William Herbert New

William Herbert New, literary critic, professor, editor, poet, children's writer, (born at Vancouver, BC 28 Mar 1938). New studied at the UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA and the University of Leeds. A professor emeritus of English LITERATURE at UBC, New has published over 400 articles and reviews on Canadian and Commonwealth literatures. An encyclopedic and sensitive reader, he is also a subtle CRITIC whose explorations of Canadian writing frequently expand to include evocative discussions of such diverse subjects as geography, irony, postcolonialism, and visual arts. His books include one of the earliest critical studies of the stories that shaped our understanding of Canada's West, Articulating West (1972), such detailed comparative studies of Canadian literature as Among Worlds (1975) and Dreams of Speech and Violence: The Art of the Short Story in Canada and New Zealand (1987), and a reference guide to the work of Malcolm LOWRY (1978). Land Sliding: Imagining Space, Presence, and Power in Canadian Writing (1997) solidified New's contribution to literary studies as a critic capable of organizing encyclopedic knowledge into clear, provocative arguments.

From 1977 to 1995 W.H. New edited Canadian Literature, the oldest scholarly journal devoted primarily to Canadian writing, overseeing the publication of 72 issues, one fewer than the journal's founder, George WOODCOCK. His editorial presence extends to a number of collections of critical essays and teaching texts, including Inside the Poem (1992), Modern Canadian Essays (1976) and the 6 volumes of The Dictionary of Literary Biography devoted to Canadian writers. New served as the general editor of the fourth volume of Literary History of Canada and sits on the advisory board of the New Canadian Library series, as well as the boards of a number of scholarly journals and literary magazines. His editorial work following his tenure at Canadian Literature peaked with the massive Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada (2000), for which he wrote a significant number of entries himself; he has also continued to help shape both Canadian and postcolonial studies by co-editing such books as From a Speaking Place: Writing from the First Fifty Years of Canadian Literature (2009) and Tropes and Territories: Short Fiction, Postcolonial Readings, Canadian Writings in Context (2007).

W.H. New has published several POETRY collections with Oolichan books, including Science Lessons (1996), Riverbook & Ocean (2002), Touching Ecuador (2006), and YVR (2012). His fourth, Underwood Log (2004), a long poem about the uncertainties of memory and place in relation to writing and reading, was nominated for a GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD. He has also written critically acclaimed books for CHILDREN, including Vanilla Gorilla (1998) and The Year I Was Grounded (2008), which was named an honour book for the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. He was named an Officer of the ORDER OF CANADA in 2006.