Friday, May 27, 2005
Ottawa Literary Awards Ceremony
last night at the National Library. Was somehow quite inspiring. Many of the winners offered writing advice. Gertrude Baer, who won for a National Capital Writing award for her story, The Puzzle Piece, mentioned that she'd written the prize-winning story 40 years ago in German and when she heard of the contest (might have been the over 55 short fiction contest), she dug it up, translated it into English and revised it. Never throw anything out was her advice. Frances Itani won the City book award, which wasn't a surprise, given how successful her latest book has been. It was kind of weird that the award combined fiction and poetry. The main one I wanted to know about was the Lampman Poetry Award. Stephen Brockwell got that (which is terrific!), but since he was out of town on business, Ronnie Brown accepted on his behalf, reading his speech. Aside from the usual thanking, he mentioned that he hoped the award was a reminder that the most innovative and creative poetry comes from Ottawa. All in all, an inspiring evening. Lots of familiar faces around too. Reception afterwards for the minglers. Not my thing. I walked back home and savoured the dark, cool night.