The New Corporation among 2021 B.C. and Yukon Book Prize winners from Vancouver
Authors, publishers, and many more celebrated literary achievements from across British Columbia and the Yukon at a 37th annual awards ceremony this weekend.
The West Coast Book Prize Society announced the winners of the 2021 B.C. and Yukon Book Prizes on September 25.
Several winners from Vancouver drew inspiration from current events and political or societal issues.
Among them was Michael Prior, who won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize Burning Province about the B.C. wildfires in 2015 and 2017.
Author, professor, and filmmaker Joel Bakan won the Jim Deva Prize for Writing that Provokes for The New Corporation, which was accompanied by the release of Bakan’s 2020 documentary The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel.
Vancouver novelist Shaena Lambert received the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for Petra, which was based upon the original Green Party leader Petra Kelly from Germany.
Billy-Ray Belcourt of the Driftpile Cree Nation, who is a UBC Indigenous creative writing assistant professor, won the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize for his memoir A History of My Brief Body.
The list of winners in eight annual prize categories for 2021 includes:
- Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize: Shaena Lambert, Petra (Random House Canada);
- Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize: Billy-Ray Belcourt, A History of My Brief Body (Hamish Hamilton Canada/Penguin Random House Canada);
- Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize: Michael Prior, Burning Province (McClelland & Stewart);
- Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize: Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Kwanlin Dün (Figure 1 Publishing);
- Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize: Sara Cassidy (Illustrated by Charlene Chua), Genius Jolene (Orca Book Publishers);
- Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize: Rina Singh and Ellen Rooney (illustrator), Grandmother School (Orca Book Publishers);
- Jim Deva Prize for Writing that Provokes: Joel Bakan, The New Corporation (Allen Lane Canada/Penguin Canada);
- Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award: Robert Amos, The E. J. Hughes Book of Boats (TouchWood Editions).
In addition, two awards recognized the body of work and literary contributions made by two writers:
The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, which honours a writer with a “substantial body of literary work” and for contributing to B.C.’s literary community and industry, went to Joseph A. Dandurand of the Kwantlen First Nation. Dandurand, who is the Director of the Kwantlen Cultural Center, has published 13 books of poetry and a children’s stageplay.
The Borealis Prize: The Commissioner of Yukon Award for Literary Contribution—which recognizes “substantial contributions” to the Yukon writing and publishing community through writing, publishing, community organizing, Indigenous storytelling and writing, and more—goes to Joanna Lilley.
This year’s awards ceremony, held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was hosted by author and past winner Monique Gray and can be viewed online. The awards have been held since 1985 to celebrate B.C. and Yukon writers and publishers.