Poet Carmelita McGrath and veterinarian-turned-author Andrew Peacock were named winners of the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards this afternoon at a ceremony at Government House in St. John’s. The awards, recognizing excellent works by the province’s authors released in the past two years, alternates annually between prizes for fiction and YA literature, and for non-fiction and poetry. They are a collaboration between the province’s Literary Arts Foundation and Writers’ Alliance.
McGrath is the recipient of this year’s E.J. Pratt Award for her collection Escape Velocity (Goose Lane Editions), the follow-up to her Atlantic Poetry Prize–winning To the New World. Escape Velocity’s poems examine overlooked and under-appreciated aspects of everyday life in new ways. McGrath was selected by a judging panel comprising poets Robin Dunford, Sue Goyette, and George Murray.
Peacock won this year’s non-fiction award for his debut title, Creatures of the Rock: A Veterinarian’s Adventures in Newfoundland (Doubleday Canada), about his experiences as the only veterinarian in a more than 200-km-long section of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula. The award was judged by authors Robin McGrath, Bert Riggs, and Joan Sullivan.
Each author received a cash prize of $1,500, and the runners-up – Michael Crummey, Mary Dalton, Alan Doyle, and Janet Merlo – each received $500.