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Berries and Blooms Photo Contest

Have some Summer fun with the University of Alberta Press!

We are running a photo contest on our Facebook page and eagerly await your submissions. Send us a photo (or two!) of berries or blooms (or berries AND blooms), and the lucky winner will win a copy of Why Grow Here: Essays on Edmonton’s Gardening History by Kathryn Chase Merrett.

Submit your entry between August 4 – August 17 by posting a photo in the comment section of the event. The winner will be announced on August 22.

Good luck, everyone!

Berries & Blooms_cover
Maximum two photo submission per person.
No photoshopped images.
Members of the Press and their family members are not eligible to win – though they can submit🙂

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

And the winner is….

“Poppy Pods” by Dale Ford


Below are Kathryn Chase Merrett’s comments:

“I have chosen photo 7 because of the beautiful composition and the wonderful way the monochromatic colours are handled. The left hand side of the photo is darker than the right hand side and yet the light foregrounds the poppy pod on the left. The photo is intensely representational and yet it has an abstract quality that brings out the mystery of those wonderful pods. You can imagine that photo hanging on the wall.”

Congratulations, Dale!

Congress 2016

The 75th Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences was hosted by the University of Calgary from May 28 to June 3, with over 70 scholarly associations and more than 8,000 academics participating.

The University of Alberta Press once again combined booths with Athabasca University Press and the University of Calgary Press, which resulted in an impressive exhibit of hundreds of books organized by subject. We enjoyed wide-ranging conversations with scholars, students, and fellow publishers during their visits to the University Presses of Alberta booths. Our colleagues from AU Press were responsible for the theme (Nurturing Bright Ideas) and the greenery, which certainly livened up the display.

Peter Midgley (Senior Editor, Acquisitions), organized and participated in a very successful panel. The Wounded Ones: Conversations About the Multiple Legacies of Colonialism featured Ghada Ageel, Juliane Okot Bitek, and Richard van Camp. With Marcello Di Cintio as the moderator, they talked about the long lasting effects of colonialism in Palestine, Namibia, Uganda, and Canada as well as the atrocities that are still taking place.

There were two book launches by UAP authors. We sponsored an informal gathering for Counterblasting Canada, edited by Gregory Betts, Paul Hjartarson, and Kristine Smitka; and co-sponsored a luncheon/book launch of CASEA members, one of them being Nancy Taber, editor of Gendered Militarism in Canada.

UAP also hosted an assembly of university publishing folk, which was a great success with 27 attendees. It was a wonderful opportunity to catch up in a social setting. Our thanks to Cathie Crooks’s parents for letting us use their home for the gathering.

This year, we also volunteered to set up a table display for the award-winning books of the Association of American University Presses 2016 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show which was previously displayed at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Alberta. The University of Calgary Library gave us an excellent location. We were pleased to be able to donate many of the books to the U of C Library at the end of Congress.

It was a very busy and successful Congress. Our thanks to all of the people who worked so hard to make it such a terrific event, particularly Bart Beaty, Jessica Clark, and Ashley Craven.


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Literary Cycling Book Launched at Café Bicyclette

Dave Buchanan’s launch on June 8 at Café Bicyclette was an absolute treat. He has spent several years researching and writing about early travel literature. His book introduces us to two of the best cycling adventurers from the late 1800s: Elizabeth Robins Pennell and Joseph Pennell, an American couple from Philadelphia.

His entertaining talk and slideshow touched a chord with friends, colleagues, and cycling enthusiasts who gathered to celebrate the publication of A Canterbury Pilgrimage/An Italian Pilgrimage.

The high wheel bike, in particular, engendered many questions.

  1. How the heck did they get on them? (There is a small post on the wheel that you stepped on before flinging your other leg over the top.)
  2. How the heck did they stop them? (By pressing a foot against the side of the wheel.)
  3. Was this the origin of the term “taking a header”? (Possibly, seeing that the rider was often pitched headfirst over the top of the wheel.)
  4. Why did people ride them? (As there was no drivetrain on these early bikes, the larger the wheel, the faster the bike went. These were early speed demons.)

No wonder that Joseph and Elizabeth rode the much safer tricycle. Apparently it was particularly popular with the upper classes in England after Queen Victoria got one!

Eventually a bike that looks much more like the ones we ride today came into production in the 1890s, appropriately called the “safety” bicycle. It had a drivetrain and, eventually, brakes.

Dave selected two fascinating entries to read to the crowd. Hearing Elizabeth’s prose read aloud made us hear her voice clearly. Witty, wry, expressive.

Our thanks to the folks at Café Bicyclette and all who came out to celebrate and enjoy the evening. And, of course, to Dave Buchanan for bringing these wonderful stories and illustrations to life in his book and in his talk.


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Literary Cocktails 2016

Literary Cocktails proved to be a very popular event, yet again! Last year we moved from the cozy Papaschase Room of the Faculty Club to the elegant and spacious Winspear Room with its wonderful view of the river valley.

