Nora Gould, author of I see my love more clearly from a distance (Brick Books), received the 2013 Robert Kroetch City of Edmonton Book Prize.Presented annually at the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, this award is carried out through a partnership between The City of Edmonton and the Writers Guild ofAlberta. The $10,000 award, is sponsored by Audrey’s Books and the Edmonton Arts Council. The award was presented on April 29, 2013 at the Mayors Celebration of the Arts in Edmonton
As a strong poem reveal startling truths in the subtly of subtext, so Nora Gould’s work delicately flowers in the rough cut working farm, a world of land and cattle and backbreaking labour. With the lightest touches,this poet peels back layers of one family’s life to reveal love, death, and endurance mixed in with soil, sun and sorrow. This is an extraordinary work of clarity and vision, transcending time and place to offer the reader both solace and hope for the human condition.
In Nora Gould’s one-of-a-kind debut, the Prairie itself is a central character: muse, mythic persona, the place of deepest solace and of deepest questioning. The poems focus with great firmness and technical command on the facts of daily life on the farm: impregnating cows, the neighbour kid picking off a coyote, cutting hay, getting water to the herd in a drought, dehorning. But Prairie anecdotalism this ain’t. What is breathtaking about this book is the relation between its exactness of observation and the grief, horror, and beauty that it documents. What the voice achieves, in its very gestures, is a kind of transcendence: not with the purpose of avoiding pain, but in order to make all of it—all of it—seeable and feelable by a human being.
Also on the shortlist for The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book prize include Tim Bowling’s The Tinsmith (Brindle and Glass) and Catherine Cole’s GWG: Piece by Piece (Goose Lane Editions).
The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize was established in 1995 by City Council to recognize literary achievement by Edmonton Authors or about The City of Edmonton. The 2012 recipient was Judy Schultz for Freddy’s War.