Scanning the list of finalists for this year's Trillium Book Award, which were announced on Wednesday morning, a couple of things quickly became apparent. One is that Peterborough is a hotspot for literary talent, with three of the 17 nominees hailing from the central Ontario city. Two is that this year's list is once again dominated by independent publishers.
To wit: House of Anansi Press published three of the finalists for the English-language Trillium Book, which is open to poets, playwrights, novelists and short-story writers. Karen Solie, who won the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in 2009 for her book Pigeon, is nominated for her fourth full-length collection, The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out; journalist-turned-novelist Robert Hough is up for his comedic historical epic The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan; poet, novelist and cultural critic Lynn Crosbie was recognized for her surreal novel Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
Kevin Hardcastle is up for his debut collection, Debris, published by Biblioasis, while two of the aforementioned Peterborough writers – Andrew Forbes for his collection What You Need, published by Invisible Publishing, and Janette Platana for her collection A Token of My Affliction, published by Tightrope Books – round-out the list.
The finalists for the French-language Trillium Book Award are Alain Doom for Un neurinome sur une balançoire; Caroline Durand for Nourrir la machine humaine; Véronique-Marie Kaye for Marjorie Chalifoux; Didier Leclair for Pour l'amour de Dimitri; and Carlos Taveira, for Mots et marées, tome 2: Les maux de Marie-Josèphe-Angélique.
The winner of these two prizes, which recognizes the best book published by an Ontario author, receives $20,000, while their publisher receives $2,500.
The nominees for the $10,000 English-language Trillium Book Award for Poetry are Madhur Anand for her first collection, A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes, published by McClelland & Stewart; Damian Rogers for her second collection, Dear Leader, published by Coach House Books; and Soraya Peerbaye for Tell: poems for a girlhood, published by Pedlar Press, a book that was also recently named a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize.
Finally, the nominees for the $10,000 French-language Trillium Book Award for Poetry are Sonia Lamontagne for Comptine à rebours; Gilles Latour for Mots qu'elle a faits terre; and David Ménard for Neuvaines.
The winners will be announced on June 22.