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Poetry and Awards Season

We never go into writing a book because of awards. And awards are subjective. Who is on the jury? What are the complexities between each decision? It's all so much. When I wrote, Tell The Birds Your Body Is Not A Gun, I only wanted to find a way to interrogate grief and my own trauma, or even to simply find a way to remove it from my body. So, I was utterly blown away to find out the collection has been shortlisted for the 2022 Alberta Literary Awards, Stephan G. Stephansson Award.

I am thankful and humbled and even a little resistant. There were so many incredible books published in 2021 that have gone unnoticed for many reasons, not the least of which is we launched them all during a pandemic! I am thankful this collection found an audience for whom it resonated. I am thankful the work itself is being respected and cared for and noted to have literary merit. This is important. I owe gratitude to people like Peter Midgely, Alice Major and Michelene Maylor for the editing the did on the book. And to Neil Petrunia at Frontenac for giving it a home.

Now we keep writing.

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Gracie Johnson
Gracie Johnson
17 gen 2023

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