Patrick James Errington and Teya Hollier win $10,000 RBC Bronwen Wallace Prize for Emerging Writers


Patrick James Errington of Alberta and Teya Hollier of Ontario are the winners of the 2022 RBC Bronwen Wallace Prize for Emerging Writers.

They will each receive a prize of $10,000.

The announcement was made at an in-person event in Toronto. It was hosted by former finalist and juror Irfan Ali.

The award was established in 1994 in memory of poet and short story writer Bronwen Wallace. He is currently sponsored by the RBC Emerging Artists initiative.

Errington won for his collection of poetry, If fire, then bird. Errington is an Edinburgh-based poet, translator, literary critic and scholar from Alberta. He is the author of two collections, Glean and Field studies and his the work has been published in The Poetry Review, Best New Poets and The Fiddlehead.

“Patrick James Errington If fire, then bird confronts ember landscapes of memory and loss in a sound language rich in meaning. These poems move with undeniable grace and attention, subtly embracing and subverting lyrical and pastoral tropes to ask difficult questions about the fragile boundaries between health and illness, presence and absence, place and displacement,” the jury said in a statement. .

The other poetry prize finalists were Eimear Laffan for My life, bounded and Christine Wu for selections from Family hungers.

The poetry category was judged by Tenille K. Campbell, Michael Prior and Suzannah Showler. They read 183 anonymous submissions to select finalists in the poetry category.

The short film prize was awarded to Hollier for watch, wait. Hollier is a Toronto-based black woman of diverse backgrounds who explores racial oppression, mental illness, and generational trauma through her writing. She is a graduate of York University’s Creative Writing Program, where she won the Judith Eve Gewurtz Memorial Poetry Award and the Babs Burggraf Prize for Creative Writing.

“A tender, skilful and moving narrative realization, watch, wait perfectly captures a child’s voice and understanding of the adult world,” the jury said.

“The bonds in a retarded father-daughter relationship are so delicately explored that readers stop at every careful movement and unspoken word. Deftly navigating family and spatial geographies of shame, solidarity and race, Teya Hollier moves effortlessly from comparing parents the color of skin, to secret candies, to the contrasting experiences of zombies and trick-or-treating princesses in a beautiful form of the unexpected.”

Other Short Fiction Award finalists were Jen Batler for Ectopia Cordis and Emily Paskevics for wild girls.

The short film category was judged by Erin Frances Fisher, Angélique Lalonde and Derek Mascarenhas. They read 189 anonymous submissions to select finalists in the fiction category.

All finalists receive $2,500 and the opportunity to be mentored by an established editor who will provide manuscript feedback and career development advice.

Bronwen Wallace was a Canadian poet, short story writer, and mentor to many aspiring writers as a professor of creative writing at Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario. This award was created in his honor in 1994 by a group of friends and colleagues.

Last year’s winners were Zehra Naqvi and Anna Ling Kaye for the poetry collection The knot of my tongue and the little story Eastern Townrespectively.

Michael Crummey was the first writer to receive the award. Other past winners include Maria Reva, Jeramy Dodds, Alison Pick and Alissa York.

The Bronwen Wallace Prize is administered by the Writers’ Trust of Canada.

The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture and celebrate Canadian writers and writing. Its programming includes 11 national literary awards, financial grants, career development initiatives for emerging writers, and a writers’ retreat.

The organization was founded in 1976 by Margaret Atwood, Pierre Berton, Graeme Gibson, Margaret Laurence and David Young. He has donated over $970,000 to support Canadian writers in 2020.

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