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Emily Nilsen's "Otolith" Longlisted for the Gerald Lampert and Pat Lowther Memorial Awards

This morning, on World Poetry Day and the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, the League of Canadian Poets announced finalists for the 2018 Book Awards. Longlisted for the Gerald Lampert and Pat Lowther Memorial Awards is Emily Nilsen’s Otolith.

First published by Goose Lane Editions’ icehouse poetry imprint in March 2017, 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). Born in the fecundity of British Columbia's coastal rainforest, these poems carry the odours of salmon rivers, fir trees, and foggy mountain slopes. Readers have only to settle in and breathe deeply.

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. In memory of Pat Lowther, whose poetry career was cut short by her untimely death in 1975, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award recognizes a book of poetry by a Canadian woman. Both awards carry a $1,000 prize and have been awarded annually since 1981.

Shortlists will be announced on Monday, April 30, and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Canadian Writers’ Summit in Toronto on Saturday, June 16.

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