We are pleased to announce the creation of the Nelson Ball Prize, an annual award honouring the legacy of Canadian poet, publisher, and bookseller Nelson Ball (1942-2019) [see my obituary for him here]. Nelson was renowned for his poetry of observation and his quiet, steady support of Canadian writers as a bookseller and a publisher of literary magazines, chapbooks, and ephemera.The Prize runs in three-year cycles. In years one and two, it is awarded for a published work (any size)—by a Canadian poet and published by a Canadian publisher in the previous two calendar years—that features “poetry of observation,” as chosen by two volunteer judges. In year three, the Prize recognizes a Canadian who has made a significant, under-the-mainstream-radar contribution to Canadian literature, as selected by two volunteer judges.The inaugural Prize, $1,000 and a certificate, will be awarded in 2020 to the Canadian author of a publication issued in 2018 or 2019. Canadian publishers are encouraged to submit three copies of their nominated publication(s) by March 30, 2020, to The Nelson Ball Prize, c/o 3-300 Division Street, Cobourg, ON, K9A 3R3. Please include a statement confirming that the author is Canadian. The winning publication will be announced in fall 2020.We are actively seeking patrons to help fund The Nelson Ball Prize. If you are able to make a onetime or annual contribution in Nelson Ball’s memory, please contact James McDonald and Stuart Ross at email@example.com
There is also an upcoming gathering for the late great poet in Toronto, on December 1, 2019. See here for details.