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Shortlisted University of Alberta Press Books

Keep your fingers crossed! There are five UAP books in the running for various awards. Three are finalists in Foreword’s Book of the Year Award, and two are shortlisted for the 2014 Alberta Literary Awards.

The three contenders for Foreword’s Book of the Year Awards are The Peace-Athabasca Delta [Kevin P. Timoney] in the Ecology & Environment category, Massacre Street [Paul Zits] in the Poetry category, and Canada’s Constitutional Revolution [Barry L. Strayer] in the Political Science category.

In the 2014 Alberta Literary Awards, Massacre Street [Paul Zits] is shortlisted for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, and Astrid Blodgett’s short story, “New Summer Dresses” (from You Haven’t Changed a Bitis in the running for the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story.

Congratulations to all the authors!


Baba’s Kitchen Medicines – Accolades Continue with Kobzar Shortlist

Baba’s Kitchen Medicines is one of our best selling books. It grabs the attention of academics and the general public, the old and the young and everyone in between. You certainly don’t have to be Ukrainian or have Ukrainian heritage in order to enjoy it!

Earlier in 2013, Baba’s Kitchen Medicines won bronze for Canada West, Best Regional Non-Fiction in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, and was a finalist for the Foreword Book of the Year Awards.


Linda Cameron with Michael, displaying the Independent Publisher Book Award

In May 2013, Michael received the inaugural Research Award of Augustana Campus, where he’s been teaching since 1974. Read more about it on the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus page.

Now, we are delighted to say the 2014 Kobzar Award shortlist has been released, and Baba’s Kitchen Medicines is one of the five titles recognized. Congratulations once again, Michael!


The Kobzar Literary $25,000 Biennial Award recognizes outstanding contributions to Canadian literary arts by authors who develop a Ukrainian Canadian theme with literary merit in one of several genres: literary non-fiction, fiction, poetry, young readers’ literature, plays, screenplays, and musicals.

Michael will be reading from his book at this year’s International Festival of Authors on October 27 and will also attend the gala awards banquet on March 15, 2014, where the prize winner is announced. Both events are in Toronto.

We have enjoyed partnering with Michael to promote his fascinating primary research into Ukrainian Canadian folk history.

Alberta Book Awards Gala 2013

This year’s Alberta Book Awards Gala was a wonderful event, with over 250 people attending. The banquet room at the Delta Edmonton Centre Suite Hotel was festive and welcoming. Mayor Stephen Mandel’s opening remarks were followed by the engaging keynote address of  Shelagh Rogers, CBC host of “The Next Chapter.” The event’s emcee, Todd Babiak, kept us all entertained after we enjoyed a scrumptious meal.

The appreciation for books, writers, publishers, designers, readers, funders — indeed, all those involved in the process of words materializing into books — was tremendous. With strong candidates in each category, the juries must have had a hard time selecting the winners! Our congratulations to all who made the shortlist and to the winners. It was a particular pleasure to see George Melnyk receive a lifetime achievement award.

After the ceremonies, Colleen Brown, Jerome Martin, and Art Fadum provided the closing part of the event: attendees danced the night away to their much-enjoyed musical performance.

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AATSEEL Awards Winner: Dr. Alla Nedashkivska

Alla Nedashkivska had to keep a great secret: she learned back in October from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, that her book, Ukrainian Through its Living Culture, had won the prestigious AASTEEL Award in 2012 for Best Contribution to Language Pedagogy. The Awards Committee representative told her that  “the pool was strong and the competition extremely stiff.”

Dr. Alla Nedashkivska believes that placing language learning within a cultural framework enlivens the learning process and jumpstarts contextual conversations in the classroom. She has crafted a textbook that presents a modern version of Ukrainian, one that will encourage students’ interest in learning, with the goal of building proficiency in the language and knowledge of Ukrainian culture and society. Ukrainian Through its Living Culture is excellent for studies over a longer period, using the intermediate exercises to start, then progressing to the advanced exercises to cement comprehension. An absolute must for anyone teaching or learning Ukrainian at senior levels.

Alla was invited to attend the awards ceremony and to present her research at the annual conference held in Boston. Congratulations Alla!


Heather Zwicker & the 3M National Teaching Fellowship

In 1986, the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and 3M Canada joined to reward exceptional contributions to teaching and learning at Canadian universities. The community of 3M National Teaching Fellows embodies the highest ideals of teaching excellence and scholarship with a commitment to enhance the educational experience of every learner.

One of this year’s recipients is Heather Zwicker, Professor and Vice-Dean at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Arts. Heather is an excellent addition to the more than 250 Fellows throughout Canada, working to enhance teaching and learning. While it is difficult to keep up with Heather, keep reading to learn about some of her recent projects.

9780888645500_largeThe University of Alberta Press was delighted to work with Heather as one of the editors and a contributor of Not Drowning But Waving, a welcome progress report on the variety of feminisms at work in academe and beyond.

Heather Zwicker is a creator of and contributor to Hook & Eye, a blog that is both an intervention and an invitation. The contributors write about the realities of being women working in the Canadian university system.

Her recent work includes Edmonton Pipelines, a collection of digital maps and literary provocations by four collaborators: Daniel Laforest, Heather Zwicker, Maureen Engel and Russell Cobb.

Given all of this activity in addition to her marvellous teaching, congratulations are definitely in order!

University Press Week

November 11-17 is University Press Week, a little-known celebration, proclaimed by Jimmy Carter in 1978, to highlight the extraordinary work of university presses and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.

The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) is encouraging university presses to commemorate this week with special events at universities and in communities across the country and across the continent. AAUP’s initiatives include a Blog Tour, with 26 participating member presses, and a Mapping Project that includes the University of Alberta Press’s own custom Google map that illustrates the geographic range of our most recent work. It was such fun to do, we plan to extend the map going forward!

