Sharon Thesen, Associate Professor of Creative Writing at UBC Okanagan, has been nominated for a 2006 Governor General’s Literary Award for her latest book of poetry, The Good Bacteria, published by House of Anansi Press.
In a citation issued with Monday’s announcement of this year’s shortlist, the poetry awards jury noted, “Sharon Thesen’s The Good Bacteria is wonderfully witty and droll. Here, elegiac elements are brought down to earth with shining realism.”
This year’s poetry shortlist also includes fellow B.C. residents Elizabeth Bachinsky of Maple Ridge, and John Pass of Madeira Park.
“I’m delighted with the recognition the nomination confers, and especially pleased that B.C. poets are so well-represented on this list,” said Thesen. “It’s an honour to be in the company of this year’s nominees and I’m particularly happy that this book, which was written since moving to Kelowna in 2003 — and which contains a poem sequence about the 2003 wildfire — has been shortlisted.”
Thesen has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award two times before. Her previous book of poetry, A Pair of Scissors (Anansi), won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. In 2002, she was a member of the jury for the prestigious Griffin Prize for Excellence in Poetry.
As an editor, Thesen has published two editions of The New Long Poem Anthology, a Governor-General’s Award-winning edition of Phyllis Webb’s poetry (The Vision Tree), and from 2001 to 2005 she edited the literary and visual arts magazine The Capilano Review.
Thesen taught literature and creative writing at Capilano College in North Vancouver for many years before coming to UBC Okanagan in 2005. She has also taught poetry workshops at a number of summer writing colonies, including the Banff Writing Studio. She has given readings at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, the Blue Metropolis Writers’ Festival in Montreal, and the New Zealand Writers’ Festival.
The Canada Council for the Arts funds, administers and promotes the Governor General’s Literary Awards, worth $15,000 each. Each winner will also receive a specially-bound copy of the winning book. The publisher of each winning book will receive $3,000 to support promotional activities. Non-winning finalists will each receive $1,000 in recognition of their selection as finalists, bringing the total value of the awards to more than $300,000.
The winners will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. at simultaneous news conferences in Toronto and Montreal.
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