Off the Page

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

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Book Cover All the Sweet Things

Summer Eats: Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

By [Kerry Clare]

From Renée Kohlman's All the Sweet Things, a delicious recipe that will never taste as excellent as right now with stra …

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A Chat Roundtable With the Editors of  Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer

A Chat Roundtable With the Editors of Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer

By [Trevor Corkum]

Published by Coach House, Any Other Way draws on a range of voices to explore how the residents of queer Toronto have sh …

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Book Cover The Party

Summer Reads: Robyn Harding and THE PARTY

By [Kerry Clare]

Robyn Harding on where The Party started, the surprising joys of writing dark, and how to make the reader keep turning t …

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Book Cover Boy in Motion

Notes From a Children's Librarian: On Perseverance

By [Kerry Clare]

Books that show the development of perseverance as a character trait. 

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Book Cover The Summer Book

2017 Summer Books

By [Kerry Clare]

Books about road trips, swimming, canoe paddling, long lazy days, and even a little bit of summer intrigue. These are th …

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The Chat With Janet Rogers

By [Trevor Corkum]

“Janet Rogers’ latest book Totem Poles & Railroads doesn’t pull any punches. All of the stinging and difficult rea …

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Book Cover Pride

On Our Radar

By [Kerry Clare]

Books with buzz worth sharing. 

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Book Cover The Native Voice

The Native Voice: Canada's First Aboriginal Newspaper

By [Kerry Clare]

"Our Dominion is not in a position to point a finger of scorn at the treatment meted out by other countries toward their …

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Summer Festival Season, #fest2fest

Your 2017 Guide to Summer Literary Festivals

By [Kerry Clare]

Summertime is festival time! All across the country this summer readers and writers will be gathering to celebrate stori …

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Book Cover Silvija

The Chat: A Griffin Poetry Prize Special With Canadian Finalist Sandra Ridley

By [Trevor Corkum]

Our final interview in this year’s Griffin Prize special edition of The Chat is our conversation with Sandra Ridley, a …

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The Chat With Janet Rogers

tagged :
Janet-by-Blaire-Russell2
TREVOR CORKUM cropped

I met Janet Rogers earlier this year as part of a dialogue at Pearson College in Victoria called "Canada 150: An Indigenous Perspective." This week, I’m thrilled to be in conversation with Janet about her latest collection, Totem Poles & Railroads (Arbeiter Ring Publishing).

Of the collection, Jordan Abel says, “Janet Rogers’ latest book Totem Poles & Railroads doesn’t pull any punches. All of the stinging and difficult realities of colonialism are confronted head-on and with ferocity. Rogers is here to disrupt these white landscapes. Rogers is here to call out all of the bullshit both past and present. Totem Poles & Railroads is burning to be read.”

Janet is a Mohawk/Tuscarora writer from Six Nations. She was born in Vancouver, lived in Stoney Creek, Hamilton, and Toronto, and has been living as guest on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people (Victoria) since 1994. Janet works in the genres of poetry, spoken word performance poetry, video poetry and recorded poetry with music. Janet is also a radio broadcaster, documentary producer, me …

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On Our Radar

tagged : on our radar

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet and elsewhere. 

*****

Glass Beads, by Dawn Dumont

Reviewed by J.S. Sutcliffe at Quill and Quire

Although Glass Beads is billed as a collection of short stories, it works excellently as a panoramic, polyphonic Bildungsroman, following the lives of four Indigenous friends from the early 1990s to the late 2000s... Dumont’s talent for comedy shines in a great deal of snappy, wry wit. She uses this both for universal concerns like interpersonal interactions (“Their relationship was a broken vase that Nellie kept gluing together. And then once she got it to stand, she would proclaim, ‘Look at it! It’s beautiful’ while everyone else knew it was a fragile piece of shit”), but also more politically. Discussing the situation of native people in Canada, Nellie keeps “wanting to make it sound better than it was but failing as the night went on.”

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Book Cover Raising Royalty

Rais …

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The Native Voice: Canada's First Aboriginal Newspaper

Book Cover Native

National Aboriginal History Month seems a fine occasion to celebrate a new book celebrating Canada's first aboriginal newspaper and its remarkable founder. We're pleased to feature a short excerpt from the beginning of the book to give you a taste of The Native Voice: The Story of How Maisie Hurley and Canada's First Aboriginal Newspaper Changed a Nation, by Eric Jamieson. 

*****

In the fall of 1944, Haida Elder Alfred Adams bumped into his old friend Maisie Hurley on a Vancouver street. He was on his way to visit his doctor, and although he had cancer and would soon join his ancestors “in the Great Beyond," he was still focused on the welfare of his people. After consoling Maisie, who was worried about her sons who were overseas in the war, he said, “You have always loved our people and have been a friend to them. You are worried over your sons, but service to others will help you and will bring you happiness. I want you to give your life to my people by telling the white people about them.” He added that BC’s Aboriginal population needed a voice to tell of their work and activities, to speak of their grievances, of their wish to educate their children—a voice that would be heard all over North America.

Maisie was so moved by Adams’ faith in her that she …

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Your 2017 Guide to Summer Literary Festivals

WordPlay

Summertime is festival time! All across the country this summer readers and writers will be gathering to celebrate stories, books, and the wonders of the written word. Whether a festival is happening in your neighbourhood or at the site of your vacation destination, there is something for everyone. Find out what's happening near you...

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This year, the children's festival WordPlay takes place in conjunction with the grand opening of Sheree Fitch's dreamy new venture, Mabel Murple's Book Shoppe and Dreamery, on July 3 in River John, NS, with Alan Syliboy, Marie-Louise Gay, and plenty of celebration.

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From July 6-9, the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival ("Arguably one of the most beautiful lit fest locales going," according to the Toronto Star) in Nelson, BC, features authors including Leesa Dean, Lee Maracle, Joy Kogawa, and more. 

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Read By …

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The Chat: A Griffin Poetry Prize Special With Canadian Finalist Sandra Ridley

Sandra-Ridley
Trevor Corkum

Our final interview in this year’s Griffin Prize special edition of The Chat is our conversation with Sandra Ridley, author of Silvija.

In part, the jury citation reads: “The poems in Sandra Ridley’s book are potent and beguiling. Words are given the space they need to root and branch. This pace of them engages with the unarticulated, the hidden, the unbearable as readers encounter five elegies that allude to and invoke trauma, shame, and a profound sense of loss. Given the themes at work in this collection, silence is an essential part of the reading. Ridley conducts and curates that space as liminal. Here’s where we understand the scope of the work and concede to bearing witness. Here’s where we understand that we will be haunted. And from that silence, the words that emerge have been given the time they need to properly cure and to season in the poem’s atmosphere.”

Multiple-award-winning poet, instructor and editor, Sandra Ridley is the author of three books of poetry: Fallout (winner of a 2010 Saskatchewan Book Award and the Alfred G. B …

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