Billy-Ray Belcourt and Shaena Lambert among BC & Yukon Book Prizes winners
The annual awards recognize the achievements of BC authors and publishers
Billy-Ray Belcourt and Shaena Lambert are two of the eight winners for the 2021 BC and Yukon Book Prizes.
The awards annually celebrate outstanding writers and publishers in British Columbia.
There are eight categories, recognizing the work of British Columbia and Yukon writers and artists across genres including fiction, nonfiction, picture books and more. The winner of each prize will receive $3,000.
Belcourt's memoir A History of My Brief Body won the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize.
In A History of My Brief Body, Belcourt shares the memories of his kokum and his early life in the hamlet of Joussard, Alta., and on the Driftpile First Nation. It expands to encompass the big and broken world around him — from the legacy of colonial violence to sexual exploration and intimacy. The book is a meditation on memory, gender, anger, shame, ecstasy and a possible future.
Belcourt is a Rhodes Scholar and PhD student from Driftpile Cree Nation in Alberta. He won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize for his debut collection, This Wound is a World. He is also the author of the poetry collection NDN Coping Mechanisms. Belcourt is publishing his first novel, Minor Chorus, in 2022.
"When it comes to Indigenous writing, we are seeing a lot more books being published from a wider range of writers. There isn't a scarcity culture like in the past where it was understood that only a lucky few could experience and could reap the rewards of the industry," Belcourt said in an interview with CBC Books
"So in a very pragmatic way, I am optimistic."
Lambert's novel Petra won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.
Petra tells the story of Petra Kelly, who inspired hundreds of thousands to take to the streets to protest the placement of nuclear missiles on West German soil during the Cold War in 1980, from the perspective of her ex-lover Manfred Schwartz. It is an exploration of love, jealousy and the power of social change.
Lambert is a novelist currently living in Vancouver. She is also the author of the novel Radiance and the short story collection Oh My Darling.
"I met Petra in 1986… I didn't become a writer until 10 years after meeting Petra. But she was in my mind. When I found out that she had died, that struck me very deeply. It seemed like a light had gone out." Lambert said in an interview with CBC Books.
We're so excited to share the winners of the 2021 BC and Yukon Book Prizes with you! Congratulations to <a href="https://twitter.com/joelbakan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@joelbakan</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ShaenaLambert?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ShaenaLambert</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BillyRayB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BillyRayB</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/michaelprior06?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@michaelprior06</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/KwanlinDunFN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KwanlinDunFN</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/storiesbysingh?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@storiesbysingh</a> Ellen Rooney <a href="https://twitter.com/SaraCassidyWrit?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SaraCassidyWrit</a> and Robert Amos! <a href="https://t.co/0YUrX0Pd1X">pic.twitter.com/0YUrX0Pd1X</a>—@bcyukonprizes
The remaining winners are:
- Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize: Burning Province by Michael Prior
- Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize: Kwanlin Dün by Kwanlin Dün First Nation
- Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize: Genius Jolene by Sara Cassidy, illustrated by Charlene Chua
- Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize: Grandmother School by Rina Singh, illustrated by Ellen Rooney
- Jim Deva Prize for Writing that Provokes: The New Corporation by Joel Bakan
- Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award: The E. J. Hughes Book of Boats by Robert Amo
Established in 1985, the BC and Yukon Book Prizes honour and promote the achievements of the BC and Yukon book community.
The prizes are supported by the West Coast Book Prize Society.