Locations of Grief
Edited by Catherine Owen
Contributions by Alice Major, Katherine Bitney, Alice Burdick, Marilyn Dumont, Ben Gallagher, Catherine Greenwood, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Richard Harrison, David Haskins, Steven Heighton, Theresa Kishkan, Christine Lowther, Canisia Lubrin, James Picard, Nikki Reimer, Waubgeshig Rice, Lisa Richter, Lynn Tait, Sharon Thesen, Onjana Yawnghwe, Daniel Zomparelli
By Jenna Butler, and Catherine Graham
Exploring the landscapes of death and grief, this collection takes the reader through a series of essays, drawn together from twenty-four Canadian writers that reach across different ages, ethnicities and gender identities as they share their thoughts, struggles and journeys ... Read more
Exploring the landscapes of death and grief, this collection takes the reader through a series of essays, drawn together from twenty-four Canadian writers that reach across different ages, ethnicities and gender identities as they share their thoughts, struggles and journeys relating to death. Be it the meditation on the loss of a beloved dog who once solaced a departed parent, the tragic suicide of a stranger or the deep pain of losing a brother, Locations of Grief is defined by its range of essays exploring all the facets of mourning, and how the places in our lives can be irreversibly changed by the lingering presence of death.
Catherine Owen lives in New Westminster, BC. She is the author of ten collections of poetry, among them, Designated Mourner (ECW, 2014), Trobairitz (Anvil Press 2012), Seeing Lessons (Wolsak & Wynn 2010) and Frenzy (Anvil Press 2009). Her poems are included in several recent anthologies such as Forcefield: 77 Women Poets of BC (Mothertongue Press, 2013) and This Place a Stranger: Canadian Women Travelling Alone (Caitlin Press, 2014). Stories have appeared in Urban Graffiti, Memwear Magazine, Lit N Image (US) and Toronto Quarterly. Her collection of memoirs and essays is called Catalysts: Confrontations with the Muse (W & W, 2012). Frenzy won the Alberta Book Prize and other collections have been nominated for the BC Book Prize, ReLit, the CBC Prize, and the George Ryga Award. In 2015, Wolsak & Wynn published her compendium on the practices of writing called The Other 23 and a Half Hours or Everything You Wanted to Know That Your MFA Didn’t Teach You. She works in TV, plays metal bass and blogs at Marrow Reviews.
Alice Major has published eleven books of poetry and a prize-winning collection of essays, Intersecting Sets: A Poet Looks at Science. Recent awards include the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Award and an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta. She served as Edmonton’s first poet laureate, a city where she continues to live.
Katherine Bitney is author of three critically acclaimed books of poetry: While You Were Out, Heart and Stone and Singing Bone. A fourth collection is forthcoming from Turnstone Press for fall 2012. She has worked as editor, mentor, creative writing instructor, arts juror and literary creative director for over thirty years in Manitoba. Most recently she developed the text for Cantus Borealis, a choral piece on the Boreal with composer Sid Robinovitch (premiered April 2011). Katherine Bitney holds a Master's degree in Religion.
Jenna Butler is the author of three books of poetry and ten short collections with small presses. Butler teaches creative writing and eco-criticism at Red Deer College. In the summer, she and her husband live on a small organic farm near the historic Grizzly Trail in Alberta's north country.
Marilyn Dumont is of Cree/Métis ancestry. Poet, writer and professor, she teaches with the Faculty of Native Studies and the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Her four collections of poetry have all won either provincial or national poetry awards: A Really Good Brown Girl (1996), green girl dreams Mountains (2001), that tongued belonging (2007) and The Pemmican Eaters (2015). She was awarded the 2018 Lifetime Membership from the League of Canadian Poets for her contributions to poetry in Canada, and in 2019 was awarded the Alberta Lieutenant Governor’s Distinguished Artist Award. She lives in Edmonton, AB.
Ben Gallagher is a poet, essayist and new father, currently in the middle of a PhD at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, researching non-linear pedagogy and poetic practices in community poetry workshops. Recent poems can be found in untethered, Sewer Lid, The Puritan, (parenthetical) and Arc. He lives in Lunenburg, NS.
Catherine Graham's the author of four previous poetry collections, including the acclaimed trilogy Pupa, The Red Element, and Winterkill. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies, and her poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies around the world. A new and selected volume of her poetry is forthcoming in the United Kingdom. She lives in Toronto.
