Congratulations to Joe Denham and Kayla Czaga for their Canadian Authors Association (CAA) award wins! Denham’s third poetry collection, Regeneration Machine has won the 2016 CAA Award for Poetry! The prize is awarded to the Canadian author of the best work of poetry published in the preceding year. Czaga won the CAA Emerging Writer Award awarded to authors under 30. Her debut book For Your Safety Please Hold On was published by Nightwood in 2014.
Regeneration Machine is a 100-stanza, 9,000-word letter-in-verse to his friend’s ghost—a requiem, elegy, lament; a sort of flailing attempt to make sense of the nonsensically violent way that a non-violent, caring, intelligent young man chose to end his life. Quill & Quire gave the book a starred review, calling it “a keeper.”
Joe Denham is also the author of two other poetry collections and a novel. He lives with his wife and two children in Halfmoon Bay, BC.
For Your Safety Please Hold On moves in thematic focus from family, to girlhood, to adulthood, each permeated by Czaga’s lively voice and quick-witted, playful language.
Kayla Czaga grew up in Kitimat and now lives in Vancouver, BC, where she recently earned her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC.
Introduced in 1975, these awards continue the association’s long tradition of honouring Canadian writers who achieve excellence without sacrificing popular appeal. The finalists were selected from over 300 nominations.
Nelson author Donna Macdonald has won the 2016 Richard Carver Award for Emerging Writers for her memoir, Surviving City Hall (Nightwood Editions). She shares the award with Kootenay Bay novelist Alanda Greene. The award is sponsored by the Nelson and District Arts Council and the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival and honours emerging writers who show dedication to their writing practice and engagement with their communities.
Surviving City Hall was released this spring, and Donna has two more writing projects on the drawing board. The jury recognized her “unwavering commitment to the arts, as she truly does embody the spirit of the Carver Award.”
Macdonald remembers Richard Carver, who served on the Arts Council, the Nelson Library board, and who was a regular at Nelson City Council meetings. “Richard was such a force of creative energy—I could feel it while talking to him,” she says. “He was a unique and lovely man, and receiving this award in his name means a lot to me.”
Macdonald and Greene will receive their awards and read from their work at Elephant Mountain Literary Festival’s 100-Mile Gala on Thursday, July 7 at 7:30pm at the Hume Room in Nelson’s Hume Hotel. The evening also features winners of the Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine fiction competition, CBC personality and author Grant Lawrence, and children’s author and jazz chanteuse Jill Barber. Tickets are available at www.emlfestival.com.
Vancouver author Raoul Fernandes’ debut poetry collection, Transmitter and Receiver, has won the 2016 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize! The prize is awarded to the BC author of the best work of poetry, published in the preceding year.
Transmitter and Receiver was also shortlisted for the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, which recognizes the best first book of poetry published by a Canadian writer.
The BC Book Prizes, established in 1985, celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers and are awarded annually in seven categories. The awards carry a cash prize of $2000 plus a certificate. This year the winners were announced at the Government House in Victoria, BC, on April 30.
Saturday, April 30th is Authors for Indies Day, a national event where authors show their love for independent bookstores by volunteering as guest booksellers. Across the country, authors will be chatting to customers, recommending books and thanking book buyers for the support that they provide to their communities by shopping at indie bookstores. More information and a full list of participating authors can be found at www.authorsforindies.com.
This year, participating Nightwood Editions authors include:
Sheryda Warrener – UBC Bookstore (Vancouver, BC)
Bren Simmers – Book Warehouse Broadway (Vancouver, BC)
Laisha Rosnau – Expressions of Time (Vernon, BC)
Jay MillAr – Book City Bloor West (Toronto, ON)
Bradley Somer – (Calgary, AB)