Shortlists have been announced for the annual Atlantic Book Prizes. Good to see a couple of friends up for awards. George Murray (even if he is a mainlander come-from-away) has been shortlisted for the poetry prize for his very strong collection The Rush to Here and Eric Orchard, the illustrator of our forthcoming kids' book, is nominated in the children's illustration category for his work on A Forest for Christmas.
George is in tough against a couple of perennial award-winners more firmly established in Atlantic Canada. Simpson's a past Lampert, Atlantic, GG and Griffin winner and Domanski won last year's GG. I haven't read Simpson's or Domanski's books, but I found Simpson's past books come very far from living up to the hype and what I've seen of Domanski's recent work hasn't done much for me. George's collection is probably his strongest overall. One of his "thought-rhyme" sonnets, "Ditch," is in Jailbreaks. So I'm rooting for him.