It’s time again for Newfoundland writer Kenneth J. Harvey’s ReLit awards honouring the best in Canadian independent publishing. In lieu of a cash prize, winners recieve a “ReLit” ring “which features four moveable dials, each one struck with the entire alphabet, for spelling words.
” This years winners are:
Savage: 1986-2011 by Nathaniel G. Moore
“Nate’s nervous mother chews gum at warp speed and has a bob that resembles Darth Vader’s helmet. His icy father dabbles part-time in the death trade at a funeral home after working for a decade in the insurance racket. His older sister Holly is always lurking in the shadows or away at school. Nate, a creative, messy, and anxious teen, has chosen Randy Savage as his hero. As he finishes high school, the world to which Savage belongs is quickly waning in popularity, and Nate begins to see the wrestler’s downfall mirrored in his own life. But not until the family dismantles for good in 1994 does Nate’s life truly begin to fracture. Savage 1986-2011 chronicles the middle-class implosion of Nate’s nuclear family, bracketed by July 1986 – when he first saw Randy Savage in person – and the wrestler’s sudden death in May 2011. When Savage dies, Nate is freed from beliefs—once a source of beauty and escape—that had come to constrict him, fusing him to a moribund past… ” publisher
Auxiliary Skins by Christine Miscione
“Existing somewhere in that chasm between bodily function and souled-ness, Christine Miscione’s debut collection illumines all that is perilous, beautiful, and raw about being human and brings a new voice to contemporary literature. From the surgically gutted and the racially transformed to the story of self-excision that won the Vanderbilt/Exile Award for short fiction, this anthology is chock-full of razor blades masquerading as lemon tarts and everything in between. The writing and its use of imagery and language is innovative and calls into question the definition of a short story by challenging previous notions of the convention in terms of length, style, and plot. Inventive, assured, and accessible, the stories pair emotional depth with great technical skills and peel back layers to reveal the strange, the wondrous, and the unexpected. ” publisher
Placeholder by Charmaine Cadeau
“Provisional, roaming, obsessed with remnants and deferrals, the poems in Charmaine Cadeau’s second collection navigate flexible and shifting terrains where the speaker’s emotional directness tethers us as we dare to read on. Though Cadeau is capable of some stunning acrobatics–somersaulting mid-line, the imagery defying gravity, the language a series of wows–she isn’t in the business of showing off; instead, she goes subtly beyond the quotidian in search of that which saves the day or ruins the soufflé or makes us all squirm in self-recognition. She dares the extraordinary to become a part of everyday. To read Placeholder is to enter a mesmerizing stream of consciousness response to a world that is rarely in the same spot in the morning as we left it the night before.” publisher