20th Annual Trillium Book Award Winners Announced

    TORONTO, June 4 /CNW/ - Winners of Ontario's foremost prize for literary
excellence, the Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium, were announced today by
Ontario Minister of Culture, Caroline Di Cocco, and by Kevin Shea, Chair of
the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) at a luncheon held at Hart
    "Ontario's writers tell our stories, reflect our cultural diversity and
express the spirit and dreams of our society," said Di Cocco. "On behalf of
the McGuinty government, congratulations to the winners of the Trillium Book
Award, and thank you for bringing our stories to the world."
    Trillium Book Award English-language and French-language winners receive
$20,000. This year there were co-winners announced for the Trillium Book Award
in French-language who will split the $20,000 prize money. Publishers of the
winning books each receive $2,500 towards their promotional costs. The
respective winners of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in English language
and Trillium Book Award for Children's Literature in French language each
receive $10,000 and their publishers receive $2,000. New this year for authors
writing in French is the Trillium Book Award for Children's Literature.
Finalists receive a $500 honorarium.
    "Over the past 20 years, Ontario writers have inspired readers around the
world," said OMDC Chair Kevin Shea. "Today's outstanding recipients join a
distinguished literary circle. We congratulate them and their publishers and
look forward to reading their books - which form part of our rich cultural

    The winners are:

    Trillium Book Award (English-language category)
    Mark Frutkin (Ottawa) - Fabrizio's Return (Knopf Canada)

    "This magical novel is enchanting and pitch perfect. Its language and
story resonate with the integrity of a violin string. In Fabrizio's Return,
Mark Frutkin brings to the stage two priests who, though separated by a
century, exert a mysterious pull on each other while facing the same struggles
over love, faith and the meaning of life. Fabrizio's Return is a novel of
faith and healing, and of daring to live and love as one must." Trillium Jury

    Trillium Book Award (French-language category)
    Daniel Castillo Durante (Ottawa) - La passion des nomads (XYZ Editeur)

    "Who has killed the Argentinean Consul to Canada? The Consul's son,
Gabriel, travels from Argentina in search of answers and quickly finds some
unexpected ones. Gabriel is, in fact, searching for the father who abandoned
him. Retracing his father's steps, he meets the women in his father's life.
With humour and some amazing twists, Daniel Castillo Durante tells a story
filled with passion and, for every reader, a true revelation." Trillium Jury

    Paul Savoie (Toronto) - Crac (Les Editions David)

    "There is a mighty crack as the Earth wobbles on its axis. Poet Paul
Savoie captures the images of this event. All of the intensity is captured
here. Images fly past. A cry from the heart. Urgency. A terrible threat
hanging in the air. And yet the desire to stay is so strong." Trillium Jury

    Trillium Book Award for Poetry (English-language category)
    Ken Babstock (Toronto) - Airstream Land Yacht (House of Anansi Press)

    "Maintaining his characteristic formal and technical control, Ken
Babstock's poems embody and explore complex ideas with exquisite tonal
variations, refusing to settle into explanation or any stable resting point.
The language is exhilarating and musical. Troubled and troubling, playful and
restless, serious, the sensibility beneath these poems, though uncertain of
the possibility, leans again and again towards connection, and more than once
achieves it." Trillium Jury

    Trillium Book Award for Children's Literature (French-language category)
    Françoise Lepage (Ottawa)- Poupeska (Les Editions L'Interligne)

    "Françoise Lepage tells the story of a young teenager struggling to break
free from the dark forces that torment her and the bullies who make her life a
misery. Lepage relates her unbearable silent suffering and attempts to change
her life. The many layers of her life are like a Russian doll, each smaller
than the last. The story told in diary entries will give hope to all young
people who are struggling to break free from their bullies and to stop making
themselves small." Trillium Jury

    Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, the Trillium Book Award is
among the most highly regarded national and international literary prizes.
Previous winners have included world-renowned authors such as Margaret Atwood,
Wayson Choy, Thomas King, Michael Ondaatje, Maurice Henrie and Michèle


    Disponible en français



    The Ontario government established the Trillium Book Award in 1987 to
recognize the literary excellence and diversity of Ontario writers and
writing. This prestigious Award is unusual because it allows entries from all
genres. Over the years it has grown in stature. Today it is considered the
province's foremost award for literature.
    In 1994, the prize was expanded to include the Prix Trillium, for
Ontario's francophone writers and their publishers. The Trillium Book Award is
a $20,000 prize awarded to both a French and English author. In the event of a
tie in one language category, the co-winners for the Trillium Book Award split
the $20,000 prize money and their publishers will each receive $2,500 for the
marketing and promotion of the titles. Finalists receive a $500 honorarium.
    In 2003, the traditional Trillium Book Award was further enhanced with
the addition of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry for new and emerging poets.
New this year for authors writing in French is the Trillium Book Award for
Children's Literature. This Award will be offered every two years, alternating
with the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in French-language. Award recipients
receive $10,000 and their publishers receive $2,000.

