Sumac Books


Sumac Books, also known as Sumac Publishing, is the author's imprint of small edition private, collaborative and trade books and ephemera. These include Lizard Love: Artists Scan Poems by Susan McMaster (artists' edition 2016); Wordmusic 2: 1981 First Draft 2007 (recording, 2007); Convergence: Poems for Peace (ed. Susan McMaster, in collaboration with the League of Canadian Poets, 2011), a limited edition anthology of art and poetry in unique boxed sets plus a recording from 56 poets and 52 artists across Canada (one set is held in the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, Toronto, ISBN 1896216161, another at the Ottawa Archives.); and Bookware: Ottawa Valley Poetry (eds. Susan McMaster & Colin Morton, in collaboration with the League of Canadian Poets, 1994). Private publications include a series of poetry/art Christmas cards issued annually in numbered editions of 75-150 from 1989 to the present; the memoirs of father Gordon McClure (It's Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood, 2010) and mother Betty I.E. Page, (Tinahgi 1997, 2012); Christmas poetry/art anthologies by children Aven and Morel (1985-1998); and various publications for celebrations and remembrance.

Many Sumac Books papers and publications are held in the Ottawa Museums and Archives Collections, Susan McMaster Fonds.


Susan McMaster's professional editing career spans 35 years with governmental and private clients and includes two decades at the National Gallery of Canada in bilingual publishing. As a Senior Book Editor, she was the founding editor of Vernissage: The Magazine of the National Gallery of Canada, and edited some 30 major catalogues as The Group of Seven: Art for a Nation (co-publisher M&S); Land Spirit Power: First Nations at the National Gallery of Canada (Janet Braide Award for scholarship); Beauty of Another Order: Photography in Science (co-publisher Yale UP, Kraszna-Krausz Photography Book Award); Magicians of Light (IRIS Best Books of Photography); and Lisette Model (George Wittenborn Award for writing and editing), plus numerous related publications. Sanattiaqsimajut: Inuit Art from the Carleton University Art Gallery Collection (eds. Sandra Dyck and Ingo Hessel), received First Prize, Exhibition Catalogues (American Association of Museums Publications Design Competition), and Special recognition, Art Publication of the Year (Ontario Association of Art Galleries).

McMaster was the founding editor of Branching Out: The National Feminist Quarterly (1963-80), and the first editor of ACCESS (1971-n.d.), the educational magazine of the Province of Alberta. Other projects include Waging Peace: Poetry and Political Action (Penumbra 2002), which gathers work by 108 poets and artists across Canada; Dangerous Graces: Women's Poetry on Stage (Balmuir 1987), mounted at the Great Canadian Theatre Company; the Living Archives series of the League of Canadian Poets (1990-present); and the Canadian issue of the international literary magazine SugarMule. A poet herself, McMaster is author or editor of some 30 books and recordings (see HOME). A detailed CV is available on request.

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Last updated 19 February 2019 by SM.