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.
Cube Squared, dubbed “uproariously funny” by Ottawa’s own Apartment 613, is Christian McPherson’s much-anticipated follow-up novel to The Cube People. Drawing on the seemingly mundane reality of government cubicle culture that many Ottawa residents know all too well, McPherson finds humour in the misadventures of Colin MacDonald: a civil servant by day, horror novelist who writes about the vampire-zombie apocalypse by night.
Admission to both events for Cube Squared is free and all are welcome. Also presenting at the Dusty Owl Reading Series event on January 19 is Toronto author Liz Worth, who will read from her new novel PostApoc (Now or Never Publishing).
See the events calendar for more details.
On January 16 award-winning Ottawa poet Shane Rhodes will be launching his latest book of poetry, X, which was inspired by one of Canada’s most unpoetic subjects: Canada’s post-confederation treaties and the recent Idle No More protests. Investigating what the treaties mean today and what art can do with such unpoetic documents, X breaks new ground for Canadian poetry and the results have been published in magazines across Canada, Australia and the United States.
Rhodes states, “Canada’s treaties represent one of the largest colonial land appropriation projects in the world. The documents are still vitally important to understanding Canada today and ongoing settler, First Nations, Inuit and Metis relationships. They are also key to understanding the recent Idle No More protests and the hunger strike of Chief Theresa Spence. I wanted to use poetry to show how it is vital that Canadians know about the treaties and what they mean.”
Rhodes has just returned from three months in Brisbane, Australia where he held the prestigious 2013 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence position. As the official Poet-in-Residence, he was paid to travel around Queensland give readings, talk about poetry and host workshops. His treaty poetry and poetry about Idle No More sparked a lot of interest and there will be exhibitions of his visual poems in the coming months in Cairns and Brisbane, Australia.
Shane will launch X in the Arts Court at the Ottawa Art Gallery (2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa) at 8:00 PM on Thursday, January 16, 2014. The launch will also feature the screening of visual and video poems that Rhodes created during his Australian residency.
Shane Rhodes is the author of five other books of poetry including Err (Nightwood Editions), which was a finalist for the 2012 Ottawa Book Award, and The Wireless Room (NeWest Press), which won the Alberta Book Award for poetry. He is also the recipient of a National Magazine Gold Award and the P. K. Page Founder’s Award for Poetry. Rhodes lives in Ottawa, Ontario, where he is the poetry editor for Arc, Canada’s national poetry magazine.