    Maureen Scott Harris was born in Prince Rupert, British Columbia and grew
up in Winnipeg, before moving to Toronto. She has been Cataloguer of Rare
Books and Special Collections at both the University of Toronto Library and at
Trinity College Library, and co-ordinator of the Cataloguing-in-Publication
Program of the University of Toronto Library. Currently she works as
production manager for Brick Books. Her book, Drowning Lessons, won the 2004
Trillium Book Award for Poetry.

    Lawrence Hill is a former reporter with the Winnipeg Free Press, who has
lived and worked across Canada, in Baltimore, and in Spain and France. As a
volunteer with Canadian Crossroads International he has traveled to the West
African countries Niger, Cameroon and Mali. His novels and non-fiction have
been published to critical acclaim, including his most recent novel, The Book
of Negroes, and his seventh book, The Deserter's Tale (written with Joshua

    Meg Taylor has been an editor in trade and scholarly publishing for
twenty years. Since 1989 she has worked in Toronto, most recently as Senior
Editor at Doubleday Canada and Key Porter Books. She is now a freelance editor
for publishers in Canada, the U.S., and Asia. In addition to the annual Book
Editing Immersion Workshop at Simon Fraser University, she teaches the course
in substantive editing at Ryerson University.

    Nicole V. Champeau is a native of Cornwall. She is the author of eight
books in the poetry and essay genre, including her book Mémoire des villages
engloutis, la Voie maritime du Saint-Laurent de Mille Roches aux Mille-Iles.
The poetry of Ontario's forests and rivers, in particular the St. Lawrence,
has had a profound effect on Ms. Champeau, who is also a musician. She now
lives in Ottawa.

    Mylaine Demers began a career as a teacher after completing a Bachelor of
Arts with a specialization in French letters and a Bachelor of Education. She
has written two historical novels, Mon père, je m'accuse and Délivrance. Her
novels are read by students in Ontario High Schools where she gives talks and
leads workshops. In 2002, she began writing for children. She has combined her
skills as a teacher and as a writer in Caresse et Bizou, la recontre.

    Didier Leclair was born in Montreal, and grew up and lived with his
family in several countries in Africa. After studies at Laurentian University,
and Glendon College in Toronto, he was a television journalist both at TFO and
Radio-Canada. He was the winner of the Prix Trillium in 2000 for his first
novel, Toronto, je t'aime. His second novel, Ce pays qui est le mien, was a
2004 Governor General's Award finalist.

    Knopf Canada, established in 1991, is recognized as one of the premier
Canadian publishers of literary fiction and non-fiction, and is committed to
publishing works marked by original, intelligent perspectives that play vital
roles in our everyday lives and help shape our cultural vision.
    (Publisher for Fabrizio's Return by Mark Frutkin)

    XYZ Editeur was founded in 1985 by Gaetan Lévesque and Maurice Soudeyns.
While most of the 35 titles published each year are novels and literary
essays, XYZ also publishes how-to books, as well as biographies in its
collection for young people, Les grandes figures.
    (Publisher for La passion des nomades by Daniel Castillo Durante)

    Les Editions David is dedicated to making French writers from Ontario,
Quebec, and other parts of Canada known to the broader Francophone community.
It is known especially for working closely with its authors, collaborating on
every aspect of the production of their books.
    (Publisher for Crac by Paul Savoie)

    House of Anansi Press specializes in finding and developing Canada's new
writers of literary fiction, poetry and nonfiction and in maintaining a
culturally significant backlist that has accumulated since the house was
founded 40 years ago.
    (Publisher for Airstream Land Yacht by Ken Babstock)

    Les Editions L'Interligne originally focused on Franco-Ontarian history
and heritage, but has branched out in recent years into fiction, publishing 10
to 15 titles each year in five different collections: Paysages, Vertiges,
Amarres, Parcours, and Cavales as well as independent titles.
    (Publisher for Poupeska by Françoise Lepage)

    Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) provides a wide range of
programs and services to stimulate the growth of the province's entertainment
industry including book and magazine publishing, film and television, music
and interactive digital media industries. An agency of the Ministry of
Culture, OMDC's mandate is to build innovation, capacity and competitiveness
in Ontario by working with the cultural media industries to maximize
opportunities. In 2004, Ontario's entertainment and creative cluster
contributed nearly $10 billion to the provincial economy. In 2005, Ontario
employment in the cluster totalled approximately 185,000 people, accounting
for 42 per cent of Canada's total workforce in this cluster.

    Culture is our business. For information on the Trillium Book Award or
OMDC's programs and services please visit www.omdc.on.ca.

    Disponible en français

    OMDC Contact: Sharon Wilson, Communications
    Ontario Media Development Corporation T. (416) 642-6616

For further information:

For further information: or media inquiries please call: For nominee
information contact Trillium Publicist: Daniel Paquette, DPR Communications
Inc., (416) 413-7714, E-mail: dp@dppr.ca; Contact for OMDC: Sharon Wilson,
Communications, (416) 642-6616; Contact for Minister Di Cocco: Mark Thompson,
Minister's Office, T. (416) 325-4071

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