The shortlists for the 2022 BC and Yukon Book Prizes have been announced, and two Nightwood authors have been included.
- Matt Rader is shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for Ghosthawk (Nightwood Editions, $18.95), a poetry collection that acts as a guidebook of imagination.
- Isabella Wang is shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for Pebble Swing (Nightwood Editions, $18.95), a much-anticipated debut collection from one of Canada’s most promising emerging poets.
Ghosthawk is a guidebook of imagination from grasslands to star fields to the weather of the poet’s body. Where’s home in the crises of ecological collapse and mortal illness? Where’s joy with constant pain, a future blurred by smoke? Carrying these questions, Matt Rader wrote down the names of the wildflowers he met in the mountains, canyons and woodlands of his home in the Okanagan Valley. These poems are what he learned, the directions as he can best describe them.
Matt Rader is an award-winning author of four volumes of poetry and a collection of stories, What I Want to Tell Goes Like This (Nightwood Editions, 2014). His work has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry, Geist, The Walrus, Wales Arts Review, The Fiddlehead and The Malahat Review. Rader is a core member of the Department of Creative Studies at UBC Okanagan where he lectures in creative writing. He lives in Kelowna, BC.
Pebble Swing earns its title from the image of stones skipping their way across a body of water, or, in the author’s case, syllables and traces of her mother tongue bouncing back at her from the water’s reflective surface. This collection is about language and family histories. It is the author’s attempt to piece together the resonant aftermath of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which stole the life of her paternal grandmother. As an immigrant whose grasp of Mandarin is fading, Wang explores absences in her caesuras and fragmentation—that which is unspoken but endures.
Isabella Wang is the author of the chapbook On Forgetting a Language (Baseline Press, 2019). She has been shortlisted for the Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Award for Poetry, Minola Review’s Poetry Contest, and was the youngest writer to be shortlisted twice for the New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest. Wang’s poetry and prose have appeared in over thirty literary journals and three anthologies, including Watch Your Head: Writers and Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis (Coach House Books, 2020) and They Rise Like A Wave: An Anthology of Asian American Women Poets (Blue Oak Press, 2021). She studies English and world literature at Simon Fraser University and is an editor at Room magazine. Pebble Swing is her debut full-length poetry collection. She lives in Port Moody, BC
The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize is awarded to the author(s) of the best work of poetry.
The BC and Yukon Book Prizes, established in 1985, celebrate the achievements of British Columbia and Yukon writers, illustrators and publishers. The 10 Prizes are presented annually at the BC and Yukon Book Prizes Gala and are administered and awarded by members of a non-profit society who represent all facets of the publishing and writing community.