2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction Finalist

2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalist Kyo Maclear for Birds Art Life

Kyo Maclear
Birds Art Life 
Doubleday Canada

2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalist Kyo Maclear Birds Art Life

Birds Art Life is a poetic and philosophical ode to life and art, with birds as the motivating force.  

Facing creative inertia and ‘existential chagrin,’ Kyo Maclear develops a bad case of wanderlust. A year spent birding in and around Toronto becomes a transformative journey—finding movement in stillness, meaning in simplicity. Ruminating on her newfound love of birds, and a broader appreciation for ‘the audacity of aiming tiny in an age of big ambitions,’ Maclear gives us an expansive and generous gift, a melancholy and joyful salve for living. With elegant, evocative prose, roaming curiosity, and quietly wild erudition, Birds Art Life is a beautiful book—lucid, exalting, and true.”

-2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction jury Susan Harada, Arno Kopecky, and Siobhan Roberts.

About the Book

Birds Art Life explores the particular madness of loving and chasing after birds in a big city. Intimate and philosophical, moving with ease between the granular and the grand view, it celebrates the creative and liberating effects of keeping your eyes and ears wide open, and explores what happens when you apply the core lessons of birding to other aspects of life. On a deeper level, it takes up the questions of how we are shaped and nurtured by our parallel passions, and how we might come to cherish not only the world’s pristine natural places but also the blemished urban spaces where most of us live.

About the Author

Kyo Maclear is a novelist, essayist, and children’s author. Her short fiction, essays, and art criticism have been published in Brick, Border Crossings, The Millions, Quill & Quire, Toronto Life, Azure, Saturday Night, and The Globe and Mail, among other publications. She is the author of two novels for adults, The Letter Opener and Stray Love, and numerous beloved books for children, including Julia, Child and The Good Little Book. Maclear is a doctoral candidate at York University where she holds a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. She lives in Toronto.




Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize


July 18 for books published between May 16 and Sept 30, 2018


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