The importance of celebrating University Presses (and publishing in general) is more important now than it has ever been, with the publishing industry facing numerous challenges that affect us all: publishers, book sellers, authors, and readers.

Recognitions Abound for UAP Authors

Wherever you look, you’ll find one of our authors recognized for his or her work. Whether poet, scholar, scientist, or novelist, our authors’ work is acknowledged and appreciated in many ways!

The Poet:

rob mclennan has been longlisted for the CBC Poetry Competition. One of his poems was chosen from more than 2,300 submissions to be one of the 36 works on the longlist. Congratulations, rob!

The Novelists:

Russell Wagnersky, one of the contributors of an anthology forthcoming from the University of Alberta Press, has been longlisted for the Giller Prize. His short story collection, Whirl Away, also made the shortlist. We’re keeping our fingers crossed, Russell!

There was one more familiar face/name on the long list for the Giller Prize: Annabel Lyon and her newest book, The Sweet Girl. She is the author of the award-winning book,  The Golden Mean. UAP was pleased to publish Annabel’s lecture, Imagining Ancient Women, this year. Way to go, Annabel!

More to come about The Scholar and The Scientist in our future posts!

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Alberta Book Awards, 2012 Edition

The 2012 Alberta Book Awards were better than ever, with over 200 people in attendance. What a tremendous showing from the literary community! Jackie Flanagan’s keynote speech was the perfect start to the evening, delivered with emphasis, empathy, and emotion. Her talk about F.M. Salter, father of Alberta letters, and her well-expressed views on the importance of culture and literacy received a warm reception.

It went on to be a particularly stellar night for Alberta’s university presses. The University of Alberta Press had a hand in four of the award-winning projects:

  • Alice Major won the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for her remarkable book, Intersecting Sets. It was doubly sweet, coming on the heels of a phone call telling her that one of her essays from the book had won a Gold award in the National Magazine Awards. “Ultraviolet Catastrophes” was published in a special joint issue of The New Quarterly and Arc Poetry Magazine.
  • Susan McCaslin came all the way from Victoria, BC to win the inaugural Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry for her book, Demeter Goes Skydiving. And surely Robert was sitting beside Susan and Kath MacLean, who recently won WordFest’s Anne Green Award, cheering them on.
  • Ann Hall’s marvelous book, The Grads Are Playing Tonight!, won the Trade Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award. This was a tough award for us, as two other UAP titles were in the running. Our hearts were in our mouths and our hearts were on our sleeves, thrilled for the one author and bleeding for the other two.
  • It was heart-warming to hear the whoops and congratulatory susurration as Peter Midgley’s name was called. He took home the Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence for his work with Jalal Barzanji, on The Man in Blue Pyjamas. Jalal, his wife Sabah and daughter Niga were in the audience.

Sarah Carter and Patricia McCormack won the Scholarly and Academic Book Award for Recollecting: Lives of Aboriginal Women of the Canadian Northwest and Borderlands, published by Athabasca University Press. This is another remarkable book from topnotch scholars. (UAP and AUP co-published Sarah Carter’s award-winning book The Importance of Being Monogamous in 2008).

The University of Calgary Press was named Publisher of the Year. Our director, Linda Cameron, as President of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA) and winner of the award last year, had the honour of handing the trophy to Donna Livingstone and her gifted team. NeWest Press, another crowd favourite, was runner-up for its consistently excellant work.

A highlight of the evening was seeing Wayne Arthurson take home $10,000 for the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award, sponsored by the Edmonton Public Library, for his book, Fall From Grace.

Alan Brownoff was pleased to see two talented peers take home design awards: Natalie Olsen of Kisscut Design for House of Spells by Robert Pepper-Smith and our colleague Marvin Harder for Three-Persons and the Chokitapix by Allen Ronaghan.

As Jannie Edwards said in her moving acceptance speech for the James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction, “It takes a tribe to create a writer.” And the tribe was in full evidence to celebrate Fred Stenson for his work as he accepted the WGA’s Golden Pen Award, and founding board member of NeWest Press, Diane Bessai, who was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the book publishing industry. That tribe will be out in force as its members ponder the sudden and deep cuts to the Literary Press Group (LPG), a not-for-profit association of Canadian literary book publishers, whose mandate is to foster the survival, growth and maintenance of Canadian owned and operated publishing houses through advocacy and group initiatives.

It takes several tribes to bring off such a fabulous event. Our thanks to:

We can’t begin to describe all the wonderful moments; if you weren’t able to come this year, be sure to plan on being part of the gathering in Edmonton next spring, when we come together once again to celebrate writers, creators, designers, and publishers.

ForeWord Magazine Finalists Announced

ForeWord Reviews today announced the 2010 Book of the Year Awards list of finalists. Representing more than 350 publishers, the finalists were selected from 1400 entries in 56 categories. These books are examples of independent publishing at its finest.

The winners will be determined by a panel of librarians and booksellers selected from our readership. Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners, as well as Editor’s Choice Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction will be announced at a special program at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans this June.

ForeWord’s Book of the Year Awards program was created to spotlight distinctive books from independent publishers. What sets the awards apart from others is that final selections are made by real judges—working librarians and booksellers—based on their experiences with patrons and customers.

We are excited to see six University of Alberta Press authors listed as finalists this year:

The Contemporary Arab Reader on Political Islam (Political Science)
J.B. Harkin: Father of Canada’s National Parks (Biography)
Memory’s Daughter (Poetry)
Too Bad (Poetry)
Prodigal Daughter (Religion)
Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? (Regional)

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!


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