Profs Shortlisted for Prestigious Book Award

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Two University of Guelph English professors have been shortlisted for the Trillium Book Awards, Ontario’s premier prize for literary excellence.

Dionne Brand was shortlisted for her novel Love Enough, and retired professor Thomas King made the list for his novel The Back of the Turtle. Both are nominated in the English-language category.

The finalists were announced today, and awards will be presented June 17 by Ontario Culture Minister Michael Coteau.

The Trillium Book Awards, considered among Canada’s most prestigious literary prizes, were established by the provincial government in 1987 to recognize excellence and increase public awareness of the quality and diversity of Ontario writers and writing.

Brand is an award-winning author and poet and Toronto’s former poet laureate. Set in Toronto, Love Enough follows the intersecting lives and stories of urban characters.

Brand won the Trillium Award in 1997 for Land to Light On and was shortlisted in 2007 for her long poem Inventory.

She won the 1997 Governor General’s literary award and 2001 Griffin Poetry Prize, as well as the Pat Lowther and Toronto Book awards.

King’s first novel in more than 15 years, The Back of the Turtle examines a community trying to recover from an environmental disaster. In 2014, the book won the Governor General’s literary award.

A Member of the Order of Canada, King won the 2004 Trillium award for The Truth About Stories. He retired from the School of English and Theatre Studies in 2011.

His non-fiction book The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America won the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize and the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.

Other Trillium Book award nominees in the English books category are Margaret Atwood, The Stone Mattress; Kate Cayley, How You Were Born; James King, Old Masters; and Edmund Metatawabin with Alexandra Shimo, Up Ghost River.