An anthology of contemporary Ukrainian Canadian writing has won the 2018 Kobzar Literary Award. Co-editors Lisa Grekul and Lindy Ledohowski received the $20,000 prize for Unbound: Ukrainian Canadians Writing Home featuring contributions by Janice Kulyk Keefer, Erín Moure, Elizabeth Bachinsky, Myrna Kostash, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Marusya Bociurkiw, and Daria Salamon. University of Toronto Press, which published the winning title, received $5,000. Contributor Marusya Bociurkiw accepted the award on behalf of Grekul and Ledohowski.
Presented every two years by the Shevchenko Foundation, the prize “recognizes a Canadian book that most effectively presents a Ukrainian Canadian theme through poetry, drama, fiction, non-fiction or young people’s literature.”
In their citation, jury members Randy Boyagoda, Charlotte Gray, and Maurice Mierau praised Unbound‘s contributors: “Their writings are variously brash, contemplative, funny, sad, formal, informal and highly personal. Taken together, they thoughtfully engage with larger questions and answers about Ukrainian-Canadian experience, and produce a composite picture of an important literary community.”
The other four finalists, who each received $1,500, are:
- Bohdan S. Kordan, No Free Man: Canada, the Great War and the Enemy Alien Experience (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016)
- Natalia Khanenko-Friesen, Ukrainian Otherlands: Diaspora, Homeland, and Folk Imagination in the Twentieth Century (University of Wisconsin Press, 2015)
- Erín Moure, Kapusta (House of Anansi Press 2015)
- Alexandra Risen, Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden (a memoir), (Viking Canada, 2016)