Books

22 books by past CBC Literary Prizes winners and finalists that came out in 2022

Being a finalist for the CBC Literary Prizes can jumpstart your literary career.

Being a finalist for the CBC Literary Prizes can jump-start your literary career. Need proof? Here are 22 books that were published in 2022 written by former CBC Literary Prizes winners and finalists.

The 2023 CBC Nonfiction Prize is currently accepting submissions. The winner will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point and have their work published on CBC Books

Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their work published on CBC Books.

Bad Thoughts by Nada Alic

Bad Thoughts is the debut short story collection by writer Nada Alic, a Canadian writer living in Los Angeles. (Penguin Canada, Andrea Nakhla)

Nada Alic's short story collection Bad Thoughts depicts Los Angeles women who are all grappling with a shared stark reality: the modern world. Whether it be the perverts, nobodies, reality TV stars, poetic hopefuls, shameless party girls or self-help addicts. To cope, they live in their imagination, fantasizing about their baddest thoughts.

One of the stories in the collection, The Intruder, was shortlisted for the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize

Nada Alic is the author of the short story collection Bad Thoughts and a forthcoming novel. Her work has been featured in The Cut, Publisher's Weekly, Nylon, Harper's Bazaar, Bomb, Document Journal and The Creative Independent.

its th sailors life / still in treetment by bill bissett 

its th sailors life / still in treetmen is a book by bill bissett. (Talonbooks)

bill bisset describes his latest collection as "an epik poetik novel uv langwage n speech" that explores "acceptans uv loss greef separaysyuns charaktrs in serch uv self liberaysyun n societal equalitee n all th forces against that path." The poems in its th sailors life / still in treetment are paired with illustrations by the author.

bissett is a poet and artist born in Halifax and based in Toronto. Known for his unconventional writing style, bissett has written more than 60 books of poetry. His awards include the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award and the BC Book Prizes' Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.

bissett won second prize in the poetry category of the CBC Literary Awards in 1980.

Shimmers of Light by Robert Currie 

Shimmers of Light is a book by Robert Currie. (Thistledown Press)

In Shimmers of Light, a collection of poetry dating from the 1970s to the present day, Robert Currie evokes the reality of prairie life, focusing on the hard exteriors men and boys are expected to present to the world. The characters in these poems face difficult weather and internal conflicts, but sometimes they find a deeper understanding of self that brings light to dark and painful times. 

Currie is a poet and fiction writer. He is a founding board member of the Saskatchewan Festival of Words, a former chairman of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, a recipient of the Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor's Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts and a former Saskatchewan poet laureate.

Currie won third prize in the poetry category of the CBC Literary Awards in 1980.

Dancing in Small Spaces by Leslie A. Davidson 

A black-and-white closeup of an older, white woman wearing glasses, smiling to camera is beside the book cover for Dancing in Small Spaces. The book cover features middle-aged white man with a moustache and a jean collared shirt hugs a woman with short brown hair and bangs. He looks off to the left while her eyes are closed. In the background, out of focus, there is a tree with orange leaves.
Dancing in Small Spaces is a book by Leslie A. Davidson. (Sarah Mickel, TouchWood Editions)

Dancing in Small Spaces is the story of a marriage. In 2011, Leslie Davidson and her husband, Lincoln Ford, were finding adventure in their retirement through the outdoors, travelling and preparing to be grandparents. Then, when Lincoln started experiencing confusion and Leslie experienced tremors in her body, a double diagnosis of Lewy body dementia and Parkinson's disease transformed the couple's lives. In Dancing in Small Spaces, Davidson documents the years following the diagnoses, including navigating how to care and be cared for, reckoning with the physical symptoms and community support. In Dancing in Small Spaces, she writes her way through the emotional turmoil, sharing the lessons she learned along the way about herself and the man she loved, in a bid to move toward understanding and acceptance. 

Davidson is the author of two children's books, In the Red Canoe and The Sun is a Shine. She lives in Revelstoke, B.C.

Davidson won the 2016 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize

Lot by Sarah de Leeuw 

Lot is a poetry collection by Sarah de Leeuw. (Caitlin Press)

Sarah de Leeuw reflects on her early girlhood and the racial complexities of colonial violence in the poetry collection Lot. Written in a time where the government has voiced support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples while continuing to arrest Indigenous people on unceded lands, de Leeuw draws a line between past and present violence. Lot uses lyric traditions and interrogates the role of language in centering stories of white supremacy on the islands of Haida Gwaii in British Columbia.

