Poet, author, and activist Amber Dawn has won this year’s City of Vancouver Book Award, according to a city hall media release sent out today. She receives the honour, along with a $2,000 cash prize, for How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir, published by Arsenal Pulp Press.
This moving account of the years she spent as a sex worker in Vancouver—hailed as “a tribute to the marginalized and maligned” in the Straight’s own review of the book in March—was selected from a shortlist that included four other works: Jancis M. Andrews’s The Ballad of Mrs. Smith, Sean Kheraj’s Inventing Stanley Park, Brad Cran’s Ink on Paper, and Exploring Vancouver by Harold Kalman and Robin Ward.
Amber Dawn has previously been honoured for her novel Sub Rosa, which won the Lambda Literary Award in 2011.
The City of Vancouver Book Award is intended “to recognize authors whose works demonstrate excellence and contribute to an appreciation and understanding of Vancouver’s history, unique character or achievements of its residents,” in the words of the media release.