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 non-fiction, fiction, poetry, young readers’ literature, plays, screenplays and musicals. Join some of the 2016 finalists for readings from their nominated works. Author Ania Szado hosts.
The Shevchenko Foundation is a national, chartered philanthropic institution dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Ukrainian Canadian cultural heritage. For more information, please visit shevchenkofoundation.com.
Orest T. Martynowych is a historian who writes about the social, cultural and political dimensions of the Ukrainian experience in Canada. A graduate of the University of Manitoba, he also studied history at the University of Toronto. The author of Ukrainians in Canada: The Formative Years, 1891–1924 and its forthcoming sequel Ukrainians in Canada: The Interwar Years, Martynowych’s articles and reviews have appeared in many scholarly books and periodicals. He presents The Showman and the Ukrainian Cause: Folk Dance, Film and the Life of Vasyl Avramenko, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Kobzar Literary Award.
Maurice Mierau is the author of several books of poems, including ReLit Award winner Fear Not. He was born in Indiana and grew up in Nigeria, Manitoba, Jamaica, Kansas and Saskatchewan. He now lives in Winnipeg. He presents Detachment: An Adoption Memoir, which won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction and was shortlisted for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, the 2015 Alberta Book Publishers Book of the Year Award and the 2016 Kobzar Literary Award. It is a moving, darkly funny and unsentimental memoir about learning to become a father and a son.
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch is well-known for her award-winning historical fiction and non-fiction. Her novel Stolen Child was a CLA Book of the Year nominee and won the prestigious SCBWI Crystal Kite Award. Making Bombs for Hitler was an OLA Silver Birch Award winner. Skrypuch presents Underground Soldier, a companion book to Stolen Child and Making Bombs for Hitler and a finalist for the 2016 Kobzar Literary Award. It tells the story of a 14-year-old who works as an Ostarbeiter in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe.
Ania Szado is the bestselling author of Studio Saint-Ex – a novel about fashion and The Little Prince in 1940s NYC – and Beginning of Was, which was regionally shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Ania was named one of CBC Books’ “Ten Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read” (2014). Her short fiction has been anthologized, most recently in Polish(ed): Poland Rooted in Canadian Fiction.
Stacey Zembrzycki is an oral and public historian of immigrant, ethnic and refugee experiences. She is the co-editor of Oral History Off the Record: Toward an Ethnography of Practice. She presents her 2016 Kobzar Literary Award-shortlisted book, According to Baba: A Collaborative Oral History of Sudbury’s Ukrainian Community, which grew out of 82 interviews conducted by Zembrzycki and her grandmother. It is an insightful and deeply personal social history of one of Canada's most colourful ethnic communities.