The shortlists for the 2022 BC and Yukon Book Prizes have been announced, and several Harbour Publishing books have been included.
- Luschiim Arvid Charlie and Nancy J. Turner are shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award for Luschiim’s Plants: Traditional Indigenous Foods, Materials and Medicines, an unprecedented collection of botanical information.
- Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd are shortlisted for the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award for A Is for Anemone: A First West Coast Alphabet, a colourful children’s book that introduces the alphabet using iconic imagery of the West Coast.
- Barry Gough is shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize for Possessing Meares Island: A Historian's Journey into the Past of Clayoquot Sound, a fascinating account that links early maritime history, Indigenous land rights, and modern environmental advocacy in the Clayoquot Sound region.
- Matt Rader is shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for Ghosthawk (Nightwood Editions), a poetry collection that acts as a guidebook of imagination.
- Isabella Wang is shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for Pebble Swing (Nightwood Editions), a much-anticipated debut collection from one of Canada’s most promising emerging poets.
Luschiim’s Plants: Traditional Indigenous Foods, Materials and Medicines represents the dedication of respected Cowichan Tribe Elder and botanical expert, Luschiim Arvid Charlie, to the survival of the Hul′q′umi′num′ language and traditional knowledge of plants for future generations. From the healing properties of qaanlhp (arbutus) to the many practical applications of q’am (bull kelp), the information presented in this remarkable guide shares knowledge of plants that Luschiim is familiar with through his own Elders’ teachings and by way of direct experience over the course of his lifetime and compiled from field outings and interviews with notable ethnobiologist and botanist Nancy J. Turner.
Dr. Luschiim Arvid Charlie was born in Quamichan, one of the Cowichan Villages, in 1942 and has lived in the Duncan, BC, area all of his life. From the age of three, he began learning about plants and their various uses from the Elders in his family. Since then, he has made it a personal priority to gather knowledge about the natural environment. In 2007, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters degree at Malaspina University-College in recognition of his extensive contributions to the teaching of Coast Salish culture and traditions in a wide range of contexts, as well as his commitment to the protection of the environment and preservation of the Hul′q′umi′num′ language.
Nancy J. Turner is an ethnobotanist and Professor Emeritus at the School of Environmental Studies, at the University of Victoria. She has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 50 years, helping to document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and environments, including Indigenous foods, materials and traditional medicines. She has authored, edited, co-authored or co-edited over 30 books, including Plants of Haida Gwaii; and received a number of awards for her work, including membership in Order of British Columbia (1999) and the Order of Canada (2009).
A Is for Anemone: A First West Coast Alphabet uses crisp, luminous illustrations by celebrated Indigenous artist Roy Henry Vickers and a simple rhythmic text to introduce the alphabet to young readers, using iconic imagery of the West Coast.
Starting with colourful sea anemones waving in the ocean current and closing with a snoozing grizzly bear (Zzz), this board book supports both early literacy and children's awareness of the natural world, and is a book that will be cherished by children and their families.
Roy Henry Vickers is a renowned carver, painter, printmaker and storyteller. He is the illustrator and co-author of Harbour Publishing’s popular children’s First West Coast Book series and Northwest Coast Legends series, the latter of which were all shortlisted for the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award: Raven Brings the Light in 2014, Cloudwalker in 2015, Orca Chief in 2016 and Peace Dancer in 2017. His other books include Storyteller (Harbour Publishing, 2014) and Voices from the Skeena (Harbour Publishing, 2019). He lives in Hazelton, BC.
Robert Budd holds an MA in history and has digitized many high-profile oral history collections including that of the Nisga'a First Nation. He is the author of Voices of British Columbia (Douglas & McIntyre, 2010), a bestseller that was shortlisted for the 2011 Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award, and its sequel, Echoes of British Columbia (Harbour Publishing, 2014). He currently lives in Victoria, BC.
Possessing Meares Island: A Historian's Journey into the Past of Clayoquot Sound weaves a unique history out of the mists of time by connecting eighteenth-century Indigenous-colonial trade relations to more recent historical upheavals.
Gough bridges the gap between centuries as he describes how the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council draw on a complicated history of ownership to invoke their legal claim to the land and defend the majestic wilderness from the indiscriminate clear-cut saw. Possessing Meares Island will not only appeal to history buffs, but to anyone interested in a momentous triumph for Indigenous rights and environmental protection that echoes across the nation today.
Barry Gough, one of Canada's foremost historians, is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Fellow of King's College London and Life Member of the Association of Canadian Studies and has been awarded a Doctor of Letters for distinguished contributions to Imperial and Commonwealth history. He is well recognized for the authenticity of his research and the engaging nature of his narratives and is the author of many critically acclaimed books, including Fortune's a River: The Collision of Empires in Northwest America (Harbour, 2007), which won the John Lyman Book Award for best Canadian naval and maritime history and was shortlisted for the Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize. Gough has been writing for almost four decades. He lives in Victoria, BC, with his wife, Marilyn.
Ghosthawk is a guidebook of imagination from grasslands to star fields to the weather of the poet’s body. Where’s home in the crises of ecological collapse and mortal illness? Where’s joy with constant pain, a future blurred by smoke? Carrying these questions, Matt Rader wrote down the names of the wildflowers he met in the mountains, canyons and woodlands of his home in the Okanagan Valley. These poems are what he learned, the directions as he can best describe them.
Matt Rader is an award-winning author of four volumes of poetry and a collection of stories, What I Want to Tell Goes Like This (Nightwood Editions, 2014). His work has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry, Geist, The Walrus, Wales Arts Review, The Fiddlehead and The Malahat Review. Rader is a core member of the Department of Creative Studies at UBC Okanagan where he lectures in creative writing. He lives in Kelowna, BC.
Pebble Swing earns its title from the image of stones skipping their way across a body of water, or, in the author’s case, syllables and traces of her mother tongue bouncing back at her from the water’s reflective surface. This collection is about language and family histories. It is the author’s attempt to piece together the resonant aftermath of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which stole the life of her paternal grandmother. As an immigrant whose grasp of Mandarin is fading, Wang explores absences in her caesuras and fragmentation—that which is unspoken but endures.
Isabella Wang is the author of the chapbook On Forgetting a Language (Baseline Press, 2019). She has been shortlisted for the Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Award for Poetry, Minola Review’s Poetry Contest, and was the youngest writer to be shortlisted twice for the New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest. Wang’s poetry and prose have appeared in over thirty literary journals and three anthologies, including Watch Your Head: Writers and Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis (Coach House Books, 2020) and They Rise Like A Wave: An Anthology of Asian American Women Poets (Blue Oak Press, 2021). She studies English and world literature at Simon Fraser University and is an editor at Room magazine. Pebble Swing is her debut full-length poetry collection. She lives in Port Moody, BC.
The Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award is presented to the originating publisher(s) and the author(s) of the book that is the most successful in terms of public appeal, initiative, design, production and content. The prize is shared by the publisher(s) and the author(s). BC/Yukon booksellers determine the winner by ballot vote.
The Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize is awarded to the author(s) of the book which contributes the most to the enjoyment and understanding of British Columbia and/or Yukon. The book must be original and may deal with any aspect of the province and/or territory.
The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize is awarded to the author(s) of the best work of poetry.
The BC and Yukon Book Prizes, established in 1985, celebrate the achievements of British Columbia and Yukon writers, illustrators and publishers. The 10 Prizes are presented annually at the BC and Yukon Book Prizes Gala and are administered and awarded by members of a non-profit society who represent all facets of the publishing and writing community.