Alexander MacLeod’s short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O Henry Prize Stories. His first collection, Light Lifting (Biblioasis), was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. In 2021, he and his friend, Andrew Steeves of Gaspereau Press, were awarded the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award for their collaboration, Lagomorph. Alexander lives in Dartmouth and teaches at Saint Mary's University in Halifax.
Trevor Corkum: Animal Person is your second short fiction collection, following your critically acclaimed, Giller-nominated debut Light Lifting. Did you feel any pressure writing this collection?
Alexander MacLeod: Not really. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as uncertain as anybody else, and, of course, I want readers to like the book, and for the stories to reward any attention invested in them, but in the end, I think every artist, and probably every practical person, knows that the most serious pressure in any task comes straight from the job itself.
I sp …
Valerie J. Korinek, author of Prairie Fairies, says of the book, "Photos alone don't make history, it is the sensitive, analytically nuanced writing of Batt and Green that brings their world to life. This is a book for every rural queer kid who wondered if they were the only one and for queer historians eager for histories of same-sex experiences and culture beyond the cities."
Meredith J. Batt (they/them) grew up in Sackville/Moncton and earned a BA in history at the Université de Moncton. They currently work as an archivist at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick in Fredericton, and serves as the president of the Queer Heritage Initiative of New Brunswick. Their writing has appeared in Xtra Magazine, the Canadian Historical Review, and Active History.
Dusty Green (he/they) grew up in northwest New Brunswick and holds degrees from St. Thomas University and the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. Green has previously worked at the New Brunswick Provincial Archives and Fredericton Region Museum, and founded the Queer Heritage Initiative of N …
This year’s shortlisted Canadian titles include Dream of No One but Myself (Brick Books) by David Bradford; Letters in a Bruised Cosmos (McClelland and Stewart) by Liz Howard; and The Junta of Happenstance by Tolu Oloruntoba (Palimpsest Press). The winners of both the Canadian and International prizes will be announced June 15.
David Bradford is a poet and editor based in Tioh’tia:ke (Montréal). He holds a BA from Concordia University and an MFA from the University of Guelph. A lifelong Montrealer, Bradford’s work formally engages and frustrates dominant conceptions of Blackness in the Diaspora. His poetry has appeared in, among others, Prairie Fire, The Fiddlehead, filling Station, The Capilano Review, Carte Blanche, and anthologized in The Unpublished City, a 2018 Toronto Book Awards finalist. He is the author of several chapbooks, including Call Out (2017), Nell Zink Is Damn Free (2017), and The Plot (2018). Bradford’s first book, Dream of No One but Myself, is an interdisciplinary inquiry into the versioning aspects of his and his family’s histories with abuse and trauma.
Poet Jan Zwicky calls the work,"Lyric art of the highest order. The voice, relieved of everything nonessential, speaks with effortless assurance of last, and first, things.”
Patrick Lane, considered by most writers and critics to be one of Canada's finest poets, was born in 1939 in Nelson, BC. He won nearly every literary prize in Canada, from the Governor General's Literary Award to the Canadian Authors Association Award to the Dorothy Livesay Prize. In 2014, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada, an honour that recognizes a lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree. His poetry and fiction have been widely anthologized and translated into many languages. His more recent books include Witness: Selected Poems 1962–2010 (Harbour Publishing, 2010), The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane (Harbour Publishing, 2011), Washita (Harbour Publishing, 2014; shortlisted for the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award), Deep River Night (McClelland & Stewart, 2018) and a posthumous collection, The Quiet in Me (2022). Lane spent the later part of his life in Victoria, BC, with his wife, the poet Lorna Crozier. He died in 2019.
Lorna Crozier is the author of the memoir Through the Garden, a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. She has …
Author Lisa Moore says, “Michelle Porter’s Scratching River is both a reckoning and an elegy; a scathing, powerful roar against social injustice, the scars of trauma, climate crisis, environmental damage and, at the very same time, a love song to the power of family, Métis history, rivers, Bison, burdock, and the Métis storyteller and musician, Louis Goulet, who is her great-great-grandfather’s brother.”
