Works by Leslie Hall Pinder

These titles were originally published by Lazara Press and are now available free on Leslie’s web site.

The Carriers of No: After the Land Claims Trial

“As lawyers we don’t have to take any responsibility to construct a world. We only have to destroy another’s construction. We say no. We are the civilized, comfortable, well-heeled carriers of no. We thrive on it. Other races die.”

Thirty-Five Stones

A prose poem in 35 verses published in 1982 with illustration by Claire Kujundzic

“There is something I want which words only veil. And all the possible words are like stones, stepping stones in a creek; some don’t lead to the the other side.”

Making a Stone of the Heart
Cynthia Flood

Published originally by Key Porter, now distributed by Lazara Press
1st Ed:April 13 2002
ISBN-10: 1552634523; ISBN-13: 978-1552634523

When curmudgeonly Owen Jones died in a Bella Coola nursing home, no one who knew the elderly man could imagine the extraordinary story of his life.

Spooling backwards through time against the backdrop of Vancouver’s raw, exuberant growth over the last hundred years, Making a Stone of the Heart tells Owen’s story and those of his lover, Dora Dow, and of Dr. Jonathan Smyth.

The Animals in Their Elements
Cynthia Flood

Original publisher: Talonbooks; distributed by Lazara Press
1st Ed: Feb. 15, 1987
ISBN-10: 0889222495; ISBN-13: 978-0889222496

A woman goes to Toronto to sort out her deceased mother’s things; an obnoxious father-to-be disrupts a prenatal class; an orphaned British boy is sent to Canada to be raised by his unmarried aunt.

The people in these stories have familiar concerns – attachment, loss, aging, and coming of age – and the fluid writing gives easy access to their lives.

My Father Took a Cake to France
Cynthia Flood

Publisher: Talonbooks; distributed currently by Lazara Press
2nd Printing: Feb. 15, 1992
ISBN-10: 0889223106; ISBN-13: 978-0889223103

Cynthia Flood is the winner of the prestigious Journey prize for Fiction for the title story in this collection.

For more information about Cynthia’s work, visit her web site

Walking Slow
Helen Potrebenko

67 pp; $10.00
ISBN 0-920999-00-X
This is Potrebenko’s first collection of verse, published in 1985.
    I hope it’s a restaurant and not a bank,
    climbing that jesus great hill after Revelstoke.
    I hope it’s summer and not winter in Rogers Pass.
    Before I get too old for walking,
    I’d like to get to Newfoundland.
    I’ve always wanted to visit Newfoundland,
    walking slow.

Songs of Ascent
Gabriella Goliger

goliger177 pp; 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
ISBN 1-55192-374-2

These stories recount the troubled lives of Ernst and Hannah Birnbaum, displaced German Jews who flee Hitler but cannot escape the shadow of the Holocaust. Their uprooted existence takes them from Europe to the Holy Land and eventually to Montreal where they attempt to create a shelter for their children. The new generation struggles with the inherited alienation that accompanies exile, striving to both protect and escape their vulnerable elders.

Originally published by Raincoast Books.

“In her first book, Gabriella Goliger takes the reader on a journey through the lives and memories of displaced and often damaged people. Writing with delicate strength and humour, she reveals a deep understanding of the dark places in their souls as they search for the light.” — Rachel Wyatt

Gabriella Goliger emerges with an experienced and assured voice. Her writing is incisive, her stories fierce with compassion and truth. In this powerful work one senses danger, portend. Very impressive.” — Frances Itani

Winter Words
Helen Potrebenko

winter-words-small175 pp; 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
ISBN 0-88974-047-X

“These are stories about ordinary Canadians, the kind that used to be told on winter evenings when the work was done. They are not intended to be representative but are about people I interviewed or talked to or saw or heard about. The intention is to add acquaintances to the variety of people you already know.

Most of the stories are an attempt to portray what the person told me as it was presented, others are fictional constructs of some aspect of an event. Some names have been changed, some have not.

I am of the opinion that history cannot be told through recitals of the deeds of mad kings, but only through descriptions of the work of ordinary citizens.” — from the Introduction

To order, click on “ordering information” on the right.

