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Saturday, March 12, 2005

John Metcalf, C.M. (Order of Canada)


John Metcalf, C.M. (Member) of Ottawa, Ontario

"His is one of the most colourful and passionate voices in Canadian literature. A writer whose work has been featured in numerous anthologies and literary journals, John Metcalf is also an editor known for his consistent encouragement and championing of up-and-coming writers. He has compiled dozens of anthologies of Canadian fiction, giving voice for the first time to some of Canada's greatest short story writers. As senior editor at The Porcupine's Quill press, a job he does on a voluntary basis, he continues to bring emerging writers to the fore. Although as a critic he is often blunt, he is nonetheless broadly respected for his dedication to excellence in Canadian publishing."
Here is an example of how Metcalf inscribed one of his books to me. This title is one of his seminal books critical of 2oth century Canadian Literary history, aptly entitled What is a Canadian Literature? (1988). "Arguments that must be fought over". Indeed. John Metcalf's influence in the formation and development of Canadian Literature is profound and this latest honour of the Order of Canada is an important step in recognizing his work to date. His family and family of writers must be proud.


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