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Forging a Nation: Canada Goes to War

A travelling exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI is presented by the University of Alberta Museums at the Enterprise Square Galleries (10230 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton). Forging a Nation: Canada Goes to War features more than 60 works of art from around the world. The exhibition continues until August 16.

The University of Alberta Press joins in the celebration by providing a complimentary copy of the book, Great Canadian War Stories, to the first 100 people who attend the exhibition. UAP also published Tony Fabijancic’s Bosnia, a travel history following the footsteps of Gavrilo Princip, whose assassination of Archduke Ferdinand is often said to have been a triggering event to WWI. In a forthcoming book, Landscapes of War and Memoryauthor Sherrill Grace examines the effect wars have had on Canadian writers and artists.


IPPY Award Winners!

The Independent Publisher Book Awards honour the year’s best independently published titles from around the world. Winners have been chosen from some 4000 entries this year, and two UAP books are among them!

Kevin Timoney’s The Peace-Athabasca Delta: Portrait of a Dynamic Ecosystem won Gold in the Canada-West, Best Regional Non-Fiction category. Shy: An Anthology, edited by Naomi Lewis & Rona Altrows, won Silver in the National Category for anthologies.

Rona Altrows, co-editor of Shy, went to New York to represent the anthology at the awards ceremony in New York on May 29. It was an excellent experience.

Congratulations to all!

Alberta Book Awards 2014

The Alberta Book Awards at the Palliser Hotel last Friday brought out many Alberta writers and publishers, all dressed up for a time of fellowship and celebration. So many fine books nominated! We felt for the jurors making the tough choices; we cheered for each winner.

The University of Alberta Press and its authors brought home two awards this year: Scholarly Book for Peace-Athabasca Delta (Kevin Timoney) and Trade Non-Fiction Book for Disinherited Generations (Nellie Carlson and Kathleen Steinhauer, as told to Linda Goyette).

It was particularly sweet to see our poet Paul Zits take home the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for his remarkable work, Massacre Street.

John King’s work with the publishing community in Alberta, and long-time service with the University of Calgary Press, was recognized with a lifetime achievement award.

Keynote speaker Donna McElligott of the CBC shares our love of the physical book and expressed it beautifully in an impassioned and intelligent talk.

For us, the sweetest moment of the entire evening was applauding the presentation of the Golden Pen Award to the talented, generous, and delightful Alice Major. We have been honoured to publish four of her publications: The Occupied World, Office Tower Tales, Memory’s Daughter, and Intersecting Sets.

Our thanks to the many people who made the book awards possible this year, with a special shout-out to Kieran Leblanc and Donna White of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta and the good folk at the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.

Enjoy the slideshow!

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Literary Cocktails 2014

This year’s Literary Cocktails on April 24 – the signature event held by the University of Alberta Press during the Edmonton Poetry Festival – proved to be very popular once again. We set up the Papaschase Room theatre style to accommodate all the faithful supporters of poetry, and almost all of the 100 chairs were filled!

The rain stopped and the sun came out to celebrate four new poetry books published by UAP. Peter Midgley read from as if by E.D. Blodgett, who unfortunately had to cancel his appearance. Next was Melissa Morelli Lacroix reading from her first collection A Most Beautiful Deception, followed by Stephen Scobie [At the limit of breath: Poems on the films of Jean-Luc Godard], who flew in from Victoria to be part of Literary Cocktails. Winnipeg’s Dennis Cooley was the last reader, providing “comic relief” as he put it, with playful poems from abecedarium.

Our MC this year was Paul Martin from MacEwan University, who is a UAP author himself. His book, Sanctioned Ignorance, is on the shortlist for the 2013 Gabrielle Roy Prize. We were lucky to have our two musicians with us again this year: the multi-talented Jerome Martin (piano) and Ted Bishop (guitar). Another special thank you goes to Steve Budnarchuk of Audreys Books, who is there year after year to showcase and sell wonderful books all through the poetry festival.

It was such a treat to see all of you! Please join us again next April.

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Will not forget both laughter and tears: Book launch

We enjoyed a wonderful, well-attended event on April 3 to celebrate the publication of Will not forget both laughter and tears, Yukari Meldrum’s translation of Tomoko Mitani’s Wasurenai, warai mo namida mo. Things went beautifully, due to contributions from many people.

