Gothic histories, genre-defying memoirs among Trillium Literary Prize finalists


TORONTO – A collection of gothic stories and two genre-defying memoirs are among this year’s nominees for the Ontario Trillium Literary Prize.

Announced on Tuesday, the shortlist includes Grimsby, Ont., native Sydney Hegele and their debut collection of mystical shorts “The Pump,” filled with carnivorous beavers and art eaters, from Invisible Publishing.

Other finalists include Toronto novelist Brian Francis for his book “Missed Connections: A Memoir in Letters Never Sent,” published by McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House, and Hamilton, Ontario-born Catherine Graham for “Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric,” his tribute to family and the cancers that bind them together, from Buckrider Books/Wolsak & Wynn Publishers.

Rounding out the nominees are “The Hunter and the Old Woman,” by Toronto writer Pamela Korgemagi for House of Anansi Press, and the novel “The Last Exiles,” by poet and filmmaker Ann Shin, also of Toronto, for Park. Row/Harlequin. Commercial Edition.

This year’s nominees for the Trillium Literary Prize for Poetry include “The Untranslatable I” by Whitby, Ontario-born poet Roxanna Bennett of Gordon Hill Press; “Letters in a Bruised Cosmos” by Liz Howard, Toronto, McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House Canada; and “Intruder” by Bardia Sinaee of Toronto from House of Anansi Press.

Francophone finalists for the Trillium Literary Prize include “Zahra” by Soufiane Chakkouche, Toronto, Éditions David; “I am the current the mud” by Quebecer Marie-Hélène Larochelle at Leméac Éditeur; “Le malaimant” by Michèle Vinet, born in Ottawa, Ont., by Éditions L’Interligne; “Un conte de l’apocalypse” by Robert Marinier, originally from Sudbury, Ont., published by Éditions Prize de parole; and Marie-Thé Morin “Errances”, born in Ottawa, Ontario, also from Éditions Prize de parole.

The Francophone finalists for the Trillium Literary Prize for Poetry are Montrealer Sylvie Bérard for “To believe that I like the faults” and “What remains without contour” by Sonia-Sophie Courdeau, originally from Northern Ontario, both in Éditions Prize de parole, as well as “Exosquelette” by Chloé LaDuchesse, born in Sudbury, Ont., excerpt from Mémoire d’encrier.

After two years of virtual awards, the awards will be announced at an in-person event on June 21 that will also honor past nominees and winners who didn’t have the opportunity to attend a gala.

This also marks the 35th anniversary of the award, which recognizes literary excellence across Ontario.

Trillium Literary Prize winners each receive $20,000, while their respective publishers receive $2,500 to promote the winning titles.

Meanwhile, winners of the poetry categories receive $10,000 and their publishers receive $2,000.

Previous Trillium winners have included Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Souvankham Thammavongsa and Timothy Findley.

The Trillium Literary Prize was established in 1987 and is presented by Ontario Creates, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 10, 2022.


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