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“A Canadian Girl in South Africa” Launch at Carlton University

The book launch for A Canadian Girl in South Africa, sponsored by the Department of History and the Institute of African Studies, was a big success. The history lounge at Carleton was packed with over 60 people. The visual elements received many compliments, with Maud Graham’s photographs scrolling on a digital screen and a large blow-up poster of the book jacket.

John Walsh was an excellent moderator; he asked questions of editors Susanne Klausen and Catherine Gidney that spurred them to discuss different aspects of the project. A lively question period was followed by refreshments.

Catherine Gidney and Susanne Klausen show Maud Graham’s original book next to their edited edition of A Canadian Girl in South Africa. Co-editor Michael Dawson was not able to attend the launch.

Musings from Tanya, UAP Intern – #2

The Mystery of Metadata: Solved!

Metadata seems to be one of those words that people pretendMetadataInigoMontoya to know, without actually understanding what it means. When I say this, I am specifically thinking about Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride saying, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

I couldn’t resist…

When trying to find a definition, it’s always a good idea to start simply. In this case, with a dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines metadata as “data that describes and gives information about other data.” Data about data. What on Earth does that mean? Probably the best example is to look at a book. In this sense, the metadata is information about the book. What type of information? Anything and everything! Let’s look at one of our earlier books…

ZucchiniLooking at this image, metadata includes the following: title, subtitle, author, description, publisher, publisher location, publication date, subject terms, size, length, price, etc.

While metadata is used in a number of ways throughout the supply chain, I wanted to ask why it is important to a publishing house.

Well, if publishing house are in the business of making books, it certainly helps if people can find them! Yes, library cataloguers use metadata to organize their materials in online databases. But, it’s not just library cataloguers. Companies like Amazon use metadata intensively. Have you ever tried to find a specific book on Amazon? If yes, you are already using metadata without even knowing it.

Now that you are an expert “metadata-ist”, you can have fun throwing the word around at fancy dress parties to impress all your friends and colleagues!

Featured Reviews of “The Little Third Reich on Lake Superior”

“The firsthand accounts collected through interviews over the years alone make The Little Third Reich on Lake Superior: A History of Canadian Internment Camp R an important addition to the literature, providing a much better understanding about life in a Canadian internment camp. Further, the experience of Camp R demonstrated to Canadian authorities the need for better constructed facilities, provision of adequate recreational activities, and the need to avoid mixed camps of hard core Nazis, prisoners of war, and interned civilians. It was the origin for rewriting prisoner classifications and rights within internment camps in 9781772120318Canada…” Research Matters, December 11, 2014 [Read full review.]

“In the carnival of Canadian oddities, none is more curious than The Little Third Reich On Lake Superior. Historian Ernest Zimmerman of Lakehead University chronicles the strange events that saw 1,150 men and boys – Jews and Nazis alike – herded into bunkhouses northeast of Thunder Bay in the winter of 1940. It was a “third-rate jungle prison”, one inmate recalled; another complained it was like being kidnapped and dragged into the wilderness.” Full review by Holly Doan, Blacklock’s Reporter, October 3, 2015

Michel Beaulieu’s interview on CBC Radio’s Superior Morning talking about the book and the launch on October 27, 2015

Frankfurt Book Fair 2015

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the most important marketplace for books, media, rights and licences worldwide. More than 7,300 exhibitors from 100 countries, 299,000 visitors and over 10,000 journalists attended. It is a meeting place for the industry’s experts: publishers, booksellers, agents, film producers, and authors.

The Mission of the Fair is to advance international networking within the book industry and to make the industry’s practices more professional.

The Guest of Honour was Indonesia. It is the custom of the GofH to showcase cultural activities from their country. In the case of Indonesia there was a display of books and of poetry which had been printed on square lighted tubes suspended from the ceiling. There was also live theatre performances and a cooking show which featured fabulous Indonesian spices.

My calendar was very full and included attendance at several meetings:

  • the Commonwealth Book Publishers’ Association,
  • the International Rights Directors meeting,
  • a networking dinner with university press directors who are members of the Association of American University Presses, and
  • attendance at the International Convention of University Presses
  • I met with publishers, agents and other representatives from England, Germany, the US, India, Canada, The Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia, and China.

Salmon Rushdie opened the Fair with a speech that resulted in a boycott of the Fair by the Iranian publishers. The Iranian ministry of culture cancelled its participation, saying that, “Fair officials chose the theme of freedom of expression, but they invited someone who has insulted our beliefs”.

