Poet Nelson Ball was awarded the bpNichol Chapbook Award on Nov. 19, for his book Small Waterways, published last year by Apt. 9 Press.
Ball, who resides in Paris, Ontario, was not on hand to accept the award, presented during the annual Indie Literary Market in Toronto. “This award has extra resonance for me because Barrie Nichol was a friend and [we] were both small pressers in the 1960s and ’70s,” Ball said in pre-written remarks read by his publisher, Cameron Anstee, who accepted the $4,000 award on Ball’s behalf.
Three Apt. 9 books were nominated for the award, including Marilyn Irwin for The Blue, Blue There and Lillian Necakov for The Lake Contains an Emergency Room. Other nominees included Klara du Plessis for Wax Lyrical (Anstruther Press) and Christine Stewart for The Odes (Nomados Literary Publishers). This year’s competition was judged by poets Alice Burdick and Hoa Nguyen.
The bpNichol Chapbook Award has been presented annually since 1985 to the author judged to have published the best poetry chapbook – a book for no more than 48 pages – in Canada. Currently, it is overseen by Meet the Presses, a volunteer collective, and is the largest monetary award of its kind in the country.