14 December 2020

Toronto poet Mark Truscott wins inaugural Nelson Ball Prize for his book Branches

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:

The opening lines of Branches—one line per page—are about a line (or is it a branch?). We inch along, searching for definition in the oscillating throw of metaphor: "a branch like a line like a branch". The desire to know, that exilic quality of the mind, is an old drama, and in Branches, Truscott enacts the wanderings of the mind with single intent, and finds in the poetic line a direction home, a way of going further in the direction of what is to be thought, the direction that goes in both directions simultaneously. This book gives moving testimony of the need for poetry. For this reason, and so many others that you must discover by reading the book, we have chosen Branches by Mark Truscott as the winner of the Nelson Ball Prize for this inaugural year.  


More info coming soon! And stay tuned for information on how to submit 2020 titles for the Nelson Ball Prize.

11 December 2020

The 2020 Nelson Ball Prize award ceremony: December 14, online

 


The inaugural Nelson Ball Prize will be awarded on Monday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The proceedings will feature brief readings by each of the shortlisted poets, as well as remarks by the judges and announcement of the winner. I'll kick the event off by talking a bit about Nelson and the origins of the prize.

You can get a free ticket to this online ceremony right here.

Please join us!

Stuart Ross

for the Nelson Ball Prize Committee

03 December 2020

The 2020 Nelson Ball Prize Shortlist

The 2020 Nelson Ball Prize shortlist was announced today, December 3. The judges this year are Beverley Daurio and James McDonald — both publishers of Nelson and close friends. This year's prize rewards a distinguished publication by a Canadian poet, published in Canada in 2018 or 2019, that features "poetry of observation," one of Nelson's great interests. One hundred and ten entries arrived for consideration.

The Nelson Ball Prize consists of a framed certificate and a cheque for $1,000. The funds have been generously provided by relatives, friends, and fans of Nelson Ball. We are grateful for their kindness and devotion to Nelson's legacy.

The winner will be announced during an online event on December 14. (Further details will be posted on this blog.)

Here is the shortlist:

Cameron Anstee, The Book of Annotations (Invisible Publishing, 2018)

Mike Barnes, Braille Rainbow (Biblioasis, 2019)

Susan Gillis, Yellow Crane (Brick Books, 2018)

Thomas King, 77 Fragments of a Familiar Ruin (HarperCollins, 2019)

Mark Truscott, Branches (Book*hug Press, 2018)


The 2020 Nelson Ball Prize Longlist

The Nelson Ball Prize longlist was announced on October 30. Judges Beverley Daurio and James McDonald — both publishers of Nelson and close friends — read through 110 publications released in 2018 and 2019 to arrive at this list. The prize rewards a distinguished publication by a Canadian poet, published in Canada, that features "poetry of observation," one of Nelson's great interests.

Here is the longlist:

Cameron Anstee, The Book of Annotations (Invisible Publishing, 2018)

Mike Barnes, Braille Rainbow (Biblioasis, 2019)

Michael E. Casteels, snowfall (Puddles of Sky Press, 2018)

Chantal Gibson, How She Read (Caitlin Press, 2019)

Susan Gillis, Yellow Crane (Brick Books, 2018)

James Hawes, Bus Metro Walk (Monk Press, 2018)

Jason Heroux, The Book of Blessings (Puddles of Sky Press, 2019)

Amanda Jernigan, Years, Months, Days (Biblioasis, 2018)

Basma Kavanagh, Ruba'iyat for the Time of Apricots (Frontenac House, 2018)

Thomas King, 77 Fragments of a Familiar Ruin (HarperCollins, 2019)

Tara McGowan-Ross, Scorpion Season (Insomniac Press, 2019)
Mark Truscott, Branches (Book*hug Press, 2018)

Toronto poet Mark Truscott wins inaugural Nelson Ball Prize for his book Branches

On the evening of December 14, during a Zoom gathering, Toronto poet Mark Truscott was awarded the first Nelson Ball Prize for his 2018 coll...