Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Kobzar Book Award

I always follow awards lists like the Governor General's or Giller prizes, for interest's sake, but never usually bother reading anything on an awards list that I hadn't already planned on reading. My one exception is always the Kobzar Book Award.

This is the way it is described on their website:
The $25,000 biennial KOBZAR™ Book Award (formerly the Kobzar™ Literary Award) recognizes outstanding contributions to Canadian literary arts by authors who write on a topic with a tangible connection to the Ukrainian Canadian experience. Genres include literary non-fiction, fiction, poetry, young readers’ literature, play, screenplay and musical.
This award is a fabulous way to discover new titles that connect me to Ukrainian Canadian writing of all sorts -- and I'm always delighted when I see that I've read some of the titles nominated. By now I've read a large number of the nominated titles since 2006. 

This year the list looks very good. And luckily, I've already read and reviewed one of the titles, David Demchuk's Bone Mother. It has been a fave which I've recommended numerous times. 

The second book I've read is Sandra Semchuk's The Stories Were Not Told, a non-fiction look at Ukrainians in internment camps across Canada during WWII. And since I haven't yet reviewed it, I'll be sharing my thoughts on it in my next post. 

The other three books on the list include a book of photography, a short story collection, and a volume of poetry. 

The range of genre and style in this award list is always inspiring -- it's nice to see an award that is arranged thematically rather than strictly by genre. The judging must be a little harder, as that theme is the vital part, but it always creates an interesting list. 

If you don't know about this particular award, I recommend checking it out for suggested Canadian titles that you may not be familiar with yet.

1 comment:

  1. I'd never heard of this award, and I am excited at the reading prospects set out on the Kobzar Prize site.

    The only book about the Ukrainian Canadian experience that I can recall having read is Shandi Mitchell's Under This Unbroken Sky. I'm thrilled to see that it won the award in 2012. It was unforgettable!

    Canada is such a huge country, with such a diversity of ethnicity that it's hard to be familiar with all of them. Thanks so much for letting us know about this particular niche!


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