The 2022 Ryga Award shortlist has been announced, and Creeland by Dallas Hunt was included.
Creeland is a poetry collection concerned with notions of home and the quotidian attachments we feel to those notions, even across great distances. Even in an area such as Treaty Eight (northern Alberta), a geography decimated by resource extraction and development, people are creating, living, laughing, surviving and flourishing—or at least attempting to.
The poems in this collection aim to honour the encounters that everyday Cree economies enable, and the words that try—and ultimately fail—to articulate them. Hunt gestures to the movements, speech acts and relations that exceed available vocabularies, that may be housed within words like joy, but which the words themselves cannot fully convey. This debut collection is vital in the context of a colonial aesthetic designed to perpetually foreclose on Indigenous futures and erase Indigenous existence.
Dallas Hunt is Cree and a member of Wapsewsipi (Swan River First Nation) in Treaty Eight territory in northern Alberta. He has had creative worked published in Contemporary Verse 2, Prairie Fire, PRISM international and Arc Poetry. His first children’s book, Awâsis and the World-famous Bannock, was published through Highwater Press in 2018, and was nominated for several awards. Hunt is an assistant professor of Indigenous literatures at the University of British Columbia.
The George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature is an annual literary prize for a B.C. writer who has achieved an outstanding degree of social awareness in a new book published in the preceding calendar year. It was initiated by Alan Twigg of BC BookWorld with John Lent of Okanagan College in association with The George Ryga Society. The award is sponsored by Yosef Wosk. More information is available at: https://bcbookawards.ca/