Tom Wayman

Kootenay poet Tom Wayman wins Acorn-Plantos Award

The annual award goes to a book of poems in the accessible tradition of such major Canadian poets as Dorothy Livesay and Milton Acorn.

A collection of poems which considers the effects of Canada’s military involvement in the Afghan War on the daily lives of ordinary Canadians has been awarded the 2013 Acorn-Plantos Award.

The prize, which was just announced, went to West Kootenay author Tom Wayman’s Dirty Snow, published by Harbour Publishing. The annual award goes to a book of poems in the accessible tradition of such major Canadian poets as Al Purdy, Dorothy Livesay and Milton Acorn.

“Wayman has always been a political poet,” the Pacific Rim Review of Books said about Dirty Snow, “from his earliest days striving to reintegrate the presence of working people in poetry. Now he has set the national record straight, creating a poetic testament that will serve to refute the glossy official version of events.”

Dirty Snow is a reminder of where poetry should be: at the forefront of political thought, drawing the connections that help us to deeply consider our relationship to the actions of our country and the world around us,” said Vancouver Weekly‘s review of the volume.

“Tracing the lines between life at home and war abroad, the collection explores the murders committed and deaths suffered by Canadian troops during the military involvement in Afghanistan. Primarily though, it’s concerned with the connections we’d rather not draw — the ways Canadian war affects us personally, and, perhaps most unsettling, the ways that it doesn’t.”

Wayman said he was pleased that the Acorn-Plantos Award committee felt his book follows in the footsteps of Purdy, Livesay and Acorn, whose writing he said he admires.

“At a time when our politicians at every level are devoid of any sense of shame, and when the traditional upholders of a moral sense such as the union movement or the churches stand silent, public poetry is more important than ever.

“To write public poetry well is thus a vital responsibility,” Wayman said. “I’m happy that the Acorn-Plantos Award committee feels Dirty Snow fulfils that responsibility.”

The award carries a $500 prize, and a medallion based on one given to Acorn in 1970 when he was designated by his peers the “People’s Poet.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Indoor pools in RDCK to reopen Oct. 13

Pools have been closed by the pandemic since March 16

Books for Kids fundraiser celebrates 10 years

The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy’s annual campaign is in partnership with Black Press

Pandemic a growing, learning experience for young Argenta musician

Tenise Marie will perform Oct. 3 at the Capitol Theatre

Trial of RCMP officer begins in Nelson’s Capitol Theatre

Jason Tait is charged with manslaughter after an incident in 2015

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Zero new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Five cases remain linked to an outbreak at Calvary Chapel in Kelowna

Most Read