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Hagios Press Celebrates Success with First Book Authors

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Filed under: News

The League of Canadian Poets launched National Poetry Month with the announcement of their national awards program. Hagios Press titles garnered not one, but two nominations for the prestigious Gerald Lampert Memorial Award which honours the best first books of poetry published by a Canadian in the preceding year.

 The Hagios Press finalists are Laurie D Graham of London, Ontario, author of Rove, and Murray Reiss of Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, author of the Survival Rate of Butterflies in the Wild. Both of these titles are part of Hagios Press’s Strike Fire New Authors Series. (The full Gerald Lampert Memorial award short list is provided in the background page.)

 “One of the strengths of Hagios Press has been our understanding of how to search out new authors,” said Hagios Managing Editor, Paul Wilson. “The press is operated by writers, so we have always felt a strong desire to work with new writers and develop their manuscripts for publication. To this purpose, in 2011 we established the Strike Fire New Author Series, which focuses on providing a comprehensive editorial experience for new writers looking to publish their first or second book.”(see the Backgrounder on Strike Fire)

 Poetry month in Canada is an opportunity for the celebration of poetry, of writing, and of the work of small literary presses.

“Poetry’s readership is so small in Canada. Yet, while so few people read or buy Canadian poetry, at the same time poetry, storytelling, and song are innate here, as anywhere. If you search the history and the archives, if you listen to the old stories, you’ll find poetry everywhere,” said Laurie D Graham. ” With the announcement of Rove being shortlisted for the Lampert Award, more people will become aware of the book and its life will be extended, which will be most welcome.”

 Murray Reiss will celebrate this recognition of his book with the close knit artist community on Salt Spring Island.

“"One thing writing this book taught me," he said, "was that no matter how intensely personal the experience, if you get it right it will speak to all kinds of people who have not had your precise experience (who else has?), but recognize in it their own experiences of loss, estrangement, and incomprehension in the face of the human condition.”

 The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award is given in the memory of Gerald Lampert, an arts administrator who organized authors’ tours and took a particular interest in the work of new writers. The award recognizes the best first book of poetry published by a Canadian in the preceding year. The award carries a $1,000 prize.

 LCP Awards will be announced on June 7, 2014, during a special ceremony at the LCP Annual Poetry Festival and Conference to be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in downtown Toronto. 


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