Atlantic Books Today Celebrates 30 Years of Talking About Atlantic Books
In late 2016, in response to a Facebook post about the first issue of this publication I edited, Elizabeth Eve posted this comment: “Nice to see the new editor, proudly holding a copy. ABT will be 25 years old next year—I may be the only one that’s counting!!”
She probably was. She was the inaugural editor of the magazine, and she went on to give us a history lesson about ourselves: “The Board of the Atlantic Provinces Book Review Society and I scrapped the APBR in 1991, got an ACOA grant to do a plan, begged the Canada Council to think of us in a state of renewal, published 2 issues of ABT in 1992 … and went from there, till 2002 when the publishers wisely took it over.”
There’s much more to that story, and with this now being the magazine’s 30th year, the esteemed Stephen Kimber has the whole origins in our cover story. It’s been fun looking back through 30 years of issues, not to mention photographs of staff partying with—er, celebrating the work of—authors. Ah yes, the days before pandemic, when people raised glasses together in public.
Our Spring 2022 issue celebrates us celebrating books, and in the spirit of meta, celebrates books at the same time. We look at a ridiculously unsung part of bringing books into the world—the design process. We look at how art books have grown from pamphleteering afterthoughts to respected genre, and how graphic novels have become better understood as a sophisticated storytelling form.
We also profile a few writers who have become rather big deals since that way-back first issue, like Lisa Moore, Lesley Crewe, Alexander MacLeod and Elaine McCluskey. And as always, we shine some light on the ones still rising. Retrospectives are fun, nostalgia’s hot. But let us also remember the revolutionary Kwame Nkrumah’s catchy and wise political slogan, “Forward ever, backward never.”