OFF THE SHELF: Library welcomes book prize nominees

Julie Flett's book

Julie Flett's book

Since they were established in 1985, the B.C. Book Prizes have celebrated the achievements of British Columbia’s writers and publishers every spring.

The seven prizes, plus The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, are presented annually at the Lieutenant Governor’s B.C. Book Prize Gala in April, to be held this year on April 21 in West Vancouver.

Readers throughout the province have had the opportunity in recent years to meet some of the finalist authors who have toured B.C., giving free readings at bookstores, libraries and schools.

Vernon has been a regular stop on the Okanagan leg of the tour schedule, and I’m pleased to announce that once again this year we will be welcoming nominated writers to our community.

On Monday, April 18, the Vernon branch of the ORL and Gallery Vertigo will co-host a reading featuring  George Bowering, Julie Flett and Derek Lundy.

The event will take place at Gallery Vertigo at 7 p.m. The authors will read from their nominated works, and there will be an opportunity to purchase books to be signed.  Refreshments will also be served.

George Bowering, Canada’s first poet laureate, is nominated in the poetry category for his work titled My Darling Nellie Grey, which includes poems for each month of the year he experienced in 2006. He is the author of more than 90 books, and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002.

Julie Flett is nominated for the Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize for her illustrations in the picture book Owls See Clearly at Night: A Michif Alphabet.  Michif, the language of the Métis people, combines Cree and French, with a trace of other regional language, into a unified whole.

This remarkable book has received much acclaim, including a nomination for the 2010 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature: Illustration.

Derek Lundy is nominated for his book Borderlands: Riding the Edge of America in the non-fiction category, in which he recounts his experiences riding his motorcycle along the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada.

Lundy achieved best-seller status with his 1998 work, Godforsaken Sea: Racing the World’s Most Dangerous Waters, an account of the harrowing 1996 Vendee Globe round the world single-handed sailing race. Time Magazine called it “one of the best books ever written about sailing.”

The ORL has copies of all three nominated books by these authors, as well as other B.C. Book Prizes nominees, available in its collection.

More information about the awards and other nominees can be found on the B.C. Book Prizes website,

–– Maureen Curry  is the chief librarian at the Vernon branch of the Okanagan Regional Library. Her column appears every second Sunday in The Morning Star.