Michelle Porter's first novel will be published by Penguin Canada in 2023. Her first book of poetry, Inquiries, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award in 2019 and was a finalist for the E.J. Pratt Poetry Award in 2021. Her previous non-fiction book, Approaching Fire (2020), in which she embarks on a quest to find her great-grandfather, the Métis fiddler and performer Léon Robert Goulet, was shortlisted for the Indigenous Voices Awards 2021. She is a citizen of the Métis Nation and member of the Manitoba Métis Federation.
Trevor Corkum: Scratching River is a powerful read, a memoir about your brother, a river, a Métis ancestor and relations among all things. It’s a braided narrative grounded in the richness of relationships and the resilience of life. Can you talk more about when and how you began to work on the project?
Author Richard Van Camp says, “Giju's Gift is a treasure filled with knowledge, insight, and a little bit of terror ... Brandon Mitchell and Veronika Barinova have knocked it out of the park and given us something special that everyone can learn from.”
From Listuguj, Quebec, Brandon Mitchell is the founder of Birch Bark Comics and creator of the Sacred Circles comic series, which draws on his Mi’kmaq heritage. He has written five books with the Healthy Aboriginal Network, (Lost Innocence, Drawing Hope, River Run, Making it Right, and Emily’s Choice). Brandon has written and illustrated Jean-Paul’s Daring Adventure: Stories from Old Mobile for the University of Alabama, as well as two Mi'qmaq language-based stories for the Listuguj Education Directorate. He has also completed an art installation for Heritage and Culture New Brunswick. Brandon currently resides in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Trevor Corkum: Giju’s Gift explores the story of Mali, a Mi’kmaw girl who joins forces to battle a giant. Why were you drawn to telling this story as a graphic novel and who are you hoping it reaches?
Brandon Mitchell: I grew up on comic books; I’ve always loved the format. There’s more freedom to explore the story visually and emotionally. There are storyboard …
The Georgia Straight calls Vancouver Vice "a rollicking read populated by well-known Vancouverites, just like Chapman’s other books."
Aaron Chapman is a writer, historian, and musician with a special interest in Vancouver's entertainment history. He is the author of Vancouver After Dark: The Wild History of a City's Nightlife, winner of the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award (BC Book Prizes) in 2020; The Last Gang in Town, the Story of Vancouver's Clark Park Gang; Liquor, Lust, and the Law, the Story of Vancouver's Penthouse Nightclub, now available in a second edition; and Live at the Commodore, a history of the Commodore Ballroom that won the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award (BC Book Prizes) in 2015. In 2020 he was elected as a member of the Royal Historical Society. He lives in Vancouver.
Trevor Corkum: Vancouver Vice takes a fascinating look into the seedier history of Vancouver’s West End. Why did you want to take this deep dive?
Aaron Chapman: In the wake of writing another book called The Last Gang in Town: The Epic Story of the Vancouver Police Department vs. The Clark Park Gang, which looked at how East Vancouver had changed through the lens of its crime history, I thought it might be interesting to look at the West End in the same way. It’ …
Author Nancy Jo Cullen says “Without minimizing her and her family’s experiences, Breen manages to pull off a breezy read that feels a little bit like sitting around a kitchen table reminiscing with an old friend. This book is serious and honest; it’s full of self-awareness, devoid of self-pity and very engaging.”
Mary Fairhurst Breen grew up in the suburbs of Toronto and raised her kids in an artsy, slightly gritty part of the city. A translator by training, she spent thirty years in the not-for-profit sector, managing small organizations with big social-change mandates. She also launched her own arts business, indulging her passion for hand-making, which was a colossally enjoyable and unprofitable venture. Its demise gave her the time and impetus to write her family history for her daughters. She began to publish autobiographical stories, and wound up with her first book, Any Kind of Luck at All.
