The Alcuin Society’s 50th anniversary talk series

The Alcuin Society is celebrating 50 years with a series of talks. These events look at the changes occurring in the last decades in publishing, book selling and, of course, the Alcuin Society, with specific examples. Unfortunately, this post is a bit belated, so the first talk has already taken place, but there are still two more scheduled for this fall.


The first talk of the series was on September 24 with Alex Rimmer, grandson of Jim Rimmer, of Pie Tree Press. Jim Rimmer, Vancouver native, is known for his work in graphic design, letterpress printing, and typography. He taught and inspired numerous students, sparking the remarkable Jim Rimmer Collection at SFU.

The second talk looks at the ever-changing book selling industry, with Don Stewart, owner of the long-standing MacLeod’s Books on Thursday, October 22, at 7 pm.

The final event on will take a comprehensive look at the Alcuin Society with Dr. Richard Hopkins, member of the society for the last 46 years. Hopkins, owner of Hourglass Books, book seller, collector, lecturer, will approach the society’s history with humour and gusto, in his engaging presentation on Thursday, November 26, at 7 pm.

All the events will be held at the Post at 750 (the CBC building across from VPL Main Branch), 110-750 Hamilton Street in Vancouver. While the events are free, seating is limited, so please RSVP for each event separately via Eventbrite.

Print Culture lecture by Roger Chartier

“A Bibliographical History: Editions and Translations of Las Casas’ La destruyción de las Indias, 1552-1820″

Bartolomé de las Casas’  La destruyción  de las Indias  was a scathing indictment of European colonial mistreatment of the  indigenous peoples of the Americas. This remarkable theological and eschatological history foresaw imminent divine punishment for Spain’s atrocities  in the New World. Based on the collections of the Library  of the University of Pennsylvania, this lecture will follow the multiple appropriations of Las Casas’ denunciation of the Spanish cruelties and tyrannies in America as translated, published, illustrated and presented in Early Modern Europe. The analysis of the various translations (particularly into French, English, and Italian) will provide a paradigmatic example of the multiple meanings given to Las Casas’  text by its translators, editors, and publishers and illuminates a cultural history and the ongoing legacy of the early modern colonial project.


1400-1430 Segal Centre, Harbour Centre, SFU Vancouver at 515 West Hastings

7:30pm on Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Reception follows. RSVP

Display at Bennett Library featuring poet, editor, and essayist Robin Blaser

Visit the Robin Blaser display at the Burnaby campus and learn about this captivating poet, editor, and essayist.

As part of the SFU 50th Anniversary celebration Bennett Library’s Special Collections & Rare Books Division has mounted a display on Robin Blaser’s life and work.

Former SFU professor Robin Blaser (1925-2009) came north to Vancouver from San Francisco in 1966 to join the newly established SFU English Dept.  He taught at the university for two decades, during which time he proved a charismatic and inspiring teacher, as well as a practicing poet, editor and essayist with a steadily rising international reputation.

The display is on the W.A.C. Bennett Library’s main floor (3rd) and continues outside Special Collections on the 7th floor, from September 10 – October 30, 2015. Materials are drawn from the extensive Blaser archive, housed in the Contemporary Literature Collection of Special Collections and Rare Books.

Alcuin Society’s Vancouver ceremony for Book Design Awards 2015

The West Coast book designers who won some of the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada this year will be celebrated in Vancouver on October 15.

This year the Alcuin Society experiments with a new format: instead of having the habitual speaker, the society invited a panel of children’s books’ illustrators and designers to talk about the challenges, rewards, and future of children’s books publishing. The panel is comprised of award winning illustrators and designers Sara Gillingham, Julie Flett, Julie Morstad, and Cynthia Nugent. It will be moderated by Robin Mitchell Cranfield, one of this year’s judges in the Book Design Awards (and an instructor in the Publishing Department at SFU).


The event will take place at Emily Carr University of Art+Design (Auditorium – Room 301 South Building) on 1400 Johnston Street, in Granville Island. Arrive early (by 6:30 pm), for a chance to view all the winning books. The formal event will start at 7 pm.

Note: There is also a Toronto event on October 5, with keynote speaker George Walker.

Fred Moten Reading Group

A reading group has been organized by SFU’s new Writer-in-Residence Jordan Scott and in anticipation of Fred Moten‘s visit to Vancouver.

The Fred Moten reading group will meet three consecutive Thursdays starting October 1 at SFU Harbor Center. The reading group will culminate in a reading and discussion with the author himself during his visit to Vancouver from October 23–25, 2015.

The books to be read:

  • The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study. Fred Moten and Stefano Harvey. Autonomedia (May 1, 2013)
  • The Little Edges. Wesleyan Poetry Series (2014)
  • The Feel Trio. Letter Machine Editions (2014)

Copies of the books are available through the organizers. Please email Jordan Scott if you require copies. To register, please message the organizers through Facebook or email Jordan Scott. Participation is free and open to the public.

This event is sponsored by The Capilano Review and the SFU Department of English.

Reading Group schedule:

Thu Oct 01 | 19:00 – 21:00
SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre Campus. Room 2925 (Hemlock Printers Seminar Room)
Discussion: The Undercommons.

Thu Oct 08 | 19:00 – 21:00
SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre Campus. Room 2925 (Hemlock Printers Seminar Room)
Discussion: The Undercommons and The Little Edges.

