Carol Daniels shortlisted for First Nation Communities READ 2017-2018

Bearskin Diary CoverCongratulations to Carol Daniels, whose debut novel, Bearskin Diary has been shortlisted for the First Nation Communities READ community reading selection for 2017-2018.

The final title selection announcement will take place in Toronto on June 28 as part of National Aboriginal Day Celebrations, and the selected title’s creator will be the recipient of the $5,000 Periodical Marketers of Canada Aboriginal Literature Award.

The First Nation Communities READ jury considered more than 50 submissions before coming up with the shortlist. The other finalists are Missing Nimama by Melanie Florence (Clockwise Press, 2015), Price Paid by Bev Sellers (Talonbooks, 2016), They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellers (Talonbooks, 2013) and How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle (The Roadrunner Press, 2015).

Raw and honest, Bearskin Diary gives voice to a generation of First Nations women who have always been silenced, at a time when movements like Idle No More call for a national inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Taken from the arms of her mother as soon as she was born, the novel’s protagonist, Sandy, was one of over twenty thousand Aboriginal children scooped up by the federal government between the 1960s and 1980s. Sandy was adopted by a Ukrainian family and grew up as the only First Nations child in a town of white people in Canada. Ostracized by everyone around her and tired of being different, at the early age of five she tried to scrub the brown off her skin. But she was never sent back into the foster system, and for that she considered herself lucky. From this tragic period in her personal life and in Canadian history, Sandy does not emerge unscathed, but she emerges strong—finding her way by embracing the First Nations culture that the Sixties Scoop had tried to deny.

Carol Daniels is a journalist who became Canada’s first Aboriginal woman to anchor a national newscast when she joined CBC Newsworld in 1989. Her work has since earned several awards, including the 2009 National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Her poetry and short fiction have been included in several anthologies. Bearskin Diary is her first novel. Find out more at www.caroldaniels.ca.

Launched in 2003 by the First Nations Public Library Community in Ontario with support from Southern Ontario Library Service, First Nation Communities READ promotes a community-based approach to reading, family literacy, and strives to increase awareness of the relevance and importance of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit writing, illustration, and publishing.


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Adèle Barclay awarded the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Congratulations to Adèle Barclay, whose debut poetry collection, If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You, was awarded the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize at the BC Book Prizes. This prize is awarded to the BC author of the best work of poetry published in the preceding year.

With “cracking imagery and whip-smart delivery” (The Winnipeg Free Press), Barclay’s poems contain a sincere desire to connect to others, an essential need to reach out, to redraft the narratives that make kinship radical and near. These poems are love letters to the uncomfortable, the unfathomable, and the altered geographies that define our own misshapen understandings of the world. The collection has received praise from numerous publications including PRISM international, The Puritan and Montecristo Magazine, and Quill & Quire describes If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You as a collection traversing the “well-worn path of love poems but doing so in ways that often surprise.”

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. Barclay joins previous winners such as Raoul Fernandes and Jordan Abel as recipients of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Barclay accepted the award at the BC Book Prizes Gala on Saturday, April 29, calling the award and “immense honour.”


Shirley Lew, Dean, Library, Teaching & Learning Services at Vancouver Community College (left) presents Adèle Barclay with the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.

Photo by Monica Miller, courtesy of the BCBP.


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Brand New Bad Ideas from Award-Winning Author Michael V. Smith

Quill & Quire calls Michael V. Smith’s new collection of poetry, Bad Ideas, a “gorgeous” offering of “awe and hope in a world that can often feel uncertain, dreamlike, and distant.” The poems in this collection explore loss and longing, sexuality and gender, all through Smith’s characteristic tone of humility and humour. Bad Ideas was listed in the CBC Books Spring 2017 Books Preview and 49th Shelf’s Most Anticipated Spring 2017 Poetry Preview, and will be available at your favourite local bookstore in May.

Smith told Nightwood that his new book of poetry came together rather organically: “I’m always tinkering with poetry. My books tend to overlap one with the other; so much of this book was written while I was working on non-fiction. One of the joys in poetry is that you get a fast hit, you know? You slog away on a book of long-form prose, but with poetry you can dip into a poem, finish it, and feel that thrill of finishing something.”

In time with the release of Bad Ideas, Smith will be touring the country to share his bad Ideas in the Dirty Spring Book Tour, alongside fellow writers Marcus McCann, Tara-Michelle Ziniuk, Pierre-Luc Landry, with visits from special guests Sarah Pinder and Ben Ladouceur along the way. Stops include Montreal, Kingston, Hamilton, Toronto, and Ottawa. He will also be reading on the West Coast, so stay tuned for more dates. For details, head to our events calendar.

The author, whose memoir My Body is Yours, published in 2015 by Arsenal Pulp Press, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, is the winner of the inaugural Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers. He is also a writer, comedian, filmmaker, performance artist, and occasional clown, and teaches creative writing at UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, and check in with Nightwood Editions for more information on these and more events!


