CBC Literary Prizes

My Friend Hafiz by Tama Ward

Tama Ward has made 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for My Friend Hafiz.

2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Tama Ward is a writer and religious educator based in East Vancouver. (Abigail Balisky)

Tama Ward has made 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for My Friend Hafiz.

About Tama​​

Tama Ward grew up as the daughter of missionaries in Kenya. She has a background in anthropology and theology and has developed a particular interest in sacred storytelling across spiritual traditions. She is currently employed as the religious educator at Canadian Memorial United Church and Centre for Peace. At the break of day she can be found milking holsteins on the family-run Hammingview dairy farm in Pitt Meadows, B.C. Inspired by the Indigenous leadership in British Columbia, she has recently become a foot soldier in the struggle for climate and land claims justice. Ward currently lives with her husband and teenagers in East Vancouver across from the Mountain View Cemetery.

Entry in five-ish words

A midlife journey of healing.

The story's source of inspiration

"Gratitude for a unique friendship that saw me through a time of spiritual unmooring and marital ambiguity."

First lines

"'I don't believe in cancer.'

"I imagine Jeremy saying this in lower case, the way he writes. Though I would have been less surprised had he said, 'I don't believe in God' or 'I don't believe in healing dirt.' After all, this road trip to a pilgrimage site in New Mexico where the earth is said to have curative powers wasn't his idea." 

About the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize

The winner of the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, will have their story published on CBC Books and will have the opportunity to attend a writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their story published on CBC Books.


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