Toronto writers Kevin Hardcastle and Soraya Peerbaye were named the winners of this year’s Trillium Book Awards on June 22, at a ceremony held at the Toronto Reference Library.
Hardcastle was awarded the $20,000 fiction award for his story collection Debris, which ruminates on the particular brand of desperation characteristic of isolated rural life. Hardcastle’s publisher, Biblioasis, received $2,500.
The $10,000 poetry award, given to new and emerging writers, went to Peerbaye for Tell: poems for a girlhood (Pedlar Press), inspired by the case of Reena Virk, a South Asian B.C. teen who was murdered by her peers in 1997. Pedlar received a $2,000 purse.
Both titles have been were shortlisted for other awards this year – Debris, for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and the Writers’ Union of Canada’s Danuta Gleed Literary Award, and Tell for the Griffin Poetry Prize.
Two French-language winners were also announced: Véronique-Marie Kaye in the fiction category for Marjorie Chalifoux (Éditions Prise de parole) and David Ménard for his poetry collection Neuvaines (Les Éditions L’Interligne).
Created in 1987, the Trillium Book Awards are administered by the Ontario Media Development Corporation to recognize exceptional work by the province’s authors.