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Deconstructing the Silence: Lisa Bird-Wilson’s The Red Files

The Red Files, Lisa Bird-Wilson’s acclaimed debut collection of poetry, grew out of a very personal place: her own family history as depicted in photos. “I went looking in archives for more photos from the same era,” Bird-Wilson recalls, “and found the children were not identified in any of the archival photographs—a form of silencing and treating individuals as if they are anonymous and uniform, rather than real people. I wanted to try and deconstruct that and poetry emerged as the vehicle to do so. Poetry becomes an act of resistance, of what is available to me as a writer.”

The Malahat Review praises Bird-Wilson’s work, calling The Red Files a “haunting, sorrowful and lovely” collection that “takes us on a journey through mourning and grief, denial of history, demands for truths, and the curiosity for a history that has long been silenced, ultimately pressing on toward healing. It is an unsettling and beautiful read and Bird-Wilson tells her stories with ferocious grace.” The Red Files is a powerful contribution to uncovering the legacy of residential schools and moving toward reconciliation.

The Red Files was recently shortlisted for two Saskatchewan Book Awards: the Rasmussen, Rasmussen & Charowsky Indigenous Peoples’ Writing Award and the Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award. The winners will be announced on April 29, 2017.


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Adèle Barclay shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Congratulations to Vancouver poet Adèle Barclay, whose debut poetry collection, If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You, has been shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize!

Barclay’s collection has been previously shortlisted for the 2015 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and received the 2016 LitPop Awards for Poetry and the Reader’s Choice Award for the 2016 Walrus Poetry Prize. Her poetry has been called “witchy and wise, erotic and tender” by Matrix Magazine, and The Puritan calls the collection “a testament to the intricacies of, and possibilities within, language.”

The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, established in 1986, is awarded annually to the best collection of poetry by a resident of British Columbia. Other nominees include Rob Taylor, Anne Fleming, Richard Therrien and Juliane Okot Bitek. The winner will be announced at the 33rd Annual Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala on Saturday, April 29, 2017, in Vancouver.


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Expect Something and Nothing at Once, from then/again by Michelle Elrick

Expect Something and Nothing at Once is the cinematic depiction of Michelle Elrick’s poem of the same name from her forthcoming collection, then/again. The film, written and directed by Elrick, was filmed in Winnipeg and has screened internationally and was awarded Best Cinematography at the Suffolk International Film Festival in 2013.

expect something and nothing at once: a car coming down the road,
a tilted x, a feeling of enough enough/a rapture love. count: two
days without sleeping, three hours spent hiding, seventeen years
of limiting love and one long highway, the way it dips and caresses
the shouldering hills. wait with squint and exhaustion: breath
condensed on a cold brass hinge, fields scraped clean of snags
and novelty. wander in/out of rooms with a mirror under your chin.
climb out of the bed, the window, the car and threadbare drapery
of blue velour: gold exponential on the carpet. don’t talk, listen
to the curve of this particulate. stare at the cabin past the dim
of trees: its red roof, the taste of warm tomato.

the mountain rises under your knees: algae, juniper. humming
hydro electric box: (red rover, red rover) call and careen, your name
still ringing, still ringing, drawing circles around your face, around
the many lips of the rose’s middle. gulls follow the tractor,
picking out dew worms. sunset between Olympic and North Shore,
grazing red and spotted land of white and orange stars. clouds pass
behind the tree: you say the name of the book you are reading,
I touch your leg under the table, we leave the condom on the desk
(how many brothers/sisters do you have?). mathematics of hunger,
of silence, noise. the universe expands beyond dead stars shining.
asymptotic crush. the things that used to be true.

then/again
Michelle Elrick launches then/again at McNally Robinson in Winnipeg on March 25, 2017.


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Surviving Politics with Donna Macdonald

Surviving City Hall“Maintaining your sense of humour is an important part of getting through the day on city council,” Macdonald told CBC Radio West host Audrey McKinnon back in April 2016. In January, the author returned to the airwaves, this time on CBC Edmonton, to weigh in on an importance discussion on the lack of women in city council in Edmonton.

Macdonald was also interviewed in Toronto online literary magazine The Puritan and received an acclaimed review in BC Bookworld, which heralded her memoir as “an important eye-opener.” To keep up to date on Macdonald’s upcoming events and news, visit her author page here. To purchase a copy of Surviving City Hall, visit your local bookstore or www.harbourpublishing.com.


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Nightwood Editions announces Spring 2017 Books

The frost is receding, the days are growing longer, and spring is near, which means we are looking forward to an exciting new season of books!

Should Auld AcquintanceOut now is the biography of Jean Armour, wife to the infamous Scottish poet Robbie Burns. In Should Auld Acquaintance: Discovering the Woman Behind Robert Burns, Melanie Murray travels to the small Scottish village of Mauchline to reveal the woman who, like many left in the shadow of famous writers, is a highly influential yet oft neglected character in history. Murray traces the life of Armour, reflecting on her own experiences that mirror those of the woman who is, at last, given a voice.