Catherine Greenwood has lived and worked in British Columbia, New Brunswick, China and southeast England. Previous job titles include publications analyst, foreign expert, financial aid adjudicator and pet sitter. She has published two collections of poetry, The Pearl King and Other Poems and The Lost Letters. Her writing has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, and has been recognized with several prizes, including a National Magazine Gold Award. She now lives in South Yorkshire where, as a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield, she is pursuing an interest in Scottish Gothic poetry.
Jane Eaton Hamilton
Jane Eaton Hamilton is the author of seven books of fiction and poetry. Her book July Nights was shortlisted for the BC Book Prizes and her book Hunger was shortlisted for the Ferro-Grumley Award. Body Rain, her first book of poetry, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award, and her chapbook, Going Santa Fe, won the League of Canadian Poets Poetry Chapbook Award. A pseudonymous memoir was on the Guardian's Best of the Year list and was a Sunday Times bestseller. She has been included in the Journey Prize Anthology and Best Canadian Short Stories, and has been cited in Best American Short Stories. She has won many prizes for her short fiction, including, twice, the Prism International short fiction contest, and first prize in the CBC Literary Awards. She has been published in the New York Times, Seventeen magazine, Salon, Numero Cinq, Macleans, the Globe and Mail, the Missouri Review, the Alaska Quarterly Review and many other places. She has been a recipient of arts awards from the BC Arts Council and the Canada Council. Jane is also a photographer and visual artist and was a litigant in Canada's same-sex marriage case. She lives in Vancouver, BC.
Richard Harrison is the author of 5 books of poetry including Hero of the Play: 10th Anniversary Edition, and Big Breath of a Wish which won the City of Calgary/W.O. Mitchell Book Prize and was a finalist for the Governor-Generals Award for Poetry for 1999. Richards poems have been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic. His essays as well as writings on his work have appeared in several academic publications as well as in The Globe and Mail, The Manchester Guardian and The New York Times. Richard lives in Calgary with his wife Lisa and their children, Emma and Keeghan, and he teaches English and Creative Writing at Mount Royal College.
David Haskins is published in over thirty literary journals, anthologies, and books, and has collected his earlier poems in the book Reclamation. He has won first prizes from the CBC Literary Competition, the Canadian Authors Association, and the Ontario Poetry Society. He lives in Grimsby, Ontario.
Steven Heighton’s most recent books are a novel, The Nightingale Won’t Let You Sleep, and a poetry collection, The Waking Comes Late, which received the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Poetry. His short fiction and poetry have received four gold National Magazine Awards and have appeared in the London Review of Books, Poetry Magazine (Chicago), Tin House, Best American Poetry, The Literary Review, Agni, Zoetrope, Geist and five editions of Best Canadian Stories. In 2020, he will publish two books, Reaching Mithymna – a non-fiction account of the Middle Eastern refugee influx on Lesvos, Greece – and a children’s book drawing on the same events. Heighton is also a translator, an occasional teacher and a reviewer for the New York Times Book Review. He has been based in Kingston, Ontario, for thirty years.
Theresa Kishkan is the author of eleven books of poetry and prose. Her essays have appeared in Memewar, Dandelion, Lake, Contrary, The New Quarterly, Cerise, and many other magazines and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Relit Award, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and the Hubert Evans Prize for Non-Fiction. Her collection of essays, Phantom Limb, won the first Readers' Choice Award from the Canadian Creative Non-Fiction Collective in 2009. An essay from Mnemonic won the 2010 Edna Staebler Personal Essay Prize.
Christine Lowther has been a lifelong activist and a resident of Clayoquot Sound since 1992. She is the author of three books of poetry, New Power (Broken Jaw Press, 1999), My Nature (Leaf Press, 2010), and Half-Blood Poems (Zossima Press, 2011). Her memoir, Born Out of This (Caitlin Press, 2014), was a finalist for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize at the 2015 BC Book Prizes. Christine co-edited two collections of essays, Writing the West Coast: In Love with Place (Ronsdale Press, 2008) and Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast (The Key Publishing House, 2012). Recipient of the inaugural Rainy Coast Arts Award for Significant Accomplishment in 2014, Chris served as Tofino Poet Laureate 2020-2022.
Canisia Lubrin is a writer, editor, critic and teacher from St. Lucia, published and anthologized internationally with translations of her work into Spanish, Italian and forthcoming in French and German. Her poetry debut Voodoo Hypothesis (Buckrider Books, 2017) was named a CBC Best Book and garnered multiple award nominations. The Dyzgraphxst (M&S, 2020) is her sophomore book of poetry. She holds an MFA from the University of Guelph and lives in Ontario.