De Leeuw is a poet and writer who melds social criticism with literary nonfiction. Her book Where It Hurts, a collection of personal essays, was a finalist for the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction.

De Leeuw won the 2008 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize and came in second in 2009.

The Sisters Sputnik by Terri Favro 

The Sisters Sputnik is a book by Terri Favro. (Bradford Dunlop, ECW Press)

The Sisters Sputnik is a follow-up to the novel Sputnik's Children, about comic creator Debbie Reynolds Biondi. The Sisters Sputnik is set in a distant reality where books have disappeared, and Debbie finds herself in bed with an old lover who begs her to tell him a story. Debbie spins a futuristic tale about the Sisters Sputnik and their adventures in alternate realities.

Terri Favro is a Toronto-based comic book writer, essayist and novelist. She is the author of Sputnik's Children, Once Upon A Time In West Toronto and The Proxy Bride.

Favro was a finalist for the 2013 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize.

The Day-Breakers by Michael Fraser 

The Day-Breakers is a book by Michael Fraser. (Biblioasis)

The Day-Breakers is an homage to the sacrifice of the Black Canadian soldiers who fought for the Union during the American Civil War. These poems capture their voices and the era in which they lived, providing a new perspective on Black history.

Michael Fraser is an award-winning poet and writer. He has been published in several anthologies and his books include To Greet Yourself Arriving and The Serenity of Stone

Fraser won the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize

Fast Commute by Laurie D. Graham 

Fast Commute is a book by Laurie D. Graham. (Mark Jull, McClelland & Stewart)

Fast Commute is a lament for places that are invaded by industrial, commercial or suburban developments. This long poem calls out the structures that support ecological injustice and wrestles with the impossibility of speaking ethically about the environment as a settler on stolen land.

Laurie D. Graham is a writer currently based in Nogojiwanong, the territory of the Mississauga Anishinaabeg. Her debut book, Rove, was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for best first book of poetry in Canada. Her second book, Settler Education, was a finalist for Ontario's Trillium Award for Poetry.

Graham was shortlisted for the 2014 CBC Poetry Prize.

My Indian Summer by Joseph Kakwinokanasum 

My Indian Summer is a book by Joseph Kakwinokanasum. (Tidewater, Tracy Hetherington)

My Indian Summer is a novel about survival, reconciliation and identity set during the summer of 1979. For Hunter Frank, the summer begins with his mother returning home only to collect the last two months' welfare cheques, leaving her three mixed-race children to fend for themselves. The siblings get involved in an adventure involving a trio of elders and the stash of cash in the purple Crown Royal bag hidden in his mattress.

Joseph Kakwinokanasum is a member of James Smith Cree Nation. Kakwinokanasum's work has been published in the 2022 anthology Resonance: Essays on the Craft and Life of Writing, the Humber Literary Journal and Emerge.

Kakwinokanasum was shortlisted for the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize.

Plenitude by Daniel Sarah Karasik 

Plenitude is a poetry collection by Daniel Sarah Karasik. (Daniel Sarah Karasik, Book*Hug Press)

Drawing on their personal experience in social and political advocacy, Daniel Sarah Karasik imagines a world that might be in Plenitude. Karasik contemplates how we might dream of and build a more humane future without cops, bosses, prisons and the oppressive regulation of gender and desire.

Karasik is a writer, playwright and poet from Toronto. They are the author of five books of drama, poetry and fiction.

Karasik won the 2012 CBC Short Story Prize.

The Quiet in Me by Patrick Lane 

The Quiet in Me is a book by Patrick Lane. (Harbour Publishing, Chris Hancock Donaldson)

The Quiet in Me is iconic Canadian poet Patrick Lane's final collection. He contemplates the quiet of living in a body amongst so many other bodies. From the trout in the lake to geese arriving with the wind and a raccoon fishing in a river, Lane reveals a web of life filled with beauty and pain. 

Lane was an award-winning poet and novelist. He won many awards including the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry, the Canadian Authors Association Award and three National Magazine Awards.  In 2014, he was made an officer of the Order of Canada. Lane died at the age of 79 in March 2019.

Lane won third place in the poetry category of the CBC Literary Awards in 1981.

