Vancouver Poet Raoul Fernandes shortlisted for the 2016 ReLit Award

Congratulations to Raoul Fernandes, whose debut poetry collection, Transmitter and Receiver, has been shortlisted for the 2016 ReLit Award in the poetry category! The prize is awarded to the author of the best work of poetry published by an independent publisher in Canada.

Transmitter and Receiver is a masterful and carefully depicted exploration of one’s relationships with oneself, friends, memories, strangers and technology. The three parts of this collection are variations building on a theme—at times lonely, sometimes adoring, but always honest. Forthright and effortlessly lyrical, Fernandes builds each poem out of candor and insight, an addictive mix that reads like a favourite story and glitters with concealed meaning.

Raoul Fernandes has been writing poetry since childhood, and is involved in both online and offline writing communities. He completed the Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University in 2009. He was a finalist for the 2010 Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award as well as the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry. He was the 2016 winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the Late Night Library’s 2016 Debut-litzer Prize in Poetry. His poem “After Lydia” was recently adapted into a short film. He lives and writes in Vancouver, BC.

Longlists of 16 nominees each were presented in three categories: novel, poetry, and short fiction. The ReLit Awards, founded in 2000, are presented annually to books by Canadian authors, published by an independent Canadian press in the previous calendar year. Winners receive a handcrafted ReLit ring. For a complete list of nominees, please visit relitawards.com.


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Nightwood Editions celebrates the release of Should Auld Acquaintance: Discovering the Woman Behind Robert Burns

Excerpted from Should Auld Acquaintance: Discovering the Woman Behind Robert Burns by Melanie Murray, available now.

It’s Race Week when men flock to Mauchline to race their horses from the Cross, up the steep road to Mossgiel and back. That night at Ronald’s ballroom next to the Black Horse Inn, it may have been Ian MacLauchlan—the best fiddler in the west of Scotland—playing for a penny a reel. He has the place hopping. In red tartan trews, fiddle tucked under his whiskered chin, he glides his bow over the strings as feet stomp and hands clap.

My father was a fiddler fine
My minnie she made manki-o,
An I’m myself, a thumpin quean
Wha danc’d the Reel o’ Stumpie-o.

On their toes, arms at their hips, across their chests, they skip and whirl. Even the stoutest matrons hop and spin around the room. Jean links arms with her partner, Robert Wilson. They’ve been walking out together for many months; though no promises have been made, she knows they’re forthcoming. Robin—as they call him—is leaving the next day for his apprenticeship as a weaver in the town of Paisley, thirty miles north. Once he’s shown that his prospects are sound, Jean is sure he’ll win her father’s approval.

A man, with a dog, prances into the middle of their set. A russet plaid draped over his white linen shirt in an unusual way; dark, wavy hair tied back at the nape of his neck with a black band of ribbon, two locks curling around his sideburns. He’s the only man in the parish to wear his hair like that. And the way he dances is different too. He leaps to the measure of the reel, looping and flinging with high-stepping abandon, his face glowing, brown eyes snapping. All the while, the black-and-white collie follows close at his heels.

Jean knows he’s the new tenant at Gavin Hamilton’s farm. She’s watched him swaggering down the village roads, a widebrimmed hat edging his thick black eyebrows, always a book tucked under his arm. Poet Burns has already given the gossips plenty to wag their tongues about. They say he writes scandalous verses; that he fathered a bastard wean with Lizzie Paton, his family’s servant girl, and was rebuked in the Tarbolton kirk as a fornicator. And, they say, he has no intentions of marrying Lizzie. His family thinks her too coarse, though they themselves are barely scratching out a living on their farm at Mossgiel.

A wide grin on his face, he twirls in front of Jean, arms waving above his head. But the collie trips up his fancy footwork. “Swith awa’, Luath,” he says, lightly booting the dog’s curling tail. “Wish I could find a lass who’d love me as well as my dog,” he chuckles.

“If you do,” Jean says, “then I hope you’ll be treating her better than your dog.”

He laughs and grabs the next lass opening her arms to him.


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Gregory Scofield wins the Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize

The Latner Writers’ Trust has awarded Gregory Scofield with the 2016 Poetry Prize. The $25,000 prize is awarded annually to a poet in mid-career, in recognition of an outstanding body of work, and is sponsored by the Latner Family Foundation. The award was presented to Scofield at the Writers’ Trust Awards on November 2 at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto.

Scofield describes receiving the Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize as a “humbling honour,” and states his hope that this award “will serve as inspiration to young Indigenous poets whose stories and words are needed now more than ever.”

Gregory Scofield is Red River Metis of Cree, Scottish and European descent whose ancestry can be traced to the fur trade and to the Metis community of Kinesota, Manitoba. He has taught First Nations and Metis Literature and Creative Writing at Brandon University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and the Alberta College of Art + Design. He currently holds the position of Assistant Professor in English at Laurentian University where he teaches Creative Writing. Scofield won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 1994 for his debut collection, The Gathering: Stones for the Medicine Wheel, and has since published seven further volumes of poetry as well as a memoir, Thunder Through My Veins (1999). Scofield has served as writer-in-residence at the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg and Memorial University. His most recent poetry collection, Witness, I Am was published by Nightwood Editions in 2016.


