Kingston-based author and poet Sadiqa de Meijer won the 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award in the English Non-Fiction category for her book. alphabet / alphabet.
The book alphabet / alphabet is the record of Meijer’s Sadiqa transition from Dutch to English. Explore identity, landscape, family and translation; The essays navigate the changing cultural currents of language using an eclectic approach to storytelling. As such, fellow linguistic immigrants to English-speaking Canada will recognize elements of their experience in alphabet / alphabetwhile lifelong English speakers will perceive their mother tongue in a new light, according to De Meijer’s publicist.
“After my first book of poetry came out, I was asked several times how my first language influenced me as a writer in English. My attempts to answer that question slowly turned into a project in themselves; That’s how alphabet / alphabet it originated, ”de Meijer said.
“The creative process consisted of writing many short notes to myself: fragments of memories, observations, questions – eventually these progressed to short lyrical essays that, once there were twenty-six, I arranged in a Dutch-English alphabet.”
Sadiqa de Meijer is the author of the Leaving Howe Island and The Outer Wards poetry collections. His work won the CBC Poetry Prize and the Arc’s Poem of the Year competition in 2012 for his book Great Aunt Unmarried, Pat Lowther Memorial Award. He lives with his family in Kingston, Ontario.
He is currently working on a new collection of essays, as well as a collection of poetry.
A total of 70 books were selected for the award in seven categories in French and English. The Governor General’s Literary Award is one of the oldest awards for literary content in Canada. This year’s winners will receive $ 25,000 each.
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