With the early arrival of Spring, there must have been something in the air to enhance the magic of poetry. The three readers and the collections couldn’t have been more different, yet they worked remarkably well together. From stars to molecules, from Uganda to the Canadian Prairies, from homelessness to genocide, many topics were covered and emotions ran high. Anger, sadness, hope, and the beauty of images and words took listeners from high to low to high again.

Thank you, Alice Major [Standard candles], Richard Therrien [Sleeping in Tall Grass], and Juliane Okot Bitek [100 Days] for sharing your poetry, and Dennis Cooley [The Home Place] for emceeing the event.

A big thank you goes out to John Acorn, who provided a brilliant sound system; the Faculty Club for the wonderful food; and particularly all of those who joined us this year to celebrate with us and support the Edmonton Poetry Festival. (We missed Jerome Martin and Ted Bishop, our musicians, who couldn’t make it. We’ll catch them for next year!)

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Second Edition of “Grant Notley” Hard at Work

The Federal NDP Convention was held in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Centre. 800 delegates from around the country attended, and we were fortunate to get a table to sell Grant Notley: The Social Conscience of Alberta, Second Edition. Author Howard Leeson joined me at the table to sign copies. Here are his comments about the event.

At the federal NDP convention in Edmonton in early April a number of people who had worked with Grant Notley–former Leader of the Official Opposition and father of the present Premier of Alberta, Rachel Notley–got together for a mini reunion. The reunion resulted from the sale of a new edition of the book on Mr. Notley. Many New Democrats at the convention were interested in the history of Mr. Notley’s involvement in Alberta politics and were happy to buy the book. All royalties from the book are going to the Grant Notley scholarship at the University of Alberta.

Bill Dryden – Provincial Secretary of the NDP in Alberta in 1972 and 1973. Later, Chief of Staff to Grant Notley in 1984. David Elliott – Provincial organizer for the NDP in Alberta from 1973 to 1975. Ede Leeson – worked with the Alberta NDP from 1970 to 1977, as a Calgary organizer, convention organizer, and Provincial Council member. Howard Leeson – first executive assistant to Grant Notley in the legislature, provincial secretary for the NDP in Alberta from 1973 to 1975, provincial president from 1975 to 1979, and author of the book. Ted Chudyk – worked with Grant Notley from 1968 to 1971 as a fundraiser and close friend and figures prominently in the book. Reg Basken – Provincial Treasurer for the Alberta NDP during the 1970s and longtime member of the NDP.

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Read an article from the University of Regina, where Howard taught Political Science.

Norway launch of “Idioms of Sámi Health and Healing”

This was a first for UAP: a book launch outside of Canada. Several contributors to Idioms of Sámi Health and Healing live in Norway, and they enjoyed a successful launch in a wonderful venue early in February.

Editor Barbara Helen Miller sent us these paragraphs and some pictures to share with readers of our blog:

The venue for the book launch was the Ardna, centrally located on the Tromsø University campus. The Ardna is inspired by Sámi architecture, and attests to the importance given to Sámi studies at the Tromsø University. The date of 5 February fell together with an intensive week of activities around Sámi studies at the University, plus the Sámi National day on 6 February.

Attending the book launch were 25 interested students, visitors, and teachers. The authors in attendance were Mona, Trine, Randi, Sigvald, Britt, and me. We were all happy to meet again after the years of collaborative work via internet. Professor Jens Ivar Nergard, who has done similar research, was invited to comment.

It’s gratifying that the interest in our book was high.

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“a brand new world” – Email from an author

What a start to the new year! Inquiries from a curious author, published with permission and with no compensation:

Hello Monika,

Here’s to a spanking brand-new to you. And a city sparkling with snow.

I write happily to report that I will be in Edmonton on April 17 with a new poetry book, departures, and I’m thinking how good it would be to drop by the Press offices and make a supreme nuisance of myself. Those folks at UofA Press, they’ve had an entirely too serene time of it, I tell myself, and I have resolved first chance I get to improve their lamentable state.

Also to ask . . . oh yes, she says to herself, says Monika Igali, it was too much to suppose Cooley would be satisfied being a simple bother . . . there’s something. Monika Igali braces for what’s coming. She knows what’s coming. She knows he will ask does she know when The Home Place will be out. No, says Monika Igali, I don’t know when it will be out. I told you last time: there’s lots to do yet. It will be out when it’s out. I know you are going to Trier and you are giddy about taking the book with you. And we will gladly send it with you if it’s out by then. In the meantime . . . quit harassing us.

Ok, says Cooley. That’s what he thought. He didn’t want to cause any consternation, he was merely prompted by the thoughts of Trier. The thoughts of beer and sausage addled him and he lost all sense of proportion and propriety.

Chagrined, he clings to a small hope. He measures his chances of a friendly greeting in April.

Hope you and the year are humming with satisfaction.


Thank yo9781772121193u for this, Dennis! We are looking forward to seeing you during the Edmonton Poetry Festival, especially at the Literary Cocktails on April 20 at the Faculty Club. No promises, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had your book hot off the press by then?