Still Raising Hell: Poverty, Activism and Other True Stories
Sheila Baxter

still-raising-hell-cover.thumbnail$18.95, originally published by Press Gang Publishers

In a world of “experts” and “professionals” it’s rare that we hear the true voices of people living in poverty. Baxter’s straight up accounts of poor communities, grass roots activism and initiatives for change are complemented by current statistics on poverty in Canada. Baxter includes interview with other activists, from neighbourhood volunteers to members of parliament, documenting the resistance and compassion that underlies activism for social justice. This book is an essential resource for anyone interested in understanding and fighting poverty in the 21st century.

When Activism Stops: For Jannit Rabinovitch,
Social Activist Extraordinaire

Lauri Nerman

nerman_smallBroadside, 5×8, folded. $5.00

“Dying is not on an activist’s agenda,
the act of surrendering, acceptance
giving up
for the unknown”

Jannit Rabinovitch, a long-time community activist, died in January of 2007 of cancer. She was a co-founder of PEERS (Prostitute Empowerment Education and Resource Society) and brought women escaping violence and homelessness together to build Sandi Merriman House.

Lauri Nerman read this poem at Jannit’s memorial service. At the request of Jannit’s family, and with the permission of the author, all proceeds from the sale of the poem will go to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In April 2007 The Globe and Mail published an obituary of Jannit’s life and achievements.

No Streets of Gold: A History of Ukrainians in Alberta
Helen Potrebenko

To order, go to “Ordering Information” on this web site

Helen Potrebenko

taxi-small$10.00 plus shipping charges.

The Globe and Mail discovers Helen Potrebenko’s Taxi as a “Buried Treasure”.

“In the 1970s and ’80s, Helen Potrebenko was a cherished and important Vancouver writer, well known for her early writing in Pedestal, Canada’s first women’s-liberation newspaper, and for her numerous books that included short stories, novels, poems and plays. Hers was the significant working-class urban feminist voice. She also had jokes, good ones. Modern Times, a major bookstore in San Francisco, had a big sign telling customers that if they only read one book in 1975, it should be Taxi!” — Anakana Schofield

Check out Anakana’s blog, Have You Read Taxi? for the story of Taxi!’s 30th birthday party at Vancouver Public Library on April 29, 2010.

Fire Power

chrystos2-thumb130 pp; 5 1/2x 8 1/2
ISBN 0-88974-047-X; $12.95

Originally published by Press Gang Publishers in 1995 and now distributed by Lazara Press.

Telling the truth is powerful medicine. It is a fire that lights the way for others. When we speak our “Fire Power,” we join a long & honored line of warriors against injustice.

Chrystos is a widely acclaimed writer and Native Rights activist, winner of the Audre Lorde International Poetry Competition in 1994 and of the Sappho Award of Distinction from the Astraea National Lesbian Action Foundation in 1995.

Death in a Dumpster:
A Passion Play for the Homeless

Sheila Baxter

death-in-a-dumpster-thumb56 pp; 6×9
0-920999-09-3; $14.95

Danny, a young fisherman from Nova Scotia, found out that he was HIV positive and decided to hitchhike to Vancouver to find his mother who abandoned him as a child. The play unfolds as we see his life on the street in Vancouver, the community he finds there, and the events that lead up to his death.

“When a dumpster becomes a refuge, what is the meaning of life in the city? Death in a Dumpster will tell you. Poverty is only a word but it is very loaded with life, death, grief, family and denial. This play is about that word.”

– Libby Davies; MP Vancouver East

Sheila Baxter became involved in the anti-poverty movement in Montreal forty years ago and has been active in Vancouver’s downtown eastside and west end for the past twenty-five years. She is a street poet, tutor and author of four groundbreaking books on poverty and homelessness, including Under the Viaduct, winner of the VanCity Book Prize. She is also the grandmother of eight.

The End of the Nuclear Family
Carel Moiseiwitsch

end-family-poster-thumbOriginally published by Press Gang Publishers.
Poster; 17×22; $10.00

TO SEE MORE OF MOISEIWITSCH’s work go to her web site

Class Consciousness
Pat Smith

classconsciousness-poster-thumbPoster; 17×22, full colour; $10.00. Originally published by Press Gang Publishers.

Poster reads: “Class consciousness is knowing which side of the fence you are on. Class analysis is figuring out who is there with you.”

