2022 Award Winners and Nominees

The following books won or were finalists for some of Canada’s top literary awards, including the Giller Prize, Writer’s Trust Awards, Governor General’s Awards, and League of Canadian Poets awards.

All Books in this Collection

Showing 1–20 of 39 results

  • All the Quiet Places

    All the Quiet Places

    $24.00

    Finalist for the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction
    Longlisted for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize
    Winner of the 2022 Indigenous Voices Awards’ Published Prose in English Prize
    Shortlisted for the 2022 Amazon Canada First Novel Award
    Longlisted for CBC Canada Reads 2022
    Longlisted for First Nations Community Reads 2022
    An Indigo Top 100 Book of 2021
    An Indigo Top 10 Best Canadian Fiction Book of 2021

    ****

    “What a welcome debut. Young Eddie Toma’s passage through the truly ugly parts of this world is met, like an antidote, or perhaps a compensation, by his remarkable awareness of its beauty. This is a writer who understands youth, and how to tell a story.” —Gil Adamson, winner of the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for Ridgerunner

    Brian Isaac’s powerful debut novel All the Quiet Places is the coming-of-age story of Eddie Toma, an Indigenous (Syilx) boy, told through the young narrator’s wide-eyed observations of the world around him.

    It’s 1956, and six-year-old Eddie Toma lives with his mother, Grace, and his little brother, Lewis, near the Salmon River on the far edge of the Okanagan Indian Reserve in the British Columbia Southern Interior. Grace, her friend Isabel, Isabel’s husband Ray, and his nephew Gregory cross the border to work as summer farm labourers in Washington state. There Eddie is free to spend long days with Gregory exploring the farm: climbing a hill to watch the sunset and listening to the wind in the grass. The boys learn from Ray’s funny and dark stories. But when tragedy strikes, Eddie returns home grief-stricken, confused, and lonely.

    Eddie’s life is governed by the decisions of the adults around him. Grace is determined to have him learn the ways of the white world by sending him to school in the small community of Falkland. On Eddie”s first day of school, as he crosses the reserve boundary at the Salmon River bridge, he leaves behind his world. Grace challenges the Indian Agent and writes futile letters to Ottawa to protest the sparse resources in their community. His father returns to the family after years away only to bring chaos and instability. Isabel and Ray join them in an overcrowded house. Only in his grandmother’s company does he find solace and true companionship.

    In his teens, Eddie’s future seems more secure—he finds a job, and his long-time crush on his white neighbour Eva is finally reciprocated. But every time things look up, circumstances beyond his control crash down around him. The cumulative effects of guilt, grief, and despair threaten everything Eddie has ever known or loved.

    All the Quiet Places is the story of what can happen when every adult in a person’s life has been affected by colonialism; it tells of the acute separation from culture that can occur even at home in a loved familiar landscape. Its narrative power relies on the unguarded, unsentimental witness provided by Eddie.

  • Antonyms for Daughter

    Antonyms for Daughter

    $17.95

    Antonyms for Daughter, Jenny Boychuk‘s poetry debut, addresses a harrowing subject: the loss of the poet’s mother to addiction. Deploying a range of forms and techniques astonishing in a first collection, Boychuk creates unsparing scenes of their complicated life together. Poem after poem attempts to wring clarity from memories ripe with trauma and love, as Boychuk questions whether it is possible for a child to ever extricate herself from an abusive parent–to become, as it were, a living “antonym” of a painful family legacy. A booklength loss-lyric of vivid beauty, Antonyms for Daughter is a singular example of grief transformed into art.

  • Autowar

    Autowar

    $20.00

    A visceral, vital, unblinking debut collection of poems exploring kinesthetic memory and longing, inherited violence, and the body as a geographical site.

    We’re often told that we are given only what we can bear. For some of us our first lessons are in how much pain we’re made to think we deserve–and the resulting scars are always meant to be kept secret. Assiyah Jamilla Touré’s debut collection is a record of those scars–not those inflicted on us by the thousands of little wars we live in everyday, but those that come afterwards, those we inflict upon ourselves to mark the path.

