The Red Files | Lisa Bird-Wilson
Saskatoon author Lisa Bird-Wilson has been shortlisted for two Saskatchewan Book Awards for her recent collection, The Red Files (Nightwood Editions, $18.95). Bird-Wilson is a finalist for the Rasmussen, Rasmussen & Charowsky Indigenous Peoples’ Writing Award and the Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award.
The Red Files reflects on the legacy of the residential school system: the fragmentation of families and histories, with blows that resonate through the generations. The collection takes its name from the federal government’s complex organizational structure of residential schools’ archives, which are divided into “black files” and “red files.” In vignettes as clear as glass beads, her poems offer affection to generations of children whose presence within the historic record is ghostlike, anonymous and ephemeral.
Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Cree-Métis writer from Saskatchewan whose writing has appeared in a number of literary magazines and anthologies, including Grain, Prairie Fire, The Dalhousie Review, Geist, and Best Canadian Essays. She is the author of the novelJust Pretending (Coteau Books, 2013).
The Saskatchewan Book Awards is the only provincially-focused book award program and is the principal ambassador for Saskatchewan’s literary community, which includes more than 300 writers and 75 book publishers. Its solid reputation for celebrating artistic excellence in style is recognized nationally. The Saskatchewan Book Awards celebrates, promotes and rewards Saskatchewan authors and publishers worthy of recognition through 14 awards, granted on an annual or semi-annual basis.
The other shortlisted titles for the Poetry Award are A Map in my Blood, by Carla Braidek (Thistledown Press); Burning in thisMidnight Dream, by Louise Bernice Halfe (Coteau Books); and The Hideous Hidden by Sylvia Legris (New Directions Publishing). The other finalists for the Indigenous Peoples’ Writing Award are Burning in this Midnight Dream by Louise Bernice Halfe (Coteau Books); Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau: Art and the Colonial Narrative in the Canadian Media, by Carmen L. Robertson (University of Manitoba Press); and Road Allowance Kitten, written by Wilfred Burton, illustrated by Christina Johns, translated by Norman Fleury (Gabriel Dumont Institute Press).
The 2017 Saskatchewan Book Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 29 at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina and will be hosted by award-winning author James Daschuk.