Writers’ Trust Identifies Canadian Literature’s Next Star
Alessandra Naccarato wins RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers
Toronto – May 26, 2015 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada has announced Alessandra Naccarato as the winner of the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. The award spotlights Canada’s most talented developing writers, giving them much needed funding, exposure, and mentorship opportunities, and has a strong track record for discovering and promoting the brightest young writers in Canada.
Naccarato won the $5,000 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers for her poetry collection “Re-Origin of Species.” She has previously won the public vote for the 2014 CBC Poetry Prize and Event magazine’s 2014 Creative Nonfiction Award. Her writing has appeared across Canada and the United States, and she has toured nationally and internationally as a spoken word artist. She is currently completing an MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia.
The award recognizes writers who are under 35 and unpublished in book form, and alternates each year between poetry and short fiction. It is supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project, which invests in up-and-coming artists to help build their professional careers. The award was presented at an event at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music hosted by author Tanis Rideout, who was a finalist for this prize in 2001.
A jury composed of poets Fiona Tinwei Lam, Rachel Rose, and Nilofar Shidmehr selected the winner from 136 submissions. Their full jury citation reads:
Alessandra Naccarato’s poems are visually powerful and sensually charged. Her imagery is as unexpected as it is memorable. These are poems adept at evoking the textures and sensations of place, even as they pay careful attention to sound, to the music of the line. Ranging from the sting of personal loss to navigating landscapes full of promise, Naccarato’s poetry interrogates the place where the personal meets the wild.
Prize money of $1,000 went to each of the two finalists:
Irfan Ali for “Who I Think About When I Think About You”
Chuqiao Yang for “Roads Home.”
Each of the nominated poets has been paired with an established author for a mentorship opportunity focusing on career development.
The winning and nominated poetry collections are available for free download on iBooks at iTunes.com/BronwenWallace.
“Alessandra Naccarato joins a stellar list of winners of an award known for identifying the upcoming stars of Canadian literature,” said Mary Osborne, Executive Director of the Writers’ Trust of Canada. “We look forward to watching her career flourish and celebrating her future successes.”
“The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers provides unique opportunities for young writers to gain audiences, recognition, and mentoring support,” said Shari Austin, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship of RBC and Executive Director of the RBC Foundation. “We are proud to support the Writers’ Trust of Canada through this award, and want to extend our sincere congratulations to all of the finalists, and to this year’s winner Alessandra Naccarato, on such a significant achievement early in her writing career.”
About Bronwen Wallace
Bronwen Wallace was a poet, short story writer, and mentor to many young writers as a creative writing instructor at Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College in Kingston. This prize was established in her honour in 1994 by a group of friends and colleagues. Wallace felt that writers should have more opportunities for recognition early in their careers and so this annual award is given to a writer below the age of 35 who has published poetry or prose in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies, but has not yet been published in book form.
About the Award
Since it was established in 1994, the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award has distinguished 69 young writers with a nomination and many have gone on to receive literary acclaim. Past winners include Michael Crummey, Alissa York, Sonnet L’Abbé, Alison Pick, Jeramy Dodds, Marjorie Celona, and, most recently, Erin Frances Fisher.
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RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships, and employee volunteer activities. In 2014, RBC contributed more than $111 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $76 million and $35 million in sponsorships.
About the Writers’ Trust of Canada
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs including literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.
For more information and interview opportunities, contact:
Becky Toyne, 416-871-0502