RBC Taylor Prize announces Jurors for 2014

Three accomplished advocates of Canadian literature bring wealth of experience to this year's decision-making process

TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation are pleased to announce that the jurors for the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize are: English Canadian literature professor and critic Coral Ann Howells PhD; editor, publisher and arts consultant James Polk, PhD; and writer, lecturer and former CTP winner (2012) Andrew Westoll, MFA. Together they comprise the lengthy reading list decision team for the thirteenth year of the prize.

The Prize longlist is set to be revealed on December 11, 2013. The shortlist will be made public at a press conference on January 15, 2014 and the winner will be announced at a gala luncheon on March 10, 2014.

Charles Taylor Foundation chair and founder, Noreen Taylor explains that "This year's jurors are a remarkable trio of individuals. With varied and many accomplishments in the field of Canadian literature, they bring a profound understanding of the genre of literary non-fiction to the decision process. Based on their high academic qualifications, outstanding career achievements, and their devotion to fostering Canadian literature, our writers and our publishing industry, they are an overwhelming asset to the Prize."

About The Jury:

Coral Ann Howells, is a British based university professor and critic who is a specialist in English Canadian literature and culture. A graduate of the University of Queensland, Australia, and with a PhD from the University of London, she taught for many years at the University of Reading and was Visiting Exchange Professor at the University of Guelph (1981-82). Since then she has published extensively on contemporary Canadian literature, especially fiction by women, and has held Visiting Professorships in Europe and India. Now a Professor Emerita, she is also a Senior Research Fellow, Institute of English Studies, University of London. She was the first woman President of the British Association for Canadian Studies, a member of the selection committee for Canada Memorial Scholarships, and a board member of the Foundation for Canadian Studies in the UK. Proudly, she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Recently she edited The Cambridge Companion to Margaret Atwood and co-edited with Eva-Marie Kroller The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature, which is currently being translated into Japanese. She is now co-editing with a Canadian and an Australian the final volume of The Oxford History of the Novel in English. She lives in London, England.

James Polk is a well-known Toronto editor, and was the long time editorial director of House of Anansi Press, where he worked with such authors as Roch Carrier, Marian Engel, Northrop Frye, George Grant, Dennis Lee—and also with Charles Taylor on several titles, including Six Journeys and Radical Tories. With a PhD in English from Harvard University, he has taught there, as well as in Boston, Idaho, Alberta, and Toronto. He is the author of a comic novel, a non-fiction book on Canadian wilderness writers, and a play about a small Toronto publishing house, Vanity Press, which was produced at Tarragon Theatre. His short stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and Mademoiselle, and he has published many articles, reviews and introductions on Canadian writers and writing. As senior policy advisor for the Ontario Ministry of Culture, he was instrumental in creating the French Trillium Prize, the Premier's Award for the Arts, and the Book Publishing Tax Credit. He recently received the Janice Handford Award for his contribution to literary publishing, and has served on many granting juries for the arts. A consultant for the cultural industries, he is also a member of the Toronto Dance Theatre School board of directors and of The Toronto Legacy Plaques Project, researching such notables as John Weinzweig, Erik Bruhn, and Amelia Earhart. Trained as a pianist, he still practices and will play at parties. He lives in Toronto.

Andrew Westoll is an award-winning author, journalist and lecturer based in Toronto. A former primatologist-in-training, Westoll's first book, The Riverbones, is a travelogue set in the remote jungles of Suriname, where he once spent a year studying wild troops of capuchin monkeys. Westoll's second book, the national bestselling The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, is the biography of a family of chimpanzees who were rescued from a medical research laboratory and retired to an animal sanctuary on the south shore of Montreal. The Chimps won The 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, was a finalist for several other major book awards and was named a book of the year by The Globe and Mail, Amazon.ca, Quill & Quire, and CTV's Canada AM. Westoll is a Gold National Magazine Award winner, holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and recently joined the English faculty at the University of Toronto Scarborough, where he teaches creative writing and literature. He lives in Toronto.

The RBC Taylor Prize is awarded annually to the author whose book best combines an excellent command of the English language, an elegance of style, quality of thought, and subtlety of perception. The prize consists of $25,000 for the winning author and $2,000 for each of the runners up. All of the shortlisted titles receive extensive national publicity and marketing support.

The trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation are Michael Bradley (Toronto), Judith Mappin (Montreal), David Staines (Ottawa), and Noreen Taylor (Toronto). For more Prize information please visit: www.thecharlestaylorprize.ca

The presenting sponsor of the RBC Taylor Prize is RBC Wealth Management; its Major Sponsor is Metropia; its media sponsors are The Globe and Mail (exclusive newspaper sponsor}; CNW Group; The Huffington Post Canada, Maclean's magazine, and Quill & Quire magazine; its in-kind sponsors are Authors at Harbourfront Centre, Ben McNally Books, Event Source, Indigo Books and Music, Kobo Inc., and The Omni King Edward Hotel.

To download high-resolution images of the trustees and the jury please go to: www.thecharlestaylorprize.ca/2014/2014_jury.zip

SOURCE: RBC Taylor Prize

For further information:

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