Which famous Canadian poet is a "gunman"? When did Bangalore move to Saskatchewan? Why is poetry a painting? a crime? What rare advice can you find in Romance novels? Who sings with the frogs? And what ever did happen to Pauline? Answering these and other questions, From a Speaking Place invites you into a conversation about what it means to be a reader and a writer in Canada. This Canada - this aurora-capped northern land - speaks: of Inuit voices and Al Purdy's "rock gothic," of Bombay and Trinidad, of "great traditions," urban findings, laughter, Acadia, nation, translation, theatre, exploration, life stories and more, from official languages and le monologue quebecois to Marshall McLuhan and "Hollywood Not." From a Speaking Place brings together 63 essays, notes, and interviews from 50 years of contributions to Canadian Literature, Canada's foremost journal on the country's writers and writing. You'll find here such stylish writers as Margaret Atwood, Gérard Bessette, George Bowering, George Elliott Clarke, Wayde Compton, Basil Johnston, Janice Kulyk Keefer, Thomas King, Margaret Laurence, George Ryga, Andreas Schroeder, Audrey Thomas, Tom Wayman, Rudy Wiebe, and George Woodcock. Illustrated by George Kuthan's woodcuts, the book celebrates Canadian Literature's 50th anniversary in 2009. It also, by re-encountering in this new context what contributors have said over five decades, listens again to why their ideas matter.
About the authors
WILLIAM NEW is the author and editor of more than fifty books. A native of Vancouver, where he currently lives, he was educated at the University of British Columbia (where he later taught for 37 years) and the University of Leeds. From his first days as a student at UBC, he has been committed to the importance of Canadian writing and to making it accessible to readers around the world. His academic works include A History of Canadian Literature, the massive Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada, and several extensive studies of irony and the short story. Writing more personally, his Borderlands: how we talk about Canada and Grandchild of Empire consider how local perspectives inform our political judgments. A prize-winning teacher and researcher, he was awarded the Royal Society of Canada's Lorne Pierce Medal, and for his services to creative and critical writing he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.
William New's creative publications include five books for children (including the internationally honoured The Year I Was Grounded) and eleven previous collections of poetry (including Underwood Log, shortlisted for the Governor General's Award; YVR, winner of the City of Vancouver Award; and New & Selected Poems). His latest collection, Neighbours, questions whether any of us ever lives alone.
These poems ask what it means to live near, whether in close proximity or in ragtag memory--and to consider what happens when closeness dissolves and a neighbourhood dies.
Susan R. Fisher teaches in the Department of English at the University of the Fraser Valley.