Ink on Paper is a compelling collection of political poems that express an acute sensitivity to place. Whether Cran is writing about two grey whales that swam into Vancouver’s inner harbour, or the hopes that the residents of the “bad side of town” have for their neighbourhood, his work is deeply rooted in issues of social justice—particularly in Vancouver. Cran’s poems are a fresh and provocative examination of urban culture and the natural world, told with keen awareness and gritty poetic precision.
Brad Cran served as Poet Laureate for the City of Vancouver from April 2009 until October 2011. His non-fiction book Hope in Shadows: Stories and Photographs of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (with Gillian Jerome) won the 2008 City of Vancouver Book Award and raised $50,000 for marginalized people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Cran’s essay, “Notes on a World Class City”, defended Vancouver’s progressive history and went viral in the lead-up to the 2010 Olympic Games.
The City of Vancouver Book Award is given to a book that reflects the city’s rich history and culture. The 25th annual award ceremony will be presented at the Mayor’s Arts Awards Gala at Science World on November 22. The other shortlisted books include: Jancis M. Andrews’ The Ballad of Mrs. Smith (Hedgerow Press); Amber Dawn’s How Poetry Saved my Life (Arsenal Pulp Press); Harold Kalman’s and Robin Ward’s Exploring Vancouver – The Architectural Guide (Douglas & McIntyre); and Sean Kheraj’s Inventing Stanley Park (UBC Press).
The five shortlisted titles were chosen by an independent jury that included: Elee Kraljii Gardener, an award-winning poet and director of the Thursdays Writing Collective; Paul Whitney, a retired City librarian; and Andrea Davies, owner of Hager Books in Kerrisdale.