Wonder Woman
Carel Moiseiwitsch

Poster. wonder-woman-poster-thumbOriginally published by Press Gang Publishers. 17×22, b&w, $10.00

This poster was published as a fundraiser for Press Gang in the 1980s so they could publish a book of Carel Moiseiwitsch’s work (the book was never published).

TO SEE MORE OF MOISEIWITSCH’s work go to her web site

The Oldest-Living
Pat Smith

the-oldest-living-thumb53 pp; $5.95, paper

“This play is about very modest people, with modest desires, who seem to know that contentment arises from gratitude and a sense of one’s identity, reinforced by memory and companionship.”
– Canadian Literature, #116, Spring 1988

“It is refreshing to read a play that, while showing the physical frailties of old age, emphasizes the humanity of the old.”
– BC Library Association Reviews

Hey Waitress and Other Stories
Helen Potrebenko

hey-waitress-thumbIt is rare for working-class women to be given a voice in literature; Helen Potrebenko has long had the reputation of giving women this voice. From the waitress in the title story, to a fictitious interview with a not so fictitious author (herself) on CBC’s Morningside, Potrebenko once again makes people the subject, not the object of their own lives. This diverse collection of stories introduces Potrebenko fans and new readers alike to biting social satire with real people and real lives firmly attached.

“A hard hitting social satirist, Potrebenko attacks conventional middle-class assumptions by understanding them from within.” — The Vancouver Sun

“Helen Potrebenko’s collection of short fiction, Hey Waitress and Other Stories, is just plain good reading. Her stories expose us to a medley of ordinary lives; stories of office temps, bank clerks, secretaries, and waitresses are told with honesty, accuracy and warmth.” — Quill and Quire

“… so real and touch that postmodern jargon seems incapable of deconstructing it.” –Canadian Literature

190 pp; 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 , $12.00, paper
ISBN 0-920999-12-3. 1989

Smiling Under Water
Margaret Hollingsworth

smiling-under-water-thumbSmiling Under Water is a collection of stories about travelling internally into the depths of relationships and into the narrator’s own heart.

“Hollingsworth’s humour is like the sting in a scorpion’s tail; it flashes in a character description or lurks in the final line of a paragraph.” — The Globe and Mail

135 pp, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 , $12.00, paper
ISBN 0-920999-14-X. 1989

Jacqueline Oker


Oker is a Beaver Indian from Peterson Crossing, British Columbia.

“Remember” is a poignant and timely poem about growing up in a residential school, and about how white society is now encouraging her to reclaim her culture:

How can I,
I replied.

You pounded these sinful ways out of me


Illustration by Russell Teed
Designed by Elaine Littmann
8 1/2 x 14

Inside Out: First Nations on the Front Line
Theresa Tait, Wee’hal Lite

inside-out-thumb5 1/2 x 8 1/2; 14 pp, saddle-stitched chapbook. 1993
ISBN 0-920999-24-7, $3.50

“As Canada attempts to entrench self government into the constitution, aboriginal people within the work force in and outside the justice system will continue to face resistance within the institutions that serve … this is an acknowledgement of those who do the balancing act between two cultures.”

This essay takes a critical look at white bureaucracies that control services to aboriginal people.

Detained at Customs
Jane Rule

detained-at-customs-thumbISBN 0-920999-28-X; $4.50. 1995

“Whether I were testifying at this trial or not, my name would come up over and over again as that woman whose books are seized at the border, and I have no defence against it. And I bitterly resent the attempt to marginalize, trivialize and even criminalize what I have to say because I happen to be a lesbian, I happen to be a novelist, I happen to have bookstores and publishers who are dedicated to producing my work.”

Novelist Jane Rule’s powerful and moving testimony at the Little Sister’s trial is presented in its entirety.

Every Tool Shapes the Task:
Communities & the Information Highway

Ursula M. Franklin

every-tool-shapes-the-task-thumb5 1/2 x 8 1/2; 16 pp
saddle-stitched chapbook
ISBN 0-902999-30-1

“One does then have to look at another need for knowledge — that knowledge of why things do not get done that seem to be the appropriate, useful, honourable and decent thing to do … the real problem for any community group is to answer the question, what do you do … not about the gathering of knowledge, but rather about questions of structure and power and responsiblity.”