Sharp Edges by Leah Mol

Sharp Edges is a novel by Toronto based writer and editor Leah Mol. (Penguin Canada, Matt Dunn)

Sharp Edges centres around Katie, a teenage girl who is used to being let down. Abandoned by her best friend and ignored by her hypochondriac mother, 16-year-old Katie finds herself in an online world where women aren't ashamed of what they want in the novel Sharp Edges. As Katie becomes enmeshed in this virtual playground, she realizes that her newfound power may just be an illusion. 

Leah Mol is a writer and editor who graduated from the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia. She also won the 2020 Bronwen Wallace Award for emerging writers. Sharp Edges is her debut novel.

Mol won the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize.

Exculpatory Lilies by Susan Musgrave 

Exculpatory Lilies is a poetry collection by Susan Musgraves. (McClelland & Stewart, Kathleen Hinkel)

Renowned Canadian poet Susan Musgrave lost her husband in 2018 and her daughter in 2021. Her newest poetry collection, Exculpatory Lilies, explores this expansive grief but also the natural world and the connection between the two, searching for the beauty in the emotional highs and lows of life.

Susan Musgrave is a poet and writer based in B.C. She has received awards for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, personal essay, children's writing and for her work as an editor. She has published many books, including Love You More, More Blueberries and Kiss, Tickle, Cuddle, Hug.

Musgrave won the 1996 CBC Award for Poetry.

Imminent Domains by Alessandra Naccarato 

The beige book cover features a collaged image of what appears to be an eye and nature.
Imminent Domains is a book by Alessandra Naccarato. (Jacklyn Atlas, Book*hugPress)

Imminent Domains asks essential questions about our current relationship to nature amidst the climate crisis and what it takes to survive. Arranged by five central elements of survival — earth, fire, water, air and spirit — Alessandra Naccarato uses lyric prose, first-hand observations and research to weave an intriguing meditation on how each of us can come to our own unique answers to our most pressing collective questions. 

Naccarato is a writer who divides her time between Toronto and British Columbia. She is the author of the poetry collection Re-Origin of Species. In 2015, she won the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers.

Naccarato won the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize. She had made the CBC Poetry Prize shortlist years prior.

Beyond Self-Interest by ​Krzysztof Pelc

Beyond Self-Interest is a book by Krzysztof Pelc, 2019 winner of the CBC Short Story Prize. (Laura Schnurr/Bloomsbury)

Beyond Self-Interest is a provocative retelling of the workings of self-interest in contemporary market society, which claims the world increasingly belongs to passionates, obsessives, and fanatics: those who do things for their own sake, rather than as means to other ends.

Krzysztof Pelc is a professor of political science at McGill University. Born in Warsaw, Poland, he has lived in Montreal since 2010. He is also the author of Making and Bending International Rules, about the ways international law deals with unexpected events.

Pelc won the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize. He was previously a finalist in 2017.

Another Way To Split Water by Alycia Pirmohamed 

At left, a photo of writer Alycia Pirmohamed standing in a field of leafy green plants. She has long black hair and is wearing an orange shirt and black jacket. On the right is the cover of her poetry book Another Way to Split Water, which features a wavy blue graphic on the left side and a plain white background on the right side.
Another Way to Split Water is 2019 CBC Poetry Prize winner Alycia Pirmohamed's debut poetry collection. (Birlinn Ltd.)

Alycia Pirmohamed's debut collection, Another Way To Split Water, is a lyrical exploration of how ancestral memory transforms across generations, through stories told and retold. Her poems touch on womanhood, belonging, faith, intimacy and the natural world.

Another Way To Split Water features the collection of poems that won the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize: Love Poem With Elk and Punctuation, Prairie Storm and Tasbih

Pirmohamed is a Canadian-born poet based in Scotland. She is the co-founder of the Scottish BPOC Writers Network, a co-organizer of the Ledbury Poetry Critics Program. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Cambridge.

The Rooftop Garden by Menaka Raman-Wilms 

The Rooftop Garden is a novel by Toronto based writer and journalist Menaka Raman-Wilms. (Harbour Publishing, Fred Lum)

The Rooftop Garden is a novel that follows Nabila and her childhood friend Matthew, who played on Nabila's rooftop garden in an imaginary world that has flooded from climate change. Nabila comes from an educated, middle-class family, while Matthew had been abandoned by his father and was often left to deal with things on his own. Now both in their 20s, Matthew has disappeared from his Toronto home, and Nabila travels to Berlin to find him and try to bring him back. 

