About Us

Both Literary Maps of B.C. are meant to be fun. And, yes, we have erred on the side of content. Similar sites on the internet usually tell you next-to-nothing. Frequently their information chiefly consists of publishers’ catalogue copy that is cut-‘n’-pasted by interns. There are more than 700,000 words of original text on the first Literary Map of B.C. site; and there are more than 600 photos.

It’s bigger than the Encyclopedia of B.C. or Chuck Davis’ Greater Vancouver books. It has easily the equivalent of nine books worth of material. We have yet to get around to estimating the overall size of the Indigenous Literary Map of B.C. that first saw the light of day in 2020 with 100 authors; we are hoping to double its size and the number of Indigenous authors in 2020 or 2021.

Alan Twigg and Yosef Wosk

Neither site purports to present the “best” authors. Such hierarchical thinking borders on the ridiculous. The 200 authors in the original Literary Map of B.C. and the 100 authors in the Indigenous Literary Map of B.C. represent a cross-section in terms of genres, ages and geography. Some are famous; many are not. Some living, some dead.

For that first map if you ‘scroll out’ and get a Google world view of the planet on this site, you’ll find we’ve pinpointed about a dozen B.C.-related locations around the globe—in Mongolia, Iceland, Peru, etc. We did this simply because, well, it’s fun. Not all the sites on the Literary Map of B.C. or the Indigenous Literary Map of B.C. are easily visited.

For the latter, we are grateful for the encouragement and support of Indigenous authors Jeannette Armstong, Garry Gottfriedson, Joanne Arnott, Maurice Latash-Nahanee and the late Neil Sterritt.

Ideally, some communities around the province might want to emulate the City of Vancouver where more than 40 literary markers have been erected to correspond to the Vancouver Public Library’s own literary map for which I provided the entries.

Some sites have great historical significance for British Columbia and therefore we have highlighted a literary work that resonates with that significance. Other times we’ve pinpointed a location from within a literary work, or else the residence of a particular author, of simply the community with which they are associated.

We continue to be indebted to Simon Fraser University (chief librarian Gwen Bird) for hosting the BCBookLook site through which both the Literary Map of B.C. and the newer Indigenous Literary Map of B.C. can be accessed. The main webmaster who facilitated both sites and posted its contents is Sharon Jackson who lives in Duncan on Vancouver Island.

Gwen Bird, SFU Library

We are also indebted to both Get to the Point and Christine Rondeau for design, layout and production expertise. Freelance contributors for the entries chiefly include Beverly Cramp and Cherie Thiessen. Many people wrote and provided helpful suggestions.

A grant from creativeBC and its affiliate, the BC Arts Council, was essential for the first site. Also integral was the partnership of Vancouver Public Library from the outset, particularly Chief Librarian Sandra Singh who gave the green light in 2014 for a local initiative, sponsored by poet and philosopher Yosef Wosk, to increase public awareness of B.C. authors.

For the second, Indigenous site, we are grateful for the essential partnership of Canada Book Fund and the enduring, ever-essential support from SFU Library. Several funding agencies declined to support this initiative before Canada Book Fund eventually stepped up to the plate. It is our hope to expand the Indigenous Map to 200 Indigenous authors of B.C., matching the number of non-Indigenous authors in the first site. There is no comparable site in Canada; we are 99% certain that no other province in Canada has anywhere near the percentage of Indigenous authors as British Columbia. Make that 100%.

— Alan Twigg

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BC Arts Council
Pacific Book News Society
Creative BC
Vancouver Public Library