MTLS is mainly an online journal. The goal of the magazine is to promote Canadian writing, both mainstream and the not-so-prominent. There is a special interest in new writing. There are several Canadian journals, mostly print, in the market already. Nevertheless, the conception of MTLS has been occasioned by the fact that some writers, especially those aspiring or on the fringes, sometimes do not know where to turn with their material. MTLS is a platform for old and fresh voices, and has a mandate to short-circuit a tendency towards elitism in Canadiana. This does not, however, mean that quality will be sacrificed to quantity. Our emphasis on inclusion is conditional; contributions should be robust and of high quality. While celebrating the old, we wish to pave a way for the new and exciting. As such, we will be cooperating with other Canadian initiatives with the same goals in different communities across the country. Although MTLS’ emphasis is on Canadian writing, it nevertheless will hold a conversation with the world by featuring some writing from around the globe.
George Elliott Clarke is arguably one of Canada’s most accomplished poets. A native Africadian (African-Nova Scotian), George Elliott Clarke has authored 8 verse works, including the acclaimed novel-in-poetry, Whylah Falls (1990); the Governor-General’s Award-winning, narrative lyric suite, Execution Poems (2000); the poetry-plus-photo book, Illuminated Verses (2005); and the sassy, brash collections, Blue (2001) and Black (2006). Not averse to music or drama, Clarke has also published his third opera libretto, Trudeau: Long March / Shining Path (2007). His first collection in translation (into Romanian by Flavia Cosma) Poeme Incendiare (Incendiary Poems) was published in 2007. In addition to being a poet, playwright and literary critic, Clarke is the E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. He taught English and Canadian Studies at Duke University (1994-1999). During 1998-99 he was appointed the Visiting Seagrams Chair in Canadian Studies at McGill University, then became professor of English at the U. of T. in 1999. Honors include the Portia White Prize for Artistic Achievement from the Nova Scotia Arts Council, a Bellagio Center Fellowship (1998), the Outstanding Writer in Film and Television Award (2000) and three honorary doctorates; a Doctor of Laws degree (Dalhousie University, 1999) a Doctor of Letters degree (University of New Brunswick, 2000) and Doctor of Letters from the University of Alberta (2005). He was given the Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award in 2004, and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellows Prize, Montreal, 2005. He earned the Distinguished Teaching Award, the Black Alumni Association Faculty Achievement Award and the Undergraduate Teaching Award, all at the University of Toronto, in 2005. Planet Africa TV gave him the Planet Africa Renaissance Award, Toronto, 2005. In October, 2006, he was appointed to the Order of Nova Scotia, and received an Honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) from the University of Waterloo. In 2008, he was knighted as an officer of the Order of Canada.
Award-winning essayist and novelist, John Ralston Saul has had a growing impact on political and economic thought in many countries. Declared a “prophet” by TIME magazine, he is included in the prestigious Utne Reader’s list of the world’s 100 leading thinkers and visionaries. His works have been translated into more than a dozen languages. He has received many national and international awards for his writing, most recently the Pablo Neruda International Presidential Medal of Honour from the Chilean government. His Massey Lectures, The Unconscious Civilization, won the 1996 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, as well as the Gordon Montador Award for Best Canadian Book on Social Issues. His reinterpretation of the nature of Canada, Reflections of a Siamese Twin, also won a Montador Award and was chosen by Maclean’s as one of the ten best non-fiction books of the twentieth century.
Saul is best known for his philosophical trilogy–Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West, The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense, and The Unconscious Civilization. This was followed by a meditation on the trilogy–On Equilibrium: Six Qualities of the New Humanism. He has published five novels, including The Birds of Prey, an international best seller, as well as The Field Trilogy, which deals with the crisis of modern power and its clash with the individual. It includes Baraka or The Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor of Anthony Smith, The Next Best Thing, and The Paradise Eater, which won the prestigious Premio Lettarario Internazionale in Italy. De Si Bons Americains is a picaresque novel in which he observes the life of modern nouveaux riches Americans.
He is General Editor of the Penguin “Extraordinary Canadians” project, co-Chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Patron and former President of the Canadian Centre of International PEN. He is also Founder and Honorary Chair of French for the Future, Chair of the Advisory Board for the LaFontaine-Baldwin lecture series, Honorary Chair of the Project Advisors’ Committee for Evergreen at the Brickworks, Distinguished Patron of the Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars, and Patron of PLAN (a cutting edge organization tied to people with disabilities), Engineers without Borders, and the Canadian Landmine Foundation. A Companion in the Order of Canada (1999), he is also Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France (1996). His 14 honourary degrees range from McGill and the l’Université d’Ottawa to Herzen State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Olive Senior is the award-winning author of four books of poetry, three books of fiction and four non-fiction books on Caribbean culture including the Encyclopedia of Jamaica Heritage and Working Miracles: Women’s Lives in the English Speaking Caribbean. Her short story collections include Summer Lightning (winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize), Arrival of the Snake-Woman and Discerner of Hearts. Her poetry books include Talking of Trees, Gardening in the Tropics (winner of the F.J. Bressani Literary Prize), Over the Roofs of the World (finalist for the Governor General’s Award and Cuba’s Casa de la Americas Prize) and Shell (finalist for the Pat Lowther Award). Olive Senior’s stories and poems have been translated into several languages and broadcast widely, including the BBC’s ‘Book at Bedtime’ and Radio 4 (UK), and CBC Radio, among others. Her short story ‘You Think I Mad, Miss’ was produced and performed as ‘Mad Miss’ by Theatre Archipelago Mat 27-June 12 2005 at Artword Theatre, Toronto.
