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Téa Mutonji, Roxanna Bennett win 2020 Trillium Book Awards

Téa Mutonji (Alia Youssef)

The Trillium Book Awards, honouring writers from Ontario, have announced Téa Mutonji and Roxanna Bennett as the 2020 English-language winners.

Mutonji wins the Trillium Book Award (English) for her first book, the short-story collection Shut Up You’re Pretty (VS. Books/Arsenal Pulp Press). Roxanna Bennett wins the Trillium Book Award for Poetry for Unmeaningable (Gordon Hill Press), which awards a poet’s first, second, or third collection. The Best Book Award comes with a $20,000 prize and the Best Book Award for Poetry winner receives $10,000.

Both books are firsts from their respective publishers: Mutonji is the first author from Vivek Shraya’s Arsenal imprint VS. Books while Bennett was in the inaugural fall 2019 season of Jeremy Luke Hill’s Gordon Hill Press.

The English Trillium Book Award jury included Q&Q reviews editor Steven W. Beattie, author Tamara Faith Berger, and poet Damian Rogers. The English Trillium Book Award for Poetry jury included poets Puneet Dutt, Emma Healey, and David O’Meara.

The French-language awards went to Paul Ruban, who won the $20,000 Trillium Book Award (French) for his short-story collection Crevaison en corbillard (Flammarion Québec), and Véronique Sylvain, who won the $10,000 Trillium Book Award for Poetry (French) for her collection Premier quart (Prise de parole). The jury for both prizes included Lisa L’Heureux, David Ménard, and Paul Savoie.

The winners were announced in a virtual event hosted by Ontario Creates. Beattie will host conversations with both English-language winners on Ontario Creates’s Facebook page at noon on June 22. Journalist Zefred will host conversations with the French-language winners at noon on June 23.

The list of winners follows.

Trillium Book Award (English)
Shut Up You’re Pretty, Téa Mutonji (VS. Books/Arsenal Pulp Press)

Trillium Book Award (French)

Crevaison en corbillard, Paul Ruban (Flammarion Québec)

Trillium Book Award for Poetry (English)

Unmeaningable, Roxanna Bennett (Gordon Hill Press)

Trillium Book Award for Poetry (French)

Premier quart, Véronique Sylvain (Prise de parole)