Black writers & topics

1641 The wisdom of trees

The Tree Whisperer: Writing Poetry by Living in the World by Harold Rhenisch Kentville, NS: Gaspereau Press, 2021 $29.95 / 9781554472314 Reviewed by Adrienne Fitzpatrick * I have spent the last few weeks in the company of a tree whisperer going from tree to tree on Sylix lands, absorbing the fruits revealed by light and…
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1559 Coming of age in Hogan’s Alley

Junie by Chelene Knight Toronto: Book*hug Press, 2022 $23.00 / 9781771667685 Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic * Strangers to Vancouver or its history before the city’s breakneck condo-ization might wonder about “the Village,” the comfortable place June-Anne Lancaster—the protagonist of Chelene Knight’s appealing first novel — affectionately sees as her hometown. In the vicinity of Main…
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1405 Colonialism corrective

TELEVISION DOCUSERIES REVIEW: British Columbia: An Untold History by Kevin Eastwood, Writer and Director Burnaby: British Columbia’s Knowledge Network, 2022 Reviewed by Patrick A. Dunae * Knowledge Network, ‘British Columbia’s public educational broadcaster,’ has produced a compelling documentary series entitled British Columbia: An Untold History. The production qualities are superb. Each episode of the four-part…
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1390 Black Canada revisited

Black Canada: A History. Fiftieth Anniversary Edition by Robin W. Winks, with a foreword by George Elliott Clarke Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2021 (second edition; first published by McGill-Queen’s University Press and Yale University Press, 1971) $32.95 / 9780773516328 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Black Canada: What I should have learned in high…
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1327 Who was Benjamin Lay?

Prophet Against Slavery. Benjamin Lay: A Graphic Novel by David Lester, with Marcus Rediker and Paul Buhle (editors) Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Beacon Press), 2021 $20.00 / 9780807081792 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh  * Who was Benjamin Lay? A radical 18th-century Quaker challenges slavery It is fair to ask who the central figure is in…
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1292 Circling lines & opening spaces

Word Problems: Poems by Ian Williams Toronto: Coach House Press, 2020 $21.95  /  9781552454145 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * The title of Ian Williams’ latest poetry may be Word Problems, but it could just as easily have been World Problems. The poems tend to explore how language both prevents and allows communication and how difficult…
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1186 Excuses: a preemptive review

The New Race: Selected Writings, 1901-1904 by William H.H. Johnson, afterword by Jade Ferguson Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, forthcoming 2022 $19.99 / 9781771124140 Reviewed by Frank Mackey * My only excuse for writing this account of a book yet unpublished is that I grew tired of waiting for it. The request had come…
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1163 Eleven poets from a plague year

Ten steps back to the garden: a poetic guide to recovery by Linda Rogers * On October 14, 2021, Stephen Collis’s A History of the Theories of Rain (Talonbooks, 2021), reviewed below by Linda Rogers, was announced as one of five books shortlisted in the Fiction category of the Governor General’s Literary Awards. Winners will be…
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1030 Blacks in BC then and now

Go Do Some Great Thing: The Black Pioneers of British Columbia by Crawford Kilian, with a foreword by Adam Rudder Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2020 (3rd edition, first published 1978) $26.95 / 9781550179484 * “Where Are You From?” Growing Up African-Canadian in Vancouver by Gillian Laura Creese Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019 $34.95 /…
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#884 Decolonizing Shakespeare

Sonnet’s Shakespeare by Sonnet L’Abbé Toronto: Penguin Random House (McClelland & Stewart), 2019 $21.00 / 9780771073090 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * On March 12, 2020, Sonnet’s Shakespeare, by Sonnet L’Abbé, was one of five books shortlisted for the 2020 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes. Winners will be announced on September…
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#864 Crossing Lake Tanganyika

Maison Rouge: Memories of a Childhood in War by Liliane Leila Juma Vancouver: Tradewind Books, 2020 $12.95 / 9781926890302 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Like many of us, I often find myself reading a couple of books at the same time. So, when I picked up Leila Juma’s thin tome I was also reading…
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#836 Yucho Chow’s wide & diverse lens

Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow by Catherine B. Clement, translated by Winnie L. Cheung Vancouver: Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia, 2020 $70.00 / 9780993659331 Reviewed by May Q. Wong * Chinatown’s photographer was not just for Chinese. This substantial coffee-table book of photographs tells not one, but…
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#804 Gibson’s poetic pyrotechnics

How She Read by Chantal Gibson Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $20.00 / 9781987915969 Reviewed by Renée Sarojini Saklikar * On March 12, 2020, Chantal Gibson’s How She Read was shortlisted for both the 2020 Dorothy Livesay and Jim Deva prizes of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes. Winners will be announced on September 19th. As…
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