Four B.C. winners at Jewish Awards
June 22nd, 2016
Four of the five winners of the inaugural Western Canada Jewish Book Awards are B.C.-based.
Tom Wayman has won the 2016 Diamond Foundation Prize for fiction for his book The Shadows We Mistake for Love (Douglas & McIntyre, $24.95).
Bob Bossin author of Davy the Punk (Porcupine’s Quill) which took home the Pinsky Givon Family Prize (Non Fiction).
Glenda Leznoff, author of Heartache and Other Natural Shocks was awarded the Jonathan & Heather Berkowitz Prize (Children & Youth).
Adara Goldberg, author of Holocaust Survivors in Canada (University of Manitoba Press) took home the Marsid Foundation Prize for Holocaust literature. She is currently 2016-17 Azrieli International Post-Doctoral Fellow in Israel.
The Western Canada Jewish Book Award are part of the Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival in Vancouver. Ella Zeltserman of Edmonton, author of Small Things Left Behind, won the Betty Averbach Foundation Prize (Poetry).
The awards are designed to celebrate excellence in writing on Jewish themes and subjects, showcase the achievements of authors who reside in Western Canada and recognize the writers’ contributions to Jewish culture.
Tom Wayman’s The Shadows We Mistake for Love is a diverse collection of short stories based in BC’s West Kootenays. Living in the shadow of the Selkirk Mountains in southeastern BC, the inhabitants of the Slocan Valley are tied together by their geography, but also by a web of shared history, common needs and the deep and complex relationships that evolve in isolated locations. The collection brings together loggers and environmentalists, marijuana growers and small-town lawyers, back-country skiers and homesteaders, to overlap and coalesce into a brilliant portrait of rural life and place.
A multiple award-winning author, Wayman has published three books of fiction, as well as more than a dozen collections of poems, six poetry anthologies and three collections of essays. His previous short story collection, Boundary Country (Thistledown Press, 2007) was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed award. His poetry has been awarded the Canadian Authors’ Association medal for poetry, the A.J.M. Smith Prize, first prize in the USA Bicentennial Poetry Awards competition and the Acorn-Plantos Award; in 2003 he was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award.
Tom Wayman was born in Hawkesbury, Ontario in 1945, but after 1952 grew up in Prince Rupert and Vancouver and has spent most of his life in British Columbia. He studied at UBC and the University of California at Irvine, where he received an MFA in creative writing. Subsequently, he worked at a number of jobs, both blue and white-collar, across Canada and the U.S., and helped bring into being a new movement of “work poetry” in these countries—the deliberate incorporation of the conditions and effects of daily employment into literary writing. His critical essays, collected in such volumes as A Country Not Considered: Canada, Culture, Work (Anansi, 1993), consider the social, political and artistic implications of work-based literature. Wayman co-founded the Vancouver Industrial Writers’ Union (1979-1993), a work-writing circle. He has been awarded the Canadian Authors Association medal for poetry, the A.J.M. Smith Prize for distinguished achievement in Canadian poetry and first prize in the USA Bicentennial Poetry Awards competition. He taught for many years in the B.C. community college system, and was co-founder of two alternative B.C. post-secondary creative writing schools: the Vancouver Centre of the Kootenay School of Writing (1984-87) and the writing department of Nelson’s Kootenay School of the Arts (1991-2002). He holds Associate Professor Emeritus of English status from the University of Calgary, where he taught 2002-2010. In 2007 he was the Fulbright Visiting Chair in Creative Writing at Arizona State University, and the same year served as the Ralph Gustafson Chair of Poetry at Malaspina University-College. Wayman’s 2002 poetry collection, My Father’s Cup (Harbour), was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry. His eighteenth collection of poems, Dirty Snow (Harbour 2012), which unflinchingly considers the impact of the Afghan War—its absence and presence in Canadians’ everyday lives as citizens of a nation at war—won the 2013 Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry. See press release below. In 2014 two selected poems of Wayman’s appeared: The Order in Which We Do Things: The Poetry of Tom Wayman (Wilfrid Laurier University Press), selected and with an introduction by Owen Percy, and Built to Take It: Selected Poems 1996-2013 (Spokane, WA: Lynx House Press, 2014). In 2007, a collection of Wayman’s short fiction, Boundary Country (Thistledown, and Eastern Washington University Press), and a collection of four novellas, A Vain Thing (Turnstone), appeared. Boundary Country was shortlisted for the Writers’ Union of Canada Danuta Gleed Literary Award. Half the stories in Boundary Country are set in the B.C. southern Interior, and in 2015 Wayman published a second collection of short fiction entirely set in the Slocan Valley of southeastern B.C., The Shadows We Mistake For Love (Douglas & McIntyre). See starred Quill and Quire review below. Wayman’s first novel Woodstock Rising (Dundurn, 2009) chronicles the apogee and collapse of the radical student movement in 1969-70 against a sub-plot in which some members of the counter-culture in Laguna Beach, California–including a Canadian graduate student–break into a mothballed missile silo to commandeer a rocket with which to launch a satellite in honor of the recent Woodstock music festival.
Wayman chiefly resides at “Appledore,” his property in the Selkirk Mountains of B.C.’s West Kootenay district. For more information: www.tomwayman.com
Waiting For Wayman (1973)
For And Against The Moon (1974)
Money And Rain (1975)
Free Time (1977)
A Planet Mostly Sea (1979)
Living On The Ground (1980)
Introducing Tom Wayman: Selected Poems 1973-80 (1980)
The Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech (1981)
Counting The Hours (1983)
The Face of Jack Munro (1986)
In a Small House on the Outskirts of Heaven (1989)
Did I Miss Anything? Selected Poems 1973-1993 (1993)
The Astonishing Weight of the Dead (1994)
I’ll Be Right Back: New & Selected Poems 1980-1996 (1997)
The Colours of the Forest (1999)
My Father’s Cup (2002)
High Speed Through Shoaling Water (2007)
Dirty Snow (2012)
Winter’s Skin (2013)
The Order in Which We Do Things: The Poetry of Tom Wayman (ed. Percy Owen; 2014)
Built To Take It: Selected Poems 1996-2013 (2014)
Boundary Country (2007)
A Vain Thing (2007)
Woodstock Rising (2009)
The Shadows We Mistake For Love (2015)
Inside Job: Essays on the New Work Writing (1983)
A Country Not Considered: Canada, Culture, Work (1993)
Songs Without Price: The Music of Poetry in a Discordant World (2008)
Beaton Abbot’s Got The Contract (1974)
A Government Job At Last (1976)
Going For Coffee (1981; 1987)
East of Main (co-edited with Calvin Wharton; 1989)
The Dominion of Love (2001)