Graduate Liberal Studies Journal, SFU

1071 Remnants of Sumas Mountain

ESSAY: Remnants of Sumas Mountain by Natalie Lang For those who came before and those not yet arrived. * And forever before me gleams, The shining city of song, In the beautiful land of dreams. But when I would enter the gate Of that golden atmosphere, It is gone, and I wonder and wait For…
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1067 The uncertainty of Anne Carson

ESSAY: Anne Carson: Ambiguity, Uncertainty, Ecstasy by Bob Foulkes * On an otherwise ordinary day in 1965, a precocious, eccentric fifteen year-old discovered a book in the sales bin of a Coles bookstore, a serious tome by Willis Barnstone on Sappho the famous ancient Greek poet. The book was bilingual — ancient Greek and English,…
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Teaching typography in quarantine

ESSAY: Advanced Typography Workshops in Quarantine by Thomas Girard * In October 2020, Thomas Girard of the Graduate Liberal Studies programme at Simon Fraser University taught a course in Advanced Typography at a design school in Vancouver. Here, he provides a summary of that course with nods to the history — and ubiquity — of…
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Letters from the Pandemic: Welcome

Letters from the Pandemic by Sasha Colby * Editor’s note: we are pleased to introduce Letters from the Pandemic: A 30th Anniversary Commemorative Public Writing Project of the Graduate Liberal Studies Program of Simon Fraser University (SFU). Sasha Colby, Director of Graduate Liberal Studies, provides an introduction (below) to the Pandemic Letters project. The letters…
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#978 Crazy about lumber

Hammer & Nail: Notes of a Journeywoman by Kate Braid Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2020 $22.95 / 9781773860336 Reviewed by Jennifer Chutter * Kate Braid’s new memoir, Hammer & Nail: Notes of a Journeywoman, provides glimpses of her life as a carpenter, primarily in the Lower Mainland, during the 1970s and 1980s. Through a series…
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#971 Aphorisms from an apiarist

Show Me the Honey: Adventures of an Accidental Apiarist by Dave Doroghy, foreword by Rick Hansen Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2020 $25.00 / 9781771513227 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * Bees. Those black and yellow winged creatures buzzing about and smelling the roses; perhaps there is more to them than meets the eye. Do they hold the…
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#961 From Quilchena to Flanders

ESSAY: Remembering John Foster Paton Nash by Michael Sasges For Remembrance Day 2020, Michael Sasges presents the life of Nicola Valley rancher John Foster Paton Nash (1866-1916). John Nash’s name is on three Great War memorials.  The first is at his school in England, King William’s College on the Isle of Man; the second is…
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#911 A space for feminine voices

Radiant Voices: 21 Feminist Essays for Rising Up Inspired by EMMA Talks by carla bergman (compiler and editor) Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2019 $22.00 / 9781927366844 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * If you’ve ever taken the time to observe birds, you might notice them flying up into the sky and then swooping down in magnificent arcs….
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#905 Fresh and whimsical Vancouver

Hand Drawn Vancouver: Sketches of the City’s Neighbourhoods, Buildings, and People by Emma Fitzgerald Toronto: Penguin Random House (Appetite), 2020 $24.95 / 9780147531209 Reviewed by Jennifer Chutter * Emma Fitzgerald’s Hand Drawn Vancouver weaves together her autobiographical accounts of growing up in Vancouver with visual depictions of personally meaningful places around the city. After spending…
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#903 Contemplating Montblanc

Panegyric by Logan Macnair Surrey: Now or Never Publishing, 2020 $19.95 / 9781988098975 Reviewed by Eryn Holbrook * “Do you know who I am?” asks an unidentified inquirer in the opening lines of Panegyric, the first novel by BC-based writer, Logan Macnair. The question, we soon learn, is addressed to the book’s narrator, Larry Mann: a struggling…
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#890 Podiums, prototypes, and Plato

ESSAY: Unique ways of prototyping by Thomas Girard * Editor’s note: When asked to define “prototyping” as used in this essay, Thomas Girard replied: When I talk about “prototyping” here, I’m talking about it in part as I’ve learnt it in traditional design education, at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, years ago. In…
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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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#876 Stainsby’s carbons and files

MEMOIR: Writing My Father by Meg Stainsby * After twenty years of carting it around unopened, I unpacked a stale cardboard box stuffed with crackly, yellowed sheets of typescript — some still clinging to their carbons, all faint and fusty — and began a solitary trek across a forty-year expanse of written terrain that my…
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#861 Anatomy of a bestseller

A Match Made for Murder: A Lane Winslow Mystery by Iona Whishaw Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2020 $16.95 / 9781771513265 Reviewed by Jennifer Chutter * Reading Iona Whishaw’s A Match Made for Murder, Book 7 in her Lane Winslow series, was like being invited to a party where the host had promised me I would have…
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#853 A Modest Silence

SHORT STORY: A Modest Silence by Jennifer Moss For an audio version, see here * A modest silence is a woman’s crown — Euripides, Andromache We are the stories we tell, and we are compelled to create stories to understand ourselves. — Susan Gregory, et al., “Rewrite Your Life,” Psychology Today (May 2, 2016) We…
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#847 Hedonism, pleasure, ethics

ESSAY: The Will to Pleasure: Hedonism, Ethics, and Aesthetics from the Ancient World to the Present Age by Eryn Holbrook * When Christianity and Marxism end their shared reign, we will need visions of new possibilities. There is always one fixed point: the body. Not a body of Platonic ideas, nor a body cut in…
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