The novelist spoke of how freedom of expression is being challenged by violence and threats against those in the book industry, from writers and translators to publishers and booksellers. “Publishers and writers are not warriors, we have not tanks. But it falls to us to hold the line,” he said, according to a report in The Bookseller.

“Standard candles” Launch at the Observatory

At the University of Alberta Press, we believe that “happy authors” make for happy publishing experiences for everyone involved. Over the years, many of our authors have become friends, and none more so than Alice Major.

The observatory of the U of A Physics Department was the perfect settings for launching Standard candles, as one event in the long lineup of LitFest, Edmonton’s non-fiction literary festival.

We enjoyed working with Sharon Morsink — Associate Professor in the U of A Physics Department and an astrophysicist whose research focuses on neutron stars and relativistic astrophysics. Sharon gave us a brief yet thrilling demonstration of how a standard candle helps estimate distance. (We even got to wear diffraction glasses!)

Peter Midgley, UAP‘s Acquisitions Editor, introduced Alice:

Alice’s latest collection, Standard candles, is yet again a work of significance. She experiments with more traditional poetic forms such as the sonnet and Spenserian stanza, terza rima and ballad, as well as with contemporary free verse and nonce stanza forms. This careful play with form helps to shape her work in intricate ways.

In Standard candles, the poems weave together in precise ways to reveal a passionate humanity behind science. As our scientific understanding of our universe increases star by star, or space probe by space probe, Alice assimilates this information to marvel at the ever-unfolding mystery of our world.

Under the playfulness of imagining a set of gods of all things—from prime numbers and gravity, to kites and darts and teapots and cats and hearts—there lurks an inquiry into the personal, into an understanding of human emotions such of grief and loss. In contrast to these personal poems, and in a way that seldom surfaces as vehemently in her work as it does here, the poems of the final section, Underworlds, reveal a barely disguised anger and frustration at our obliviousness to social issues such as unemployment, poverty, and homelessness.

This a strong, confident collection of poetry that reveals an author at the peak of her career. May she remain there for many more years.

After a very fine reading by Alice Major, the observatory staff opened the telescopes. It was a clear evening and the moon was wondrous. We were all glowing like the brightest of stars by the end of the evening. Thanks to everyone for participating in this fine celebration.

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JUST WORDS #MMIW at LitFest 2015

Each year LitFest hosts a Just Words panel discussion on topics in social justice writing. This year, the choice of topic was finding justice for Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Prior to the event, people were able to take in the sobering Red Dress Photography Project in the Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre lobby.

UAP author Shawna Ferris (Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities) was one of the three panelists. Moderator Tanya Kappo did a wonderful job of asking searching questions that launched the panelists into a powerful, passionate, and wide-ranging discussion. It might be hard to believe, but there were moments of humour as the speakers talked about everything from resiliency to post-traumatic stress.

Audience members asked informed questions, such as whether there was a need for a federal inquiry into the issue and how to avoid “blaming the victim.” An hour was not long enough!

LitFest 2015 Starts Today!

With fall colours and freshness comes the colourful line-up of Edmonton’s LitFest, entertaining us for 10 days, from October 15 to 25.

We are happy to see many familiar faces in the line-up. Current, past and future UAP authors, and others having a working relationship with us are featured this year

Jenna Butler [Wells, UAP, 2012] is part of the Festival Launch & Elevator Cabaret today, October 15 at 6:00 pm at The Mercury Room, along with Ted 9781772120059_largeBishop, who plays his guitar at UAP’s Literary Cocktails.

Shawna Ferris, author of Street Sex Work and Canadian Citiesis part of the panel discussion on social justice on October 18 at 2:00 pm at the Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre.

Lynn Coady [Who Needs Books?] will be featured in An Evening with Jon Ronson on October 20 at 7:00 pm at the Winspear Centre.

9781772120912_largeMyrl Coulter [A Year of Days] will share the stage with Rosemary Sullivan at the Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre on October 21 at 7:00 pm.

Alice Major’s newest poetry collection, Standard candles launches at the Observatory of the University of Alberta’s Department of Physics on October 22, 7:00 pm. Look through the telescopes after hearing Alice read. 

Every LitFest seems to be better than the one before it! We hope you will join these wonderful authors and the many others who add to the cultural energy of our city.



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