So the news is two weeks old now, but the shortlists for the 2015 Manitoba Book Awards were released on March 30.
Sixteen awards will be handed out this year at the ceremony April 25th at the Marlborough Hotel. The list includes two new prizes, the Beatrice Mosionier Aboriginal Writer of the Year Award & the Chris Johnson Award for Best Play by a Manitoba Playwright.
And University of Manitoba Press authors got eight Manitoba Book Award nominations in five categories.
I'm proud of that, even though I had very little to do with it in my role as Promotions/Editorial Assistant at the press.
I'm also proud that my poetry collection Stowaways was nominated for the Lansdowne Prize for Poetry / Prix Lansdowne de poésie.
Many thanks to Palimpsest Press for its support of the book & to Toronto poet Jim Johnstone, who edited it.
Also nominated for the Lansdowne are the following books / poets, all of which I recommend you check out:
De l’amuïssement des certitudes by Laurent Poliquin, published by Jacques André Editeur
"Que peut rappeler le poétique au politique, la poésie à la loi ? Que la poésie va vers ce qui résiste. Elle provoque le réel, elle interprète ce que le corps et la voix peuvent tracer de l’espace et du temps. Laurent Poliquin, dans son recueil De l’amuïssement des certitudes, présente sa quête dans laquelle il cherche à structurer sa souveraineté et son opposition à l’asservissement quotidien. C’est dans la musicalité des mots et une certaine sensualité qu’il engage un combat contre la pesanteur de l’existence. Ainsi, les défis cinglants face à la mort, l’aliénation contemporaine, la brume des incertitudes s’atomisent dans ces poèmes épurés, fougueux et sans contredit: amoureux"
In the Tiger Park by Alison Calder, published by Coteau Books
"Alison Calder's poetry is known for shining the light of the poet's curiosity on all manner of 'natural occurrences,' which nevertheless stand out. Again, as with her first book, Wolf Tree, this collection is about what exists at the edges of human experience, what's out there but is largely unseen by the average human being – animals, the line a receiver makes running down a football field, the calligraphy of pheasant wings in the snow. It's about ghosts, how these things operate as ghosts to us now, in this age—things that might have, in another age, occupied a more central place in our lives."
What Lies Behind by Luann Hiebert, published by Turnstone Press
"What Lies Behind, Luann Hiebert’s debut collection of poetry, explodes the notion of the common and everyday. The seductive songs of motherhood and love and springtime on the prairies are confronted with illness, death, and the coldness of time marching on without us. With the weight of history behind her, Hiebert arrests the patterns of daily life and in their place leaves a beautiful truth that is more awesome and delightful than memory could serve."
So: congratulations to all the writers who were nominated. I'm also thinking of all those writers whose books weren't nominated. Here's to all of us!
I'm off to assemble a vaguely-1920s costume...