The Meet the Presses collective is excited to announce the finalists for the 2015 bpNichol Chapbook Award. The prize, awarded annually since its establishment in 1985, goes to the author of the best poetry chapbook published in Canada in the previous year. It is named in honour of the late poet, novelist, and micropress publisher bpNichol.
Thanks to an anonymous benefactor, the purse doubled to $4,000 in 2014, making it the richest annual literary award for a poetry chapbook — a collection of no more than 48 pages. The publisher of the winning title also receives $500, thanks to an annual donation by Toronto writers Brian Dedora and Jim Smith, both of whom were friends of bpNichol.
Judges Alice Burdick of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, and Karl Jirgens of Windsor, Ontario, chose the finalists from 68 submissions from across the country. The judges felt this year’s entries included many excellent works and some remarkable book designs, commenting: “It was difficult to choose from this wealth of literary riches.”
The finalists for the 2015 bpNichol Chapbook Award are:
Nelson Ball, A Gathering (BookThug)
Jason Christie, Cursed Objects (above/ground press)
Phil Hall, Notes from Gethsemani (Nomados Press)
Ben Ladouceur, Lime Kiln Quay Road (above/ground press)
Matt Rader, I Don’t Want to Die Like Frank O’Hara (baseline press)
Lissa Wolsak, Of Beings Alone: The Eigenface (Nomados Press)
The winner will be announced at 2 pm on November 14, 2015, at the annual Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market. which runs from 11:30 am to 5 pm at the Tranzac Club, at 292 Brunswick Avenue, in Toronto. The Market introduces the public to independent literary publishers and authors of books, chapbooks, magazines, broadsheets, and recordings that are largely not available in bookstores. The event is curated by Meet the Presses, a volunteer literary collective devoted to organizing public events showcasing the work of independent publishers of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction.
“This award is particularly important now, three decades after its inception,” says collective member Stuart Ross. “In an era when everyone seems constantly online, it’s exciting that there is still such vital passion for poetry on the printed page, especially in such an esoteric and utterly non-commercial form as the chapbook. And that the pioneering spirit of bpNichol continues to be such an influence on writers, including many born after his death.”