Dr. Ursula Franklin, a Quaker and a feminist, is particularly concerned about the social impact of technology as it affects issues of peace and justice. In this speech, she challenges community organizations working for social change to question whether the information highway is a road which willl really take them where they want to go.

The Woman Who Loved Airports
Marusya Bociurkiw

the-woman-who-loved-airports-thumb168 pp; $12.95, paper
ISBN 0-920999-0-0
A woman encounters a fag hag, a medieval queen and a seventeenth-century voyageur in an airport lounge…The fall of the Berlin Wall becomes a backdrop for an international lesbian love-triangle. Sexy and funny, these stories move across identities and communities, from Baba’s kitchen and suburban shopping malls to the demi-monde of queer sex and love. Layered with metaphors and lust, this is gutsy, sensual writing juxtaposing lesbian street lore with explorations of feminism, family and cultural location.

“Bociurkiw writes with a sure hand — a hand that is gentle and compassionate as well as swift and sharp. This book feels like panne velvet, lustrous and rippling. Its humour is generous and deep.” –Beth Brant

“In a movement against forgetting, words under the skin of difference spell episodic tales of love and cultural memory. The Woman Who Loved Airports untangles the pleasures (and sometime sadness) of women who defy convention, lesbian and otherwise.” — Janice Williamson

This book was originally published by Press Gang Publishers in 1994, and is now distributed by Lazara Press.

Sparks from the Fire
Sandy Cameron

sparks-from-the-fire-thumb86 pp; 6×9
0-920999-03-4; $14.95

Sparks from the Fire is poetry from the pen of a man who has done many things. Sandy Cameron has been a prospector, a miner, a logger and a teacher in many parts of northern Canada from Yukon to Labrador. In the book are poems about the north, about the land and its people and what Cameron has learned from them. Here are epics that bring to life the cold of the north, a near meeting with a grizzly, a sweat lodge and the lonely cry of the loon.

But there are also poems about the author’s own inheritance as he speaks of his mother, his father, his uncle, the war and how his past colours his understanding of his life and how he moves in the world he cares so deeply about.

Sandy Cameron currently lives in Vancouver, where he volunteers at Carnegie Centre in the Downtown Eastside, a neighbourhood that is constantly the target of sensationalist media stereotyping of poor people. In a sequence of poems set here, Cameron describes the real community and the people who live in the heat of Canada’s third largest city.

“If a culture is to be whole — if a culture is to heal — it is vital to hear the voices of all its citizens. Sandy Cameron is one of those voices. He speaks for the ordinary of us — the miner, the fisher, the street worker — the ones who keep the wheel turning. He speaks for the vital of us, the silent of us. Listen!”
~ Kate Braid

“Sandy Cameron is not only my favourite poet, but the best poet I know. Nobody else speaks both personally and collectively of our common histories, oppressions and resistances, nor do many poets speak so directly and clearly with such a beautiful cadence. Cameron’s poems reveal our caring, wisdom and courage, and they also reveal our carelessness, ruthlessness and crimes against one another. But his voice is ultimately that of grace.”
~ Bud Osborn

The situation in which we are both amateurs
Susan Musgrave

situation-amateurs-Susan-Musgrave9 x 13 broadside
Designed and printed letter press by Glenn Goluska at imprimerie dromadaire

Bill Hoffer was both a controversial and respected dealer in
antiquarian books and Canadian modern first editions. He was also a good friend to many book people in Canada; poet
Susan Musgrave wrote this poem for Hoffer after visiting him shortly before his death in September 1997.

226 have been published, 200 of which are for sale.

Second Thoughts
Elise Goldsmith

second-thoughts-thumb120 pp; $14.95, paper;
ISBN 0-920999-32-8
Cassette: $8.95

“How old is youth
How young is age
How false is truth
How quiet rage?”

Second Thoughts is Elise Goldsmith’s most recent collection of poetry. Her spare, elliptical verse gives rare insight into the daytime shadows and night-time illuminations of a woman writer in her aging years. Whether writing about Edith Piaf, the Persian Gulf War, or the rewards and difficulties of marriage, Goldsmith is always asking us to look more deeply, and more kindly. Delicate, ironic, and gently humourous, these poems touch the heart with their musings on war, old age, social justice, and the enduring power of love.

second-thoughts-cassette-thumbThe book is also available on cassette, read by the author, who has for many years read for the CNIB.

