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Debut writers Brecken Hancock and Kate Cayley win Trillium Book awards

Trillium Book Award winners Brecken Hancock (English language poetry), Kate Cayley (English language), and Micheline Marchand (English language children’s literature).

Trillium Book Award winners Brecken Hancock (English-language poetry), Kate Cayley (English-language fiction), and Micheline Marchand (French-language children’s literature).

Small presses and debut writers dominated the Ontario Trillium Book awards, which took place Wednesday night at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram and Bluma Appel Salon.

howyouwerebornToronto playwright and poet Kate Cayley won the $20,000 Trillium Book Award for her first story collection, How You Were Born (Pedlar Press), beating a shortlist of veteran writers, including Margaret Atwood and Dionne Brand. Earlier this year, the book was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize.

Ottawa poet Brecken Hancock took home a $10,000 purse in the poetry category for her collection Broom Broom (Coach House Books).

Both English-language prizes were selected by a jury comprising writers Helen Guri, Cordelia Strube, and James Grainger.

The full list of shortlisted authors are:

English-language fiction ($20,000 prize, $2,500 to publisher of winning work)

  • Margaret Atwood, Stone Mattress (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Dionne Brand, Love Enough (Knopf Canada)
  • Kate Cayley, How You Were Born (Pedlar Press)
  • James King, Old Masters (Cormorant Books)
  • Thomas King, The Back of the Turtle (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Edmund Metatawabin and Alexandra Shimo, Up Ghost River (Knopf Canada)

French-language Fiction ($20,000 prize, $2,500 to publisher of winning work)

  • Martine Batanian, Clinique (Éditions Marchand de feuilles)
  • Michel Dallaire, Violoncelle pour lune d’automne (Les Éditions L’Interligne)
  • Blaise Ndala, J’irai danser sur la tombe de Senghor (Les Éditions L’Interligne)
  • Daniel Poliquin, Le Vol de l’ange (Les Éditions du Boréal)
  • Patricia Smart, De Marie de l’Incarnation à Nelly Arcan (Les Éditions du Boréal)

English-language poetry ($10,000 prize, $2,000 to publisher of winning work)

  • Brecken Hancock, Broom Broom (Coach House Books)
  • Aisha Sasha John, THOU (BookThug)
  • Deanna Young, House Dreams (Brick Books)

French-language children’s literature ($10,000 prize, $2,000 to publisher of winning work)

  • Diya Lim, Larouspiol suivi de Les enfants du ciel (Les Éditions L’Interligne)
  • Micheline Marchand, Mauvaise mine (Les Éditions L’Interligne)