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Kathleen Mallory Distinguished Lecture

One of our colleagues, Peter Midgley, has been invited to present the Spring 2011 lecture in the Kathleen Mallory Distinguished Lecture Series at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, AR on April 11.

The Kathleen Mallory Distinguished Lecture Series began in 2004 in an effort to bring to campus scholars who work in some area of African American or African Diasporic Studies. Southern Arkansas University boasts one of the highest percentages of African American students at U.S. colleges (not including BHCs), about 22%. The mission of this lecture series is to give students a sense of the interesting work being done by academics in African American/African Diasporic Studies. It is an opportunity to introduce them to role models. It is an opportunity to inspire them.

And no doubt Peter will inspire them: he has written a short critical biography of Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje, a founder member of the African National Congress and a leading African intellectual in the early twentieth century, and co-edited a collection of essays Grappling with the Beast: Indigenous Southern African Responses to Colonialism, 1850–1930.

Students in the Creative Writing class at SAU will also get an opportunity to speak with Peter face to face in a classroom visit, for besides his scholarly work, Peter is also a published poet whose bilingual collection, perhaps I should / miskien moet ek, appeared last year. Peter will also be visiting local schools to share his award-winning stories with the children. All in all, two action-packed days to showcase our Acquisitions Editor!

Since its inception, there has been a lot of enthusiasm for the Kathleen Mallory Distinguished Lecture Series, with annual attendance figures topping 500. Previous speakers include Kyra Gaunt, Rinaldo Walcott, Robin D.G. Kelley, Elaine Richardson, independent filmmaker Aaron Blandon, Dennis Rome, Melissa Harris-Perry (twice!) Sharon Holland, Quinton Dixie, Leslie Harris, Eddie Glaude, and Blair Kelley.

Dr. Linda Tucker, a University of Alberta alumna who organizes the Lecture Series, notes, “These lectures matter to the students. After one of the lectures a student from the Delta region of Mississippi who had been failing his courses arrived at my office. With tears in his eyes, he shared that listening to the speaker and hearing about her experiences and her work compelled him to rededicate himself to his studies. I see him frequently and although he continues to struggle academically, he is determined to graduate. One speaker made all the difference for him. I want more students to be similarly inspired. This series, I think, is helping to make that happen.”

If you would like to see a bit more about the lecture series and about its namesake Dr. Mallory—a truly beloved, recently retired, member of the Department of English & Foreign Languages, please visit http://web.saumag.edu/mallory/.

Edmonton’s Mayor’s Arts Awards

The Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, which is being held at the Winspear Centre on April 11, promises to be an exciting evening for two University of Alberta Press authors. Myrna Kostash (Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium) and Rudy Wiebe (Rudy Wiebe: Collected Stories, 1955-2010) have both been nominated for the City of Edmonton Book Prize! The third author on the list is Tim Bowling (Gaspereau Press) for In The Suicide’s Library. The finalist will be announced at the Mayor’s event, along with many other winners.

Other awards to be announced at the performance gala include Lifetime Achievement; The Telus Courage to Innovate Award; The John Poole Award for Promotion of the Arts; The Northlands Award for Emerging Artist; Molson Coors Award for Excellence in Artistic Direction; The Mayor’s Award for Sustained Support of the Arts; The Mayor’s Award for Innovative Support of the Arts by a Business; and the Stantec Youth Artist Awards. Congratulations to all of the nominees.

This Edmonton Journal article by Jamie Hall has all the details.

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)

Jerome Martin and the Grand Piano

Our colleague, Jerome Martin, is a publisher, Rotarian, and pianist. We encourage you to watch a wonderful video where Jerome and Mike Ryan oversee the delivery of a brand new grand piano to CapitalCare Grandview.

