News

Dance researcher/author visiting Mabou area

Posted by on September 11, 2017

Melin9781772060287_FCI bumped into Mats Melin at the Mabou Farmers Market Sunday (September 10, 2017). Mats is, of course, the author of One With the Music: Cape Breton Step Dancing Tradition and Transmission (2015).

Mats is on sabbatical leave from his post as Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland, and will be in Cape Breton for a couple of months of writing and research.

We recently noticed a rather nice review of Mats’s book on Amazon, calling it “exceptionally informative and enjoyable.” Link to the full review here.

I bumped into Mats Melin at the Mabou Farmers Market Sunday (September 10, 2017). Mats is, of course, the author… Continue»

CBUP author at Word on the Street, Halifax

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Halifax-Logo-PNGBooklovers in Nova Scotia will get their Word on the Street this Saturday (September 16, 2017) at Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road.

 

Hugh R. MacDonaldUs and ThemSydney Mines writer Hugh R. MacDonald is one of this year’s featured authors. Hugh will read from his new YA novel, Us and Them, at 10 a.m. on the “Young Adult Fiction” stage in the library’s Creative Lab.

Hugh will share the stage with Melanie Mosher and Tom Ryan and be signing books afterward at the Bookmark booth.

Congratulations Hugh.

For 23 years now, and one of Atlantic Canada’s premier book festivals, the Word on the Street is the largest free literacy event in Nova Scotia. It’s inclusive and welcoming to all ages, and best of all it is FREE!

 

Booklovers in Nova Scotia will get their Word on the Street this Saturday (September 16, 2017) at Halifax Central Library… Continue»

CBU Press authors featured at Harvard Symposium

Posted by on September 7, 2017

symposiumposter03_final_webWe note that several of our authors and friends are taking part in a symposium on Gaelic at Harvard University next month.

The Harvard Symposium on North American Gaelic Literature features Michael Newton, author of Seanchaidh na Coille / Memory-Keeper of the Forest and The Naughty Little Book of Gaelic, Michael Linkletter, co-editor with John Alick MacPherson of Fògradh, Fàisneachd, Filidheachd / Parting, Prophecy, Poetry, and our good friends and colleagues Rob Dunbar and Tiber Falzett.

Both Rob and Tiber have contributed chapters to CBU Press books at one time or another, and one of the symposium organizers, Natasha Sumner, was a contributor to Celts in the Americas, edited by Michael Newton. Gee, wish I was going to this reunion too!

“Gaelic languages have a nearly three hundred year history on this continent. In both Irish and Scottish Gaelic, stories were told, songs were composed, sermons were preached, and essays were written on this soil. However, much North American Irish and Scottish Gaelic literature still awaits scholarly examination.

“With the Harvard Symposium on North American Gaelic Literature, we seek to advance the study of the Gaelic diasporic experience through the promotion of an ongoing dialogue between scholars of North American Irish and Scottish Gaelic literature.”

The symposium will take place at Harvard on October 5, 2017. Link here to the symposium’s website.

 

 

We note that several of our authors and friends are taking part in a symposium on Gaelic at Harvard University… Continue»

“Experience Italy” weekend to include talk by co-editor of “Italian Lives: Cape Breton Memories”

Posted by on September 5, 2017

Italian Lives19074109_10154493917152623_1162926556_nHow’s your appetite? How’s your Italian? How’s your appetite for Italian?

This weekend (Sept. 8-10, 2017) the Italian Canadian Cultural Association of Nova Scotia (ICCANS) is hosting and Italian festival at their building on 2629 Agricola Street, Halifax, and our own Evo DiPierro is to give one of the featured talks. Fr. Evo is speaking on Friday evening between 7 and 8 p.m. in the ICCANS boardroom, entitled “Italian Lives, Cape Breton Memories (and Your Memories).”

The weekend promises a long list of cultural events and lots of food.

First published in 1999 by CBU Press, Italian Lives, Cape Breton Memories was recently republished (2017) to satisfy an appetite for the book that never really went away.

Signed copies of the book will be available for sale. Check out the association’s website www.iccans.org for the full schedule.

