Calling All Emerging Poets: Four Weeks 'til Deadline!
The Founders' Awards acknowledge the longstanding excellence of The Malahat Review's contributors. Given out annually for the best work of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to have been published in the magazine in the previous year, the Founders' Awards each honour a Victoria-based writer—Jack Hodgins, Charles Lillard, and P. K. Page—who has made, or continues to make, significant contributions in the genre or genres for which they are known locally, nationally, and internationally. The annual awards gift a $1,000 prize to each author.
In poetry: Steve McOrmond for "Proof of Life"
In fiction: Jason Jobin for "Before He Left"
In creative nonfiction: Gena Ellett for "Heaven"
See the announcement pages for full interviews and judges' comments on the winning selections.
Gena Ellett (creative nonfiction)
Malahat book reviewer Kate Kennedy talks with Gena Ellett, winner of the 2018 Charles Lillard Founders' Award for "Heaven," which appeared in Issue 199, Summer 2017.
KK: What are you working on these days, whether individual pieces or something book-shaped?
GE: I’m working on a memoir collection called The Backroads that spans the years of my early twenties and explores the ideas of identity, grief, and loss. “Heaven” is one of the chapters, and I was so happy to see it published with the Malahat!
Read the rest of Gena's interview on the Malahat website.
Jason Jobin (fiction)
Malahat volunteer James Kendrick talks with Jason Jobin, winner of the 2018 Jack Hodgins Founders' Award for "Before He Left," which appeared in the Malahat's Fiftieth-Anniversary Issue (#200).
JK: I was hoping you could talk a little about what it means to you to write about a place you live or have lived, addressing Victoria specifically.
JJ: I think I’m probably less place-oriented than many writers, but I try and give some attention to place in my writing because of how it can impact a story. This placelessness might be because I grew up in the woods in Yukon with no city or discernible neighborhood. I’m not sure. I never really identified with the idea of place as a bordered section in a larger landscape.
Read the rest of Jason's interview on the Malahat website.
Steve McOrmond (poetry)
Malahat volunteer Emma Skagen talks with Steve McOrmond, winner of the 2018 P. K. Page Founders' Award for "Proof of Life," which appeared in Issue 201, Winter 2017.
ES: As the title suggests, the poem is about searching for proof of life—what does that phrase mean to you?
SM: Proof of life is a phrase borrowed from ransom negotiations to describe evidence – often photographic – that a kidnap victim is still alive. I was thinking about the ways we are held hostage by the lives we construct. Duty, routine, the necessities of making ends meet – these things are often at odds with our inner lives. You might say poetry itself is largely antithetical to these constraints. Poetry’s concerns are seldom practical.
Read the rest of Steve's interview on the Malahat website.