Toronto poet Charlie Petch wins 2022 ReLit Award for poetry for debut collection Why I Was Late
The awards celebrate the best Canadian books by independent presses
Toronto artist Charlie Petch is the winner of the 2022 ReLit Award for poetry for their debut collection Why I Was Late.
Petch's book was among 15 nominees in the poetry category of the awards, which honour the best Canadian books published by independent presses.
Why I Was Late, published by Kingston, Ont.-based poetry imprint Brick Books, traces Petch's decades-long journey as a disabled, queer transmasculine multidisciplinary artist.
"Thank you so much to ReLit for recognizing Why I Was Late," Petch told CBC Books in an email. "I dedicate this to all our trans and gender-non-conforming activists, ancestors, icons and all the people like me who grew up without our language of identity."
The ReLit Awards, founded in 2000 by Newfoundland filmmaker and author Kenneth J. Harvey, are now managed by Harvey's daughter Katherine Alexandra Harvey.
"We had so many fantastic poetry entries this year, and ReLit wishes to extend a heartfelt congratulations both to Charlie Petch for their win, and to all the independent presses and nominated authors," she said. "We always want to see people who are pushing artistic boundaries, and Petch's book embodies this."
The 2022 ReLit Awards, known for releasing long shortlists, will celebrate poetry, short fiction and novel prizes this month. Each week, the shortlists for each genre will be announced on Monday, with the winners announced on Friday.
The shortlist for the short fiction category will be announced on May 9.