Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kudos for my friend, co-author and co-editor Seymour Mayne

Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award 2009
Prix d'excellence Louis Rosenberg en ├ętudes canadiennes juives 2009

The Association for Canadian Jewish Studies is delighted to announce that Professor SEYMOUR MAYNE of Ottawa is the 2009 recipient of the Louis Rosenberg Canadian Jewish Studies Distinguished Service Award. The ACJS is proud to recognize Professor Mayne’s lifetime achievement in literary scholarship, poetry and translation as well as his central role in the founding and directing of the Vered Program in Canadian Jewish Studies at the University of Ottawa. Please see below for more information on Seymour Mayne’s achievements.

The Louis Rosenberg Award was established in 2001 to recognize an individual, group or institution, who has made significant contribution(s) to Canadian Jewish Studies in one or more fields. Professor Mayne joins a distinguished list of writers, scholars and community leaders who have received this award in the past. This list includes Miriam Waddington, Rabbi Gunther Plaut, Ruth Goldbloom, Abraham Arnold, Professor Gerald Tulchinsky, Professor Irving Abella, Cyril Leonoff and Seymour Levitan.
The executive of the ACJS wishes a hearty congratulations to Professor Mayne and looks forward to presenting this award to him on the evening of Sunday May 24, 2009 in Ottawa as part of our annual conference.
Dr. Randal F. SchnoorPresident, Association for Canadian Jewish Studies

Professor Seymour Mayne is one of Jewish Canada’s foremost poets and literary scholars. He has been active for close to four decades as a published poet, and has enjoyed a long and illustrious academic career in the University of Ottawa’s English Department. He is author, editor or translator of more than fifty books and monographs, and his poetry has been widely translated into French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Yiddish. Moreover, he has organized countless forums to promote Canadian letters in the Ottawa region, including reading groups, journals, anthologies, and literary events. Professor Mayne has also been instrumental in the promotion of Jewish Canadian Studies. After many years of rallying, he oversaw the establishment of the Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program in 2006. The Vered Program, which was created to promote an understanding of Jewish life, culture, language, literature, and history in a Canadian context, offers an array of interdisciplinary courses in both English and French, as well as a minor. Prof. Mayne continues to serve as the program’s director and most ardent promoter

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

On being a Jewish-African American writer in Obamaland

“Jews at one point were the best boxers in America. Jews were the best mobsters in America. Jews lived in ghettos and were slaughtered because of their race. I dare anybody to separate that from the African American experience.”

Recently, my friend Harold Heft, a Montreal writer living in Toronto, headed down to Manhatten to interview the Jewish-African American novelist Walter Mosley. Gazette readers were treated to a fascinating piece. I hope Harold manages to spin it off and we can read more soon from this encounter with a truly fascinating person of mixed heritage.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

for Arleen

You gave the children cameras
when you saw they had lost
the trail of breadcrumbs in the street
and crumbs were just the world
forever crumbling. You wanted them to know
that a composite of moments
could be shaped by longing into
belonging, and a photograph is a talisman
of light and love.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ah, revenge is sweet...

... all the way to the grave.
A lovely poem, beautiful sentiment for a beloved, missed husband - or is it? Look closely. Now read the story. I guess the last laugh was on John.