Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador

Pelley, Warner Take Home

2011 Newfoundland & Labrador Book Awards

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Media Release: Announcing the winners of the 2011 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards

For immediate release 


(May 18, 2011- St. John's, NL)  In a ceremony at Government House this afternoon, writer and visual artist Rhonda Pelley was named the winner of the 2011 Rogers Communications Award for Non-fiction for Island Maid: Voices of Outport Women, published by Breakwater Books in 2010 and featuring photographs by Sheilagh O'Leary. The winner of the 2011 E.J. Pratt Poetry Award is Patrick Warner for his collection Mole, published by House of Anansi Press in 2009. Warner is now a two-time winner of this award, having also won in 2007 for his book There, there (V�hicule Press, 2005). Each winner received a cash prize of $1,500. 


The 2011 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards are co-presented by the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Literary Arts Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, under the distinguished patronage of The Honourable John C. Crosbie, PC, OC, ONL, QC, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador.


"This is the fifteenth year for these awards celebrating fine Newfoundland and Labrador writing, and the stream of amazing talent we have here continues to flow unabated," says Th�a Morash, the executive director of the Writers' Alliance. "The winners and runners-up are gifted artists, and the Writers' Alliance is proud to play an ongoing role in the recognition of this immense talent."


"The calibre of all submissions proves that this province continues to grow as an incubator of great writing in Canada," says Tamara Reynish, the president of the Literary Arts Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. "We are proud to fund these awards and to work with such amazing sponsors. Our thanks to them for their generous support!"


Non-fiction category judges Ramona Dearing (St. John's), Catherine Dempsey (Flatrock), and The Honourable Edward Roberts (St. John's) said of Island Maid: Voices of Outport Women: "One of the strongest points of Island Maid is that it has value and succeeds in so many genres; oral and cultural history, women's studies, folklore, travel in Newfoundland - there is something for everybody. It is a book to savour and enjoy, and dip into over and over again. The women speak naturally, simply yet eloquently of their life experiences. We recognize these women in our own grandmothers, and forebears. By reading these accounts we pay tribute to their contributions."


Poetry category judges Mary Dalton (St. John's), James Langer (Fredericton, NB), and Shoshanna Wingate (St. John's) said of Mole: "Patrick Warner's Mole noses its way into the domestic and the unobserved, needles each "numb spot," and coaxes the strange from the mundane. Warner transforms routine into formal ingenuity and our mass obsessions and accumulations into his metaphoric bonfire. While he eschews the grand and romantic, Warner remains the authentic artisan. His language is avid and alight, his ironies wicked and pitch perfect. If it was difficult to imagine a suburban poetry that could matter, then Warner imagines it for us. Crafty, civic, human - amidst the community walls, by-laws, and sprawl - Mole sniffs out signs of life and brings back news of ourselves."


All four runners-up - Glenn Deir and Greg Malone for non-fiction, and Tom Dawe and George Murray for poetry - each received $500.


The awards consider books released in the two previous years. In alternate years, works of fiction and children's/young adult literature are recognized.


This year's awards were made possible by the generous sponsorships of Rogers Communications and the Jimmy Pratt Foundation, as well as the support of The Telegram.


Media contact:

Th�a Morash, Executive Director

Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador

202-223 Duckworth Street, St. John's, NL

Tel: 709-739-5215   Email: wanl@nf.aibn.com


The Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL) was founded in 1987 to contribute to a supportive environment for writing and to promote the rights and well being of this province's writers. It is a member-based organization, with Regular and Youth memberships open to any current or former residents of Newfoundland and Labrador with an interest in the writing/publishing industry. For more information, visit http://wanl.ca.