What a beautiful morning to wake up to: it’s raining in Vancouver, you can’t see the mountains, and it’s 14 degrees. Yes, that’s considered a bit chilly here on the West Coast. Why is this a wonderful day already before I’ve even had coffee? THE GOVERNOR GENERAL’S LITERARY AWARDS (the GGs) NOMINATIONS WERE ANNOUNCED. Sorry for the obnoxious caps, but this is exciting on so many levels.
We’re so excited to see so many talented writers, publishing houses/presses, illustrators, and straight-up talent in each category. PRISM is also excited to brag about publishing three of the finalists: Kate Cayley, Patrick Lane, and Robyn Sarah. Kate Cayley won PRISM’s 2015 Short Fiction Contest for her story “The Bride and the Street Party”. PRISM’s Prose Editor Christopher Evans interviewed Kate about privilege, editing, and working in intersecting genres, which you can check out here. Her GG nom-ed book How You Were Born also won the 2015 Trillium Award. May we suggest global domination next?
Patrick Lane is no stranger to PRISM international, much less the rest of Canada’s amazing literary journals. In 2009, he was our Creative Non-fiction judge and his poetry appeared in PRISM’s 50th Anniversary Retrospective Issue. His now GG nomimated collection of poetry, Washita, won the 2015 Raymond Souster Award and was shortlisted for the 2015 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.
We heard that Patrick thought his poetry career days were over, but we’re happy to see that one of Canada’s strongest poetic voices is unwavering and here to stay.
Robyn Sarah first appeared in PRISM international 13:1 in 1973. Recently, five of her poems opened up our Winter 53:2 issue and former Poetry Editor Rob Taylor interviewed Robyn about her writing and editing process and her now GG nominated collection of poetry, My Shoes Are Killing Me. She said, “Sequencing a collection is like writing one last poem” and we can’t wait to see what more Robyn Sarah has to share with us.
Robyn is the author of eight books of poetry, two collections of short stories, and a book of essays on poetry. Her work has been translated and published internationally.
But that’s not all, folks. We’re excited to see that our 2016 Poetry Contest judge Kayla Czaga’s poetry collection For Your Safety Please Hold On has also been nominated. Her first book of poetry has had so much national success and let me count the ways: shortlisted for the 2015 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize; winner of the 2015 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award; nominated for the Canadian Authors Emerging Writer Award; and poems from the collection have received awards: The Fiddlehead‘s 23rd annual Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, The Malahat Review‘s 2012 Far Horizon’s Award for Poetry, and an Editor’s Choice Award in ARC Poetry Magazine‘s 2012 Poem of the Year Contest.
There’s one last thing that we’re really jazzed about looking at all the titles nominated for the GGs this year, and that’s how many small presses are named. We’re thrilled to see such presses like Talonbooks, Biblioasis, Nightwood Editions, Pedlar Press, Harbour Publishing, Coach House Books, and House of Anansi Press receive recognition for all their hard work and commitment to publishing the best there is.
Good luck to all the nominees!