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Gillian Jerome

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Gillian Jerome
CC OOnt FRSC
Born British Columbia, Canada
Education Masters of Fine Arts in Writing, University of Arizona
Genre Poet, Essayist and Author
Website
Official website

Gillian Jerome, is a Canadian poet, essayist and author.[1][2] She won the City of Vancouver Book Award in 2009 and the ReLite Award for Poetry in 2010.[3][4] Jerome is the founder of Canadian Women In Literary Arts (CWILA),[5][6] and also serves as the poetry editor for EVENT's (poetry and prose) Magazine.[7] She is a professor of literature at the University of British Columbia[8] and also runs workshops at the University of Arizona, and Douglas College.[1][8]

Her work has been published by Giest, Canadian Literature, Malahat Review, the Fiddlehead, Grain and the Colorado Review.[9][10]

Personal life and education[edit | edit source]

Jerome was born, and presently resides, in Vancouver, Canada.[1] She received a BA from the University of Victoria[1] and a Masters of Fine Arts in writing at the University of Arizona where she studied American Literature.[1] She is married with one daughter.[11]

Career[edit | edit source]

Jerome has taught poetry and literature at the University of British Columbia, the University of Arizona and Douglas collage. Jerome has co-edited an oral history project in the Downtown Eastside, in association with an organization called Hope in Shadows Portraits of Our Community. She has published poems, essays, book reviews and two books of her own,[12] Jerome has sat on boards, literary juries, and participated in judging writing contests, like the Poetry in Voice contest and the Vancouver Writers Festival.[13] She teaches life writing workshops at the Post at 750 for people who aren't considered professional writers but have something meaningful to say. [14] She has also participated in the UBC's Robson Reading Series,[15] as well as an event archive that was part of the literary series Open Word: Readings and Ideas at the University of Victoria, where she read from her past works and poems she was working on at the time.[16]

Jerome's work including her poetry contains themes of community, social commitment and neighborhood life amongst other themes.[17]

Canadian women in literary arts[edit | edit source]

Gillian Jerome founded CWILA in 2012 as a response to what she saw as an unequal gender and representation in the literary community in Canada.[18][19] CWILA produces an annual count of all participating publications and their number of books or reviews written by women, as well as how many women authors they have reviewed. CWILA strives to quantify the barriers that exist for women in literary culture,[20] their findings aim at enabling discussion and inspiration for action in the literary community in Canada. The non-profit organization works to instill motivation in the literary and review community to create equal coverage and representation.[21][22][23][18][24]

CWILA's counting of the Canadian gender gap was first identified in 2011 and since then the organization has collected data each year that shows through graphing the difference between women and men in the book review culture of Canada.[25][26] Recently the gap has closed and an equalization of female to male writers has been documented by the 45 volunteers who input, verify and collect data for the reviews each year, there were 5,268 reviews done for 2015 alone.[27][25] In an article written by Tracy Sherlock in the Vancouver sun called the Prize could provide much needed recognition for female writers in 2012, Jerome's work in CWILA is recognized.[28] It states, in 2011 CWILA found that a majority of newspaper reviewers were male and that work written by men is reviewed more often than women's. In various newspapers like the National Post, 33% of books reviewed were written by women and a total of 40% of reviewed books in the Globe and Mail were.[29][30][31][6]

CWILA's most recent program is called the critic in resident program which started in 2013 and continues to run today. This program supports one individual per year who identifies as a female, transgender, or queer writer of poetry, novels, storytelling or scholarly work that is primarily done in Canada.[24] The residency aims to cultivate awareness of the female literary arts in Canada and Québécois letters.[32] This program is part of CWILA's social justice work.[18]

In 2015 Gillian Jerome retired from her position at the Canadian Women in Literary Arts to focus on her other professions such as teaching and writing. Jerome wrote a poem in relation to her experience of founding CWILA and leaving it, the poem, Farewell My Sea was published in 2015 with New Poetry.[33]

GEIST magazine[edit | edit source]

Geist is a Canadian magazine that brings together fiction and non-fiction, poetry, essay's, comics, reviews and photography,[34] their magazine is explained as a mix of ideas and culture.[35] Jerome taught writing workshops at Giest and is a participating editor and writer for the magazine.[36] Jerome has published 14 works with Giest, one recently published is called What to Expect When You're Expecting.[37] She has mainly published poetry and reviews of books with Giest and the themes that come up in her writing include but are not limited to; feminism, modern day motherhood, women's rights, politics, social justice and community.[38][17]

Hope in Shadows[edit | edit source]

