Belcourt book nominated for award

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The honours keep coming for Billy-Ray Belcourt.

His first book, This Wound is a World, was nominated July 3 for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry by the Book Publishing Association of Alberta.

“The following … represents the best of Alberta book publishing as adjudicated by experts and professionals in the field of book publishing from across Canada,” reads a news release from the association.

Belcourt, of Driftpile Cree Nation, wrote the 64-page book, published by Frontenac House. It is part manifesto, part memoir. In the book, he issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder sadness and pain like theirs without giving up on the future. His poems upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where “everyone is at least a little gay.”

Belcourt, a recent winner of the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize, is a PhD student in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. He is also a 2016 Rhodes Scholar and holds an M.St. in Women’s Studies from the University of Oxford.

He was also named one of six Indigenous writers to watch by CBC Books in 2016, one of 10 Indigenous writers to read right now by VICE in 2017, and was the recipient of the 2017 P.K. Page Founder’s Award for Poetry.

Other nominees in the category include Believing is Not the Same as Being Saved by Lisa Martin, and Fail Safe by Nikki Sheppy.

Winners will be announced in Calgary Sept. 14.


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