are included in this year’s show. For covers, there were 272 entries, with only 41 chosen.

This year, the jurors selected three books designed by our designer, Alan Brownoff. The first was for Book Design in the category of Poetry and Literature, for Rudy Wiebe: Collected Stories, 1955–2010. The Measure of Paris by Stephen Scobie and Too Bad by Robert Kroetsch both won for Jackets & Covers.

The work of the following three artists was used on these covers: Alejandro Magallanes, Brassaï, and Vivian Thierfelder. The University of Alberta Press is deeply appreciative of their work.

For the first time, almost all of the Canadian university presses are represented in the AAUP Book, Journal & Jacket Show. The University of Alberta Press believes design is one of the ways a publisher can add value to a book. Clearly, other Canadian university presses agree!

Alan is one of the judges for the Alcuin Awards for Book Design in Canada once again. Judging is in March, with winners announced in April on their website.

Congratulations to the authors of these marvelous books, and, of course, to Alan. Well done!

Rudy Wiebe on CKUA’s Bookmark

Late last fall, Rudy Wiebe talked with Ken Davis on CKUA’s Bookmark. It’s a fascinating discussion about fiction, particularly about historical fiction, prairie fiction, and some fundamental differences between short stories and novels. Rudy also shares some personal stories, how people, places, and events in his life helped guide and shape his development as a writer.


The entire Bookmark episode can be found here.

Will the Real Calgary Please Stand Up?

After an amazing launch at the Provincial Archives in Edmonton, the inimitable Geo Takach headed to Calgary to introduce folks there to his delightful and iconoclastic exploration of Wild Rose Country with the launch of Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? at Pages on Kensington.

Geo couldn’t bring the full entourage to Calgary (I’m sure Albertosaurus was saurly missed), but by all accounts the launch was entertaining and edifying.

Photos courtesy of none other than Bud Edgar (A.K.A. Bronco Buddy).

Ceremony of Naming for Pîwapisk-omostos

Earle Waugh told us of a very important honour that he recently received.

I want to share a special moment with you because without your support and assistance, this honor would never have occurred. In a sweat lodge owned by Emile Derocher originally from Goodfish Lake, Alberta, and at a sweat ceremony held on the ceremonial grounds at Alberta Hospital on Saturday January 29, I was honored by the Cree people with the presentation of the distinguished name of Pîwapisk-omostos. Before the second round of the sweat, medicine person Clifford Cardinal noted:

This man had been friends of the Aboriginal peoples for a long time, and had been living in Cree territory for much of his life. He had exhibited great concern for the health and well-being of the people, and had worked very hard to bring traditional healing ways into the system.  He had spent many years working on a great Cree Dictionary that had contributed much to the Cree language. He had also written much on the Cree people. It is time that we recognize him as a man of this land.

Then he sang four very powerful songs Cree songs. Later he indicated that he was at a loss as to what the name should be until the spirits made known a name that is not common among the Cree people, but rather is from the Sioux people in the south. He recalled hearing of the great bull spirit as a child, and had learned of that spirit many years ago, but had since forgotten until the moment of naming. Pîwapisk-omostos is Cree for Iron Bull, the great traditional chief of the River Crow people in Yellowstone Park area. A fearful warrior, he was one of the last of the hereditary traditional Chiefs.

This is a fabulous honour, well deserved and humbly received. Congratulations, Earle.

UPDATE: University of Alberta’s ExpressNews posted a lovely story on Earle’s honour.

Old Bones and Albertosaurus

You never know where old bones will show up. On a recent trip to Ottawa I spent a lovely evening at the home of my friend and former director of the University of Ottawa Press, Vicki Bennett, and her husband Alain Erdmer. While enjoying a delicious dinner prepared by Alain we discussed many things including recent publications by the University of Alberta Press.

At Geo's book launch in Edmonton, Jeff Carpenter played the role of Albertosaurus and brought down the house.

When conversation turned to Geo Takach’s book Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up?, Vicki, herself a native Albertan, jumped up from the table and scooted into the living room where she proudly showed me an Albertosaurus fossil given to her by Alain’s brother, University of Alberta professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, Philippe Erdmer. In Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? Geo “interviews” an Albertosaurus who is quite annoyed by the media attention accorded T-Rex and feels more attention should be shown to the dinosaur whose name is linked with our province.

Vicki is the loving owner of two horses, Bella, and her daughter, a beautiful paint named Zip. Prior to my visit that evening Vicki had gone on the UA Press website and seen the cover of Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? She thought it would be great fun to take me to the barn where her horses are kept and let me stand on the saddle on Zip with a lasso à la the photo which appears on the cover of Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up?. I demurred, perhaps another time.

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