Vancouver author Christine Leclerc was announced winner of the bpNichol Chapbook Award for Oilywood (Nomados Books) at the annual Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market, held at Toronto’s Tranzac Club on Saturday.
Leclerc is the 29th* winner of the prize, which recognizes the best poetry chapbook published in Canada the year prior. The purse doubled to $4,000 this year, rendering the prize the largest for a chapbook and the third largest for a poetry collection in Canada.
Oilywood was selected from a list of six finalists by judges (and poets) Kevin McPherson Eckhoff and Sandra Ridley.
Oilywood publisher Nomados will receive a $500 prize donated by Toronto writers Brian Dedora and Jim Smith.
The judges’ comments from the press release:
“Christine Leclerc’s Oilywood (Nomados) is an optimistic condamnation of the profit of language. We believe in a book that pipes ‘oohoohoo’ from the Burrard Inlet to El Paso, keeping the bitumen where it belongs: safely below the immiscible & embodied giggles of humans being. Or maybe the book is a necessary ‘bone star’ rowboat butting against the sour gas supertanker spin of corporate PR. Or maybe it’s the phosphate-free soap that scrubs our fossil fuel-soaked ‘customer commitment.’ Mischievous, cooperative, and viscous, these poems offer a different kind of energy company.”
(*Update: A previous version of the article stated that she was the 19th winner.)