Hamilton Arts & Letters spotlights Canadian international writing
The latest issue of online magazine Hamilton Arts and Letters showcased international works to represent the diversity in Canada
Hamilton Arts & Letters is an online magazine that publishes biannually and spotlights emerging writers and artists in addition to already established ones. HA&L showcases a variety of literary works, such as fictional pieces, graphic novel excerpts, exploratory writings, poems and works of literary non-fiction. It also features the works of visual, audio and film artists. HA&L accepts submissions from writers across the country
It was founded in 2008 by Paul Lisson, Fiona Kinsella and Peter Stevens. It is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Hamilton, members, sponsors, advertisers and open access subscription.
HA&L is also a recommender for the Ontario Arts Council Grants for Writers program and a co-founder of the Short Works Prize for Hamilton area authors. It aims to reflect the values of Hamilton in all its diversity, as well as other places across Canada in all their diversities.
Every issue of HA&L is different and bears the stamp of its editors. Some of themes past issues focused on, include science, Canadian Mennonites, climate action, creation stories and the parallel universe.
“[HA&L is] international. It brings in people from around the world. It's creative. It is a publication that is extremely flexible, because it's online. [Since it’s online,] they can use a lot of visual material, and they can do things like international translation,” explained Echlin.
Echlin grew up in Burlington and has an academic background in English. She went on to become a novelist after graduating university, and she has written books such as The Disappeared. She has also worked as an arts producer for CBC Television’s The Journal.
Echlin wanted to represent the diversity of HA&L’s writers. Their editorial team would work together to translate works that were not in English.
“I wanted to include many languages, because so many of our writers work in more than one language,” said Echlin.
Echlin wants to expose the readers to more diverse writing based in Canada.
“Our writing community now represents basically every nation on Earth, so it's really important to find venues for people to publish and then for readers to understand that there's just so much material out there from Canada [that] happens to find its origins in other places,” explained Echlin.
In the future, HA&L wants to continue to spotlight new and emerging Canadian writers and to explore different themes. Stay tuned for their 15th anniversary event that will be held on Dec. 7, 2023, in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Hamilton!