2013 bpNichol Chapbook Award Winners Announced!



Sandra Alland and Gil McElroy win 2013 bpNichol Chapbook Award

TORONTO, ONTARIO — Poets Sandra Alland and Gil McElroy are the co-winners of the 2013 bpNichol Chapbook Award.

Sandra Alland won for her chapbook, Naturally Speaking, published by espresso [paperplates press]. Toronto, Ontario.

Gil McElroy won for his chapbook, Ordinary Time: The Merton Lake Propers published by baseline press of London, Ontario.

Named for the late poet, novelist, and indie publisher bpNichol (1944‐1988), the prize is awarded to the author of an English-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 $1,000 to each of the winning writers and was donated by an anonymous donor.

Through the generosity of writers Jim Smith and Brian Dedora, each publisher will receive $250.

This year’s judges were poets Sandra Ridley and kevin mcpherson eckhoff, who included the following in their remarks on the winners:

“Be quiet. Someone’s shooting.” The airy din or timeliness of Gil McElroy’s Ordinary Time gives readers gently vigilant “confession suppressed.” With rapt attention to both the fierce and the delicate, with elegiacal tone, McElroy delivers and sustains reverence. The plain language of instinct and mercy becomes planar, a proper surface surmounting a sermon of “Very, perhaps. I cannot be sure.” McElroy has given us a tautly measured and meditative work on the convergence of the physical and metaphysical battlefields – the agony of the wait and the wild hunt. Get simple days/nights beget simple syntax begets simple beauty be. Ordinary Time embodies the beauty of the extended long poem – each small moment opens large. All rigor, no slack, McElroy’s work here is haunting.”

“In Naturally Speaking, Sandra Alland eyes one another another way to sell this equipment body software is poetry joyful joyful something that leads as the about that you need to get the booty areas to the bow bow elegant and electric this collection is a truth towards ineffable laughter at & of togetherness voices SOS Natural ease peaking this emergency list of ingenuity you Sandra Alland explore new language junctions between the listening cognition recognition communication and communion know whether they see me as human who never seen him allands pomes come from the disquieting collaboration artificial intelligence and speak to from of the processes of translation identity and pain “

The judges selected the winner from 90 submissions from across Canada. This year’s other finalists were:

thirteen poems for releasing love by joanne thorwaldson (leaf press)

An OK Organ Man by Fenn Stewart (above/ground)

fruit machine by Shannon Maguire (Ferno House)

21st century monsters by ryan fitzpatrick (Red Nettle Press)

In 2012, Meet the Presses took over the administration of the annual bpNichol Chapbook Award, which was inaugurated in 1996. This year’s winners were formally announced at the Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market at the Tranzac Club, Toronto, on Saturday 16 November 2013.

The Market gave the public an opportunity to meet independent literary publishers and authors and take home books, chapbooks, magazines, broadsides, and recordings that are largely unavailable in bookstores.

Meet the Presses, a volunteer literary collective, is devoted to organizing public events showcasing publications produced by independent publishers of fiction, poetry, and creative non‐fiction. The collective consists of members Gary Barwin, Paul Dutton, Ally Fleming, Beth Follett, Hazel Millar, Leigh Nash, Nicholas Power and Stuart Ross. If you have any questions, or wish to arrange an interview, contact Paul Dutton at meetthepresses@gmail.com.