One of Alberta’s most prolific authors was recently honoured on September 14th when the Edmonton City Council passed a motion to rename the $10,000 City of Edmonton Book Prize in memory of the late Robert Kroetsch. The motion was put forward by the Edmonton Arts Council and the Writers Guild of Alberta after receiving several calls of interest from members of the literary community shortly after his tragic death in a traffic accident in June 2011. Robert Kroetsch was closely connected with Edmonton. He was recognized internationally for his writings and was an important teacher and mentor for many Edmonton and Alberta writers. His 1969 novel, The Studhorse Man, set in Edmonton won the Governor General’s Award for Literary Merit.
Todd Babiak, columnist for the Edmonton Journal wrote that:
The Studhorse Man is a city of lust and snow and magic. Hazard, the unforgettable hero of the novel, explores an exotic yet familiar Edmonton, hunting for his stallion, visiting the taverns and bedding a curator in the legislature building. It’s a boozy, chaotic city of wild horses, a place where a cowboy, a poet or a curator could have a lot of fun.
Since its establishment in 1995, the newly named Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize will continue to recognize titles that deal with some aspect of the city of Edmonton: history, geography, current affairs, its arts or its people, or have been written by an Edmonton author. For more information about the prize, please contact the Writers Guild of Alberta office at (780) 422-8174 or visit www.writersguild.ab.ca.