In 2003 Pivot Legal Society started Hope in the Shadows, a photo contest in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Pivot Legal Society asked participants to photograph things that were important to them, with the intent that this would give the participants a voice and recognition for their efforts[39].[40][2] The initial contest led to the creation of a yearly calendar project where each year's winners are asked to share their story along with their image. This calendar is released in October of every year, they contain the winning photos of the participants chosen by local artists in the city.[41] The calendars are sold through Megaphones vendor program which hires 200 people from low-income backgrounds each season,[42] each vendor keeps half of their sales. There have been 75,000 calendars sold since 2003.[40]

In 2008 a book by the same name that was edited by Jerome and her husband was released through Arsenal Pulp Press and the Pivot Legal Society that compiled 35 different stories attached to winning images from the photo contest.[9] Their book took the stories associated with the winning photographs and expanded them with interviews of the photographers from the photo contest. They wrote about the traumas, abuse and mental illness which were reoccurring themes from the stories of the images in order to make known the life of the community. Part of the book focuses on First Nations people who survived residential schools, individuals coping with addictions, and others overcoming loved ones, this was done in hopes to bring awareness.[43] Hope in Shadows was published in 2009[44] and soon after this date the calendar sold 5000 more copies.[40] Hope in Shadows won the Vancouver Book Award, was shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize, and was longlisted for the George Ryga Book Award for Social Issues.[45] [46][47]

University of British Columbia[edit | edit source]

Gillian Jerome has been teaching narrative, research writing and literature at the University of British Columbia since 2004 in the department of literature.[8]

EVENT magazine[edit | edit source]

Jerome is an editor and author for the EVENT magazine, this magazine has been publishing for 46 years in Western Canada. The magazine publishes contemporary poetry and prose written in English from different parts of the world. Event issues a variety of genres including fiction and non fiction, poetry and book reviews, as well as works from new authors.[48] Event is published by Douglas College, a public post-secondary institution in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.[49] Jerome has been Event's Poetry editor since 2010.[50]

Awards[edit | edit source]

Works[edit | edit source]

Geist[edit | edit source]

Poems

New Poetry[edit | edit source]

  • "Farewell My Sea" (2015)[55]

Reviews[edit | edit source]

  • Modern Takes on What Makes Us Human[56]

Novels[edit | edit source]

  • Breathing fire 2 (2004)[57]
  • Verse!: Poetry for young children (2006)[58]
  • Red Nest (2009)[59]:208[60]
  • Midsummer (2008)[59]:202-203
  • Hope in the Shadows (2008)[59]:205-206

