Halifax poet and Toronto writer win CBC awards

A noted Halifax poet and a Toronto writer who also helped research Margaret Atwood's Massey Lectures book about debt are among the newest winners of the CBC Literary Awards.

A noted Halifax poet and a Toronto writer who also helped research Margaret Atwood's Massey Lectures book about debt are among the newest winners of the CBC Literary Awards.

CBC Radio hosts Shelagh Rogers and Jian Ghomeshi revealed the annual competition's latest English-language literary laureates Thursday morning on cultural affairs program Q.

CBC Literary Awards 2008
Creative Nonfiction: 1st: Sarah De Leeuw, Columbus Burning; 2nd: Denise Ryan, My Father, Smoking.
Poetry: 1st: Sue Goyette, Outskirts; 2nd: Jim Johnstone, Invertebrate Poems.
Short Story: 1st: Claire Battershill, Circus; 2nd: Gitanjali Kolanad, The American Girl. 
Prix litéraires Radio-Canada 2008
Creative Nonfiction: 1st: Jonathan Harnois, Sonam; 2nd: Guy Lalancette, Blou sued chouz.
Poetry: 1st: Judy Quinn, Six heures vingt. 2nd: Martine Audet, Je demande pardon à l'espèce qui brille. 
Short Story: 1st: Bianca Joubert, Money Express; 2nd: Jean-Sébastien Trudel, À la pêche.

Toronto's Claire Battershill won first place for her short story Circus. The category is also known as the Bob Weaver Fiction Prize, named after the late literary editor, CBC producer and CBC Literary Awards founder who died in January 2008.

Battershill was a previous CBC Literary Award nominee in 2007 for poetry and, last year, served as one of two researchers for Margaret Atwood's book Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.

In the poetry category, Halifax writer Sue Goyette won first prize for Outskirts, while Prince George, B.C., author Sarah de Leeuw picked up first place in the creative nonfiction category for Columbus Burning.

Authors Heather O'Neill and Shyam Selvadurai were among this year's English-language jurors.

Also on Thursday morning, Radio-Canada's Christiane Charette announced the French-language award recipients: Quebec writers Jonathan Harnois (creative nonfiction winner for Sonam), Judy Quinn (poetry winner for Six heures vingt) and Bianca Joubert (short story winner for Money Express ).

French-language jurors included Odile Tremblay and Michel Rivard.

The newest winners will join the ranks of past winners such as Michael Ondaatje, Carol Shields, Michel Tremblay and Monique Proulx.

The CBC Literary Awards/Prix litéraires Radio-Canada honour excellent unpublished Canadian literature and are presented annually in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts and enRoute magazine.

First and second prizes — worth $6,000 and $4,000, respectively — are awarded in each category, in each language. 

The winning works are published in enRoute magazine, while the texts and authors are subsequently featured on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada shows such as The Next Chapter, Between the Covers and Vous m'en lirez tant.

Readings of the winning entries will also be available via podcast.