This morning (September 6), the City of Vancouver announced its shortlist for the 28th annual City of Vancouver Book Award.
The prize honours local writers of any genre who “contribute to the appreciation and understanding of Vancouver’s history, unique character, or the achievements of its residents”.
Selected by an independent jury that includes Shirley Lew, secretary of the Vancouver Writers Festival board of directors, and Mary Schendlinger, cofounder of Geist magazine, this year’s finalists are:
Wayde Compton and Renée Sarojini Saklikar, editors of The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil Press and SFU Public Square), a thoughtful collection of poetry curated largely from the works presented at Simon Fraser University’s monthly Lunch Poems series;
Lorimer Shenher, author of That Lonely Section of Hell (Greystone Books), a thrilling memoir written from the eyes of a “recovering” cop, which Straight editor Charlie Smith argued in March was well-deserving of its nomination for a B.C. Book Prize; and
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Karen Duffek, and Tania Willard, authors of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun: Unceded Territories (Figure 1 Publishing and Museum of Anthropology at UBC), a visual celebration of First Nations artist and Straight cover star Yuxweluptun’s modernist works—many of which call attention to the historical mistreatment of indigenous groups in Canada.
The city notes that each of this year’s nominated books offers a “complicated vision of a city coming to terms with its past and a desire to better itself”.
The winner of the 2016 City of Vancouver Book Award will be revealed at the Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews) on October 3. The prize carries a $3,000 award with it.
Last year’s City of Vancouver Book Award was presented to Compton for his acclaimed story collection The Outer Harbour.