About the Author

Ruth Panofsky

Ruth Panofsky is an award-winning poet who lives and writes in Toronto, where she teaches Canadian Literature and Culture at Ryerson University. She is the author of The Force of Vocation: The Literary Career of Adele Wiseman (2006) and The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada: Making Books and Mapping Culture (2012). Her award-winning critical edition of the collected poetry of Miriam Waddington appeared in two volumes in 2014 and, most recently, she edited The Spice Box: Canadian Jewish Writing (2017). Her newest work, Toronto Trailblazers: Women in Canadian Publishing, which focuses on key twentieth-century publishers, editors, and literary agents, was published in 2019. She is also an award-winning poet. She received the Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award for Laike and Nahum: A Poem in Two Voices (2007). Radiant Shards: Hoda's North End Poems, her third volume of verse, received a Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Research Award.

Books by this Author
Adele Wiseman

Adele Wiseman

An Annotated Bibliography
edition:Hardcover
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At Odds in the World

At Odds in the World

Essays on Jewish Canadian Women Writers
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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Laike and Nahum

A Poem in Two Voices
edition:Paperback
tagged :
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Radiant Shards
Excerpt
Foreword

Hoda, the protagonist of Adele Wiseman's 1974 novel Crackpot, has long occupied my mind. Years ago, she leapt off the page to become a literary companion and now--as a result of my poetic engagement with Wiseman's fiction--she has made her way into this volume.

Radiant Shards would not exist but for Wiseman's creation of a fully formed character and the particular world she inhabits: the Jewish enclave of North End Winnipeg during the first half of the twentieth century. Indeed, readers who know Crackpot will recognize the figures and narrative arc of these poems, as well as the liberties taken along the way. And for those unfamiliar with the novel, Hoda resides here, brought to new life.

In Wiseman's fiction, the sex worker Hoda--she preferred the term to prostitute--is presented via a third-person narrator. In my work, she is given her own lyric voice. Occasionally, she evokes the language of Crackpot. Always, she speaks in a voice of my imagining. Alternately youthful and mature, this voice plumbs Hoda's private thoughts and tangled feelings. Sometimes, it is directed outward in response to those who would question Hoda's choices and behaviour.

Wiseman claimed to have based her heroine on an actual figure of North End Winnipeg, once home to the city's red light district. Over the course of this project, my admiration for the loving and resilient Hoda--a hybrid of the real, the fictional, and now the poetic--has only grown and deepened.
&mdashToronto, January 2019

Prologue

As I walk
the North End
streets
Hoda's body
the pitch
of her voice
beckon
Soon
I find myself
yielding
to her rare
dignity
compassion
and grace

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The Force of Vocation

The Force of Vocation

The Literary Career of Adele Wiseman
edition:eBook
tagged : literary, canadian
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The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada

The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada

Making Books and Mapping Culture
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover
More Info
The New Spice Box

The New Spice Box

Canadian Jewish Writing, Volume 1
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback eBook Hardcover
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Toronto Trailblazers

Toronto Trailblazers

Women in Canadian Publishing
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook Hardcover
tagged : canadian
More Info
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