Books

Craig Davidson, Souvankham Thammavongsa and Canisia Lubrin among finalists for 2021 Trillium Book Awards

The prize recognizes the best book and best poetry collection from writers in Ontario. The winner of the best book category will receive $20,000 while the winner of the poetry category will receive $10,000.
Craig Davidson (left), Souvankham Thammavongsa (centre) and Canisia Lubrin are among finalists for the 2021 Trillium Book Awards. (CBC, Sarah Bodri, Anna Keenan)

Craig Davidson, Souvankham Thammavongsa and Canisia Lubrin are among the finalists for the 2021 Trillium Book Awards.

The prize recognizes the best book and best poetry collection from writers in Ontario.

The winner of the Trillium Book Award will receive $20,000 while the winner of the poetry category will receive $10,000.

Davidson is nominated for his collection of stories Cascade.

Cascade is a collection of six stories set in Davidson's hometown of Niagara Falls. They explore what it's like to try to make a life in a town that is struggling economically, where its residents feel left behind and where the glorious, touristy waterfalls distract from deep social, economic and political problems.

Davidson has published several books of literary fiction including Cataract City, which was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2013, Rust and Bone, which was made into an Oscar-nominated feature film of the same name, The Fighter, Sarah Court and The Saturday Night Ghost ClubHis memoir Precious Cargo was defended by Greg Johnson on Canada Reads 2018. 

Author Craig Davidson, aka Nick Cutter, answers The Next Chapter's Proust Questionnaire. 4:40

Thammavongsa is shortlisted for her short story collection collection How to Pronounce Knife.

In How to Pronounce Knife, the Toronto writer captures the daily lives of immigrants and refugees as well as their hopes, disappointments and pursuit of belonging.

How to Pronounce Knife won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Thammavongsa has published four books of poetry. How to Pronounce Knife is her first work of fiction. 

The other finalists for the Trillium Book Award are Farzana Doctor for Seven, Emma Donoghue for The Pull of the Stars and A.F. Moritz for A Far As You Know.

Lubrin is a finalist for the poetry award for The Dyzgraphxst.

The Dyzgraphxst presents seven inquiries into selfhood and explores meanings of kinship through the wide, intimate reach of language across geographies and generations.

The Dyzgraphxst won the 2021 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. It is currently a finalist for the 2021 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Lubrin is an Ontario writer, editor and teacher. She is also the author of the poetry collection, Voodoo Hypothesis. She is one of the jurors for the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize.

The other finalists for the poetry award are Irfan Ali for Accretion and Jody Chan for sick.

The 2021 CBC Poetry Prize is now open! Submit your original, unpublished poem or collection of poems, up to 600 words, by May 31. Need a little coaching? Faith Fundal is joined by poet and jury member Canisia Lubrin. 6:08

The finalists for the Trillium Book Award for French-language fiction are:

  • Tango by Daniel Castillo Durante
  • Niagara... la voie qui y mène by Nicole V. Champeau
  • Métamorphose by Charles-Étienne Ferland
  • Au sommet du Nanzerwé il s'est assis et il a pleuré by Melchior Mbonimpa
  • Sept nuits dans la vie de Chérie by Danièle Vallée

The finalists for the Trillium Book Award for Children's Literature in French are:

  • La Neva pour se retrouver by Marise Gasque
  • Perdue au bord de la baie d'Hudson by Micheline Marchand
  • Capitaine Boudu et les enfants de la Cédille by Éric Mathieu

The 2021 winners will be announced on June 15, 2021.

The Trillium Book Awards were established in in 1987. They are presented by Ontario Creates.

Last year's winners were Téa Mutonji for her short story collection Shut Up, You're Pretty and Roxanna Bennett for her poetry collection unmeaningable.

Other past winners include Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and Anne Michaels.

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