May 3rd, 2013.
a wonderful few days at the snowy The Banff Centre, where I gave the
keynote address at the Creative Nonfiction Collective Conference--thank
you to Myrna Kostash for being such a brilliant organizer (and a great dame) and to Ian Brown for all those vodka sodas--I came
back to sunny, flower-blooming Toronto and some great news regarding
one of my nonfiction essays. Written a couple years ago, Washing The
Body was published a few months ago in Alberta Views magazine. Last
month, it won the Alberta Magazine Publishers Award for best essay, and
last week it was nominated for a Western Magazine and a National
Magazine Award, too. (One of the poems from my new book Come Cold River
was also nominated for a National Magazine Award. Yay!)
The reason I'm so pleased with these nominations is because the essay is about my mother's life and death, both of which were exemplary. The nominations honour my mother as much as they do my work. I owe so much to her; she was and is one of my greatest teachers and still a source of my inspiration. As I discovered when I wrote the piece, she taught me a great deal about freedom. It makes me happy to think that other people know her a little through my words.
I would love to post the whole essay here, but it may be republished. I will keep you posted . . . And sorry to those who've come here hoping to read it. I promise to post it eventually . . .