David W. Atkinson was, until recently, the President of Carleton University. He also occupied the same capacity at Brock University, and now is the incumbent President of Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Atkinson was born in Sunderland, England, and immigrated to Canada when very young. Educated in Calgary, he attended the University of Indiana, where he was an All-American in Cross Country, and a member of the Big Ten Championship Cross Country Team. He returned to the University of Calgary, where he completed his B.A. degree (1970), and subsequently earned an M.A. (1971), and a Ph.D. degree (1975) in English. Atkinson was a faculty member at the University of Lethbridge from 1977 to 1991, where he took on increasingly senior administrative positions, including Director of Applied Studies, Chair of Religious Studies, Associate Dean of Arts and Science, and Dean of Student Affairs. In 1991 he was appointed Dean of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1997 he was appointed President of Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, and in 2005 President of Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. Most recently, he was appointed President of Kwantlen University College in Surrey, British Columbia, which in May, 2008 was designated as Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He took office on July 1, 2008. Atkinson has held faculty positions in both English and Religious Studies. He has published widely in both disciplines.
Pius Adesanmi is an Africanist Scholar and Associate Professor of English at Carleton University, where he is also Director of the Project on New African literatures, PONAL at www.projectponal.com. Before Carleton, he was an Assistant professor of comparative Literature at the Penn State University, USA. Also a poet, he has one collection, The Wayfarer (2001). He contributes to the online symposium and pro-scholarly blog at Zelezapost.
Michèle Rackham is a doctoral candidate in the English department at McGill University, Montreal. She currently holds a doctoral Canada Graduate Scholarship from SSHRC. Her area of specialization is Canadian literature, and she is presently researching the relationships between Canada’s Modernist poets and visual artists and the intersections between their poetry and paintings. Recent conference papers include considerations of Atlantic Canadian fiction and immigrant writing in Montreal. She has also written an article on the gendering of videogame culture for Boy Culture: An Encyclopedia (forthcoming, Greenwood Press, January 2009).
Stephen Brockwell has several collections of poetry, amongst which are The Wire in Fences (Balmuir Book Publishing), The Cometology, and Fruitfly Geographic (which won the Archibald Lampman Award), and The Real Made Up. He is the co-editor of the online journal Poetics. He has written reviews and articles for The Danforth Review, Rubicon and Books in Canada. Recent work has appeared in Arc,Prairie Fire, the Fiddlehead, the Antigonish Review, and Queen St Quarterly.
Nicole Ng works in the science field. She is one of those rare specie in whom science and literature find an accord.
Patrick Iberi has a background in philosophy. He is greatly interested in existentialism and works as a freelance writer, with attention (in varying degrees) on essays on the arts, literary criticism and poetry. His writings have appeared in both print and online publications. A forth coming collection of poems tentatively titled “Echoes of a desolate voice “is in the works.
Philip Adams was born in Creemore, Ontario, when the brewery was a creamery. In 1982, he moved to the Yukon where he was Artistic Director of Nakai Theatre in Whitehorse. He was also the Artistic Director of Mulgrave Road Theatre in Guysborough, Nova Scotia. His focus is to identify, develop, and produce new Canadian plays. He is the Co-Artistic Director of Hardley Art and works as a dramaturge, director, and actor. His focus is to identify, develop, and produce new Canadian plays. Under his Artistic Directorship (1995–1998), Nakai established a national reputation as a “development” company, providing northern playwrights with opportunities to create new work. In 1996, it created the New Theatre North Playwrights’ Festival, in which senior Canadian playwrights and dramaturges were brought in to work with local playwrights. Nakai forged stronger links with other theatre centres across the country. Plays Nakai developed during this period that have seen outside productions include Cloudberry by Cristina Pekarik, The Fasting Girl by Miche Genest, and A Tree Fell in the Forest by Lawrie Crawford. Adams also began developing relationship with Perseverance Theatre of Juneau, Alaska, the company’s geographically closest neighbour. Adams has worked with PEN Canada and Diaspora Dialogues as events coordinator. He currently lives and works in Toronto.
