The impressive work to date of our very own AU Press is being lauded by The Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA). Last week it announced the 2016 contenders for its annual Alberta Book Publishing Awards, and AU press is on the shortlist in two categories.
The BPAA award shortlist recognizes the works of publishers across Alberta. Jurors in the publishing industry from across the country adjudicated 77 entries, in a dozen categories.
AU Press’ 2015 book We Are Coming Home is nominated for Academic Book of the Year. Additionally, the Press is nominated for Publisher of the Year, competing with Calgary-based literary press Freehand Books.
“We are thrilled to be recognized by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta in several categories,” says AU Press Acting Director Megan Hall.
“Not only because we are aware of the talented and devoted group of people that work in publishing in Alberta but also because it is an acknowledgement of the value of the research and writing that we have the privilege to work with every day.”
We Are Coming Home, released in April 2015, depicts the long and complicated artifact repatriation to the Blackfoot Confederacy from Calgary’s Glenbow Museum.
The book was the brainchild of the late Gerald Conaty, former senior curator of ethnology at the Glenbow. Conaty passed away of cancer in 2013 before the book was complete. Former Glenbow CEO Robert Janes stepped in as editor to help finish his colleague’s labour of love. Janes is editor-in-chief emeritus of the international peer-reviewed journal Museums Management and Curatorship
It is an acknowledgement of the value of the research and writing that we have the privilege to work with every day,” ~ Megan Hall, acting director, AU Press
There are eight authors altogether: Blackfoot Confederacy members Frank Weasel Head, Jerry Potts, Allan Pard, Herman Yellow Old Woman and Chris McHugh; along with Conaty, Janes and John Ives.
“These [authors] are the people who actually work directly with these objects — that’s why this book has an emotional tone, as well as an historical and intellectual one — these objects are so important to them as individuals and to their communities,” Janes told AU Newsroom in an interview at last year’s book launch.
“Being a Blackfoot ceremonialist is a lot like having a Ph.D.; it takes long years of training and knowledge to be able to use these objects for the benefit of your community,” said Janes.
Sadly, authors Weasel Head and Pard each passed away this year, to which Hall acknowledges: “I’m particularly pleased to see We Are Coming Home receive this recognition in light of the recent passings of Frank Weasel Head and Allan Pard — both of whom made important contributions to the book.”
For more on We Are Coming Home, see AU Newsroom‘s review here.The Alberta Book Publishing Award winners will be announced at the BPAA gala dinner at the Hotel Arts in Calgary during its 2016 BPAA Book Publishing Conference and AGM, Sept. 15 to 17.
To view the complete shortlist by the Alberta Book Publishing Awards, visit Quill & Quire magazine.