The Clothesline SwingThe Clothesline Swing is Ahmad Danny Ramadan’s first novel in English, but the author has been widely published across platforms including The Guardian and the Washington Post. This foray into fiction depicts the relationship of two Syrian refugees seeking a new home in Canada as they reflect on their tumultuous past in Damascus and the persecution they faced for their homosexuality. It is a story of courage and hope, shadowed by the presence of Death, biding his time until he must enact fate. The Clothesline Swing will be available in May 2017.

Bad IdeasOur highly anticipated new collections of poetry include Michael V. Smith’s Bad Ideas and Michelle Elrick’s then/again, both of which are featured in the CBC Spring 2017 Books Preview. Smith is the award-winning author of the memoir My Body is Yours, published in 2015, and was the winner of the inaugural Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers. Bad Ideas can be found in stores in May 2017.
then/again
Michelle Elrick’s work has appeared in a number of publications, including Poetry Is Dead and Event, and she was a finalist in the 2015 CBC Poetry Prize. Her collection then/again will be available in April 2017.

Next Door to the Butcher ShopRounding out our trio of poetry is Rodney DeCroo’s second collection, Next Door to the Butcher Shop. DeCroo is a Vancouver-based singer/songwriter, and previously published Allegheny, BC with Nightwood Editions in 2012. Next Door to the Butcher Shop will be released in May 2017.

Stay up to date on events as we head into this bright new season by following us on Twitter and Facebook!


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Lisa Bird-Wilson shortlisted for Saskatchewan Book Awards

Congratulations to Lisa Bird-Wilson, who has been shortlisted for two Saskatchewan Book Awards for her recent poetry collection, The Red Files. Bird-Wilson is a finalist for the Rasmussen, Rasmussen & Charowsky Indigenous Peoples’ Writing Award and the Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award.

The Red FilesThe Red Files reflects on the legacy of the residential school system: the fragmentation of families and histories, with blows that resonate through the generations. The collection takes its name from the federal government’s complex organizational structure of residential schools’ archives, which are divided into “black files” and “red files.” In vignettes as clear as glass beads, her poems offer affection to generations of children whose presence within the historic record is ghostlike, anonymous and ephemeral.

Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Cree-Métis writer from Saskatchewan whose writing has appeared in a number of literary magazines and anthologies, including Grain, Prairie Fire, The Dalhousie Review, Geist, and Best Canadian Essays. She is the author of the novel Just Pretending, published by Coteau Books in 2013.

The Saskatchewan Book Awards is the only provincially-focused book award program and is the principal ambassador for Saskatchewan’s literary community, which includes more than 300 writers and 75 book publishers. Its solid reputation for celebrating artistic excellence in style is recognized nationally. The Saskatchewan Book Awards celebrates, promotes and rewards Saskatchewan authors and publishers worthy of recognition through 14 awards, granted on an annual or semi-annual basis. Awards will be presented at the 2017 Saskatchewan Book Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 29, in Regina.


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Catching Up with Adèle Barclay

Over the past three months, Adèle Barclay has been a non-stop poetry promotional machine, working hard to share her highly anticipated debut collection If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You, which was released in October 2016, with readers everywhere.

Along with Barclay’s diligent promotion, the arresting poems speak for themselves; “I Open the Dryer and a Robin Sails Out” garnered Barclay the Walrus Poetry Prize 2016 Readers Choice Award. Alongside accolades, the reviews and interviews keep pouring in from Quill & Quire, PRISM International, Discorder, Sad Magazine and Michael Dennis’ popular poetry blog, where the critic calls Barclay’s book “a debut we will all remember. These are intelligent, vibrant and exciting poems hard wired with a dark winged angel circling overhead.”

A little further east in Montreal, Matrix Magazine declares Barclay’s poetry “witchy and wise, erotic and tender… the dark magic of autumn, salt kiss of oceans, and what’s left when half the bed is empty,” while Jonathan Ball of The Winnipeg Free Press says the collection “brims with crackling imagery and whip-smart delivery.”

Adèle has been touring across the country, with stops in Toronto, Halifax (where she read with forthcoming Nightwood Editions poet Michelle Elrick), Montreal, Kingston, and Ottawa, with forthcoming events in Portland, Edmonton and Calgary.

In a recent profile with Montecristo Magazine, Kyla Jamieson outlines the quick work the media has made of Barclay’s first book of poetry:

“Readers and judges lauded Barclay’s work in 2016—she received both The Walrus Poetry Prize Readers’s Choice Award and Lit Pop Award for Poetry. ‘It feels good, of course,’ she says, ‘but also, those aren’t the things that sustain you long-term, emotionally.’ Reflecting on the book tour that followed her collection’s release, she says one of her favourite moments came after a reading, when she hung out and ate chicken wings with doyennes of the local literary scene. ‘Those moments make things feel possible,’ she says. ‘Hanging out with these badass radical feminists is just what little Adèle wanted.’”

Want to stay in the loop with all things Adèle? Follow Nightwood Editions and Adèle Barclay on Twitter, find us on Facebook, and check our calendar for details of all upcoming events.


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