Gillian Wigmore has been shortlisted for the 2014 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature for her poetry collection, Dirt of Ages. The George Ryga Award is presented to a British Columbia author who has achieved an outstanding degree of social awareness in a newly published book, and is administered by Okanagan College. The winner will be recognized at an evening celebration at Okanagan College on Thursday, March 20, 2014.
Dirt of Ages is steeped in potent imagery that captures the earthly and constructed landscapes of Northern British Columbia and the people that live there. Images of industry, intimacy and the natural world meet in the perfect “v” of the valley; where “two chafe so close together,” where rural runs into urban and where fog and smog converge as “fetid fall inversions.”
Wigmore’s personal observations and relationship with the wilderness intersect with notions of a universal, societal energy that flows through time, place and each one of us. The result is a collection that awakens the imagination of all the senses, and orients us to Wigmore’s world on the axial point of the man-made and natural environment.
Gillian Wigmore grew up in Vanderhoof, BC, and graduated from the University of Victoria in 1999. She has been published in Geist, CV2, filling station, and the Inner Harbour Review, among others. Wigmore won the 2008 ReLit Award for her work soft geography and was also shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Prize. She lives in north central BC with her husband and two children.
The other shortlisted books for the George Ryga Award are Adrienne Fitzpatrick’s The Earth Remembers Everything (Caitlin Press), a fictional narrative based on the author’s travels to some of the most violent sites in history and Bev Sellars’ They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School (Talonbooks), a non-fiction account of three generations of women forced to attend Canada’s residential schools.