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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.

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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You Haven’t Changed a Bit Launch at Audreys

The You Haven’t Changed a Bit launch last night at Audreys Bookstore attracted more than 50 enthusiastic short story lovers. Friends, family, and colleagues came out in support of Astrid Blodgett, who read her award-winning story, “Ice Break,” that was chosen for the Journey Prize Stories in 2012.

As ever, the wonderful owners and staff at Audreys were gracious hosts, providing a space full of books, chairs, and even a microphone for Astrid to make sure that everybody would hear her softer voice. The fun continued after the reading, with people enjoying wine and cheese and chocolate while Astrid signed book after book after book.

Richard Van Camp wasn’t able to make it to the launch last night, but he has finished reading the book and sent some enthusiastic words our way:

“Astrid Blodgett explores lives in flashpoint and innocence meeting regret forever in “You Haven’t Changed a Bit” (University of Alberta Press).  My favourite stories are ‘New Summer Dresses’ and ‘Ice Break.’ What a read. Congratulations, Astrid, on a collection I’ll be thinking of for a very long time. :)”

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Literary Cocktails 2013

It was wonderful to have many fans and friends out to celebrate with us on April 23. Literary Cocktails is the signature event of the University of Alberta Press. Once again, it took place in collaboration with the Edmonton Poetry Festival.

Literary Cocktails is the perfect occasion to launch UAP’s new fiction titles in a festive spirit — although we are still waiting for Spring! There was something for everyone: popular culture delivered by Kimmy Beach [The Last Temptation of Bond], dramatic prose from Astrid Blodgett [You Haven't Changed a Bit], and aboriginal history via Paul Zits’s poetry [Massacre Street].

Even though the sky was grey and gloomy, we had a lovely time, led by our MC, Patricia Demers, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies here at the University of Alberta. We recently published her latest book, Travels and Tales of Miriam Green Ellis.

A wonderful dimension was added by our musician-colleagues, Jerome Martin (piano) and Ted Bishop (guitar). The event was a huge success, and we hope to see all of you again next year!

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Petroleum History Society’s Book of the Year: We Gambled Everything

Arne Nielsen’s memoir, We Gambled Everything: The Life and Times of an Oilman, has received the prestigious Book of the Year award by the Petroleum History Society. Arne received a congratulatory letter and an invitation to the awards ceremony on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 27 as a part of the PHS’s Annual Meeting at the Petroleum Club in downtown Calgary.

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Arne’s book has been on the Calgary Herald‘s Best seller list three times since its publication in November 2012 and is available in EPUB and Kindle format.

There will be a book launch at the Calgary Petroleum Club (319 – 5th Street SW, Calgary) in the Trophy Lounge at 4:40 pm on Thursday, May 23rd.


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