N.L. playwright a finalist for Governor General's Literary Award

Writer and actor Paul David Power is having a moment. His play Crippled is a finalist in the Governor General's Literary Awards and he's also representing Newfoundland and Labrador in the first Disability Atlantic Arts Symposium.

Paul David Power's play Crippled shortlisted for award while he helps other artists with disabilities

Paul David Power has been working as a writer, actor and director for the past 25 years. His play Crippled debuted in 2018 and was published by Breakwater Books this year. (Mark Cumby/CBC)

"I was totally floored."

That was Paul David Power's reaction to the news that his published play, Crippled, has been shortlisted for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Awards, in the Drama category. 

"I'm very grateful and I'm so thrilled to be put into a category with so many amazing artists," said Power. 

Crippled is Power's award-winning stage play, which debuted in 2018 and was published by Breakwater Books in July. 

Crippled has been short-listed in the drama category of the Governor General's Literary Awards. It's Paul David Power's own story of grief, loss and acceptance after his long-time partner died. (Submitted by Breakwater Books )

Power wrote the play after his longtime partner, Jonathan died.

"It was really a therapeutic, artistic journey more so than just wallowing in grief," he told CBC's Weekend AM in June.  

"As we performed it … I got a lot of feedback on how that touched people in helping them to express their grief," said Power.

The winners, who will each receive $25,000, will be announced Nov. 17. 

Helping other artists

Power has been working as a writer, playwright, actor and director for the past 25 years, and now he's hoping to help other artists across Atlantic Canada.

He's representing Newfoundland and Labrador this weekend in the first Disability Atlantic Arts Symposium, organized by the JRG Society for the Arts. 

Power said the event will help artists who have disabilities to share their experiences and struggles, as well as celebrate their art. 

"It's been a long time coming," said Power. "We're just trying to give that networking opportunity to people in Atlantic Canada that people in bigger urban sectors have had for several years now." 

LISTEN | Hear Paul David Power's story as part of this podcast from Weekend AM: 

The symposium will include discussions about the physical accessibility of arts spaces in Atlantic Canada, and how to garner funding and grants. 

Power hopes the symposium will become an annual event.

"This will help highlight the artwork and the performance work and the artistry of the individuals, rather than just the disability," he said.

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Paula Gale is the host of The Broadcast on CBC Radio One, based in St. John's. She's been a journalist in Newfoundland and Labrador for more than 20 years. Her email is