29/04/2012

A Big Night at the Sask Book Awards

Anne and I were Big Winners        Photo Shelley Banks
We attended the Saskatchewan Book Awards Saturday night here in Regina. It was quite an evening with an amazing number of connections.

Two of our friends, writers and floor hockey players both of them, came up winners. It was all very exciting;

Eric Greenway is one of the principles in Hagios Press and one of their nominated books, Jeff Park’s The Cellophane Sky: Jazz poems won the Saskatoon Book award.

Then, Anne McDonald won the First Book Prize for her novel, To the Edge of the Sea, published by Thistledown Press. The book description says, In the mid-19th century three young Prince Edward Islanders explore their disparate futures at home and away, in a debut novel that is lyrical and precise in its descriptions of land, sea and people, and powerful in its accounts of both personal and political histories of the province and the country. It is also about John A. MacDonald and his efforts to form Canada into a real country.

We were sitting at Anne’s table and we were all holding our collective breath when Anne’s name was called out. It was a real treat to be there, one year to the day from her launch at the Bushwakker so of course, when the official gala event was over, we had to go back to the scene of the crime and finish our celebration with a pint or two.

We were also pleased that Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers took home prizes in in three categories. The authors, Carmen Robertson and David Cronlund Anderson led a University of Regina trip to Peru that Morgan went on a few years ago.

The guest speaker was Mark Abley. Although Mark has deep Saskatchewan roots, he lives and works Montreal. He is a poet and a columnist for the Montreal Gazette.

We used to live in the same neighbourhood in Pointe Claire and one of his daughters went to school with Chris for a few years.

To top it all off, we were all surprised at the end of the evening when I somehow managed to win the raffle and took home chocolates, a bottle of wine, hand painted wine glasses, a copy of each of the winning books and a gift certificate for the Willow on Wascana, one of our favorite Regina restaurants.

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