How’s your appetite? How’s your Italian? How’s your appetite for Italian? This weekend (Sept. 8-10, 2017) the Italian Canadian Cultural… Continue»

Scots Gaelic loses scholar/advocate John Alick MacPherson

Posted by on September 4, 2017

seonaidh_ailig_obit_tv_n1We are so sad to mark the passing of John Alick MacPherson (Seonaidh Ailig Mac a’ Phearsain in his native Gaelic) on August 31, 2017, at the age of 79, after a period of declining health.

John Alick was a generous friend and mentor to CBU Press, particularly with respect to our efforts in Celtic and Gaelic studies. He was always available for translation, advice and to share a story.

With Michael Linkletter, John Alick MacPherson worked with us on Fògradh, Fàisneachd, Filidheachd / Parting, Prophecy, Poetry: An T-urr. Donnchadh Blàrach (1815-1893) ann am Mac-Talla / Rev. Duncan B. Blair (1815-1893) in Mac-Talla, a collection of writings and poems Rev. Blair in Mac-Talla, a late-19th-century Gaelic newspaper published in Cape Breton.Fògradh, Fàisneachd, Filidheachd

John Alick Macpherson was a native Gaelic speaker from Harris and North Uist, Scotland, but he lived, with his wife Helen, in Marion Bridge, near Sydney, Nova Scotia, for many years. Educated at Edinburgh and Jordanhill College of Education, where he trained as a teacher of Gaelic and history, he taught Gaelic in the Scottish school system. John Alick also worked for the Gaelic Department of the BBC as a producer, and was deputy director of the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee and involved in many Gaelic activities including being on the board of the Gaelic Books Council and Bòrd na Gaidhlig. He was also the Chair of a Scottish government task force whose findings led to formation of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Gaelic and, in turn, the Gaelic Language Act. Other Gaelic activities include writing columns for the Gaelic newspaper An Gaidheal Ùr and the Gaelic magazine An Gath, preparation of Gaelic language plans, and the translation into Gaelic of complex documents for several Scottish organizations. He was also on the board of Caledonian MacBrayne.

In his early years, John Alick was a poet of some renown, at the age of twenty-three he won the Poetry Crown at the National Mòd (1961). His autobiography, Steall à Iomadh Lòn (Clàr, 2011), won the Donald Meek Award for new Gaelic writing.

He was instrumental in verifying and finalizing an annotated index of Mac-Talla for the Beaton Institute of Cape Breton Studies at Cape Breton University, as well as the chief Gaelic language consultant for their Cape Breton’s Diversity in Unity site.

When we launched Fògradh, Fàisneachd, Filidheachd / Parting, Prophecy, Poetry in Scotland in 2013, John Alick was generous with his insights and his contacts across that country, making it one of our most successful Scotland book tours.

You can link here to a presentation about the book recorded at the Beaton Institute in October 2013.

Funeral service will be held at St. Columba Presbyterian Church, Marion Bridge on Saturday, September 9, 2017, at 11 a.m., with Rev. Lydia MacKinnon officiating. Interment in Oakfield Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Canadian Liver Foundation.

You can read his obituary here.

You can read BBC Alba’s announcement (Gaelic) here.

(Photo taken from BBC Alba website.)

We are so sad to mark the passing of John Alick MacPherson (Seonaidh Ailig Mac a’ Phearsain in his native… Continue»

Old Trout Funnies “notable and accessibly written”: review

Posted by on August 15, 2017

9781772060409_FCA great synopsis and review of Old Trout Funnies: The Comic Origins of the Cape Breton Liberation Army, by Ian Brodie and Paul “Moose” MacKinnon, is forthcoming in Ethnologies (vol. 38, no. 2: 297-299).

“an admirable job in both presenting MacKinnon’s OTF collection and providing context and explication to allow readers to appreciate the comics and calendars while having information with which to consider the comics on a variety of analytical levels.”

“The level of detail in the entries is impressive: not only do they provide insights into the components of MacKinnon’s work, but they also allow us to see how his life and the world of the period fed into it. Brodie’s work balances providing scholarly discussion of MacKinnon’s work and allowing the art to have the space to stand alone. This is not an easy balance to strike in book form, but Brodie has done it well.”

Great to see Paul’s early work, and Ian’s scholarship being recognized.

