Meet the Presses announces the winner of the $4,000 bpNichol Chapbook Award

TORONTO, Ontario (November 24, 2014) – The winner of the 2014 bpNichol Chapbook Award was announced at the annual Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market on November 22, 2014, at the Tranzac Club. The prize is named for the late poet, novelist, and indie publisher bpNichol, and goes to the author of the best poetry chapbook published in Canada in the previous year. This year, thanks to an anonymous benefactor, the prize purse doubled to $4000, making it the third largest national prize in Canada for a single collection of poetry, and the largest prize of its kind for a chapbook. The publisher of the winning title receives $500, thanks to an annual donation by Toronto writers Brian Dedora and Jim Smith.

The finalists for the 2014 bpNichol Chapbook Award are:

Government: Jason Christie (above/ground press)

Life Savings: Mat Laporte (Odourless Press)

pleasantries and other misdemeanours: Christine McNair (Apt. 9 Press)

a fist made and then unmade: matt robinson (Gaspereau Press)

Oilywood: Christine Leclerc (Nomados)

X: Phil Hall (Thee Hellbox Press)

2014 Judges: Kevin McPherson Eckhoff and Sandra Ridley.

The winner is Christine Leclerc, for Oilywood, published by Nomados. Leclerc, a Vancouver poet, was unable to attend the ceremony in person but friend and poet Elizabeth Ross accepted the prize on her behalf.

Judges Comments:

Christine Leclerc’s Oilywood (Nomados) is an optimistic condamnation of the profit of language. We believe in a book that pipes “oohoohoo” from the Burrard Inlet to El Paso, keeping the bitumen where it belongs: safely below the immiscible & embodied giggles of humans being. Or maybe the book is a necessary “bone star” rowboat butting against the sour gas supertanker spin of corporate PR. Or maybe it’s the phosphate-free soap that scrubs our fossil fuel-soaked “customer commitment”. Mischievous, cooperative, and viscous, these poems offer a different kind of energy company.

Publisher’s Acceptance Speech:

The bpNichol Chapbook Award is a good way to remember a groundbreaker in Canada’s literary community. bp was legendary for encouraging beginning writers, for collaborating on all sorts of projects, for inspiring through his workshops, and for bending letters and words in any way they might go. He was a leader and a catalyst for Canadian innovative writing and the literary community generally. Many in Vancouver, including Peter and I, followed his work and were horrified and saddened at his early death. We are honoured to share in remembering bp in this way, and to have published the winner of the 2014 bpNichol Chapbook Award. We’re thrilled for our author Christine Leclerc and her book *Oilywood*, so timely in the fight against big oil. And we’re glad that we can contribute in this way to keeping alive the flame that was bp’s spirit. Thank you to the judges and to everyone in the Meet the Presses collective for making this happen.

— Meredith & Peter Quartermain for Nomados

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. The collective is proud to administer this important prize each year. The annual Indie Literary Market introduces the public to independent literary publishers and authors of books, chapbooks, magazines, broadsheets, and recordings that are largely not available in bookstores.

Media Contact: Hazel Millar 416-994-1891