July 16, 2018 – Ottawa poet Katherine Leyton has won the 2017 ReLit Award for Poetry, announced on Friday via the award’s official website.
The ReLit Awards are Canadian literary prizes awarded annually to book-length works in the novel, short-story, and poetry categories. Founded in 2000 by Newfoundland filmmaker and author Kenneth J. Harvey, they are considered the preeminent literary prize in independent Canadian publishing. Past winners in the poetry category include poets Lisa Robertson, A. F. Moritz, and Daniel Scott Tysdal.
Winning the short fiction category was Bad Things Happen by Kris Bertin, while the novel category went to Wigford Rememberies by Kyp Harness.
About All the Gold Hurts My Mouth
Katherine Leyton’s fresh and vibrant début collection takes on the sexual politics of the twenty-first century, boldly holding up a mirror to the male gaze and interrogating the nature of images and illusions.
Confronting the forces of mass communication — whether television, movies, or the Internet — Leyton explores the subtle effects of the media on our perceptions and interactions, including the pain of alienation and the threat of violence simmering just below the surface.
And yet, for all its unflinching and raw lyricism, the poetry of All the Gold Hurts My Mouth is warm and searching, full of humour and hope. Engaging her readers with lush vocabulary and spare, tightly controlled forms, Leyton’s poems become a rich quest for identity, authenticity, and nature uncorrupted. Reaching gloriously from isolation and pain to connection and love, Leyton channels the wit of feminists past to create a manifesto for our time, an affirmation of what might be possible.
Katherine Leyton was the inaugural Writer-in-Residence at the Al & Eurithe Purdy A-Frame in the summer of 2014. Her poetry and non-fiction have appeared in numerous publications, including the Malahat Review, Hazlitt, the Globe and Mail, and the Edinburgh Review. She is also the founder of the highly unorthodox video poetry blog, HowPedestrian.ca. A native of Toronto, Leyton has lived in Rome, Montreal, Edinburgh, and Forlì.