Letters to Maggie
Helen Potrebenko

letters-to-maggie-thumb52 pp; saddle-stitched chapbook; $8.50
ISBN 0-920999-34-4

“They asked me a long time ago to write about you; I tried but the writing was just a flat piece of paper whereas you were still round and filled out and vital and would not flat out to fit on paper. I could not explain in writing the inadequacy of writing. You were walking through the woods, with that nice smile, speaking at a rally, rushing off somewhere with multi briefcases, mulling over the Scrabble board…”

In a series of letters/stories, Potrebenko, a long-time friend of social activist and feminist Maggie Benston, tells Maggie what’s been happening in the world since her death in 1991.

For more information about Helen’s work, visit her blog.

Who is Equal?
The Passage of Nunavut’s First Human Rights Act

Jack Anawak

who-is-equal-1-thumb$5.00; ISBN 0-920999-07-7

“Where did we get the power to give rights and take away rights? When did we decide to set aside our time-honoured values and beliefs about the value and integrity of all people? In other words, what are we doing as members of our society supporting such non-democratic behaviour, judgments and attitude? If anything as leaders, we should be confronting this unacceptable way of thinking, loudly and clearly, and we should be busy re-affirming and protecting the rights of all.”

Jack Anawak, Canada’s current Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs, gave an impassioned speech in the Nunavut legislature in 2003 arguing against members who wanted to take sexual orientation out of the new act. His speech (which is available in English and Inuktitut in this booklet) helped to precipitate the signing of Nunavut’s first human rights act and two years later, as the issue of same-sex marriage again hits the media during the current election campaign, his words continue to resonate.

For a CBC story about the booklet, check out their website.

Outlaw Angel
Roman Bociurkiw

Outlaw-Angel-by-Roman-BociurkiwCD $15.99; 20% discount for 10 or more
Proceeds will be donated to the Carnegie Centre Music Program in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Much like a kobzar, Roman Bociurkiw performed across Canada for many years, until finally settling down in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. He passed away in his sleep on July 5, 2002.
This CD brings together the best of Roman’s recorded bandura music from the past fifteen years. It represents the eclectic mix of classical, pop, and traditional Ukrainian songs Roman’s listeners loved.

For more information about Roman Bociurkiw, go to his website.

Halfway to the East
Marusya Bociurkiw

halfway-to-the-east-thumb90 pp; $14.95, paper;
ISBN 0-920999-38-7

Halfway to the East is a collection of poetry that travels across Canada to Eastern Europe and Asia, tracing a genealogy of place and displacement, creating a polyphony of identity and voice. It traces the absurdities and losses of immigration, the movement of songs, gestures, and language from one continent to the next, the mixed comfort of family and the poetic reworking of an old country into an irreverent queer new world.

“Marusya Bociurkiw puts her ear to the ground and we hear the songs of the earth: voices of women, Ukrainian grandmother, girls in black leather jackets, a waitress at a roadside caf�, the crooning echo of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.” This is a journey home in which all the border crossings – across languages, bedrooms, boundary-lines – are bittersweet adventures.”
~ Stan Persky, author of Autobiography of a Tattoo

Bociurkiw is the author of the acclaimed short story collection The Woman Who Loved Airports. Her writing has been widely published in journals and anthologies including Fireweed, Dykewords, Queer Looks, the Journey Prize Anthology, and in the fall of 1998 Two Lands: New Visions, Stories from Canada and Ukraine, edited by Janice Kulyk Keefer and Solomea Pavlychko.

Bociurkiw is also a long-time film and video producer in Canada; her productions include Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the Haunted Body and Unspoken Territory, a look at ‘unspoken’ moments in Canadian history, told through the stories of First Nations, immigrant and Quebecois women.

“Marusya Bociurkiw has always found herself on the border of things, as an artist, lover, daughter, traveller. She finds her footing in an image, a remembered tale, a fugitive emotion she did not know was hers. She has dredged her language from the archive of a people’s grief and canny tenacity, and from a grandmother’s maddening, irrevocable love. Her poems teeter at the crumbling brink of history, sex and dream.” ~ Myrna Kostash, author of The Doomed Bridegroom.

For more information about Marusya Bociurkiw, check out her web site and her blog, “Recipes for Trouble”