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.”

Just Posted

Former teacher acquitted on two of four sex charges

Judge found no evidence to support sexual assault charges against Shanny McIvor

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Genelle ‘vehicle incident’ under RCMP investigation

Regional firefighters respond to car fire Sunday night

LETTER: Council shouldn’t impede recreational cannabis sales

Everyone should get to play, not just the chosen few, says letter writer

Kootenay Boundary remains in unusually dangerous avalanche period

Avalanche Canada says it expects snowpack conditions to get better soon

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

The book club master

Nelson’s Hazel Mousley takes book clubs to the next level

Glacier freezes competition in Spokane

The gymnastics club returned home with 35 medals

Remembering the man who carved Nelson’s iconic welcome signs

Art Waldie did the majority of the work on the signs in the 1970s

LVR Bombers fundraising for 3 players

Rugby teams hope to help trio of students go on tour in March

Gryphon Trio coming to Nelson

Artists here for first time since 2013

Festival of the Arts invites student applications

The deadline is January 31, with a late fee until February 10

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Most Read