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Two Nightwood authors shortlisted for the 2017 ReLit Awards

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 10:28am

Congratulations to Vancouver poet Adèle Barclay, whose poetry book, If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You, (Nightwood Editions, $18.95) was shortlisted for the ReLit Awards in the poetry category, while debut Toronto novelist Kyp Harness was nominated in the novel category for Wigford Rememberies (Nightwood Editions, $19.95).
The awards, which have been called “The country’s pre-eminent literary prize recognizing independent presses.” by The Globe & Mail are presented to the best of Canadian literature published by book publishers. To be eligible, authors must be Canadian and they must have written the nominated book while living in the country. The winners will be announced later this spring.

If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You is a collection that travels through both time and place, liminally occupying the chasm between Canadian and American mythologies. These poems dwell in surreal pockets of the everyday warped landscapes of modern cities and flood into the murky basin of the intimate.

Adèle Barclay’s debut poetry collection, If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You was the winner of the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. She received the Walrus Poetry Prize Reader's Choice Award in 2016, and in the same year, won the LitPop Award for Poetry. She is the Interviews Editor at The Rusty Toque. 

Wigford Rememberies tells this community's stories through an impressionistic series of vignettes. The language is inventive, innovative and exciting, and whether describing mucking out the pig barn—“there in the dust and the sweet smells of grain and straw and the heavy brown odour of shit so strong it makes you sneeze"—or helping a drunk articulate how to manipulate God's forgiveness—“‘if I gave my heart to Jesus—right there on my deathbed the minute before I died—he'd forgive everything an I'd go up into Heaven and be saved just as much as the other guy who never did nothin' wrong at all with no difference?'"—Harness wields words with an eye for detail, musicality and style. 

Kyp Harness is a versatile artist. He is a musician who has written and recorded 200 songs on 13 independent recordings. Ron Sexsmith called him “one of the finest songwriters on the planet” and the Calgary Straight said of his work: “I won't mince words: Right now, Kyp Harness is the most vital, essential Canadian singer-songwriter out there.” Harness's second novel, The Abandoned, is forthcoming with Nightwood this fall. He lives in Toronto, ON.