Congratulations to Nightwood author jaye simpson, whose debut poetry collection, it was never going to be okay, was named the winner of the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for Published Poetry in English. simpson’s book was also shortlisted for a 2021 ReLit Award earlier in April.
Described as “a vital artifact of a decolonial future” by Billy-Ray Belcourt, it was never going to be okay explores the intimacies of understanding intergenerational trauma, Indigeneity and queerness, while addressing urban Indigenous diaspora and breaking down the limitations of sexual understanding as a trans woman.
The Indigenous Voices Awards were established in 2017 to support and nurture the work of Indigenous writers in lands claimed by Canada. They are presented in nine categories and aim to support Indigenous literary production in its diversity and complexity. The awards honour the sovereignty of Indigenous creative voices and reject cultural appropriation; to be eligible for the Indigenous Voices Awards, authors must be Indigenous and must make a declaration of Indigenous identity.
A complete list of the Indigenous Voices Award winners is available at www.indigenousvoicesawards.org.