Congratulations Kayla Czaga

Nightwood’s Fall 2014 author Kayla Czaga has just been nominated for the prestigious Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for her first collection, For Your Safety Please Hold On. Her book is the only debut title to make the award shortlist.

We’re hopeful she may take home the prize, since several of the poems in her shortlisted collection have already received some award attention, including The Fiddlehead‘s 23rd annual Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, The Malahat Review‘s 2012 Far Horizon’s Award for Poetry and an Editor’s Choice Award in ARC Poetry Magazine‘s 2012 Poem of the Year Contest.

The award carries a cash prize of $2000 plus a certificate, and the winner will be announced at an awards gala in Vancouver on April 25, 2015. Good luck Kayla!

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Nightwood Editions is proud to announce the publication of four new titles this Spring with authors all from southern British Columbia.

In her lyrical, intimate memoir The Death of Small Creatures, Trisha Cull lays bare her struggle with bulimia, bipolar disorder and substance abuse. Interspersing snatches of conversations, letters, blog entries and clinical notes with poetic narrative, Cull evokes an accessible experience of mental illness.

“With a butterfly’s delicacy and a butterfly’s embattled strength, Trisha Cull takes us through and out of a world of mental illness. Clear-eyed and unsparing, yet suffused with beauty, The Death of Small Creatures is a brave and unflinching book. If you’ve ever struggled with mental illness and addictions, ever loved someone who struggled, ever known someone who struggled, you need to read this book.”

–Susan Olding, author of Pathologies: A Life in Essays


Debut talent Raoul Fernandes’ first offering is Transmitter and Receiver, a masterful and carefully depicted exploration of one’s relationships with oneself, with 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, each section adds nuance to the spectrum of relationships, connections and disconnections. Rather than drawing lines between isolation and connection, past and present, metaphor and reality, Transmitter and Receiver offers loneliness and longing hand-in-hand with affection and understanding: “The last assembly instruction is always you reading this. A machine / that rarely functions, but could never without you.”

“What I receive from these transmissions is a convincing sweetness, a weird wisdom. This book reminds me of David Berman’s Actual Air, but it’s warmer. Raoul Fernandes writes like a night school teacher teaching us ‘something about night itself.’ It’s an engaging class, an occasionally mind-altering class, and I finished it feeling more hopeful and human.”
— Nick Thran

Hastings-Sunrise is a love letter to a fleeting place and time. Bren Simmers’s second collection captures her old East Vancouver neighbourhood in the midst of upheaval. As it is colonized by tides of matching plaid and diners serving pulled-pork pancakes, condo developments replace the small businesses and cheap rentals that once gave the area its charm.

Like a tree clothed in multi-coloured yarn or a miniature house filled with free books, Hastings-Sunrise is a gift to readers, beautiful in its simplicity.

A beautifully nuanced look at the challenge of allowing ourselves to claim and be claimed by a place. In this year-long cycle of poems, Simmers brings the sharp focus of a naturalist’s eye to the urban everyday of the Vancouver neighbourhood for which the book is named. Text becomes mapping, observations become ecology, dates become narrative. The poems are both fierce and faltering; they experiment with form without ever losing the voice and vulnerability that make them compelling.

–Anna Swanson

Previously published Nightwood poet Rita Wong approaches water through personal, cultural and political lenses. She humbles herself to water both physically and spiritually: “i will apprentice myself to creeks & tributaries, groundwater & glaciers / listen for the salty pulse within, the blood that recognizes marine ancestry.”

undercurrent emerges from the Downstream project, a multifaceted, creative collaboration that highlights the importance of art in understanding and addressing the cultural and political issues related to water. The project encourages public imagination to respect and value water, ecology and sustainability. Learn more about Downstream at






Doretta Lau and Matt Rader top picks!

Congratulations to two of our authors Doretta Lau and Matt Rader who were chosen on top reads and gift lists this month!

Doretta Lau’s debut collection of ‘optimistic and inventive’ short stories were included on The Atlantic’s ‘Best Book I read this year’ list. Read the full review here

Matt Rader’s first short story collection which braids tales of Vancouver Island’s turbulent labour history was hand-picked for the Quill & Quire Xmas gift list. Read the full article here

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Matt Rader Kelowna Book Launch

Congrats to author Matt Rader, who will be celebrating his new short story collection, What I Want to Tell Goes Like This, with a book launch in Kelowna on Friday, November 28 at 7:30pm.

The event is part of UBC Okanagan’s Visiting Author’s Series at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art (#103 – 421 Cawston Ave). It will feature readings by Rader—an Assistant Professor in UBC Okanagan’s Creative Writing department—and Ashok Mathur, the university’s Department Head of Creative Studies. Admission is free and all are welcome. Books will be available for sale by the UBC Bookstore.

The stories in What I Want to Tell Goes Like This draw on Vancouver Island’s long and turbulent history of labour activism. They alternate between historical explorations of events that occurred in the area over a century ago—such as the Great Vancouver Coal Strike of 1912-14 and the shooting death of infamous union organizer Albert “Ginger” Goodwin—and present-day stories of people living in the same landscape, in the indeterminate echo of history.

Matt Rader is the 2014 recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Joseph S. Stauffer Prize for literature. He has also written three books of poems, including Miraculous Hours (Nightwood Editions, 2005), which was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and long-listed for the ReLit Award. His fiction and poetry have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Journey Prize, the National Magazine Award, and the Pushcart Prize, and have been published in journals and anthologies across North America, Europe, and Australia. Rader grew up on Vancouver Island and now lives in Kelowna, BC.

For more information on this event, contact the UBCO Creative Studies office at 250-807-9648 or