A great synopsis and review of Old Trout Funnies: The Comic Origins of the Cape Breton Liberation Army, by Ian… Continue»

Seanchaidh na Coille “engaging and accessible”: review

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Memory-Keeper of the ForestA great synopsis and review of Michael Newton’s Seanchaidh na Coille – Memory-Keeper of the Forest is forthcoming in Ethnologies (vol. 38, no. 2: 293-296).

“engaging and accessible […] valuable in both broad and specific terms.”

“As a result of his healthy contextualization, Newton has succeeded in contributing to the canon of not only Gaelic literature, but of Canadian literature more broadly, and has fleshed out the image of the Gael as it pertains to the earliest sense of Canadian multiculturalism.”

“The anthology has both academic and common appeal and invites inquiry through its generous presentation of previously inaccessible material. Its contents promise to contribute to future scholarship in a way that both complicates and enriches the image of ‘the Gael’ in Canada and is, therefore, a welcome addition to any interdisciplinary library.”

Great to see that Michael’s contributions (and ours) are making a difference.

A great synopsis and review of Michael Newton’s Seanchaidh na Coille – Memory-Keeper of the Forest is forthcoming in Ethnologies… Continue»

Oak Island mystery closer to solution?

Posted by on June 14, 2017

JoySteele-1Oak Island Mystery SolvedAuthor Joy A. Steele was recently interviewed for a popular podcast on the Internet radio station, The ‘X’ Zone Broadcast Network. Like other programs on the network, Kevin Randle’s A Different Perspective (ADP) specializes in “X-file” type subjects. ADP garners about 150,000 listeners. You can link here to the interview with Joy Steele.

The Oak Island mystery is Nova Scotia’s best-known “X-file” – as in “X” marks the spot. While interest in the possibility of buried treasure has attracted treasure hunters for more than 200 years, interest in recent years has been fuelled in part by the TV series The Curse of Oak Island, so far running four seasons on the History Channel.

Well, Joy Steele’s theory, as outlined in her book, The Oak Island Mystery, Solved (CBU Press 2015), seems to be gaining traction – including, we dare say – corroboration late in the TV show’s fourth (2016-2017) season.

To recap – Steele’s book The Oak Island Mystery, Solved theorizes that the real Oak Island treasure is that of its history, and not pirate booty or Aztec gold or the Ark of the Covenant. A recent review of her book tells readers that in his opinion Joy is justified in claiming, as in the title, to have solved the mystery.

Joy’s explanation for the mystery has a lot to do with the 18th-century process of making pitch for the waterproofing of ships. Late in season four, The Curse of Oak Island shows treasure hunters identifying remnants of pitch found in drilling samples from one of their bore holes on the island. We can’t show you the clips, but History Channel subscribers can view season four from the show’s website.

Despite seeing her theory being corroborated for the show’s millions of viewers, Joy’s research continues. She recently came across additional documentation that could further prove her explanation for the various phenomenon that have intrigued (and killed) so many searchers and adventurers.

Col. Kevin Randle (ret.), PhD, says he too has long been interested in Oak Island and its so-called money pit. In the interview, Kevin points out the double-entendre of the money pit: legend has it harbouring buried money or treasure, history has shown that lots of money has been thrown into it by successive attempts to unlock its secret.

In what is to us a ringing endorsement, following the interview, Randle posted (June 8, 2017): “Given the real lack of results in the search for treasure, and that some of the artifacts pulled from the money pit might have been put there to induce investors to spend additional money, what she said made a lot of sense.” Link here to that full post.

Likewise, he points out that Joy’s alternative “solution” is likely being ignored by those with vested interests in the search. In an earlier post, Randle points out: “If there is money to be made on Oak Island, it is in the TV show and in any books that are written about it and not treasure from the Incas or the Aztecs or the Knights Templar or the Spanish pirates or British pirates. As I [Randle] have said, the real treasure is in the TV show and not the ground.” Link here to Col. Randle’s post.

Earlier still, Col. Randle writes in a post titled “Oak Island’s Real Pot of Gold”: “if there is ‘gold’ or ‘treasure’ on Oak Island, it just isn’t buried in the ground. It’s flowing into Nova Scotia to produce the show and probably into the pockets of those who appear on it as ‘cast’ members.”

