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Laisha Rosnau Shortlisted for Prestigious Book Prize

Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 4:04pm

We are thrilled to announce that Laisha Rosnau’s poetry collection, Our Familiar Hunger, has been shortlisted for the 2020 Kobzar Book Award!

In its exploration of the lives of Eastern European women, Our Familiar Hunger tests and confirms the will, struggle and fortitude of generations of women, both contemporary and historical. The poems shift in time and place, moving from the Russian Revolution to Holodomor, the massive state-imposed famine in Ukraine, to early Ukrainian immigration to Canada and later, prisoner camps across Canada during the First World War. The collection explores different types of hunger—and what it means to be hungry, whether that be literal hunger for sustenance, sexual hunger and desire, or hunger for love. These poems are the fractured reality of trickle-down inheritance, studies of the epigenetic grief we carry and the myriad ways our grief interferes with or interprets our best attempts.

Laisha Rosnau is the author of The Sudden Weight of Snow, which received an honourable mention for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Rosnau’s first collection of poetry, Notes on Leaving, won the 2005 Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Award. Her second, Lousy Explorers, was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award for best book of poetry by a Canadian woman. Our Familiar Hunger was the winner of the 2019 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.

The Kobzar Book Award is presented biennially to Canadian authors who explore the Ukrainian Canadian experience in their work, whether that be literary non-fiction, poetry, young readers literature, play, screenplay or musical. The other shortlisted authors are Alex Leslie for We All Need to Eat (Book*hug Press), David Demchuk for The Bone Mother (ChiZine Publications), John Paskievich for The North End Revisited (University of Manitoba Press) and Sandra Semchuk for The Stories Were Not Told: Canada’s First World War Internment Camps (University of Alberta Press). The winner will be announced at a celebration event on Thursday, March 12, 2020 in Toronto.