Menaka Raman-Wilms is a writer and journalist based in Toronto. She's the host of The Decibel, the daily news podcast from the Globe and Mail. She's also worked as a parliamentary reporter for the Globe and as an associate producer at CBC Radio One

Raman-Wilms was shortlisted for the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize.

The Big Melt by Emily Riddle 

On the left, a photo of writer Emily Riddle looking off to the left side, standing in front of a brown brick wall and wearing a blue dress. On the right is the cover of her poetry book The Big Melt, which features yellow square graphics over a wavy blue-and-yellow background.
The Big Melt is the debut poetry collection from Nehiyaw writer Emily Riddle. (Rose-Eva Forgues-Jenkins, Nightwood Editions)

The Big Melt is a debut poetry collection rooted in Nehiyaw thought and urban millennial life events. Part memoir, part research project, it draws on Emily Riddle's experience working in Indigenous governance and her own family's experience — demonstrating that governance is as much about interpersonal relationships as it is about law and policy.

Riddle is Nehiyaw and a member of the Alexander First Nation (Kipohtakaw). A writer, editor, policy analyst, language learner and visual artist, she lives in Edmonton. Her writing has been published in the Globe and Mail, Teen Vogue, The Malahat Review and Room Magazine.

Riddle was shortlisted for the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize.

The Sea Between Two Shores by Tanis Rideout 

The Sea Between Two Shores is a book by Tanis Rideout. (McClelland & Stewart)

The Sea Between Two Shores is a novel about two families unexpectedly brought together, who must make amends before they can move on. The Stewarts are mourning the loss of their youngest son after an accidental drowning when they get an unexpected call from the island of Iparei inviting them to participate in a reconciliation ceremony for their ancestors. On Iparei, the Stewarts meet a ni-Vanuatu family, the Tabés, who are also mourning the death of a child. As the reconciliation ceremony approaches, the Stewarts and the Tabés uncover their shared losses, failings, hopes for the future and they reflect on the wounds that stand in the way of freeing them from the legacy of the past.

Tanis Rideout is the bestselling author of the novel Above All Things. She is also the author of the poetry collection Arguments with the Lake.

Rideout won second prize in the 2009 CBC Literary Awards for poetry.

Her First Palestinian by Saeed Teebi 

Her First Palestinian is a book by Saeed Teebi. (House of Anansi, Jeff Clifford)

Her First Palestinian is a debut collection of short stories revolving around the Palestinian immigrant experience in Canada. The stories explore themes of identity, loss, power and belonging as they look at the diverse and layered experiences of the Palestinian diaspora.

One of the stories in the collection, the titular Her First Palestinian, was shortlisted for the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize.

Her First Palestinian is also a finalist for the 2022 Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.

Saeed Teebi is a writer and lawyer based in Toronto. He was born to Palestinian parents in Kuwait and, after some time in the U.S., has lived in Canada since 1993. Her First Palestinian is his first book.

Grappling Hook by Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang 

Grappling Hook is a poetry collection by Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang. (Palimpsest Press)

In Grappling Hook, Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang explores identity, desire and the everyday struggles of motherhood. From the joys and perils of marriage to the evolving fight for social justice in a world divided by inequity, these poems are dedicated to those making meaningful change in unprecedented times.

Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang is a poet and children's book author. Her poetry collections include Sweet Devilry, which won the 2012 Gerald Lampert award, and Status Update, which was nominated for the Pat Lowther Award.

Tsiang was shortlisted for the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize.

We Have Never Lived On Earth by Kasia Van Schaik 

The "We Have Never Lived on Earth" book cover and a portrait of a woman.
(University of Alberta Press, kasiajuno.weebly.com)

Set against the backdrop of a world threatened by ecological crisis, We Have Never Lived On Earth follows the journey of Charlotte Ferrier, a child of divorce raised by a single mother in a small town in British Columbia. From a friendship tested by forest fires to a girl on a beach examining the memories of a dying jellyfish, these stories explore intimate and transformative moments of the female experience. 

Kasia Van Schaik is a South African poet and writer living in Montreal. We Have Never Lived On Earth is her first story collection. In 2021, she was named one of the CBC Quebec Writers' Federation writer-in-residence

Van Schaik was a finalist for the 2017 CBC Short Story Prize.

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