Randle has, for more than forty-five years, studied UFO phenomena in all its various incarnations. His training by the Army and the Air Force provides Randle with a keen insight into the operations and protocols of the military, their investigations into UFOs, and into a phenomenon that has puzzled people for more than a century.

During his investigations, Col. Randle has travelled the United States to interview hundreds of witnesses who were involved in everything from the Roswell, New Mexico crash of 1947, to the repeated radar sightings of UFOs over Washington, D.C. in 1952, to the latest of the abduction cases.

A Different Perspective is a Commentary on UFOs, Paranormal events, and related topics on The ‘X’ Zone Broadcast Network.

As Joy Steele writes in her introduction to The Oak Island Mystery, Solved, as young person she too was struck with gold fever by the legend of Oak Island. Later in life, however, gold fever turned to cold chills as she slowly discovered the island’s fascinating history and pieced together her theory.

The Oak Island Mystery, Solved, widely available in print and for your e-reader, is approaching best-seller territory as the audience awaits season five of The Curse of Oak Island. Maybe this season, viewers will “witness” the big reveal.

Author Joy A. Steele was recently interviewed for a popular podcast on the Internet radio station, The ‘X’ Zone Broadcast… Continue»

Miners Museum celebrates 50 years

Posted by on June 13, 2017

The Cape Breton Miners Museum, Glace Bay, NS, is fifty years old now, though it is so well established in the minds of Cape Bretoners as to be venerable.

This week (June 11-17, 2017) the museum is celebrating, with lectures, book signings and concerts, including, of course, the world famous The Men of the Deeps, North America’s only coal miners chorus.

On Wednesday (June 14, 2017), two CBU Press authors will take centre stage: Hugh R. MacDonald is the author of Trapper Boy and Us and Them (CBU Press 2012, 2016), and John C. (Jack) O’Donnell is the author of The Men of the Deeps, A Journey With North America’s Only Coal Miners Chorus (CBUP 2016). Hugh and Jack will be at the museum all the evening to sign and discuss their respective books.

Us and ThemTrapper_FC-webThe Men of the DeepsHugh R. MacDonald

 

 

 

We have just learned that Hugh has been invited to read from his new novel Us and Them at Word on the Street, Saturday, September 16, 2017 at the Halifax Central Library. We don’t know the time just yet.

 

The Cape Breton Miners Museum, Glace Bay, NS, is fifty years old now, though it is so well established in… Continue»

Re-release of new edition Italian Lives on “archives day”

Posted by on June 9, 2017

Italian LivesCBU Press recently partnered with the Beaton Institute at Cape Breton University to host a book launch in conjunction with International Archives Day (June 9, 2017).

Long out of print, Italian Lives, Cape Breton Memories, edited by Sam Migliore and A. Evo DiPierro, was first published in 1999. Earlier this year, CBU Press breathed new life into the book, including making it available as an e-book.

A strong and vibrant Italian presence on the island dates back more than 150 years. The book conveys the rich and varied experiences of Italians living in Cape Breton in their own words—the immigration experience; work experience in the home, the steel plant and the coal mines, and life in business, politics and other areas of endeavour.

Many of the chapters in Italian Lives were contributed by members of the local community, many relying on archival materials for their research.

The connection between culture, history, archives and books is vital; They go way back :-)

A great many of our authors – even fiction writers – spend countless hours in archives gleaning insights from the past for their work, including Sam Migliore and Evo DiPierro.

According to the International Council on Archives, “it’s the documentary of human activity retained for its long-term value.”

Catherine Arseneau, director of the Beaton Institute, told the audience said that archives are essential to our understanding of our community. “The records created by individuals and organizations as they go about their lives provide a direct window on past events.”

“We are the custodians of society’s memory,” she added.

The theme for International Archives Day 2017 was “Archives, Citizenship and Interculturalism,” and it was under that banner the Beaton Institute and CBU Press teamed up for the re-launch.

We’ve had some nice comments/reviews about the new edition of Italian Lives, Cape Breton Memories, including the Halifax Chronicle Herald, The Casket and the Cape Breton Post, and Italocanadese.com.

19074016_10154493917532623_1109686212_n19073880_10154493917312623_1893114446_n19074109_10154493917152623_1162926556_n

 

CBU Press recently partnered with the Beaton Institute at Cape Breton University to host a book launch in conjunction with… Continue»