Finalists for the fifth annual Indigenous Voices Awards (IVAs) have been announced, and two books from Nightwood Editions have been recognized in the “Published Poetry in English” category: Undoing Hours by Selina Boan ((white settler/nehiyaw) and Creeland by Dallas Hunt (Wapsewsipi, Swan River First Nation).
In total, there are nominations for 23 emerging Indigenous writers across seven categories for these awards that recognize exceptional new work in English, French, and Indigenous languages either previously unpublished, or published in 2021.
“What a list! Emerging writers from Indigenous Nations across Turtle Island, publishing their work with twelve presses, across genres and forms. As Co-Chairs of the Indigenous Voices Awards, we are thrilled and honoured to play a small part in holding up a new generation of Indigenous writers, while helping to create community connections among writers. This year, we have the highest ever number of submissions in the Indigenous Languages category – testament to an astounding cultural resurgence unfolding as we speak in many communities. We thank all the donors who have generously supported the IVAs over the past five years.” — Dr. Deanna Reder (Cree-Métis) and settler scholar Dr. Sophie McCall, Co-Chairs, Indigenous Voices Awards
Undoing Hours Selina Boan’s debut book of poetry which considers the various ways we undo, inherit, reclaim and (re)learn. Boan’s poems emphasize sound and breath. They tell stories of meeting family, of experiencing love and heartbreak, and of learning new ways to express and understand the world around her through nêhiyawêwin.
Selina Boan is a white settler–nehiyaw poet living on the traditional, unceded territories of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ílwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) peoples. Her work has been published widely, including in The Best Canadian Poetry 2018 and 2020. She has received several honours for her work, including Room’s 2018 Emerging Writer Award and the 2017 National Magazine Award for Poetry. She is currently a poetry editor for Rahila’s Ghost Press and is a member of the Growing Room Collective.
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.
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.