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Inaugural Emerging Indigenous Voices award finalists revealed

Carleigh Baker

The finalists for the inaugural Emerging Indigenous Voices prizes have been announced. Administered by the Indigenous Literary Studies Association, the crowdfunded awards were initiated by Toronto lawyer Robin Parker in May 2017, after several media professionals joked on Twitter about backing a prize for cultural appropriation in literature. In total, $125,000 was raised from 1,500 donors, thanks to fundraising campaigns by Parker and author Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

In its first year, $25,000 will be distributed to winners in seven categories, as selected by jurors Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Gregory Scofield, Jean Sioui, and Richard Van Camp. A gala event will take place on May 29 in Regina.

Most Significant Work of Prose in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer

  • Carleigh Baker, Bad Endings (Anvil Press)
  • Dawn Dumont, Glass Beads (Thistledown Press)
  • Aviaq Johnston, Those Who Run in the Sky (Inhabit Media)
  • Joanne Robertson, The Water Walker (Second Story Press)

Most Significant Work of Prose in French by an Emerging Indigenous Writer

  • Naomie Fontaine, Manikanetish (Memoire d’Encrier)
  • J. D. Kurtness, De Vengeance (L’Instant Meme)

Best Unpublished Poetic Piece in French

  • Marie-Andrée Gill, “Uashteu”

Most Significant Work in an Alternative Format by an Emerging Indigenous Writer

  • Keith Barker, This is How We Got Here (Playwrights Canada)
  • Cliff Cardinal, Huff & Stitch (Playwrights Canada Press)
  • Mich Cota, Musical Selections o Heather Igloliorte, Sakkijâjuk (Goose Lane Editions)
  • Mika Lafond, Nipê Wânîn (Thistledown Press)

Most Significant Work of Poetry in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer

  • Billy-Ray Belcourt, This Wound is a World (Frontenac House)
  • Tenille K. Campbell, #IndianLovePoems (Signature Editions)
  • Joshua Whitehead, full-metal indigiqueer (Talon Books)

Unpublished Poetic Piece(s) by an Emerging Indigenous Writer

  • David Agecoutay, “Poetic Selections” o Brandi Bird “Two Poems” o Francine Merasty “Poetry of a Northern Rez Girl”
  • Smokii Sumac, “#haikuaday and other poems”

Unpublished Prose Piece by an Emerging Indigenous Writer

  • Treena Chambers, “Hair Raizing”
  • Elaine McArthur, “Queen Bee”
  • Tom Nazbah, “The Hand Trembler”
  • Amanda Peters, “Pejipug (Winter Arrives)”