The Shevchenko Foundation has announced the shortlist for the biennial $25,000 Kobzar Literary Award, which celebrates Ukrainian-Canadian writers and writing. The winner will be announced in March 2018 at a gala presentation in Toronto.It's an interesting list with four non-fiction books and one collection of poetry vying for the prize. With subjects as varied as the internment of Ukrainian/Galician-Canadians in Canada during the Great War and reclaiming one’s heritage through gardening, the judges have set themselves a difficult but interesting task to decide which of these books deserves the crown. This year's jury is comprised of writer, critic and scholar Randy Boyagoda; literary non-fiction writer and political and cultural commentator Charlotte Gray CM; and poet and non-fiction writer Maurice Mierau, who was the winner of the 2016 Kobzar Literary Award.
The 2018 Kobzar Literary Award shortlist:
- Lisa Grekul and Lindy Ledohowski, ed. for Unbound: Ukrainian Canadians Writing Home, published by University of Toronto Press (2016)
- Bohdan S. Kordan for No Free Man: Canada, the Great War and the Enemy Alien Experience, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press (2016)
- Natalia Khanenko-Friesen for Ukrainian Otherlands: Diaspora, Homeland, and Folk Imagination in the Twentieth Century, published by University of Wisconsin Press (2015)
- Erin Moure for Kapusta, published by House of Anansi Press (2015)
- Alexandra Risen for Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden (a memoir), published by Viking, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Ltd. (2016)
The jury praised the "creativity and insightful understanding of Ukrainian-Canadian identity, culture and history," in the shortlisted books.You can catch the finalists reading from their nominated works at a special event at the Toronto International Festival of Authors on Saturday, October 21 at 11:00 AM.