The Kobzar Literary $25,000 Biennial Award, offered by the Shevchenko Foundation, recognizes outstanding contributions to Canadian literary arts by authors who develop a Ukrainian Canadian theme with literary merit in one of several genres: literary nonfiction, fiction, poetry, young readers’ literature, plays, screenplays and musicals. Join Natalia Khanenko-Friesen, Erín Moure and Alexandra Risen for readings from their nominated works. Marusia Bociurkiw and Daria Salamon will read from Lisa Grekul’s and Lindy Ledohowski’s Unbound. Hosted by Joseph Kertes.
Presented in partnership with the Shevchenko Foundation
The Shevchenko Foundation is a national, chartered philanthropic institution dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Ukrainian Canadian cultural heritage.
Marusya Bociurkiw is an author, filmmaker, and professor. She has been producing films and videos in Canada for the past fifteen years and those works have screened at film festivals and in cinemas on several continents. She has written 6 books, including the novel The Children of Mary, and the award-winning Comfort Food for Breakups: The Memoir of a Hungry Girl, which was also shortlisted for the prestigious Lambda and Kobzar awards. More recently, her creative non-fiction entry, “A Girl, Waiting”, was a finalist for CBC’s Canada Writes award. Her forthcoming book, Food Was her Country: The Memoir of a Queer Daughter, is forthcoming in 2018 with Caitlin Press. She is Associate Professor of media theory at Ryerson University, and director of The Studio for Media Activism and Critical Thought. She has made ten films; the latest, This Is Gay Propaganda, is a documentary about LGBT people and the war in Ukraine.
Joseph Kertes was born in Hungary, but escaped with his family to Canada after the revolution of 1956. Kertes founded Humber College's creative writing and comedy programs. He was until recently Humber's Dean of Creative and Performing Arts and is a recipient of numerous awards for teaching and innovation. His first novel, Winter Tulips, won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. Boardwalk, his second novel, and two children's books, The Gift and The Red Corduroy Shirt, met with critical acclaim. His novel, Gratitude, won a Canadian National Jewish Book Award and the U.S. National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. Kertes's latest novel is called The Afterlife of Stars. It was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice. He is the most recent winner of the Harbourfront Festival Prize.
Originally from Kyiv, Ukraine, Dr. Khanenko-Friesen holds a PhD from the University of Alberta, in Anthropology and Ukrainian Folklore (2001). Her research interests include diasporic identities and communities; post-socialist transition, labour migration, oral history, and Ukrainian culture. She is the Chair of the interdisciplinary Minor in the Ukrainian Studies, the Founder and the ongoing Director of the Spring Session in Ternopil, Ukraine. A former Director of the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage, she coordinates at the Centre the Oral History Program and Personal Sources Archives. In recognition of her collaborative teaching and scholarship, she was invited to serve as Founding Convener and the Inaugural Editor of the Engaged Scholar Journal, Canada’s first national scholarly journal on community-engagement.
Erín Moure has published 16 books of poetry in English and Galician/English, a book of essays, and has translated 15 volumes of poetry from French, Spanish, Galician and Portuguese, by poets such as Nicole Brossard (with Robert Majzels), Andrés Ajens, Louise Dupré, Rosalía de Castro, Chus Pato, Fernando Pessoa, as well as chapbook by Yuri Izdryk (with Roman Ivashkiv). Her work in Canada has received the Governor General's Award, Pat Lowther Memorial Award, A.M. Klein Prize twice, and has been a three-time finalist for the Griffin Prize. Her latest works are Insecession, a bio-poetics published with Chus Pato’s Secession (BookThug 2014) and Kapusta (Anansi, 2015), a sequel to her book The Unmentionable (Anansi 2012); both the latter books speak of the second world war as lived in Ukraine and northern Alberta. She lives in Montreal.
Alexandra Risen is the best-selling author of UNEARTHED, a meditation on love, family and cultural legacy, and our interconnectedness with nature. In the memoir, Alexandra restores a historic garden while she examines her parents’ history through their war years, and as part of the Ukrainian diaspora of Canada. UNEARTHED garnered excellent US literary reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal and Booklist (starred review), and spent four weeks on the Canadian national non-fiction bestseller list. She is one of three co-founding editors of the not-for-profit online literary magazine donttalktomeaboutlove.org, which explores love in literary and art forms. Devoted to nature and a closet geologist, Alexandra lives with her husband, son, and rescued dog, Hunter.
Daria Salamon is the author of the award winning and bestselling novel The Prairie Bridesmaid. She has published travel, creative non-fiction and fiction pieces in publications such as The Globe and Mail and Prairie Fire Literary Magazine, and she’s worked as a columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press. Daria has a comedic travel memoir forthcoming in 2018 co-written with her husband about an 18-country gap year world trip taken with their young children. Daria is currently completing her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC. She lives in Winnipeg.