Poet Adrienne Gruber is the winner of the 2012 bpNichol Chapbook Award for her chapbook Mimic, published by Leaf Press of Lantzville, B.C. Named for the late poet, novelist, and indie publisher bpNichol (1944-1988), the prize language poetry chapbook published in Canada in the previous year, as selected by a panel of judges. Administered by Toronto-‐based small-‐press collective Meet the Presses, the prize is worth $2,000 to the winning writer.
Originally from Saskatoon, Gruber currently lives in Vancouver. Her first poetry collection was This Is the Nightmare (Thistledown Press, 2008). She has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards and anthologized in The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2010. Her chapbooks Mimic (Leaf Press) and Everything Water (Cactus Press) were published in the fall of 2011.
This year marks the first in which the winning publisher will also receive a cash prize. Through the generosity of poet Jim Smith, Leaf Press will receive $250. Publishing poetry chapbooks since 2001, Leaf Press (www.leafpress.ca) is an independent press located on Vancouver Island.
This year’s judges were Toronto writers Bill Kennedy and Maggie Helwig, who included the following in their remarks on the winner:
“Gruber has written a sequence of connected poems, taking us from underwater landscapes to late night Portuguese bakeries, marked by brevity and precision, witty and alienist by turns. She deserves this year’s bpNichol Chapbook Award for making our minds race and our skins crawl.”
The judges selected the winner from scores of submissions from across Canada. This year’s other finalists were:
Spencer Gordon, Feel Good! Look Great! Have a Blast!, Ferno House
Liz Howard, (skullambient), Ferno House (Toronto)
Robert Martens, Poltergeist, Lipstick Press (Gabriola, B.C)
Elizabeth Rainer and Michael Blouin, let lie, above/ground press (Ottawa)
Hugh Thomas, Opening the Dictionary, above/ground press (Ottawa)
In 2012, Meet the Presses took over the administration of the annual bpNichol Chapbook Award, which was inaugurated in 1996. The winner was formally announced today at the Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market at the Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Street, Toronto.
The market gives the public the opportunity to meet independent literary publishers and authors and take home books, chapbooks, magazines, broadsides, and recordings that re largely not available in bookstores.
Meet the Presses is a volunteer literary collective devoted to organizing public events showcasing publications produced by independent publishers of fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. If you have any questions, or wish to arrange an interview, contact Stuart Ross at 416-887-7820 or firstname.lastname@example.org