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "About". Gillian Jerome. Retrieved 2018-03-08. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 L'ABBÉ, SONNET (February 26, 2010). "From Antarctica to the downtown east side, from the heart to the mind". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2018-04-02. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Michael Kenyon, Stuart Ross, and Gillian Jerome take home ReLit Awards". Quill and Quire. 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2018-03-29. 
  4. "Event Poetry and Prose Masthead". Retrieved 2018-03-08. 
  5. "CWILA Board of Directors". cwila.com. Retrieved 2018-03-08. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Moss, Laura. "Guy-Guys, CWILA, and Going Down the Hall to the Archives". Canadian Literature. Retrieved 2018-03-29. 
  7. "Masthead | EVENT". www.eventmagazine.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-08. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Gillian Jerome | UBC Experts Guide". experts.news.ubc.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-08. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Gillian Jerome". Poetry Center. 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2018-03-22. 
  10. "New anthology of poems by women launched". Vancouver Sun. 2013-04-05. Retrieved 2018-04-02. 
  11. Dick, Terence (January 1, 2004). "The Breeders: How to Reproduce without Loosing your Cool". Broken Pencil. Retrieved April 4, 2018 – via HighBeam Research. 
  12. "The Malahat Review". www.malahatreview.ca. Retrieved 2018-04-04. 
  13. "Writers Festival writing contest winners announced". Vancouver Sun. 2012-01-12. Retrieved 2018-04-02. 
  14. "45 things to do in Metro Vancouver on Sunday, June 4". Georgia Straight Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2018-04-04. 
  15. "Robson Reading Series celebrates National Poetry Month – BC Book Prizes". bcbookprizes.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-12. 
  16. indivisionnetwork.com. "Open Word: Readings and Ideas with Gillian Jerome: @ University of Victoria, Fine Arts Building, Room 209 – Jan 22, 2014 Victoria BC". artsvictoria.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-22. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 McNeille, Kevin (2015). "10 We jimmied the radio" : Gillian Jerome, Brad Cran, and the Lyric in Public". In Bart Vautour, Erin Wunker, Travis V. Mason, Christl Verduyn. Public Poetics: Critical Issues in Canadian Poetry and Poetics (revised ed.). Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. ISBN 1771120495. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "4/4: The Spectacle of Absence - Gillian Jerome on the CWILA Count | The Capilano Review". www.thecapilanoreview.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-30. 
  19. "The CWILA Numbers: An Introduction by Gillian Jerome". cwila.com. Retrieved 2018-03-09. 
  20. "2014 CWILA Count Methods & Results". cwila.com. Retrieved 2018-03-09. 
  21. Lang, Alison (Spring 2016). "The Magazine of The Writers Union of Canada" (PDF). Making It Better. 44: 26. 
  22. "David Gilmour: U of T professors distance themselves from comments | Toronto Star". thestar.com. Retrieved 2018-04-04. 
  23. "The Malahat Review". www.malahatreview.ca. Retrieved 2018-04-04. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 "Faster Feminism Spotlight: Canadian Women in the Literary Arts". Hook & Eye. 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2018-04-01. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 "2015 CWILA Count Numbers". cwila.com. Retrieved 2018-03-09. 
  26. "2011 CWILA Numbers". cwila.com. Retrieved 2018-03-09. 
  27. "CWILA releases gender audit of 2014 publications – The Argosy". Retrieved 2018-04-01. 
  28. "Canadian women's literary prize could be created by 2014 | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-04-04. 
  29. "Canada's Orange Prize: Why we created an award just for female writers". Retrieved 2018-04-02. 
  30. Sherlock, Tracy (October 27, 2012). "Prize could provide much needed recognition for female writers". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2018-03-22. 
  31. "CWILA's 2013 count shows "dismal" gender gap in Canadian book reviews | Quill and Quire". Quill and Quire. 2014-09-25. Retrieved 2018-04-01. 
  32. "CWILA's Critic-in-Residence Program 2017". cwila.com. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  33. "Farewell, My Sea". NewPoetry. 2015-12-09. Retrieved 2018-03-11. 
  34. "Geist – MagsBC". magsbc.com. Retrieved 2018-03-30. 
  35. "About Geist". Geist.com. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  36. "Gillian Jerome". Geist.com. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  37. Jerome, Gillian (2014-07-18). "What to Expect When You're Expecting". Geist.com. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  38. "Three UBC authors to check out at Vancouver Writers Fest". The Ubyssey. 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2018-04-02. 
  39. "View of The Line Between Methodology and Praxis". journals.sfu.ca. Retrieved 2018-04-04. 
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 "Hope in Shadows". Hope in Shadows. Retrieved 2018-03-12. 
  41. Natalie, Robinson, (2012). "Picturing social inclusion: photography and identity in Downtown Eastside Vancouver". etheses.bham.ac.uk. Retrieved 2018-04-04. 
  42. "Hope in Shadows". Megaphone. Retrieved 2018-03-12. 
  43. "Hope in Shadows". Stories and Photographs of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. 
  44. "Finding Hope in Shadows in the Downtown Eastside". Georgia Straight Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly. 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2018-03-13. 
  45. "Hope In Shadows". George Ryga Award. Retrieved March 12, 2018. 
  46. "BC Book Prizes". www.bcbookprizes.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-08. 
  47. Ramlo, Erin Janette (2014). "Clusters of voices : dialogic literary social activism in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, 2000 - 2010". Open Library UBC. University of British Columbia. 
  48. "About EVENT | EVENT". www.eventmagazine.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-13. 
  49. "Event Magazine – Douglas College". www.douglascollege.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-13. 
  50. "Masthead | EVENT". www.eventmagazine.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-13. 
  51. "Gillian Jerome". City of Vancouver Book Awards. Retrieved March 8, 2018. 
  52. "What to expect when your'e expecting". Giest magazine. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  53. "Weebleworld". Giest magazine. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  54. "Apiary of Underclothes". Giest magazine. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  55. "Farewell My Sea". Giest magazine. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  56. "UBC Library | EZproxy Login". search-proquest-com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca. Retrieved 2018-04-01. 
  57. Cowan, Shannon (November 6, 2004). "Fire in their bellies". Globe & Mail. Retrieved 2018-03-29. 
  58. "Verse!: Poetry for young children". Giest magazine. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  59. 59.0 59.1 59.2 Vautour, Bart; Wunker, Erin; Mason, Travis V.; Verduyn, Christl (2015-06-18). Public Poetics: Critical Issues in Canadian Poetry and Poetics. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. ISBN 9781771120494. 
  60. Wall, Emily (2010). "Tasting this Place". Canadian Literature. 206: 175–176. 

External links[edit | edit source]


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