BC Book Prizes short list announced: features Rita Wong and George McWhirter for poetry

It's wonderful to see how many people you know who are nominated for the BC Book Prizes.  Rita Wong, Forage (Nightwood Editions) and George McWhirter The Incorrection (Oolichan Books) are both nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.  I am just going to list some of the people I know, or what I think are some Chinese-Canadian and Scottish-Canadian highlights.  See www.bcbookprizes.ca for the full list.

I've known Rita for years, since she won the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop Emerging Writer Award for her first poetry collection Monkey Puzzle.  I only met George last year, but quickly invited him to be the featured writer for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner, and the Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry reading at the Vancouver Public Library.

Shaena Lambert, is nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, for her novel Radiance (Random House of Canada).  Shaena read an excerpt at a special November reading at the Joy Kogawa House.  see blog article: Ruth Ozeki and Shaena Lambert read at Historic Joy Kogawa House.

Nominated for the Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize is Patricia Roy, for The Triumph of Citizenship: The Japanese and Chinese in Canada, 1941-67 (UBC Press).  It's interesting that both the anniversaries of achieving citizenship in 1947, and the changes in immigration in 1967 were both celebrated by the Anniversaries of Change'07 committee, and wrapped up at the Sep 7 Reconciliation Dinner. Also nominated is Scots-Canadian J.B. MacKinnon and Alisa Smith for The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating (Random House Canada).

I am guessing that both J. B. Mackinnon and Ian McAllister of of Scottish ancestry.  The Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize nominees for the book that contributes most to the enjoyment and understanding of BC and nominees include:  J.B. Mackinnon and Alisa Smith, The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating (Random House Canada) and Ian McAllister, The Last Wild Wolves: Ghosts of the Rain Forest (Greystone Books).

Former actor Meg Tilly shares Chinese ancestry, and she is nominated for the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize for her book Porcupine (Tundra Books).

All the nominees are celebrated at the BC Book Prize Soiree, April 19th at the Metropolitan Hotel (7-9pm).  It's a free party with great silent auction prizes, and kicks off the beginning of BC Book and Magazine Week (April 19-26, 2008).  The highlight and end piece is the Lieutenant Governor's BC Book Prizes Gala on Saturday April 26, 2008 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver, hosted by broadcaster Fanny Kiefer.  BC's newest and first First Nations Lt. Gov. the Honourable Steven L.Point, OBC, will be in attendance.

I really enjoy both events.  If you love BC authors and BC books, this is the place to be!

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