Congratulations to Adèle Barclay, whose debut poetry collection, If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You, was awarded the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize at the BC Book Prizes. This prize is awarded to the BC author of the best work of poetry published in the preceding year.
With “cracking imagery and whip-smart delivery” (The Winnipeg Free Press), Barclay’s poems contain a sincere desire to connect to others, an essential need to reach out, to redraft the narratives that make kinship radical and near. These poems are love letters to the uncomfortable, the unfathomable, and the altered geographies that define our own misshapen understandings of the world. The collection has received praise from numerous publications including PRISM international, The Puritan and Montecristo Magazine, and Quill & Quire describes If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You as a collection traversing the “well-worn path of love poems but doing so in ways that often surprise.”
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. Barclay joins previous winners such as Raoul Fernandes and Jordan Abel as recipients of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Barclay accepted the award at the BC Book Prizes Gala on Saturday, April 29, calling the award and “immense honour.”
Photo by Monica Miller, courtesy of the BCBP.