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Guernica Editions began as a bilingual press and in the first decade published works in English and in French. It also published many Quebec authors in English translations. In 1994 it moved operations from Montreal to Toronto and focused on English language books and only occasionally printed books in French. One of Guernica's significant contributions to Canadian letters is its promotion of ethnic minority writers including Italian-Canadian authors, Dutch, Arab, Greek, Black and others.(Clarke 2012)
The Guernica Writers Series
In 2000 Antonio D'Alfonso established the 'Writers Series' a chain of monographs each devoted to a Canadian author and edited by a Canadian academic. The Series was co-directed by Antonio D'Alfonso and Joseph Pivato. After 2010 Pivato became sole editor. By 2016 this series includes over 40 volumes with monographs on such Canadian authors as Sheila Watson, George Elliott Clarke, Nino Ricci, Alistair MacLeod, Aritha Van Herk, F.G. Paci, Al Purdy, Mary di Michele, David Adams Richards, Anne Hebert, Daniel David Moses, Caterina Edwards, Don McKay, P.K. Page and others. It is now called the 'Essential Writers Series.' (Hutcheon 1991)
A number of Guernica anthologies have been used as texts in college and university literature courses. They include The Anthology of Italian-Canadian Writing (1998), Voices in the Desert: An Anthology of Arabic Canadian Women Writers (2002), Pillars of Lace: The Anthology of Italian-Canadian Women Writers (1998), Ricordi: Things Remembered (1989), Adjacencies: Minority Writing in Canada (2002) and other titles. (Pivato 2007)
Guernica Titles Won Literary Awards
Les Ages de l'amour by Dorothy Livesay won the 1989 Governor General translation award for Jean Antonin Billiard. Aknos by Fulvio Caccia won the 1994 Governor General award for French poetry. Island of the Nightingales" by Caterina Edwards won the 2001 Howard O'Hagan Award for Short Fiction. Remembering History by Rhea Tregebov won the 1982 Pat Loather Award for Poetry. Contrasts: Comparative Essays on Italian-Canadian Writing by J. Pivato won the 1985 Bressani Prize.
Clarke, George Elliott. "Let Us Compare Anthologies: Harmonizing the Founding African-Canadian and Italian-Canadian Literary Collections." Directions Home: Approaches to African-Canadian Literature. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012.
Hutcheon, Linda. "The Canadian Mosaic: A Melting Pot on Ice: The Ironies of Ethnicity and Race." Spliting Images: Contemporary Canadian Ironies. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Pivato, Joseph. "Twenty Years of Change: The Paradox of AICW." Strange Peregrinations. eds. Delia De Santis, Venera Fazio, Anna Foschi Ciampolini. Toronto: Centre for Italian-Canadian Studies, University of Toronto, 2007.
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