On the evening of December 14, during a Zoom gathering, Toronto poet Mark Truscott was awarded the first Nelson Ball Prize for his 2018 collection Branches, from Book*hug. The prize comes with a commemorative plaque and $1,000, provided by donors from across the country.
Nelson Ball's friends Stuart Ross and Catherine Stevenson hosted the event, attended by over fifty people (not bad for a Zoom event!). The presentation featured brief reading by all five shortlisted poets: Cameron Anstee, Mike Barnes, Susan Gillis, Thomas King, and Truscott. Bookseller and Nelson friend James McDonald read the thoughtful citations he and co-judge Beverley Daurio, the Toronto writer and onetime publisher, prepared.
I will be posting all the citation, as well as the recording of the Zoom event, soon. For now, here are James and Bev's words on the winning book:
More info coming soon! And stay tuned for information on how to submit 2020 titles for the Nelson Ball Prize.