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Writers’ Trust Awards – BC winners

November 23rd, 2023

Two BC mid-career authors were recognized as this year’s Writers’ Trust Award Winners for their remarkable bodies of work and in anticipation of future contributions to Canadian literature.

Laisha Rosnau (at right) – Latner Griffin Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize Winner ($60,000)

Born in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, and raised in Vernon, British Columbia, Laisha Rosnau is a prominent figure in the Canadian literary landscape. Holding a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, Rosnau’s literary journey has been marked by accolades and recognition.

Rosnau’s debut novel, The Sudden Weight of Snow (McClelland and Stewart, 2002), traces a pivotal year in the life of a 17-year-old girl living in the interior of British Columbia.

In 2004, Rosnau unveiled her first collection of poetry, Notes on Leaving, that earned her the 2005 Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Award. Her second collection, Lousy Explorers (Nightwood, 2009), stood as a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award, highlighting Rosnau’s consistent excellence poetry.

The publication of Pluck (Nightwood, 2014) explored themes of sexuality, parenthood and vulnerability, earning a nomination for the national Raymond Souster Award.

Rosnau’s latest poetry collection, Our Familiar Hunger secured the 2019 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the 2020 Kobzar Literary Award.

The prize jurors, Madhur Anand, Joseph Dandurand and Dina Del Bucchia stated the following about Rosnau’s work:

“With incisive descriptions, steady rhythms, and imaginative leaps, Laisha Rosnau’s work shows us the flaws and fragility of being human. Her expansive body of work addresses personal and global issues in language sometimes woven delicately, and other times with necessary force… Lines like: ‘We live in a world saturated by symbolism. Sometimes it is best to be direct’ remind us of the power of poetry to be clear-eyed and insistent on the injustices and atrocities of our past, which are still with us in the present moment.”

Anosh Irani

Anosh Irani – Writers’ Trust Engel Findley Award Winner for Fiction ($25,000)

Born in Bombay, Anosh Irani, a prominent Canadian author and playwright, brings a rich tapestry of experiences to his literary and theatrical creations.

After relocating to Vancouver in 1998, Irani’s literary journey took a significant turn. Enrolled at UBC’s Creative Writing program, he became a Canadian citizen at 29.

Irani’s literary debut came with his novel, The Cripple and His Talismans (Raincoast, 2004), a surreal exploration of a narrator’s quest for a missing limb in the chaotic world of Bombay.

In his second novel, The Song of Kahunsha (Doubleday, 2006), Irani delves into the haunting tale of a young boy seeking his father amid the 1993 religious riots in Bombay. Exploring themes of hope, tragedy and the quest for love, the novel earned accolades and showcased Irani’s ability to craft tales that resonate deeply.

Transitioning to theater, Irani’s play Bombay Black premiered in 2006, earning the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play. His plays, Bombay Black and The Matka King, contained in The Bombay Plays (Playwrights Canada, 2007), were shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award.

His fourth novel, The Parcel (Knopf, 2016), portrays the life of Madhu, a transgender sex worker navigating the challenges of survival and tenderness. The novel was shortlisted for the 2017 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

Anosh Irani’s extensive body of work also includes his recent play, The Men in White (Anansi, 2018), making him a finalist for the Governor General’s Drama Award for a second time.

His most recent title is the collection of short stories, Translated from the Gibberish (Penguin, 2019).

“In four remarkable novels, two plays, and a collection of stories, Anosh Irani’s bold and courageous choice of subjects challenges us to witness and confront uncomfortable truths… Whether he is writing stories about caste conflict, street children, or transgender individuals, Irani’s compassion, imagination, and keen eye for the absurd shine through… His work has left an indelible mark on the literary landscape, and we hope he will continue to touch our hearts and broaden our understanding of the human experience,” prize jurors Conor Kerr, Michael Redhill and Shauna Singh Baldwin stated.



Writers’ Trust is a charitable organization that seeks to support and celebrate Canadian writers through a portfolio of programs including 12 literary awards, financial grants, career development initiatives for emerging writers and a writers’ retreat. The Writers’ Trust Award winners received seven literary prizes worth more than $322,000 combined.

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