Wolsak & Wynn is a Hamilton book publisher that has produced over 125 books since 1983. Their focus is hemmed only to Canadian poetry and non-fiction. All they look for in a writer is a fresh voice. They do have a fiction imprint, Buckrider Books.
All of their titles take tangents through life experiences. Many of them don’t fit recognizable literary molds. That’s intentional. Wolsak & Wynn have built a name by finding authors with unusual perspectives that you can’t turn away from.
Many of their titles have been nominated for National and International awards. There are several winners in the batch too. But all the authors are passionate people who scribble dreams into ink paper-scapes. What Wolsak & Wynn are left with, what they display in their store front on James St. and distribute across the world, is a catalog of stories as diverse and inspiring as the city they call home.
Their selection of poetry is no joke. You find everything from ethereal to existential to elemental. Wolsak & Wynn publish some local poets, but they have many writers from all over Canada as well.
A Nervous City by Chris Pannell
Chris writes about Hamilton’s physical presence as well as what life is like in our city. He travels and carries his pen everywhere he goes, including Egypt, France, and Italy. Chris has invested many years into Hamilton’s literary community and has won various awards in Hamilton. International recognition has found him as well.
Floating Life by Moez Surani
Among many other themes, Moez writes about loneliness, intimacy, and his many travels. Often his poetry creates tension between comforting and painful moments. He’s been to Switzerland, Latvia and Finland on writing residencies. His writing has also taken him through India and Africa. Back in Canada, Moez lives in Toronto and is widely published, including in The Literary Review of Canada and The Walrus.
Dying a Little by Barry Dempster
True to the title, Barry starts with grief and continues with varying themes surrounding death. Barry leads a prolific writing career. He went trough university for child psychology but landed in several positions with publishing companies and Canadian writing institutions. His work is recognized throughout Canada and has a following in New York city as well.
Woods Wolf Girl by Cornelia Hoogland
“And then you turn 16. A girl walks into the woods.” Cornelia has retold Red Riding Hood.
The old fairy tale is renewed from the perspectives of RED, WOODSMAN, and MOTHER. She’s made it a coming-of-age tale, where innocence meets reality in all its complexity. When Cornelia isn’t writing, she’s teaching at the University of Waterloo Ontario or organizing forums for writers.
The Parable Boat by Hannah Main-van der Kamp
Here Hannah fuses nature and spirit. She writes about experiences under the stars and in the trees. Each encounter has meaning spiritually or is a commentary on spiritual life. But everything she writes is grounded and within grasp. Hannah’s been writing since her teens, getting published in several journal and anthologies.