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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
December 4, 2016
Canadian Excellence
The Daughter's Way (WLU Press)

Dr. Tanis MacDonald

Associate Professor and Acting Department Chair

Contact Information
Phone: (519) 884-0710 ext.ex. 2931

Office Location: 3-120A Woods Bldg.
Office Hours: Mon./Wed. 9:30-10:30
Personal Website:
Languages Spoken


Academic Background
University of Winnipeg (B.A. Hon.); University of Manitoba (M.A.); University of Victoria (Ph.D.).


The Daughter's Way: Canadian Women's Paternal Elegies. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2012. 

Rue the Day. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2008.

Editor. Speaking of Power: The Poetry of Di Brandt. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2006.

Fortune. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2003.

Holding Ground. Hamilton: Seraphim Editions, 2000.


Finalist: Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian Literary Criticism for The Daughter's Way (2013)

Winner: Mayor's Poetry City Challenge, Waterloo (2012)

Finalist: Don D. Walker Award for Best Essay in Western American Studies (2009)

Finalist: Kitchener-Waterloo Arts Award, Literary Category (2010)

Winner: Bliss Carman Poetry Award (2003)

Finalist: Gerald Lampert Poetry Award for Holding Ground (2000)

Scholarly Articles and Book Chapters:

“What Is Not Self: Simone Weil, Jan Zwicky, and the Resonance of Decreation.” Literature and Philosophy. (in press, 2015).

"Night in A Box: Anne Carson's Nox."  Material Cultures. Eds. Jennifer Blair and Thomas Allen. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2015. 51-64. 

“The Counter/Public in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of Poetry in Canada.” Public Poetics. Ed. Travis Mason, Bart Vautour, Erin Wunker, and Christl Verduyn. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2015. 

"Bioregion, Biopolitics and the Creaturely List: The Trouble with FaunaWatch." Studies in Canadian Literature 29.1 (2014): 143-156.

"Filming Indigeneity as Flanerie: Dialectic and Subtext in Terrance Odette's Heater." Reverse Shots: Indigenous Film and Media in an International Context.  Ed. Susan Knabe and Wendy Pearson. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2014. 285-300. 

“‘Exhibit me buckskinned’: Indigenous Legacy and Re-Memory in Joan Crate’s Pale as Real Ladies: Poems for Pauline Johnson. Cultural Memory in Canadian Literature. Ed. Cynthia Sugars and Eleanor Ty. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2014: 169-182.

“Inextricably Bound Together: George Grant, Simone Weil, and the Legacy of Canadian Literature.” Hamilton Arts and Letters, December 2013.

"Rhetorical Metatarsals: Bone Memory in Dionne Brand's Ossuaries."  The Memory Effect: The Remediation of Memory in Literature and Film. Eds. Eleanor Ty and Russell Kilbourn. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013. 93-106.

"'Something's missing': Exploding Girlhood and Narrative in The Tracey Fragments." Double-Takes: Proceedings of Canadian Literature Symposium on Canadian Literature into Film. Ed. David Jarraway. University of Ottawa Press, 2013. 317-331.  

"Voice of the Gutter: Comics in the Classroom." From Text to Txting: New Media in the Classroom. Ed. Paul Budra and Clint Burnham. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 2012. 43-68. 

"Terry Fox and the National Imaginary: Reading Eric Walters's Run." Studies in Canadian Literature 36.1 (2011):1-16.

"'Out By Sixteen': Queer(ed) Girls in Ginger Snaps." Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures 3.1 (2011). 

"Hunger, History, and the Shape of Awkward Questions: Reading Sarah Klassen's Simone Weil as Mennonite Text." Journal of Mennonite Studies 28 (2010): 87-102. 

"'Citizens of a human body of kind': Gender and Space in Dennis Lee's Civil Elegies and Other Poems." Canadian Poetry: Studies, Documents, Reviews 65 (2010): 22-42.

"Sitting Down to Ceremony: The Poetry of Gregory Scofield." Across Cultures/Across Borders: Canadian Aboriginal and Native American Literatures. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2010. 289-296.

"Everybody Knows That Song: The Necessary Trouble of Teaching Thomas King's Truth and Bright Water."  Canadian Literature 201 (2009): 35-51.

"Gateway Politics: West meets west in Kristjana Gunnars' Zero Hour." The Last Best West: An Exploration of Myth, Identity and Quality of Life in the Canadian West.  Ed. Anne Gagnon et al. Vancouver: New Star, 2009. 25-40. 

"'Absence, havoc': Gothic Mourning and Daughterly Duty in Jay Macpherson's Welcoming Disaster."  Studies in Canadian Literature 34.1 (2009): 58-80.

"The Pilgrim and the Riddle: Father-Daughter Kinship in Anne Carson's 'The Anthropology of Water.'" Canadian Literature 176 (2003): 67-83.

"'The Battle Done': Reading the Military Father in the Poems of P.K. Page." Canadian Poetry 53 (2003): 71-86.

