Winnipeg author Maurice Mierau wins 2016 Kobzar Literary Award for Detachment: An Adoption Memoir

TORONTO, March 2, 2016 /CNW/ - Winnipeg writer and editor Maurice Mierau was awarded the 2016 Kobzar Literary Award at a gala dinner in Toronto tonight, for his book Detachment: An Adoption Memoir. Mierau received $20,000 and Calgary's Freehand Books, publisher of the winning title, received $5,000.

Presented every two years by the Shevchenko Foundation, the prize recognizes a Canadian writer who most effectively presents a Ukrainian Canadian theme through poetry, drama, fiction, non-fiction or young people's literature. Shevchenko Foundation's President Andrew Hladyshewsky also announced an additional $500 in prize money for the four nominees, who each received $1500, for a total of over $30,000 in prize money awarded this year.

Also nominated for the 2016 award:

  • Grant Buday, The Delusionist, Anvil Press, Vancouver, 2014
  • Orest T. Martynowych, The Showman and the Ukrainian Cause: Folk Dance, Film and the Life of Vasile Avramenko, University of Manitoba Press, 2014
  • Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Underground Soldier, Scholastic Canada, Toronto, 2014
  • Stacey Zembrzycki, According to Baba: A Collaborative Oral History of Sudbury's Ukrainian Community, UBC Press, 2014

Jury members Karen Connelly, Tamas Dobozy and Shandi Mitchell said they were "inspired by the many literary works, histories, life stories, and documentaries that were entered for the prize and grateful for the insights they offered into a cultural and historical tradition that were not necessarily our own."

Detachment: An Adoption Memoir recounts Mierau and his wife's adoption of two young brothers from Ukraine in 2005. Dr. Christine Turkewych, Director of Literary Arts for the Shevchenko Foundation, commented, "Mierau's narrative grips our hearts as we enter the complicated world of adoption in Ukraine and confronts the challenges of parenting children as they adapt to a new family in Canada." 

About Shevchenko Foundation: The Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko is a national, chartered philanthropic institution providing leadership by building and nurturing a permanent endowment fund dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Ukrainian Canadian cultural heritage and the advancement of a flourishing Ukrainian community for the enrichment of Canada.

SOURCE Shevchenko Foundation

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Michaela Cornell,, 647-274-6112; KOBZAR LITERARY AWARD CONTACT: Dr. Christine Turkewych,


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