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Fighting For a Hand to Hold: An Anti-Colonial Reading List

The QWF Literary Awards celebrate the best books and plays by English-language writers, playwrights, and translators in Quebec, as well as those translating English works from Quebec into French. Each award comes with a purse of $3,000.

For more information about the Awards and to see Giller Prize-winning author Sean Michaels announce all the finalists, check out the Gala page on our website.

Fighting for a Hand to Hold won The Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction and The Concordia University First Book Prize at the 2021 Awards Gala.

Learn more about the book at


Fighting for a Hand to Hold: Confronting Medical Colonialism against Indigenous Children in Canada (foreword by Cindy Blackstock, afterword by Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel) uses the #aHand2Hold campaign as a case study of contemporary medical colonialism in Quebec, and demonstrates that inequalities in health care follow fault lines of societal injustices.

The campaign confronted Évacuations aéromédicales du Québec (ÉVAQ), the provincially run medical evacuation airlift service, and its long-standing practice of separating Indigenous children from their families in northern Quebec. The book also contextualizes this now-defunct practice by exposing the Canadian medic …

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The Chat with Canisia Lubrin



Today on The Chat, a conversation with Canisia Lubrin, author of the superb debut collection of poems, Voodoo Hypothesis. It’s a collection that Lubrin's publisher, Wolsak and Wynn, says “pulls from pop culture, science, pseudo-science and contemporary news stories about race .... Lubrin has created a book that holds up a torch to the narratives of the ruling class, and shows us the restorative possibilities that exist in language itself.”

The Toronto Star says “Lubrin’s poems are dense with ideas and striking turns of phrase, as she attempts to chart the “maps of speechless centuries” and “the Morse events of smallest things.” This density makes her work ... immensely rewarding.” 

Canisia Lubrin is a writer who has published poetry, fiction, non-fiction and criticism in Arc Poetry Magazine, Room Magazine, The Puritan, the Globe and Mail, and others. She serves on the editorial board of the Humber Literary Review and as an advisor to Open Book Ontario. Lubrin holds an MFA from the University of Guelph-Humber and teaches English at H …

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