Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

ITS UP TO YOU. KEEP CRITICAL DISCOURSE ALIVE IN CANADA

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The Government of British Columbia, whose Premier can hardly wait to be photographed next to luminaries attending the Olympics, the steroidal folly that could bankrupt our province, has cut funding to arts organizations, in many cases to zero.

One of the victims of arts cuts at the provincial and federal level is the Pacific Rim Review of Books, one of the few places reviews of Canadian and International writers and critical discussion are still appearing in print. Read the following letter from its publisher and find out how you can help.

L.R.

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Associates,

As many of you know Ekstasis Editions has had its Canada Council funding
cut completely – not simply decreased, but cut completely! We received
absolutely nothing this year. Zip! Nada! And we are told we can reapply
next year and perhaps start all over. This was an extremely unfair
decision by the Canada Council, the jury (allegedly) citing that the
quality of our list did not meet the standards of excellence required by
the Canada Council for the Arts. This was a ludicrous statement
considering that we had our best year ever and that our list year
consisted of Lesley Choyce, P.K.Page, Jim Christy, Peter Trower and the
designs of our books were extraordinary. This is an unbelievable insult
to our authors. Just what the hell are these idiots talking about?
Ekstasis produces some of the most remarkable covers in the publishing
industry. This seems to be a more personal matter coming from the Block
Grant Officer than from the jury; a responsible jury could not have said
that.

This action on the part of the Block Grant Officer has placed the
important work that Ekstasis Editions does in jeopardy. Ekstasis is
absolutely essential to a healthy literary culture, not only for the
books we produce, which offer opportunity to emerging poets as well as
recognition to established elder poets – but also for the critical
journal we publish, The Pacific Rim Review of Books. A healthy literary
culture is identified by the level of critical discourse that it
encourages. The Pacific Rim Review of Books fills an identifiable need
and for our journal to disappear, because of an ill informed Canada
Council decision, would be disastrous for the culture. At a time when
book pages in the newspapers are disappearing fast, we need the Pacific
Rim Review of Books more than ever. This next issue features cover
stories on Jack Gilbert and Margaret Atwood, plus 48 tabloid pages of
pure book talk. Just check out our webpage at www.prrb.ca and also our
webpage at www.ekstasiseditions.com to consider for yourself the
"quality of our list".

Because of the importance of this critical work, I am asking for your
support. Please consider subscribing to the PRRB; it is only 10 bucks
for one year or 20 bucks for two years, which hardly pays the postage,
and it keeps literary discourse vibrant. Hey, it's back to Kraft Dinner
for me and my family (if we can afford it) but please don't let the PRRB
die. I'm putting my life on the line to create a healthy literary
culture, so $10 bucks is cheap. And if you can afford it please consider
making a donation. All subscriptions income goes towards production
costs and donations will help pay the contributors. You can subscribe
online through paypal at www.prrb.ca, so go there. If your prefer not to
use paypal, and would prefer to subscribe by cheque, our address is
PRRB, 2808 Prior Street, Victoria, BC, V8T 3Y3. We would appreciate your
support.

For those of you who are concerned with the much larger question of the
unfairness of having a significant press abruptly and severely cut off
from funding, please write to the Head of Writing and Publishing at The
Canada Council for the Arts:

Arash Mohtashami-Maali
Writing and Publishing Section
The Canada Council for the Arts
12th floor
350 Albert Street
P.O. Box 1047
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5V8

You can also write to:
James Moore, the Minister of Heritage and Culture

Parliamentary Office:
356 Confederation Building
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
ph: 613.992.9650
fx: 613.992.9868
moorej@parl.gc.ca

2603 St. John's Street
Port Moody, BC V3H 2B5
ph: 604.937.5650
fx: 604.937.5601
moorej1a@parl.gc.ca

Thank you for your support,

Sincerely,

Richard Olafson
Ekstasis Editions

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Linda Rogers

Linda Rogers is the author of the novels Say My Name (Ekstasis Editions, 2000), Friday Water (Cormorant Books, 2003) and The Empress Letters (Cormorant Books, 2007). She has also published several collections of poetry, including Love in the Rainforest (Exile Editions, 1996), Heaven Cake (Sono Nis Press, 1997), The Saning (Sono Nis Press, 1999) and The Bursting Test (Guernica Editions, 2002).

Go to Linda Rogers’s Author Page