Tim Bowling’s latest book, Selected Poems, was shortlisted for the 2014 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize this week. This is the eighth time Bowling has been nominated for this particular award.
Bowling—originally from Ladner, BC, and now living in Edmonton—is no stranger to book awards. His work has garnered numerous prizes and honours, including the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for poetry, the CAA Award for Poetry, the Petra Kenney International Poetry Prize and two Governor General’s Literary Award nominations. But it’s an unusual occurrence to be shortlisted for the same award eight times in only fourteen years.
The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize was established by the City Council in 1995 and is administered by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta. The $10,000 award was recently renamed to honour Robert Kroetsch, who died in a tragic car accident in 2011. Nominated books must deal with some aspect of the city of Edmonton or be written by an Edmonton author. It is sponsored by Audreys Books and the Edmonton Arts Council. The winner will be announced at the annual Mayor’s Celebration for the Arts on April 28, 7:00pm at the Winspear Centre.
With Selected Poems, Bowling has gathered together his finest work, a selection including poetry from his debut collection, Low Water Slack, to his tenth collection, Tenderman (2011). The collection is unabashedly musical, image-rich and ambitious; poems of childhood, family, death, and the pleasures and rigours of art lead into ever-deeper explorations of history, society and middle age, but the faith in the power of language to convey something essential about life remains consistent.
Tim Bowling’s other poetry collections include Dying Scarlet and Tenderman (both winners of the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for poetry); Darkness and Silence (winner of the CAA Award for Poetry); and The Witness Ghost and The Memory Orchard (both nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry). He is also the author of four novels: Downriver Drift, The Paperboy’s Winter, The Bone Sharps and The Tinsmith, which was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize in 2012. His first book of non-fiction, The Lost Coast: Salmon, Memory and the Death of Wild Culture, was shortlisted for The Writers’ Trust Nereus Non-Fiction Award and it won the Alberta Literary Awards’ Wilfred Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction.
Other nominees for the 2014 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize are Nellie Carlson, Kathleen Steinhauer and Linda Goyette (for Disinherited Generations: Our Struggle to Reclaim Treaty Rights for First Nations Women and their Descendants, University of Alberta Press), and Lynn Coady (for Hellgoing, House of Anansi Press).