Thursday, March 6, 2008

BC Book Prizes

The shortlists for the BC Book Prizes have been announced. Good to see Robert Bringhurst's Everywhere Being Is Dancing up for the non-fiction prize; haven't read any of the competition, but that is a brilliant book by a brilliant man. (See my review here.) We've got an in-depth review essay in the works for CNQ, by Christopher Patton, who, as it happens, is up for the Livesay poetry prize for his very fine first collection, Ox. Also up for poetry is George McWhirter's The Incorrection. I haven't picked up a copy of this yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed his last collection, The Book of Contradictions.

A notable absence from the poetry shortlist is Barbara Nickel's Domain, one of my favourite new collections published in the last few years. This is not only disappointing, but actually surprising, given that Domain is predominantly written in traditional forms and one of the jurors is Kate Braid, who included a sonnet of Barbara's in the anthology In Fine Form (I've included the same one in my soon-to-be-published sonnet antho) and another one of the jurors, Liz Bachinsky, writes a lot in traditional forms herself. Also, two of the shortlistees are pretty obscure (even by poetry standards!) first-time authors publishing with regional presses; doesn't mean their books aren't good, but profile so often has as much to do with shortlists as artistic merit does. And Arleen Paré's book is listed as fiction on the publisher's website. Odd.

Also good, and not at all surprising, to see Tim Bowling's The Lost Coast up for the Haig-Brown regional interest prize. This is a better category than non-fiction for it, because it's a bit weak on facts, as Terry Glavin pointed out in his Globe and Mail review of it, but it's a very compelling read.

I'm off to catch the launch of another poetry shortlistee, Rita Wong's Forage. I'll see if I can bootleg a recording of it.

1 comment:

NigelBeale said...

Thanks for the heads up on Bringhurst's new book. Enjoyed The Elements of Typographic Style. Written with such care,as you mention, and flair. " The satisfactions of the craft come from elucidating, and perhaps even ennobling, the text, not from deluding the unwary reader by applying scents, paints and iron stays to empty prose."