Thu Oct 15 | 19:00 – 21:00
SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre Campus. Room 2925 (Hemlock Printers Seminar Room)
Discussion: The Little Edges and The Feel Trio

Fri Oct 23 | Time and location TBA
Reading and Discussion with Fred Moten.

ABOUT FRED MOTEN: In 2009, Fred Moten was recognized as one of ten “New American Poets” by the Poetry Society of America. In addition to being a poet, Moten is also a scholar whose work explores black studies, performance studies, poetry, and critical theory.  He is also cofounder and copublisher of the small literary press Three Count Pour. Moten currently works as a professor of English at the University of California, Riverside. He lives in Los Angeles.

Open City: One Book, One SFU

In celebration of Simon Fraser University’s 50th anniversary, SFU Library is launching One Book, One SFU.

Teju Cole’s original and superbly subtle first novel, Open City, is the inaugural chosen book. Join us during the 2015 Community Summit for a special event during which Teju Cole and Eleanor Wachtel, host and co-founder of CBC Radio’s Writers & Company, will explore Cole’s work, the power of cities, and the lure of literature.

Copies of Open City are available to all members of the SFU community at Bennett, Belzberg, and Fraser Libraries.

Apply for the Simon Fraser University Library Scholarship for OpenCon 2015 – Brussels, Belgium

OpenCon 2015 is the student and early career researcher conference on Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data and will be held on November 14-16, 2015 in Brussels, Belgium. It is organized by the Right to Research Coalition, SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), and an Organizing Committee of students and early career researchers from around the world.
The meeting will convene students and early career researchers from around the world and serve as a powerful catalyst for projects led by the next generation of scholars and researchers to advance OpenCon‘s three focus areas—Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data. Participants for the conference will be selected through an application process.

Complete and submit the form at http://www.opencon2015.org/simon_fraser_university by September 28th to apply for the Simon Fraser University Library travel scholarship to attend OpenCon 2015.  Simon Fraser University graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are eligible to apply through this form. The Simon Fraser University Library will decide which applicant will receive the scholarship, and applicants will be notified by October 2nd.

Information about OpenCon 2015 – http://www.opencon2015.org/
Participant FAQ – http://www.opencon2015.org/participant_faq
**please note: the SFU Library scholarship includes registration to OpenCon.  The scholarship is not restricted to those already accepted to attend.**

Rita Wong & Christine Leclerc to read at Special Collections

The SFU Library is pleased to be sponsoring an upcoming reading with poet Rita Wong and writer/activist Christine Leclerc.

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015
12:30pm to 1:30pm
SFU Library Special Collections, Room 7100, 7th Floor, W.A.C. Bennett Library (Burnaby Campus)

Free Drop-In. Refreshments will be served with a question period to follow.

Rita Wong grew up in Calgary and currently lives in Vancouver. She has a doctorate from SFU and is the author of three books of poetry, Monkeypuzzle (1998), Forage (2007, winner of the Dorothy Livesay Prize), and Undercurrent (2015), as well as Sybil Unrest (2008; rev. ed. 2013), co-written with her frequent collaborator Larissa Lai. Her work often investigates the relationships between social justice, ecology, decolonization, and contemporary poetics. She is an assistant professor at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Christine Leclerc is a Vancouver-based writer and anti-pipeline/ tar sands activist. A graduate of the UBC Creative Writing program, she has published two books of poetry, Counterfeit (2008) and Oilywood (2013), and is an editor of The Enpipe Line: 70,000+ Km of Poetry Written in Resistance to the Northern Gateway Pipeline Proposal (Creekstone Press, 2012).

SFU Writer’s Studio celebrates 15th Anniversary with ongoing public events

As part of the ongoing celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Writer’s Studio (Betsy Warland created and started TWS in 2001), they are co-hosting a book club series with the Vancouver Public Library which also include writing workshops. The events will be facilitated by TWS Grads with questions to guide the discussions. 

Location: Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, 350 West Georgia St.
Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms (Lower Level)

The third author workshop is with Joan McEwen on Saturday September 19, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

Joan takes us through the process of writing her non-fiction book, Innocence on Trial: The Framing of Ivan Henry during the author workshop. Ivan Henry spent 27 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, declaring his innocence and fighting to have his case reviewed before he was granted an acquittal. In her non-fiction account, lawyer Joan McEwen lays out how the case against Henry was prejudiced, showing in chilling detail how this can happen, even in Canada. Joan advocates for criminal justice reform and is actively involved in helping long-term offenders reintegrate back into society.

The book club for Innocence on Trial: The Framing of Ivan Henry took place on September 11, 2015.

The following event is on Monday, October 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm with novelist E.R. Brown.

Eric will read from his novel Almost Criminal, and share insights into the writing process. He will discuss innovation and experimentation in the crime and mystery genre. Almost Criminal is a critically-praised debut novel that was nominated for an Edgar Award and an Arthur Ellis Award, and named a 2014 Book of the Year by the 49th Shelf.

The fourth book club and workshop is with Cathie Borrie in January. The book club will take place on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm. The workshop will take place on Friday, January 15, 2016 at 6:00 pm.

Cathie Borrie is the author of The Long Hello ~ Memory, My Mother, and Me. Cathie’s workshop will illustrate the challenges of both writing memoir in a lyrical form, and the organizational hurdles inherent in a work that moves back and forth in time. Discussion and Q&A will follow the presentation.