East Asian Studies helped with the venue, publicity, and organization. The Prince Takamado Japan Centre supplied both financial and technical aid: it was due to their contributions that we had such fabulous catering. Yukari really appreciated all of Barbara’s support with our inaugural Skype connection, allowing Tomoko to join the conversation with the large crowd. Peter Midgley and Colleen Skidmore from the U of A Press sold books with flair.

The person who did the most, of course, was Yukari herself. She developed the program, ensured that the technical aspects were well covered, delivered a terrific presentation, and acted as Tomoko’s translator. Multi-talented!

The evening was particularly special to the U of A Press staff in attendance, as it was our first opportunity to interact with Tomoko Mitani, author of Will not forget both laughter and tears. As much as we have enjoyed publishing and promoting her book in translation, there is nothing like that personal connection.

Thank you, one and all, for your efforts and support.


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Will not forget both laughter and tears

Yukari F. Meldrum’s translation from Japanese to English has understandably been gathering media attention. Translations are not in the forefront of Canadian literature, though many Canadians would put such books on their reading list. Will not forget both laughter and tears by Tomoko Mitani — a collection of short stories and a novella — introduces us to what everyday life in Japan is like.

Michael Hingston’s column appeared in the Edmonton Journal  on Friday, January 31, but you can still read it online. Work of Arts (presented by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta) published an article, “Not lost in translation”, on January 30. Yukari was also interviewed by Sarah Hoyles on CKUA’s ArtBeat on February 2. The interview starts at minute 6:00.

The book launch is going to be on April 3, so save the date and check the Facebook page for the event for more details. It promises to be a wonderful event with a talk about translation, a chance to converse with the author via Skype, and a reception.

“Just Getting Started” Launch

Just Getting Started, the book about the Edmonton Public Library’s first 100 years, was launched with a celebratory event sponsored by EPL, UAP, and LitFest.

October 22, just one day after the municipal elections in Alberta, was a great day to celebrate not just the publication of Just Getting Started, but also the contribution of EPL to the culture of the city of Edmonton. Many people have been, are, and will be touched and empowered by the library and its staff. Be sure to view EPL’s centennial video full of “EPL firsts” and also the reviews of Just Getting Started.

The program started with short, passionate, and appreciative speeches by:

  • Ben Henderson, City Councillor
  • Ellen Calabrese-Amrhein, Chair, EPL Board of Trustees
  • Steve Joyce, Chair, Friends of the Edmonton Public Library
  • Gerald Beasley, Vice Provost and Chief Librarian, University of Alberta
  • John J. McDonald, Vice-Chair, EPL Board of Trustees

Todd Babiak said a few words about the book and then interviewed an interesting and engaging panel:

  • Linda Cook, CEO, Edmonton Public Library
  • Heather Bell-Dowling, former EPL staff member
  • Heather Zwicker, professor and Vice-Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta

We all enjoyed their conversation so much – a wealth of information, anecdotes, and observations. The reception that followed — in the nearby Centennial room —  featured delicious food and beverages.

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Look at more photos courtesy of Donna Fong.

Edmonton Launch of Shy: An Anthology

Almost 50 people left behind last-minute yardwork to come and enjoy what was billed as “a semi-raucous celebration of shyness.” A wonderful description for the afternoon of poetry and essays and laughter!

Six Alberta contributors to Shy: An Anthology overcame their desire to stay out of the spotlight and shared their thoughtful and well-expressed insights: Ben Gelinas, Shawna Lemay, Elizabeth Haynes, Cassy Welburn, Rona Altrows, and Naomi K. Lewis.

It was a lovely afternoon. In the words of Rona Altrows, “Thanks to all our contributing readers, to the UAP, to Audreys Books, to Peter Midgley for kind opening words, to Cathie Crooks for managing the reception, and to the many people who came out to support us. A beautiful event.”

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Lawrence Hill in Edmonton

The University of Alberta Press has been fortunate to have published last year’s CLC Lecture: Dear Sir, I Intend to Burn Your Book by Lawrence Hill. He returned to Edmonton this fall to deliver the 2013 CBC Massey Lecture, to participate in the CLC’s Brown Bag Lunch, an informal talk about his new book: Blood, and to be on the panel of Writing in Blood at LitFest.

Linda Cameron, Cathie Crooks, Peter Midgley and I went to the CLC‘s talk at lunch time and had a chance to say hello to Lawrence, who is an interesting and engaging speaker. If you have a chance, it might not be too late to get tickets to the Massey Lecture and/or to the LitFest event.

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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.


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