James Picard has exhibited extensively in close to two hundred art exhibitions throughout North America and Europe, and next to world-renowned art legends such as Picasso, Matisse, Miró, and Warhol. He has also taught at several universities and has released three books on his art. He was the first artist to exhibit his paintings at the historical Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco, part of his The Dark & The Wounded painting series and world art tour, which he filmed and turned into a documentary film that won awards across the North American film festival circuit in 2017/18, culminating in a screening in May 2018 at the 71st Cannes International Film Festival in France. He currently resides in California.
NIKKI REIMER (she/her/they/them) is a multimedia artist and writer and chronically ill neurodivergent prairie settler currently living in Mohkinstsis/Calgary. She has been involved with arts and writing communities, primarily in Calgary and Vancouver, for over 20 years. They are the author of four books of poetry and multiple essays on grief. GRIEFWAVE.com, a multimedia, web-based, extended elegy, was launched in February 2022. Frequent themes Reimer explores through their work include feminism, the body, the Anthropocene, late capitalism, death, grief, loss, and animal subjectivity.Though their practice began in the literary arts, Reimer's artistic work has taken turns into multiple forms of interdisciplinary artmaking, including visual art and video, installation work, and performance practice. "Trigger Warning," a play commissioned by Swallow A Bicycle Theatre Company for their ten year anniversary retrospective, explores how gossip and the whisper network can both combat and reify rape culture within Canadian cultural circles. Reimer's work has been extensively reviewed, often noting their embrace of dark humour and feminist refusal. Visit reimerwrites.com.
Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation on Georgian Bay. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002, and spent the bulk of his journalism career at CBC, most recently as host of Up North, the afternoon radio program for northern Ontario. He lives in Sudbury with his wife and two sons. Legacy is his debut novel.
Lisa Richter is the author of a book of poetry, Closer to Where We Began (Tightrope Books, 2017). Her work has previously appeared in The New Quarterly, CV2, The Puritan, The Malahat Review, Literary Review of Canada and the anthology Jack Layton: Art in Action (Quattro Books, 2013). Her next collection of poems, Nautilus and Bone, is forthcoming with Frontenac House in fall 2020. She lives in Toronto.
Lynn Tait is a Toronto-born poet/photographer. Her poems have appeared in various literary journals including Vallum, FreeFall, and in over one hundred anthologies. She’s also published a chapbook and co-authored a book with four other poets. She currently resides in Sarnia, Ontario.
Poet, editor and teacher Sharon Thesen (born Tisdale, SK) has spent almost all her life in British Columbia. After studies at Simon Fraser University, she began teaching in 1975 at the then-Capilano College in North Vancouver, where for many years she edited The Capilano Review. Artemis Hates Romance, her first book of poetry in 1980, was followed by thirteen more, three of them finalists for the Governor General's Award: Confabulations, 1984; The Beginning of the Long Dash, 1987; and The Good Bacteria, 2006. She edited The Vision Tree, a selected poems by Phyllis Webb (Governor General’s Award, 1982), two editions of the The New Long Poem Anthology (1991 and 2001), and, with Ralph Maud, two volumes of correspondence between American poet Charles Olson and book-designer and Joyce scholar Frances Boldereff (1999 and 2012). At UBC Okanagan, where she taught from 2003 to 2012, Thesen and poet Nancy Holmes co-edited Lake: A Journal of Arts and Environment. The Receiver (2017) is her most recent collection, and in 2021, The Wig-Maker was published, a book-length poem created in concert with Janet Gallant from Gallant’s memoirs. Since 2020, the annual “Sharon Thesen Lecture” at UBC Okanagan honours Thesen’s contribution to poetry and poetics. Her archives are held at the McGill University Library in Montreal and at Simon Fraser University’s Special Collections in Burnaby, BC.
Onjana Yawnghwe was born in Thailand but is from the Shan people in Burma (Myanmar). She grew up in Vancouver and received a master's degree in English from UBC. Her poems have been featured in numerous anthologies and journals, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011, 4 Poets, CV2, Room magazine and The New Quarterly. Her first poetry book, Fragments, Desire, was published by Oolichan Books in 2017. More about her work can be found at www.onjana.com.
Daniel Zomparelli is the Editor-in-Chief of Poetry Is Dead magazine and co-podcaster at Can't Lit. He also co-edits After You, a collaborative poetry project. He is the author of the poetry collections Davie Street Translations and (with Dina Del Bucchia) Rom Com, both published by Talonbooks. His debut story collection Everything Is Awful and You're a Terrible Person was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2017. He lives in Vancouver.