Short list released for annual City of Vancouver book prize
An independent jury has selected two volumes of poetry, a memoir, an architectural guide, and an ecological history as finalists in the 2013 City of Vancouver Book Award.
Jancis M. Andrews was nominated for The Ballad of Mrs. Smith, a series of poems about an abused woman who escapes her posh neighbourhood home and settles in the Downtown Eastside. Andrews, who has won several writing awards, ran away from a violent home as a teenager. She was the long-time spokesperson for the North Shore Women's Centre.
The second poet on the list is Brad Cran. The city's former poet laureate was nominated for Ink on Paper, which includes his reflections on urban culture and social justice. In 2009, he won the City of Vancouver Book Award for Hope in Shadows: Stories and Photographs of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Another finalist, Amber Dawn, is the author of How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler's Memoir. In it, the Vancouver filmmaker, cultural programmer, and author describes her past experiences as a street and indoor sex worker, and reflects on how this affected her romantic attachments.
York University professor Sean Kheraj, author of Inventing Stanley Park, is also on the short list for his ecological history of what's often called the jewel of Vancouver.
The other nonfiction book on the list is Exploring Vancouver: The Architectural Guide, by Harold Kalman and Robin Ward, with photographs by John Roaf. It examines 14 different areas of the city, and includes a forward by former mayor and ex-premier Mike Harcourt.
Kalman and Ward collaborated with Ron Phillips on an earlier book, Exploring Vancouver: The Essential Architectural Guide, which won a 1994 Vancouver Heritage Award from the city.
The 2013 City of Vancouver Book Award will be presented on November 22 at the Mayor's Arts Award Gala at Science World.