Award-winning author, Laisha Rosnau’s book of poetry titled Our Familiar Hunger is shortlisted for the 2020 Kobzar Book Award. The winner is to be selected on March 12 in a presentation in Toronto. (Photo submitted)

Award-winning author, Laisha Rosnau’s book of poetry titled Our Familiar Hunger is shortlisted for the 2020 Kobzar Book Award. The winner is to be selected on March 12 in a presentation in Toronto. (Photo submitted)

Vernon-area poet up for prestigious award

Laisha Rosnau’s collection of poems, Our Familiar Hunger, touches on Ukrainian-Canadian experience

Coldstream poet and the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives programmer Laisha Rosnau is up for a prestigious award celebrating literary contributions with a tie to the Ukrainian-Canadian experience.

Her poetry collection, Our Familiar Hunger, has been shortlisted for the 2020 Kobzar Book Award. It is one of five titles competing for the award that is to be presented in a celebration event Thursday, March 12, in Toronto.

Our Familiar Hunger is a book about the strength, will, struggle and fortitude of generations of women and how those relationships and shared knowledge interact, inform, transform and burden.

These poems are memories of reclaimed history and attempts at starting over in a new place; they are the fractured reality of trickle-down inheritance, studies of the epigenetic grief we carry and the myriad ways that interferes or interprets our best attempts.

Our Familiar Hunger, published by Nightwood Editions, is up against titles including, We All Need to Eat by Alex Leslie, the North End Revisited by John Paskievich, the Bone Mother by David Demchuk and the Stories Were Not Told by Sand Semchuk.

The $25,000 prize recognizes outstanding contributions to Canadian literary arts by authors who write on a topic with a connection to the Ukrainian-Canadian experience.

The Kobzar Book Award fills an important niche in the North American book and literary awards scene, the website reads.

“It also creates a place for the Ukrainian-Canadian experience and its stories.”

This year’s jury is comprised of NeWest Press general manager Matt Bowes; Dr. Lindy Ledohowski, winner of the 2019 Kobzar Book Award; and Nino Ricci, best-selling and award-winning author.

Laisha Rosnau is the author of The Sudden Weight of Snow, which received an honourable mention for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Rosnau’s first collection of poetry, Notes on Leaving, won the 2005 Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Award.

Her second, Lousy Explorers, was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award for best book of poetry by a Canadian woman.

— with Morning Star files

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