    Each and every poem in Autowar was written on a cell phone, transcribing an urgent revisiting of old sites of pain, and also a revisiting of one young person’s power and ability–to hurt themself, or others. These poems are powerful evocations of how even our scars have worlds and lives.

    here in the dark, me-space
    i am insatiable for my flesh
    i just can’t get enough
    of tiny after-wounds
    that’s me giving, still too soft
    for my own teeth

    Cover image by Ayo Tsalithaba.

  • Broken Dawn Blessings

    Broken Dawn Blessings

    $19.95

    Trillium Book Award–winning poet Adam Sol’s newest collection is made up of poems that are loosely linked to the traditional Jewish morning prayers, the Birkhot haShachar, which try to find moments of blessing in the midst of personal and public pain, shame, and worryHow do we respond to others’ pain, both the pain of those we love and the larger global pain of those we don’t know? In a religious context, a witness can offer blessing when those in the midst of suffering cannot. Taking on the responsibility of blessing, then, is a way to shoulder that burden for the sufferer. This presupposes the idea that blessing is a necessity — which may be a point up for debate.In the context of his wife’s recovery from surgery, and with civic violence prevalent in his city, the speaker of these poems leans on the structure of the Birkhot haShachar (dawn blessings) to carve out space for empathy, complaint, and occasional flashes of wonder. These poems showcase Sol’s trademark blend of humor and lyric virtuosity, and display his familiarity with Jewish texts and traditions, but add a new intimacy and urgency that break new ground for one of Canada’s most respected poets. It is his most risky and most accomplished collection to date.

  • Coconut

    Coconut

    $19.95

    In her debut collection, Canadian National Slam Champion Nisha Patel commands her formidable insight and youthful, engaged voice to relay experiences of racism, sexuality, empowerment, grief, and love. These are vitally political, feminist poems for young women of colour, with bold portrayals of confession, hurt, and healing.

    Coconut rises fiercely like the sun. These poems bestow light and warmth and the ability to witness the world, but they ask for more than basking; they ask readers to grow and warn that they can be burnt. Above all, Nisha Patel’s work questions and challenges propriety and what it means to be a good woman, second-generation immigrant, daughter, consumer, and lover.

  • Creeland

    Creeland

    $18.95

    Creeland is a poetry collection concerned with notions of home and the quotidian attachments we feel to those notions, even across great distances. Even in an area such as Treaty Eight (northern Alberta), a geography decimated by resource extraction and development, people are creating, living, laughing, surviving and flourishing—or at least attempting to.The poems in this collection are preoccupied with the role of Indigenous aesthetics in the creation and nurturing of complex Indigenous lifeworlds. They aim to honour the encounters that everyday Cree economies enable, and the words that try—and ultimately fail—to articulate them. Hunt gestures to the movements, speech acts and relations that exceed available vocabularies, that may be housed within words like joy, but which the words themselves cannot fully convey. This debut collection is vital in the context of a colonial aesthetic designed to perpetually foreclose on Indigenous futures and erase Indigenous existence.the Cree word for constellationis a saskatoon berry bush in summertimethe translation for policemanin Cree is mîci nisôkan, kohkôsthe translation for geniusin Cree is my kôhkom muttering in her sleepthe Cree word for poetry is your four-year-oldniece’s cracked lips spilling outbroken syllables of nêhiyawêwin in betweenthe gaps in her teeth 

  • Dear Birch

    Dear Birch

    $19.95

    ?Attachment is the puzzle.” Three years after her mother?s death and on the brink of a break up, a bisexual writer sits in the company of an urban birch tree, auditing the odds of new loves entering her future. So begins Dear Birch, an intimate poem cycle that improvises within the permutability of grief, wind, reading, refusal and desire, listening for an ethos of ongoingness. Synthesizing memoir, votive and epistle, Margaret Christakos displays her trademark fidelity to writing as attentive process, imbuing her work with the polyamory of tender intelligence. 

  • Dream of No One but Myself

    Dream of No One but Myself

    $22.95

    An expansive, hybrid, debut collection of prose poems, self-erasures, verse, and family photo cut-ups about growing up in a racially trinary, diversely troubled family.