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Nightwood Editions launches Fall books across Canada

Nightwood Editions is excited to celebrate the release of its Fall 2016 titles with events and readings across the country.

In Vancouver, Adèle Barclay launches her debut poetry collection If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You on October 18 at the Emerald in Vancouver. Barclay will be joined by fellow Nightwood poets Elizabeth Bachinsky, Raoul Fernandes, and Sheryda Warrener, for an evening of music, tarot, cake and prizes. Barclay will also be in Montreal in November, reading at Drawn & Quarterly on the 17th, and participating in the Pivot Reading Series in Toronto and the Tree Reading Series in Ottawa.

Also on October 18, on the other side of the country, The Woods: A Year on Protection Island author Amber McMillan and Digsite poet Owain Nicholson team up, alongside authors Nathaniel G. Moore and Spencer Gordon, for a book launch and reading at Type Books at 883 Queen Street West in Toronto. The event features readings, refreshments and giveaways, including the chance to win a 1-year subscription to Taddle Creek, Toronto’s literary magazine.

Tim Bowling launched The Duende of Tetherball in Edmonton on October 7. The event was covered by the Edmonton Journal, calling Bowling’s collection an exploration of “the heart-pounding giddiness of survival” and Bowling a poet who “walks the wobbly line between joy and sorrow, always with fingers crossed that the balance tilts positive.”

In November, Gregory Scofield launches his latest collection of poems Witness, I Am, a gripping collection that delves into issues of identity, belonging, and the desperate state of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. Scofield reads alongside Nightwood poets Tim Bowling and Elizabeth Bachinsky at The Paper Hound in Vancouver on November 26.

Information on these and all upcoming Nightwood Editions events can be found on our events calendar.


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Joe Denham receives Governor General’s Literary Award Nomination

Joe Denham, winner of the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry earlier this year, is a finalist  for the Governor General’s Literary Award in the poetry category for his third collection, Regeneration Machine (Nightwood Editions, 2015). Founded in 1936, the Governor General’s Literary Award honours the best in Canadian literature, with seven different categories for both English- and French-language authors. All finalists receive $1,000,and the winners, who will be revealed on October 25, will each receive $25,000.

Regeneration Machine is a 100-stanza, 9,000-word letter-in-verse written to the ghost of Nevin Sample, Denham’s close friend who tragically ended his life over 20 years ago. The book is a moving 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.

Joe Denham is the author of two other poetry collections, Flux (2003) and Windstorm (2009), and the novel The Year of Broken Glass (2011). Regeneration Machine also won the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry in 2016. Denham’s work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets (2004). He is currently at work on a sequel to Windstorm, and is preparing to release his first album of songs, Lost at Sea, in the spring of 2017. He lives with his wife and two children in Halfmoon Bay, BC.

Regeneration Machine is a wave-like poem of impressive integrity, at times muscular and searing, at times delicate and tender. It possesses that rare quality of reading as if its poet either had to write it or else sink into utter despair at the loss of his faith in the human spirit’s capacity to withstand the ravages our exploited planet continues to endure.”
—Canadian Authors Association

Other English-language finalists for the Governor General’s Award in Poetry include The Waking Comes Late by Steven Heighton (House of Anansi Press), Throaty Wipes by Susan Holbrook (Coach House Books), Prairie Harbour by Garry Thomas Morse (Talon Books), and Marry & Burn by Rachel Rose (Harbour Publishing).

 


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Nightwood Editions Poet Wins International Award!

Vancouver poet Raoul Fernandes‘ debut poetry collection, Transmitter and Receiver (Nightwood Editions, 2015), has been named the winner of the 2016 Debut-litzer Prize in Poetry! The Late Night Library’s Debut-litzer Prize is an international award that celebrates debut books through an annual competition with cash prizes and national media publicity.

Transmitter and Receiver was also the winner of the 2016 Dorothy Livesay Prize for Poetry, and a finalist for the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, which recognizes the best first book of poetry published by a Canadian writer.

Late Night Library is a non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining book culture, promoting literature in schools and communities, and supporting a diverse array of writers early in their careers. Raoul will be featured on the Late Night Conversation podcast in September, as well as become a literary judge on Late Night Debut.

Congratulations Raoul!

 


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Nightwood Editions poets Joe Denham and Kayla Czaga win 2016 CAA Awards

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.

 


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Congratulations to Donna Macdonald

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.

Congrats, Donna!

 


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Congratulations to Raoul Fernandes!

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.

Congratulations Raoul!

 


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Authors for Indies Day

Authors for Indies

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)

 


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