Grandview is home to 145 elderly and disabled adults who need full-time nursing care and services. The Rotary Club of Edmonton West supports this centre through donations that enhance quality of life for residents. Their most recent donation is this gorgeous piano, valued at $32,000. This video shows the joy it brought to residents. Be sure to watch the whole short video, because once the piano is delivered and assembled, Jerome shows just how great it sounds!

Henry Kreisel Memorial Lecture: Annabel Lyon

If you are looking for a stimulating evening, come out to hear Annabel Lyon give the 5th Annual Henry Kreisel Memorial Lecture.

I was fortunate enough to see her last week at Grant MacEwan, with members of my book club. She is an extraordinarily gifted and generous reader and speaker. I look forward to hearing her give the lecture on Monday here at the University of Alberta.

When: Monday, March 14, 2011, 7:30 pm
Where: Timms Centre for the Arts, University of Alberta (corner of 87 Ave. & 112 St.)

Past presenters include Joseph Boyden, Wayne Johnston, Dany Laferrière and Eden Robinson.

This year, the CLC is pleased to announce Annabel Lyon as the 2011 Kreisel lecturer. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture. All are welcome, entrance is free and no RSVP required.

About the author: Annabel Lyon is a Vancouver fiction writer and teacher. Her first books are Oxygen (2000), and The Best Thing for You (2004), which was nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. The Golden Mean (2009), her first novel and third work of fiction, holds the distinction of being the only book nominated that year for all three of Canada’s major fiction prizes: the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award for English language fiction and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the last of which it won. The Golden Mean was also nominated for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and is being published in six languages. Given its provocative book cover, it was banned from BC Ferries in 2010, has earned international critical acclaim, and has become a Canadian bestseller. It was recently named the Grant MacEwan University Book of the Year.

Peter Midgley Reads at The Untitled Bookshop

Come join League of Canadian Poets members Jenna Butler, Jannie Edwards, Peter Midgley, Nicole Pakan, and Patrick M. Pilarski, along with special guest Wendy Joy, for a night of winter-vanquishing verse.

In addition to fine words, there will be refreshments and a raffle for literature-related prizes. The event will occur at one of Edmonton’s newest and most exciting used bookstores: The Untitled Bookshop. Attendance free (but donations are welcome).

Thursday, March 10, 2011
7:30 pm (doors at 7:00 pm)
The Untitled Bookshop
No. 1, 10516 Whyte Avenue, Edmonton

We Get Mail! (Well, Peter Stursberg gets mail…)

A grateful reader recently sent a letter to Peter Stursberg, author of No Foreign Bones in China, via the U of A Press. The letter is reproduced below, with permission.

1st March 2011

Dear Mr. Stursberg,

My name is Richard Brockett. I am a retired lawyer and I live in Melbourne, Australia.

For several years now I have been researching into my family ‘Brockett’ history and in the course of my research recently came upon and read your book No Foreign Bones in China.

My grandfather (Thomas Brockett) is mentioned in your book. He is the ‘Brockett’ who ran the ‘hotel’ Arthur Stursberg lived in when he first arrived in Foochow in February 1907. He is also the ‘Brockett’ who in your book you have credited with writing the obituary of your grandfather, Captain Shaw.

Please allow me to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book. Not only did your book allow me to know a little more of my grandfather but it gave me insight into life in Foochow society that he and my grandmother Mary, who was Chinese, would possibly have experienced. Thomas died in October 1908 and I was born 40 years later, the year his wife passed.

I am also grateful for your book because I have found, in the course of my family research, that information on China of old is difficult to come by. Only recently I came upon the digital archives of the North China Herald and was able to glean some information from there. I have not been able to find digitalized copies of the Foochow Daily Echo, a newspaper you mention in your book. In particular I would have liked to read the obituary of Captain Shaw that Thomas wrote. All our family records including Thomas’ correspondence and old photographs were lost either during WW2 or when the family eventually left China for good after grandmother Mary passed in 1948.

Again I thank you for having written No Foreign Bones in China and for the pleasure it has given me.




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