Congratulations to Alex Leslie!

Alex Leslie, Nightwood Editions author of The things I heard about you, has been named the winner of the 2015 Dayne Ogilvie Prize! The prize is presented to an emerging Canadian writer from the LGBT community who demonstrates great promise through a body of work of exceptional quality.

The award carries a $4000 prize and a trip to Toronto to headline in the emerging writers reading event.The jury cited that Alex has “a tremendous gift for compassion that’s equal to a talent for technique.”

Alex Leslie has also previously been shortlisted for the 2014 Robert Kroetsch award for innovative poetry. Congratulations Alex!

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Kayla Czaga Wins National Poetry Prize and Receives New Nomination!

This is shaping up to be an incredible year for Kayla Czaga! Having already been nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, her debut collection, For Your Safety Please Hold On, has now been awarded the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award! The award recognizes the best first book of poetry published by a Canadian in the preceding year and carries a $1,000 prize sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets.

The judges commented that For Your Safety Please Hold On “unfurls experience, observation and development with complexity and more than a little humour suspending a reader between this page’s moment of assurance and the next moment’s unsettling observation. This work is a thrill.”

In addition, Kayla has also been nominated for the Canadian Authors Emerging Writer Award! The Emerging Writer finalist receives $500 and shortlisted authors receive a complimentary one-year membership with Canadian Authors. The winners of the award will be announced at the Literary Awards Dinner & Gala on Saturday, June 13. Good Luck Kayla!

Congratulations Kayla Czaga

Nightwood’s Fall 2014 author Kayla Czaga has just been nominated for the prestigious Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for her first collection, For Your Safety Please Hold On. Her book is the only debut title to make the award shortlist.

We’re hopeful she may take home the prize, since several of the poems in her shortlisted collection have already received some award attention, including 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.

The award carries a cash prize of $2000 plus a certificate, and the winner will be announced at an awards gala in Vancouver on April 25, 2015. Good luck Kayla!

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Nightwood Editions is proud to announce the publication of four new titles this Spring with authors all from southern British Columbia.

In her lyrical, intimate memoir The Death of Small Creatures, Trisha Cull lays bare her struggle with bulimia, bipolar disorder and substance abuse. Interspersing snatches of conversations, letters, blog entries and clinical notes with poetic narrative, Cull evokes an accessible experience of mental illness.

“With a butterfly’s delicacy and a butterfly’s embattled strength, Trisha Cull takes us through and out of a world of mental illness. Clear-eyed and unsparing, yet suffused with beauty, The Death of Small Creatures is a brave and unflinching book. If you’ve ever struggled with mental illness and addictions, ever loved someone who struggled, ever known someone who struggled, you need to read this book.”

–Susan Olding, author of Pathologies: A Life in Essays


Debut talent Raoul Fernandes’ first offering is Transmitter and Receiver, a masterful and carefully depicted exploration of one’s relationships with oneself, with friends, memories, strangers and technology.

The three parts of this collection are variations building on a theme—at times lonely, sometimes adoring, but always honest, each section adds nuance to the spectrum of relationships, connections and disconnections. Rather than drawing lines between isolation and connection, past and present, metaphor and reality, Transmitter and Receiver offers loneliness and longing hand-in-hand with affection and understanding: “The last assembly instruction is always you reading this. A machine / that rarely functions, but could never without you.”

“What I receive from these transmissions is a convincing sweetness, a weird wisdom. This book reminds me of David Berman’s Actual Air, but it’s warmer. Raoul Fernandes writes like a night school teacher teaching us ‘something about night itself.’ It’s an engaging class, an occasionally mind-altering class, and I finished it feeling more hopeful and human.”
— Nick Thran

Hastings-Sunrise is a love letter to a fleeting place and time. Bren Simmers’s second collection captures her old East Vancouver neighbourhood in the midst of upheaval. As it is colonized by tides of matching plaid and diners serving pulled-pork pancakes, condo developments replace the small businesses and cheap rentals that once gave the area its charm.

Like a tree clothed in multi-coloured yarn or a miniature house filled with free books, Hastings-Sunrise is a gift to readers, beautiful in its simplicity.

A beautifully nuanced look at the challenge of allowing ourselves to claim and be claimed by a place. In this year-long cycle of poems, Simmers brings the sharp focus of a naturalist’s eye to the urban everyday of the Vancouver neighbourhood for which the book is named. Text becomes mapping, observations become ecology, dates become narrative. The poems are both fierce and faltering; they experiment with form without ever losing the voice and vulnerability that make them compelling.

–Anna Swanson

Previously published Nightwood poet Rita Wong approaches water through personal, cultural and political lenses. She humbles herself to water both physically and spiritually: “i will apprentice myself to creeks & tributaries, groundwater & glaciers / listen for the salty pulse within, the blood that recognizes marine ancestry.”

undercurrent emerges from the Downstream project, a multifaceted, creative collaboration that highlights the importance of art in understanding and addressing the cultural and political issues related to water. The project encourages public imagination to respect and value water, ecology and sustainability. Learn more about Downstream at