    Dream of No One but Myself is an interdisciplinary, lyrical unravelling of the trauma-memoir-as-proof-it’s-now-handled motif, illuminating what an auto-archival alternative to it might look like in motion. Through a complex juxtaposition of lyric verse and self-erasure, family keepsake and transformed photo, David Bradford engages the gap between the drive toward self-understanding and the excavated, tangled narratives autobiography can’t quite reconcile. The translation of early memory into language is a set of decisions, and in Dream of No One but Myself, Bradford decides and then decides again, composing a deliberately unstable, frayed account of family inheritance, intergenerational traumas, and domestic tenderness.

    More essayistic lyric than lyrical essay, this is a satisfyingly unsettling and off-kilter debut that charts, shapes, fragments, and embraces the unresolvable. These gorgeous, halting poems ultimately take the urge to make linear sense of one’s own history and diffract it into innumerable beams of light.

  • Everybody Just C@lm the F#ck Down

    Everybody Just C@lm the F#ck Down

    $18.95

    After an unexpected night in a Regina hospital emergency room, Robert Chafe can’t shake the burning question of whether he’s Tennessee Williams or Dorothy Zbornak. Are his symptoms a harbinger of a terrifying undiagnosed condition, or is it all just in his head? 

    Frenetic, tender, and sometimes scary, Everybody Just C@lm the F#ck Down is a stumbling folly about the aging body, mid-life anxiety, and what it means to live when you can’t know what’s next. 

  • Falling for Myself

    Falling for Myself

    $20.00

    In this searing and seriously funny memoir, Dorothy Ellen Palmer falls down, a lot, and spends a lifetime learning to appreciate her disability. Born with two very different, very tiny feet, she was adopted as a toddler by an already wounded 1950s family. From childhood surgeries to decades as a feminist teacher, mom, improv coach and unionist, she tried to hide being different. But now, standing proud with her walker, she’s sharing her journey. Navigating abandonment, abuse and ableism, she finds her birth parents and a new chosen family in the disability community.

  • Finding Edward

    Finding Edward

  • Good Arabs, The

    Good Arabs, The

    $17.95

    Swinging from post-explosion Beirut to a Parc-Extension balcony in summer, the verse and prose poems in The Good Arabs ground the reader in place, language, and the body. Peeling and rinsing radishes. Dancing as a pre-teen to Nancy Ajram. Being drenched in stares on the city bus. The collection is an interlocking and rich offering of the speaker’s communities, geographical surroundings both expansive and precise, and family both biological and chosen.

    The Good Arabs gifts the reader with insight into cycles and repetition in ourselves and our broken nations. This genre-defying collection maps Arab and trans identity through the immensity of experience felt in one body, the sorrow of citizens let down by their countries, and the garbage crisis in Lebanon. Ultimately, it shows how we might love amid dismay, adore the pungent and the ugly, and exist in our multiplicity across spaces.

  • Great Village

    Great Village

    Retired schoolteacher Flossy O’Reilly has spent almost all of her eight decades in the seaside community of Great Village, Nova Scotia. It is now a quiet Maritime village: where relationships between friends and family move at the pace of the tides; where there is no rush because, sooner or later, everyone finds out what they need to know with a trip to the general store.



    When Ruth, the teenaged granddaughter of an old friend, arrives from Ontario for a three-week stay, time suddenly catches up with Great Village. As Flossy watches the sometimes tactless young woman grow into her own, she begins to question whether maintaining the calm surface of her life was worth keeping secrets from and about those closest to her — or if everyone could benefit from a little more candour.



    With grace, patience, and wisdom, Mary Rose Donnelly paints a rich portrait of life in small-town Nova Scotia, and of relationships as charming as they are complex.

  • Honorarium

    Honorarium

    $19.95

    In Honorarium, Nathaniel G. Moore compiles twenty years worth of reading other people?s books, while also faithfully attempting to convey a sense of what it?s like to work behind-the-scenes in CanLit. Always breaking from convention, Moore?s non-fiction is imbued a sense of urgency, passion and intimacy with the community of creators that surround him; creators that include Derek McCormack, Sheila Heti, Camilla Gibb, Jen Sookfong Lee, Catullus and Chuck Palahniuk. Add the author?s backstory of growing up anxious, escaping through literature and giving back to the community he sought out at the century?s onset, as well as previously unpublished pieces on book publicity and Amazon, and Honorarium is a both a time capsule and a survey course into the ever-changing, mysterious world of Canadian publishing.