Amatoritsero Ede, born in Nigeria, was a Hindu Monk with the Hare Krishna Movement. He has worked as a Book Editor with a major Nigerian trade publisher, Spectrum Books. In 1993 he won the runner-up prize of the Association of Nigerian Authors’ (ANA) Poetry Competition with the manuscript of “A Writer’s Pains”; in 1998 the ANA All Africa Christopher Okigbo Prize for Literature (endowed by Wole Soyinka, Nigerian Nobel Laureate for literature) with his first collection of poems, Collected Poems: A writer’s Pains & Caribbean Blues (Bremen, Germany: Yeti Press, 1998; Lagos: Oracle Books, 2001) and second prize in the first May Ayim Award: International Black German Literary Prize, in 2004. He also appears in the following anthologies: TOK 1: Writing the New Toronto Helen Walsh ed. (Toronto: Zephyr Press, 2006), Camouflage: Best of Contemporary Nigerian Writing Nduka Otiono & Diego Okonyedo eds. (Yenogoa, Nigeria: Treasure Books, 2006), May Ayim Award Anthology Peggy Piesche et al eds. (Berlin, Germany: Orlanda Verlag, 2004), The Fate of Vultures: BBC Prize-Winning Poetry. Peter Porter et al. eds. (Oxford: Heinemann International, 1989), Und auf den Strassen eine Pest Uche Nduka ed. (Bad Honnef, Germany: Horlemann Verlag, 1996) and Voices from the Fringe: An ANA Anthology of New Nigerian Poetry Harry Garuba ed. (Lagos: Malthouse Press, 1988). His second collection, Globetrotter & Hitler’s Children, is out (New York: Akaschic Books, August 2009). He was the 2005-2006 Writer-in-Residence at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada under the auspices of PEN Canada’s Writer-in-Exile network. He edited Sentinel Online poetry journal from 2005 to 2007. He is a SSHRC Fellow and Doctoral Candidate in English literature at Carleton University, Ottawa.
John W. Macdonald is originally from Montreal and has been a resident of Ottawa since 1997. His passionate interest in literature and photography has encompassed a variety of forms, including writing a bi-weekly column in The Ottawa Citizen, and pursuing freelance photography in addition to writing a popular award-winning blog about literary events in and around Ottawa. His interest in writing and event photography began in 2001 when he first attended the Ottawa International Writers Festival and many of Ottawa’s fine literary and cultural events. Since then, he has become a well-known member in Ottawa’s literary circles, currently volunteering with the Ottawa International Writers Festival and once an Arts Funding jury member with the City of Ottawa. His photographs have been published in the USA and Canada in various books and magazines. He is currently working on a personal portrait project.
Donna Michelle St. Bernard (aka Belladonna) is a wordsmith working in hip-hop, spoken word, theatre and interdisciplinary creation. Recent works include Gas Girls, Salome's Clothes, Threepiece (playwright), The Movement Project's How We Forgot Here, Yvette Nolan’s Job's Wife, John Field’s Oops!, Marika Schwandt’s Mullato Nation (director), Terminal Five with the Artists Play Collective (dancer), and hip hop EPs the bridge/ is over and Off My Chest (vocalist). Donna-Michelle is the General Manager of Native Earth Performing Arts and Artistic Director of New Harlem Productions. Donna-Michelle is currently the director of How We Forgot Here, an interdisciplinary performance created by a collective called The Movement Project. Through 2010, she also has the privilege of participation in the Diverse City Fellows program, an initiative of the Maytree Foundation and Toronto City Summit Alliance. She won a Dora Award for Gas Girls in 2010.
Tom Ue is a doctoral student in the Department of English Language and Literature at University College London, where he researches on Shakespeare’s influence on the writing of Henry James, George Gissing, and Oscar Wilde. Ue’s publications include “‘How is she to blame?’: The Woman Question and Narrative in Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret and George Gissing’s Eve’s Ransom,” which was published in Eve’s Ransom: George Gissing e le sfide del romanzo tardo-vittoriano (Aracne Editrice, 2010); he has essays forthcoming on Harriet Beecher Stowe, Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde, and co-written with John James, Sherwood Anderson and James Cameron. Although Ue’s research has concentrated on the nineteenth century, he cares deeply about, and writes on, many aspects of intellectual history. His writing has appeared in numerous journals including Studies in Canadian Literature / Études en littérature canadienne and The Baker Street Journal: An Irregular Quarterly of Sherlockiana. He is currently writing about the representation of national identities in Stephen Frears’ films and about the narrative structure of BBC’s Sherlock.
MTLS is a 'triannual' journal with 90% Canadian content. It is mainly an online journal.
Volunteers for Issue 8
For copy-editing this issue of MTLS thanks:
- Amanda Tripp
- Carmel Purkis
- Rosel Kim
- Julia Cooper
- Lequanne Collins-Bacchus
MTLS is grateful to Jean-Pierre Houde for his hard work on web management.