Yesterday, the League of Canadian Poets announced shortlists for the 2018 Book Awards. Among the six titles shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award is Emily Nilsen’s stunning poetry collection, Otolith, published by Goose Lane Editions’ icehouse poetry imprint.
Otolith is a “striking debut collection” (Toronto Star) that combines a scientist's precision and a poet's sensitivity in “an evocative paean to settings named and anonymous” (Canadian Literature). Otolith — the ear stone — is a series of bones that govern our sense of gravity, balance, and direction to help us orient ourselves. Nilsen attempts a similar feat in poetry with lyrical and nostalgic meditations on growth and decay, geological time, place, nature, and relationships. “These poems help you not feel so alone in the world as you become alive with self-recognition” (Atlantic Books Today).
“Emily Nilsen questions how we name, categorize, and ultimately come to agree on the existence of the world and our relationship to it; she thrives in the impossible.” – From the Jurors
Since 1966, the League of Canadian Poets, a non-profit organization, has supported Canadian poetry. In memory of Gerald Lampert, an arts administrator who organized author tours and took a particular interest in work by new writers, the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award recognizes a first book of poetry by a Canadian writer. This award usually carries a $1,000 prize; however, thanks to increased funding from Canada Council for the Arts and support from the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and Canada Book Fund, this year’s cash prizes are doubling, meaning that this year’s winners will be the first to receive a $2,000 prize.
The 2018 Book Awards winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Canadian Writers’ Summit in Toronto on Saturday, June 16. The League of Canadian Poets will live-tweet the big reveal.
Other titles shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award include This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt (Frontenac House), Faunics by Jack Davis (Pedlar Press), Thin Air of the Knowable by Wendy Donawa (Brick Books), The Rules of the Kingdom by Julie Paul (McGill-Queen’s University Press), and Admission Requirements by Phoebe Wang (McClelland & Stewart)
About Emily Nilsen
Emily Nilsen was born and raised in Vancouver. She has published poems in PRISM international, Lake, and the Goose, and in a chapbook entitled Place, No Manual. Nilsen was a finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2015, after having been longlisted for the prize on three separate occasions. Her work has also been longlisted for the UK National Poetry Prize. She lives in Nelson, British Columbia.
To learn more about Otolith, click here.