  • Horrible Dance

    Horrible Dance

    $21.95

    A brilliant poetic debut about gender-based violence that dismantles received definitions of both gender and violence, Horrible Dance is an accomplished addition to transfeminist thought and theory.

    By turns darkly comic, emotionally connected, playful, incisive, lyrical and irreverent, Lake’s poems navigate a harrowing personal and political terrain with understated, expansive wisdom. Lake persistently returns us to the search for love that lies at the core of relational trauma, even as she shows us how catastrophically such a search can be derailed.

    This is a rare text able to hold the full velocity of a survivor’s hurt and rage alongside a clear-eyed understanding of the extent and complexity of harm. In their honest accounting of a wide array of bad encounters, these poems point us, again, toward compassion, tenderness, and solidarity.

    can you forgive me
    for how you hurt me so bad
    –“On Shame”

  • I Want to Tell You Lies

    I Want to Tell You Lies

    I Want to Tell You Lies

  • il virus

    il virus

    $18.00

    il virus brings together 113 poems written over seventy-eight days during the spring 2020 pandemic lockdown in Toronto. These responses to daily news and eclectic media posts encompass dogs (lots of them), Zambonis, jazz and blues, Jackie Gleason, mathematics, thermodynamics, and geography (real and imagined). These miniatures are Lillian Necakov’s most spare poems, but each is jam-packed with explosives: anger, grief, love, need, and a foraging for ink.

  • Inheritance: a pick-the-path experience

    Inheritance: a pick-the-path experience

    $24.95

    You take your seat in the theatre. You are given a remote control. The play begins.

    An urban couple are on a getaway to visit her father at his vast rural estate. But when they arrive, they find him missing and a local Indigenous man staying there instead. They ask him to leave … and with an anonymous click of your remote, you choose what happens next.

    When it’s revealed that the colonial rights to this entire property are actually up for grabs, you must continue to decide how the story unfolds, ultimately determining how the land will be stewarded, and by whom.

    With humour, suspense, and a race against time, Inheritance is an interactive stage play – with over fifty possible variations – that thrusts you into the middle of a land dispute and asks you to work it out. Replete with additional material, this unique book includes insightful forewords by President of the Haida Nation Miles Richardson and environmentalist David Suzuki, a brief history of the Secwépemc People, a detailed study guide for students and teachers, and an interview with the co-creators.

  • Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) & Antigone: 方

    Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) & Antigone: 方

    $20.95

    From the author of trace comes two adaptations that transport mythological stories from Ancient Greece to modern-day civilizations. Led by people of colour, these darkly comedic plays depict recognizable plights for justice.

    Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) highlights the repetition of hate and colonialism that occur in ancient myths through a mischievous lens. Since Iphigenia was rescued from the sacrificial altar, she has served as a high priestess to the goddess Artemis on Tauros, where she in turn is to sacrifice any foreigners who try to enter. When she discovers that an exiled prisoner is her brother, they together plot their escape, but are soon confronted by a force beyond their control.

    Antigone: is set against the backdrop of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement and Tiananmen Square Massacre protests. When citizens challenge a state’s traditional doctrine, the ruling family is divided between their own interests and those of its citizens. After brothers Neikes and Teo kill each other in the protests, their sister Antigone defies her father’s orders to retrieve Neikes’s body, causing the government—and what’s left of their family—to reach a reckoning.

  • it was never going to be okay

    it was never going to be okay

    $18.95

    it was never going to be okay is a collection of poetry and prose exploring the intimacies of understanding intergenerational trauma, Indigeneity and queerness, while addressing urban Indigenous diaspora and breaking down the limitations of sexual understanding as a trans woman. As a way to move from the linear timeline of healing and coming to terms with how trauma does not exist in subsequent happenings, it was never going to be okay tries to break down years of silence in simpson’s debut collection of poetry:i am fivemy sisters are saying boyi do not know what the word means but—i am bruised into knowing it: the blunt b,the hollowness of the o, the blade of y