Who We Are, and Where We're Going
A Letter from the U of R Press Team
We like to start our catalogues with a letter from the Press Director talking a bit about our upcoming titles and how they relate to University of Regina Press's mandate and activities. This season's letter, co-written by the U of R Press team, addresses everything we're excited about for the fall season and beyond.
From our soon-to-be-released Fall 2019 catalogue:
In 2013, when we rebranded as University of Regina Press, our team chose the motto, “a voice for many peoples.” We did this to highlight the kind of publishing house we wanted to be: a place that seeks to publish traditionally underrepresented voices, to create space for them, and to celebrate them in Saskatchewan, across Canada, and on the world stage.
Of course, we couldn’t do any of this without the ongoing support and faith placed in us by the University of Regina and our authors, whose brilliance and clear-eyed truths leave us in awe and make us all want to do our best by them. This season’s writers are no exception. First-time author Helen Knott’s memoir of abuse, addiction, and recovery shows how sisterhood, family, community, and ceremony can help resist the legacy of colonial trauma. The recipient of a troubling gift, Irene Oore grapples with the terrible knowledge expressed in her mother’s stories of the Holocaust. Somalian-Canadian writer Mohamed Abdulkarim Ali tells of his struggles to find a place in Toronto as a gay Muslim newcomer, and poet Sadie McCarney gives voice to coming of age and queerness in a small Atlantic town.
In some cases, practising one’s art brings unbidden consequences, as when pioneering theatre director Florence Bean James is forced to flee McCarthyist persecution for producing the “wrong” type of theatre. Like Mary Soderstrom’s “odd” geographical neighbours, these works dovetail and diverge.
We’re also hearing from scholars and teachers at home and across the globe about knowledge that can help restore and revitalize lives, languages, communities, relationships, and even democracy. Compiled and edited with the help of Elders and Language Keepers, a Nakoda language textbook provides a critical resource for classrooms, as does esteemed scholar James Frideres’s introduction to Indigenous-settler relations, which helps do the necessary work of truth before reconciliation. Our edited collections—one on Indigenous theatre as an exuberant way of creating and affirming identity; another on barebacking in the age of PrEP; and a final one honouring the work of Allan Blakeney, a politician committed to sustaining a robust democracy—help us advance knowledge near and far.
Telling stories—whether as memoir or non-fiction or scholarship—comes with great responsibilities. So does publishing them. Over the past six years, we have learned that it matters who tells what story. It matters who helps shape them. It matters how and where they are shared. As we continue to grow our list, we’ll be keeping that foremost in mind. Publishing is always an act of collaboration. In that sense, our motto isn’t just for many peoples—but from many peoples, too.
—The Team at U of R Press