Off the Page

A blog on Canadian writing, reading, and everything in between

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Book Cover County Heirlooms

Summer Eats: Kohlrabi Slaw, from COUNTY HEIRLOOMS

By Natalie Wollenberg and Leigh Nash

"I’ve always been impressed that seeds will produce all the food you need to live. It’s miraculous."

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Book Cover Cedar and Salt

3 Great Recipes from the 2020 Taste Canada Awards Shortlist

By Kerry Clare

Foodies, take note! Great recipes from celebrated cookbooks.

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Book Cover On Nostalgia

Launchpad: On Nostalgia, by David Berry

By Kerry Clare

"Berry’s subject is a wide-ranging one, but he pulls off the impressive feat of covering plenty of ground in a concise …

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Literatures, Communities and Learnings

Literatures, Communities, and Learning

By Kerry Clare

9 conversations with Indigenous writers about the relationship between Indigenous literatures and learning, and how thei …

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The Chat with Faye Guenther

The Chat with Faye Guenther

By Trevor Corkum

Swimmers in Winter (Invisible Publishing) is Faye Guenther’s debut collection of short fiction. These six stories expl …

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Book Cover Little Secrets

Summer Reading Starts Here

By Kerry Clare

Summer is not cancelled, and summer reading isn't either. We've got thrillers, epics, drama, historical fiction, and so …

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Cover Summer Feet

Picture Book Sneak Peek: Summer Feet, by Sheree Fitch and Carolyn Fisher

By Kerry Clare

Summer starts HERE with this glorious celebration of childhood...and filthy feet.

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Book Cover Mr. Frank

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Texts on Textiles

By Julie Booker

Exploring the art of sewing? Here are some tales to comfort and inspire.

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COVID–19 Teacher Diary: Pondering the “What If” with Shari Green & Caroline Pignat

COVID–19 Teacher Diary: Pondering the “What If” with Shari Green & Caroline Pignat

By Erika MacNeil

During this time of self-isolation and social distancing, books can sometimes be our only companions as the days stretch …

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Book Cover Good Mothers Don't

Launchpad: Good Mothers Don't, by Laura Best

By Kerry Clare

"An unlikely page turner replete with hushed surprises, unexpected crescendos, endless love and boundless vitality."

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Celebrating Poetry & Asian Heritage Month: Sheniz Janmohamed's Meetings With Remarkable Women

book cover The Body of My Garden

In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, I revisited my bookshelves, desk, bedside table and floors (my room is small and my books are many) to uncover some of my favourite books by South Asian Canadian authors. While I was rummaging, a question arose in my mind: How can I possibly choose a handful of authors from a vast array of books?

Inspired by Natalie Zed’s recent blog post about the lack of reviews for poetry books by Canadian women, I decided to compile my own list of South Asian Canadian female poets (that was a mouthful). What began as a list of scribbled names slowly turned into a recounting of memories.

The heart dreams you
reads you thick like honey
spreading amber fragments of light
upon the page.

-Rishma Dunlop, The Body of My Garden

The first poet I discovered in undergrad was Rishma Dunlop. Her book, The Body of My Garden, became a constant companion- on subways, streetcars, long walks and “study” dates. I came back to her poems when I was unsure of myself—when I needed the voice of a poet who had memorized the sea in her fingers to metaphorically splash some salt water on my face.  When I met with her for the first time, I handed her a pamphlet of poems that would’ve been tossed in the garbage if I found them today. She was gracious and rece …

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Shopping for Poetry in the Grocery Aisle: Guest Post by Sonia Saikaley

Turkish Delight, Montreal Winter

I love wandering down the aisles of grocery stores. Different types of food fascinate me. I stop, touch the exotic fruit, examine the vegetables from faraway places and wonder how each of these could become part of a poem. A poem about an apple or an orange may sound dull but a poem about a Red delicious or a mandarin orange, well, that’s something, no? Chinese and Italian eggplants, Shanghai bok choy, couscous, feta cheese, goat milk, naan and pita, Polish kielbasa, Jamaican patties, baklawa and Turkish delights, green tea, allspice and ginger all suggest something exotic, somewhere between the old world and new, some place where Canadians had once lived before making new lives in this land of freedom and glacial landscapes.

All these foods and spices are poetic and represent a connection to the past and a way to still hold onto the memories of old countries. Several years back, when I first started writing poems that would later become part of my poetry collection Turkish Delight, Montreal Winter, I was watching my mother cook, crushing dried mint leaves with her fingers and tossing these green bits into the fattoush. While she explained the art of making this Middle Eastern salad, it suddenly struck me how important food is to understanding a culture and how …

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