Artwork by Lauren Crazybull.
In June we introduced All Lit Up's Indigenous Litspace, a hub that showcases books, words, and art by some of the Indigenous artists we admire. Our hope is to help you discover new books by Indigenous authors, to rediscover past favourites, and to collect the essential and exciting work from all corners of Canada's Indigenous artists in one place. And we're not done yet. Stay tuned and celebrate in a much bigger way with us this October.
Poetry has been a favourite at ALU HQ since its inception and National Poetry Month is our Superbowl. Discovering, reading, and sharing poetry for us is just as much an act of resistance as it is an act of self-care. That's why this year we found our collective strength in Poetry Cure, a series dedicated to poetry as a mode of healing. We chatted with tons of poets, read and shared some rad poetry, Instagrammed hand-lettered lines from poems, and felt ready to take on May.
This summer was an adventure that flew by like any good adventure does. We partnered with Nieuport Aviation to launch a vending machine full of CanLit at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Landing on June 1, CarryOnBooks housed 30 books — everything from poetry to drama — and quickly took flight with airport travellers. Not only did we sell lots of great CanLit by women authors and Indigenous authors, CarryOnBooks was a little bit famous — just sayin' — appearing in the Toronto Star, the Quill & Quire, and BlogTO to name a few. And while we had a good run, we had to say bon voyage until its next destination. Find out all about our take off and full list of CarryOnBooks books here.
In 2017 we featured Shane Neilson's Dysphoria, a poetry collection about disability and mental illness, alongside a cocktail for our Chappy Hour column. It quickly became clear that the post was insensitive and perpetuated an ableist attitude – and Shane was generous enough to call us in about it. We'd made a mistake and took the moment to learn and do better. We removed the blog post and gave Shane space on All Lit Up to write a piece about ableism and alcohol, which you can read here. Shane's piece also inspired more essays by disabled writers, like Adam Pottle and Dorothy Ellen Palmer, who shared their lived experiences with us. As All Lit Up grows up, we, too, mature as editors, and feel lucky to have readers and authors who support us through our missteps. We're always learning.
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Thank you to all our dear readers and supporters; we wouldn't be here without you. Here's to another four+ years!
And, don't "four"get – birthdays around here mean CONTESTS. You can win all of this great stuff pictured below (with a different book each day) – stay tuned to our Instagram page @alllitupcanada all week to find out how to get your hands on our ALUx4 prize pack.