Governor General of Canada Honours Last Year’s Books and This Year’s Stars

Governor General of Canada Honours Last Year’s Books and This Year’s Stars

Jael Richardson (pictured above) is the executive director of the Brampton based Festival of Literary Diversity -- Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and storytellers.

On Tuesday afternoon the office of the Governor General of Canada issued the long delayed list of books nominated for the 2020 GG Literary Awards.

“Due to the pandemic, we are celebrating the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Awards (GGBooks) finalists and winners in spring 2021,” reads the notice. “The GGBooks will then resume their normal schedule, with the 2021 finalists and winners to be revealed this fall.”


For 2020, 70 books were nominated in 14 different categories. Each finalist will receive $1,000 and the winner will be awarded $25,000, while the publisher for each winning book will be awarded $3,000.

The big news is the same old news! St Lucian Canadian poet Canisia Lubrin (pictured above) has been nominated for another major literary prize.  This week she has been nominated for a 2020 GG Book Award in poetry for her award winning book The Dyzgraphxst.

In the past 3-months she has won the $200,000, American Windham-Campbell Prize, the Trinidad and Tobago $13,000 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.

The Dyzgraphxst is described a  “spectacular feat of architecture called a poem …  it is about contemporary capitalist fascism, nationalism and the climate disaster, where Jejune, the central figure, grapples with understanding their existence and identity.”

In April it was also announced that the author is in the running for Canada’s largest poetry prize, The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry. Three Canadians, including Lubrin, are competing for the annual $65,000 Canadian poetry prize.

37-year old Canisia Lubrin is a writer, editor, teacher and critic, with work published widely in North America, as well as in the U.K. She is the author of the awards-nominated poetry collection Voodoo Hypothesis and augur. She teaches English at Humber College and Creative Writing at Sheridan College and in the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies.  Born in St Lucia she now lives in Whitby. 

More Book Award News – Amazon Prize For First Novels

This morning Amazon Canada and The Walrus Magazine announced the shortlist for the forty-fifth annual Amazon Canada First Novel Award. Six novels, including Jael Richardson’s Gutter Child, are in the running for the $60,000 prize.

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Jael Richardson (pictured above) is the executive director of the Brampton based Festival of Literary Diversity -- Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and storytellers. The FOLD stages events for kids and adults that engage readers, inspire writers, and empower educators by highlighting important and underrepresented voices. She is also the books columnist on CBC Radio’s Q and an outspoken advocate on issues of diversity.

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Gutter Child is set in an imagined world in which the most vulnerable buy their freedom by working off their debt to society, Gutter Child uncovers a nation divided into the privileged Mainland and the policed Gutter. Richardson’s Gutter Child reveals one young woman’s winding journey through a fractured world of shocking injustices. She is a modern heroine in an altered but all-too-recognizable reality that must defy a system that tries to shape her destiny.
The five other books and authors in the running for the Amazon Prize are:

·       Butter Honey Pig Bread, Francesca Ekwuyasi

·       Five Little Indians, Michelle Good

·       Happy Hour, Marlowe Granados

·       You are Eating an Orange. You are Naked. Sheung-King

·       Vanishing Monuments, John Elizabeth Stintzi

The winner of the Adult Novel category will receive $60,000, and each of the six finalists will receive $6,000. The winner will be announced on Thursday, May 27th.

Let Your Backbone Slide in this new book by Maestro Fresh Wes

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Canada’s Godfather of hip hop Maestro Fresh Wes has unveiled his newest release — an inspirational children’s book, Stick To Your Vision: Young Maestro Goes to School.

The book tells the tale of a young Maestro as he finds new adventures, both in school and as he’s introduced to the world of hip-hop. Wes draws inspiration from his family, teachers, mentor DJ Greg, plus all that he has learned from hip hop, to find the power of his pen.
Written by Wes Williams and award-winning teacher, Rhodora Meliton-Vanderpool, the book includes a foreword from fellow legendary music icon, Kardinal Offishall, and illustrations from multi-talented artist, media personality, and author Leon “Eklipz” Robinson.
“This book was written to emphasize the importance of family structure, mentorship, hip hop, and the positive impact of inspirational elementary school teachers,” Williams says.
Kardinal Offishall says “everyone who reads this book, young or young at heart, will benefit tremendously in so many ways,” and comedian and actor Gerry Dee adds that the book “is a must-read for any child who is developing their own passion and dreams.”

“This is a powerful story that brought me back to my school days as a young black boy and the son of Trinidadian-born parents; I knew one day, even though facing adversity, I would play in the NBA,” Toronto Raptors Assistant Coach Jamaal Magloire says. “The book reaffirms to not only kids — but also to parents and teachers — that positive influence, encouragement, hard work, and sacrifices can make your dream come true.”