Issue 124

Writing Black Canadas

In this year marking the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation, Transition celebrates over four hundred years of Black presence in Canada.

In issue 124, “Writing Black Canadas,” we highlight Rinaldo Walcott’s observation that “Black Canada is not one thing. It’s multiple moments of Blackness. It’s multiple relations to the nation space. It’s multiple points of arrival. It’s a set of different histories.” Guest editors Phanuel Antwi and David Chariandy present glimpses of a robust living archive of Black Canadian writing, highlighting critical thought, cultural memory, formal innovation, and radical intimacy that channels the global sweep of the diaspora. Contributors include Dionne Brand, George Elliott Clarke, Afua Cooper, Juliane Okot Bitek, Ian Williams, Wayde Compton, H. Nigel Thomas, M. NourbeSe Philip, and cover artist Sandra Brewster.

Profiles of two formidable women of letters—Toni Morrison and Toi Derricotte—round out the issue, while works of short fiction by Olufunke Ogundimu and Christian Ojochegbe Jacob speak again to the theme of Fear. In this issue, we also honor the memory of F. Abiola Irele—former Transition editor and renowned scholar of francophone African and Caribbean literature—with tributes from colleagues and admirers.

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Tributes to F. Abiola Irele by: Wole Soyinka, Tommie Shelby, Françoise Lionnet, Biodun Jeyifo, Simon Gikandi, Maureen Warner-Lewis, Akin Adesokan, Dr. HermanSJr.

Letters and Opinions from: Ilan Stavans, Carmelo Mesa-Lago.

Essays by: Phanuel Antwi and David Chariandy, Abdi Osman, Michèle Pearson Clarke, M. NourbeSe Philip, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, and Gay Pasley.

Conversations with: Rinaldo Walcott (with David Chariandy and Phanuel Antwi) and Toi Derricotte (with Claire Schwartz).

Fiction by: Ian Williams, Wayde Compton, Suzette Mayr, H. Nigel Thomas, Olufunke Ogundimu, Christian Ojochegbe Jacob, and Uchenna Awoke.

Poetry by: Dionne Brand, George Elliott Clarke, Afua Cooper, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, Cecily Nicholson, Juliane Okot Bitek, and Ekweremadu Uchenna.

Artwork by: Deanna Bowen, Sylvia Hamilton, Kapwani Kiwanga, Esmaa Mohamoud, Jalani Morgan, Michèle Pearson Clarke, Abdi Osman, Wayne Salmon, Jan Wade and Sandra Brewster.

Cover: Sandra Brewster, From Life 3, 2015. Mixed media on wood.