In 2012, the Meet the Presses collective took over the administration of the annual bpNichol Chapbook Award, which was launched in 1996. Named for the late poet, novelist, and indie publisher bpNichol, the $2,000 prize is awarded to the author of the best poetry chapbook published in the previous year, as selected by two judges appointed by Meet the Presses.
Judges Bill Kennedy and Maggie Helwig — both writers themselves — made the tough choices this year.
The finalists for the 2012 bpNichol Chapbook Award are:
- Spencer Gordon, Feel Good! Look Great! Have a Blast!, Ferno House (Toronto)
- Adrienne Gruber, Mimic, Leaf Press (Lantzville, B.C.)
- 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)
The winner will be announced at the Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market, which takes place on November 17, 2012, noon to 4:30 p.m., at the Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Street, in Toronto.
The market gives the public an opportunity to meet independent literary publishers and authors, and take home books, chapbooks, magazines, broadsheets, and recordings that are largely not available in bookstores.
The Meet the Presses collective is Gary Barwin, Paul Dutton, Ally Fleming, Beth Follett, Leigh Nash, Nicholas Power, Stuart Ross, and Carey Toane.
About the 2012 Judges:
Maggie Helwig lives in Toronto. She was co-coordinator of the Toronto Small Press Fair from 1998 to 2003, and the event coordinator/associate director of the Scream Literary Festival from 2005 to 2009. She was among the founding members of the Meet the Presses collective. Her most recent book is the novel Girls Fall Down, published by Coach House Books in 2008.
Bill Kennedy once cold-called Bob Cobbing from a London phone booth. He proceeded to spend two days of his vacation with Bob perusing Writers Forum publications, an experience he considers his only real bona fide for judging a chapbook award. Bill is the co-author (with Darren Wershler) of Apostrophe (ECW, 2006) and Update (Snare Books, 2010). He’s a long-time literary organizer, from the Café May Reading Series (with Michael Holmes), to the Lexiconjury Reading Series (with Angela Rawlings), to the Scream Literary Festival (with a whole bunch of awesome people) where he did a ten-year stint as Artistic Director. The Apostrophe Engine (www.apostropheengine.ca), the web-based poem that generated the book, has recently appeared as part of the Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. His latest venture is Intelligent Machines (www.intelligentmachines.ca), a digital media co-operative. Bill lives in Toronto.