"'Dead Girl-Bag': The Janet Smith Case as Contaminant in Sky Lee's Disappearing Moon Café." Studies in Canadian Literature 27.1 (2002):32-46.

"Regarding the Male Body: Rhapsodic Contradiction in Lorna Crozier's 'Penis Poems.'" English Studies in Canada 28:2 (2002): 247-268.


"Trajectory and Trace: An Interview with Sina Queyras." Contemporary Verse 2. (Winter 2015).

 "Reparative Strategies: An Interview with Di Brandt." Arc (Winter 2006): 36-48.

Short Essays:

"Jack Layton's Saxophone." Jack Layton: Art in Action. Ed. Penn Kemp. Toronto: Quattro Press, 2013. 55-56.

"Poetry Lessons, or How Feminists Make it Happen." Contemporary Verse 2 33.2 (2010): 24-25. 

"Little Vortices and the Life List: The Maelstrom of Matter." Influency Salon 2 (2010).

"Figure and Ground: An Ecopoetic Travelogue." Contemporary Verse 2 32.1 (2009): 24-30.

"Blazon: A Fugue on Poetry and the Body." Contemporary Verse 2 30.3 (2008): 25-27.

"Welcome to Waterloo County: Watermelon Syrup, Post-Peasant History, and the Family Story." The New Quarterly 105 (2007): 145-149.


"Small Fierce Fact." Best of Canadian Poetry 2014. Toronto: Tightrope Books, 2015. (in press.)

"Torchy Comes Out With It." I Found It At the Movies: an anthology of poems about film. Ed. Ruth Roach Pierson. Toronto: Guernica, 2014. 45.    

"Sestina: Whiskey Canyon." Poems from Planet Earth. Ed. Yvonne Blomer and Cynthia Woodman Kerkham. Lantzville, BC: Leaf Press, 2013. 103-104.

"Possibilities," "Scar Science," "Facts and Further Arguments," and "The Apprenticeship." The New Binary Anthology of Poetry, volume one. Ed. Adam Rudden. Cork, Ireland: New Binary Press, 2012. 119-125.


“Homicide Blonde.” Poetry is Dead 6.1 (2015): 30-31.

“The New Adventures of Sarah Binks, Prairie Bluestocking.” Four poems. Prairie Fire. (Fall 2015; in press.)

“Laurel: a cento elegy.” “Cherish: a cento.” Lemon Hound 8 (2015). Web.

“Union.” Our Times 34.1 (March/April 2015). 39. Print.

“Cherish: a cento”; “Jean-Paul Sartre Doesn’t Know the Half of It”; “Mind Control”; “The Rebel Bakers.” Contemporary Verse 2 37.3 (2015): 25-28.

"Small Fierce Fact." The New Quarterly 129 (2014): 138.

"For Ann." Hook and Eye. Women & Violence: A Special Issue. December 6, 2013.

"Argument, August." The New Quarterly 125 (2013): 115.

"Grande Dame." Prairie Fire 34.1 (2013): 19-20.

"This is Not A Love Poem," "Medea on Social Media," "Insomnia." The Weary Blues 2 (2012). 

"Dinner with Norman Bethune, 2010." Grain 39.4 (2012): 91-92.

"Grand River Canoe Trip with Pauline Johnson, 1889." Kitchener Record, 26 May, 2012: E3.

"Negative Capability." Arc (2012).

"Sestina: Whiskey Canyon." The New Quarterly 119 (2011): 12-13. 

"The Boyfriends." Geist 20.80 (2011):18.

"Executrix." Contemporary Verse 2 33.4 (2011): 42.

"The Accent." Contemporary Verse 2 33.2 (2010): 22-23.

"Nocturne for a Colicky Infant." The New Quarterly 116 (2010): 19.

"Reading the Wreck," "For Ann," and "North of Superior." Contemporary Verse 2 32.1 (2009): 31-34.

"Thirty Helens." Arc 60 (2008): 74-75. 

"Renovation Suite" and "Promise to the House." (two poems) The New Quarterly 104 (2007).

Recent Reviews:

Liquidities: Vancouver Poems, Then and Now by Daphne Marlatt. Malahat Review 184 (2013): 89-91.

Hive by Shawna Lemay. Lemon Hound 6 (September 2013).

Onion Man by Katherine Mockler. Lemon Hound 5 (June 2013).

Grid by Brenda Schmidt. Arc (2013).

North End Love Songs by Katherena Vermette. Prairie Fire Review of Books 12.4 (2013): 1-2.

Blazing Figures: A Life of Robert Markle by J.A. Wainwright. Canadian Literature 209 (2011): 187-188.

Walking to Mojacar by Di Brandt. Prairie Fire Review of Books 11.1 (2011): 1-3.

The Reinvention of the Human Hand by Paul Vermeersch. Malahat Review 172 (2010): 73-74.

Spoken among the Trees by Jeff Gundy. Journal of Mennonite Studies 28 (2010): 247-248.

Joy is So Exhausting by Susan Holbrook. Arc 64 (2010): 103-104.

Brother Dumb by Sky Gilbert. Canadian Literature 203 (2009): 149-150.