Yukon-born author and spoken-word performer Ivan Coyote is the recipient of this year's Freedom to Read Award.
The prize, presented by the Writers' Union of Canada, is in recognition of work that is passionately supportive of the freedom to read. Coyote was nominated by a fellow Canadian author, who wrote:
"I would like to recommend Ivan Coyote. They have done amazing and long-term work, especially in schools, on the subject of bullying and discussing what it means to be transgender. The contents of their books are, to me, a testament to freedom — not only to read, but for every person to be themselves.”
The award is given out as part of Freedom to Read Week, an annual celebration of the right Canadians enjoy to be able to write, read and publish freely. Started by the Book and Periodical Council, the week has become a regular staple of library, school and literary group programming. Past winners include authors Jael Richardson, Deborah Campbell, Mohamed Fahmy, Lawrence Hill, and bookseller Janine Fuller.
With an esteemed resume of twelve books, four short films, and three audio albums combining music and storytelling, Coyote's thoughtful and poignant work examines themes of class, gender identity, relationships, queer liberation, and social justice.
For more information on Ivan Coyote, visit the author's website
To learn more about Freedom to Read Week and the Freedom to Read Award, visit the website here