Trevor Corkum: Congrats on the publication of your debut memoir, Mary. It’s such a powerful exploration of resilience and a reminder of the vita …
Of the collection, the Globe and Mail says, “Plett has a characteristic style that manages to merge tenderness with Prairie toughness—a style on display in these stories of trans women seeking something—groundedness, maybe, but that dreamlike quality of desire, too.”
Casey Plett is the author of A Dream of a Woman, Little Fish, A Safe Girl to Love, and the co-editor of Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy From Transgender Writers. She has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the Winnipeg Free Press, and other publications. A winner of the Amazon First Novel Award, the Firecracker Award for Fiction, and a two-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award, her work has also been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. She splits her time between New York City and Windsor, Ontario.
Trevor Corkum: The stories in the collection span a wide geographic range—Portland, New York, Winnipeg, Windsor, southern Manitoba. Can you share a bit about how geography and movement has in …
Writer Susan Orlean praises the book. "No writer is as humane, insightful, and clear-eyed as Michael Harris. His journey into the rabbit hole of consumer desire is one we all need to follow, and he makes it a joy along the way."
Michael Harris's previous books—Solitude and The End of Absence—were both national bestsellers and are published in a dozen languages. He has won the Governor General’s Literary Award and his books have been nominated for the RBC Taylor Prize, the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the Chautauqua Prize, and the CBC Bookie Award. Michael also writes the tech podcast Command Line Heroes, which has been downloaded millions of times and was honoured at both the Webby Awards and the Shorty Awards. Michael’s essays on media, the arts, and civil liberties, appear in Esquire, The Washington Post, Wired, Salon, The Globe and Mail, and dozens of other publications. He is currently a faculty member in the Literary Journalism program at the Banff Centre. Michael Harris lives with his husband, Kenny Park, in Vancouver, BC.
Congrats on your third book, Michael! All We Want is such a timely read, focusing on how we might imagine alternatives to consumer culture, at a point in history when the planet is threatened by our rapacious desire …
Writing in Atlantic Books Today, Chris Benjamin says “Huebert is a gifted short story writer. His characters do contain multitudes, each story a set of worlds. Collectively, they reflect our times, and help us contemplate the most dire of threats to our singular habitable planet.”
David Huebert’s writing has won the CBC Short Story Prize, The Walrus Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the 2020 Journey Prize. David’s fiction debut, Peninsula Sinking, won a Dartmouth Book Award, was shortlisted for the Alistair MacLeod Short Fiction Prize, and was runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. David’s work has been published in magazines such as The Walrus, Maisonneuve, enRoute, and Canadian Notes & Queries, and anthologized in Best Canadian Stories and The Journey Prize Stories. David teaches at The University of King’s College in K’jipuktuk/Halifax, where he lives and writes.
Trevor Corkum: Chemical Valley is your sophomore collection of short fiction, coming on the heels of your award-winning debut, Peninsula Sinking. What were you ho …
Language as the mother of bond and breach is beautifully storied in Sadiqa de Meijer’s poignant and provocative memoir, alfabet/alphabet. This is a book that dreams of transforming migration, citizenship, families, nationhood and the very utterances upon which each is built. A deeply hopeful narrative about language itself, a singular exploration of the way that words build a home. – 2021 Peer Assessment Committee
Sadiqa de Meijer is the author of the poetry collections Leaving Howe Island and The Outer Wards. Her work has won the CBC Poetry Prize and Arc’s Poem of the Year Contest, and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. She lives with her family in Kingston, Ontario.
Congrats on your Governor General’s Award, Sadiqa. The book explores your transition from speaking Dutch to English. Why was it important for you to explore this terrain?
Thank you! After my first book of poems, I started asking myself what it meant for me to write in English, and the answers turned out to go far deeper than I’d imagined. Until then, my languages existed within me in a togetherness that I took for granted; writing alfabet/alphabet was the process of bringing their overlap and borders into consciousness.