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The 2014 Governor General’s Award Winners

It's old news, we know, but we're still thrilled that LITERARY PRESS GROUP has won the 2014 Governor General’s Awards for Poetry and Drama!  Congratulations to Arleen Paré, author of Lake of Two Mountains(Poetry) and Jordan Tannahill, author Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays(Drama). From BRICK BOOKS:

Lake of Two Mountains (ISBN 9781926829876), Arleen Paré’s second poetry collection, is a portrait of a lake, of a relationship to a lake, of a network of relationships around a lake. It maps, probes and applauds the riparian region of central Canadian geography that lies between the Ottawa and the St. Lawrence Rivers. The poems portray this territory, its contested human presences and natural history: the 1990 Oka Crisis, Pleistocene shifts and dislocations, the feather-shaped Ile Cadieux, a Trappist monastery on the lake’s northern shore. As we are drawn into experience of the lake and its environs, we also enter an intricate interleaving of landscape and memory, a reflection on how a place comes to inhabit us even as we inhabit it.

flint-dark far-off sky on the move across the lake slant sheets closing in sky collapsing from its bowl shoreline waiting taut stones dark as plums

~from “Distance Closing In”

Praise for Lake of Two Mountains:

“When has a body of water said so much, been looked at so many ways, spoken in so many voices? Arleen Paré’s “lake” is an astonishing creation, alive and changeable, as multifaceted as light on water. “Lake of Two Mountains” is a literal place, yes, but it is also a place with spiritual, personal, religious and political dimensions. A kind of all-seeing deity, it observes human life and measures the passing of time. I am in awe of this lake, its reach and complexities rooted in the specifics of flora and fauna. I am also in awe of Paré’s marvelous and deeply authentic poems. —Patricia Young

“Arleen Paré’s poems are monastic prayers of forgiveness, intense simplicities that praise all we have lost, all we have left. She is a gift the world has given us. Read her and then in deep quiet read her again.” —Patrick Lane

From PLAYWRIGHTS CANADA PRESS:

9781770911949

Three of Jordan Tannahill’s fresh and riveting works are featured in this collection, including Get Yourself Home Skyler James, Peter Fechter: 59 Minutes, and rihannaboi95.

Based on a true story, Get Yourself Home Skyler James follows the harrowing journey of a young lesbian who defects from the army when she is outed by fellow soldiers. Peter Fechter: 59 Minutes chronicles the last hour of Peter Fechter’s life, a teenager in East Berlin shot while attempting to cross the Berlin Wall in 1962 with his companion. Finally, the award-winning  rihannaboi95 centres around a Toronto teen whose world comes crashing in when YouTube videos of him dancing to songs by his favourite pop heroine go viral. Together these solo plays explore the lives of three queer youth and their resilience in the face of violence and intolerance.

“…one of Canada’s most promising young independent theatre artists.”—Alison Broverman,Toronto Star

Check out a performance of rihannaboi95 on YouTube. Owais Lightwala is Sunny in this viral play, produced by Suburban Beast.

Governor General's Award Finalists!

Well, awards season is upon us and we at Manda Group are proud to announce that eleven titles that we represent have been shortlisted for Governor General's Awards! POETRY Beginning with Poetry, where we have three shortlisted titles, the finalists are:

Where the Sun Shines Best by Austin Clarke - 9781550716931 - $15.00 / Guernica Editions/UTP Distribution

From Kandahar to Bridgetown to Mississauga, Ontario, Where the Sun Shines Best encompasses a tragedy of epic scope, a lyrical meditation on poverty, racism and war, and a powerful indictment of the ravages of imperialism.

Bite Down Little Whisper by Don Domanski - 9781926829869- $20.00 / Brick Books/LitDistCo

Bite Down Little Whisper, delves into the interconnectedness of all life with spiritual gravitas and powerful mindfulness. These are poems brimming with mythological and scientific energies, with a multi-dimensionality that opens itself to both complexity and clarity.

North End Love Songs by Katherena Vermette - 9781897289761 - $14.95 / J. Gordon Shillingford/UTP Distribution

This collection is a very moving tribute, to the girls and the women, the boys and the men, and the loving trouble that has forever transpired between us. - Joanne Arnott

DRAMA Drama, the category with the most shortlisted titles, has four finalists:

Blood: A Scientific Romance by Meg Braem - 9781770911710 - $16.95 / Playwrights Canada Press/UTP Distribution

Blood: A Scientific Romance

Blood: A Scientific Romance probes the questions: Do relationships take on new meaning when they begin to shape not only our experiences, but our biology? And do we, in fact, complete one another?

The Swearing Jar by Kate Hewlett - 9781897289884 - $15.95 / J. Gordon Shillingford/UTP Distribution

Meet Carey and Simon, an otherwise-perfect married couple with a bit of a swearing problem...

With quirky characters, music and gentle humour, this lovely and intricately-constructed story is about meeting challenges head-on and finding hope.

Shakespeare's Nigga by Pierre Joseph Jomo - 9781770911413 - $16.95 / Playwrights Canada Press/UTP Distribution

On a Southern plantation, Shakespeare holds the fate of several black slaves in his hands. Among them are the rebellious Aaron and the obedient Othello, both of whom share an interest in Shakespeare's unwed daughter. But a vital secret remains hidden that could untangle complex

Frenchtown by Lawrence Jeffrey - 9781550963021- $19.95 / Exile Editions/IPG

Frenchtown: A Drama about Shanghai, P.R.C.

A reflection on family and the power of a nation, this elegant and cerebral drama explores the disquietude of Shanghai and its residents in the wake of Tiananmen Square and the return of Hong Kong to mainland China.

TRANSLATION We are  ecstatic to also have three finalists in the Translation category:

Canada's Forgotten Slaves by Marcel Trudel; trans. George Tombs - 9781550653274 - $27.95 / Vehicule Press/LitDistCo

Canada's Forgotten Slaves: Two Hundred Years of Bondage

By painstakingly combing through unpublished archival records of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Marcel Trudel gives a human face to the over 4,000 Aboriginal and Black slaves bought, sold and exploited in colonial Canada.

The Stalinist's Wife by France Theoret; trans. Luise von Flotow - 9781550716306 - $20.00 / Guernica Editions/UTP Distribution

France Theoret's La femme du stalinien is the latest novel in a trilogy. It tells the story of Louise Aubert, her break from Mathieu Lord when he joins the Stalinist party, and her re-invention through language into a woman who is no longer governed by ordinary codes, conventions and commonplaces.

The Major Verbs by Pierre Nepveu; trans. Donald Winkler - 9781550653397 - $18.00 / Vehicule Press/LitDistCo

The Major Verbs,is a masterwork consisting of three sequences: one focusing on an immigrant night cleaner glimpsed on a subway, another, a riff on a group of stones on a table, and the third concerning the poet’s parents and their deaths.The book closes with a long meditative poem written in the American southwest.

CHILDREN'S LITERATURE - ILLUSTRATION Last, but certainly not last we have one finalist in the Children's Literature - Illustration category

How To by Julie Morstad - 9781897476574 - $16.95 / Simply Read Books/Ingram Publisher Services

This imaginative ‘how to’ book explores whimsical ways of doing a host of different tasks, including ‘how to wonder’,  ‘how to see the breeze’, and ‘how to be brave’.  With text and images by award-winning illustrator Julie Morstad, this book will be beloved by all ages. How to read this book? That is up to you!

And that rounds out the list of finalists here at Manda Group. We wish all our authors luck, but regardless of results all of these fantastic titles are winners in our books!

Winning books are announced in mid November. Stay Tuned!