University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies

I was invited to develop and teach a course on short fiction at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. This is an online workshop-based course available to fiction writers who have already completed one of UofT’s creative writing courses, but is also available to advanced fiction writers who send in a sample of their work. There are still a couple of spots left so drop me a line if you’d like to jump on! Course details are available at UofT’s website.

New Brunswick Book Award

Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush has won the New Brunswick Book Award for Fiction! The other finalists in the fiction category were Roger Moore for Bistro and Riel Nason for All the Things We Leave Behind.

Atlantic Book Awards

Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush has been nominated for an Atlantic Book Award. I’ll be attending the festival in Halifax and at other locations in May, and will post more details when dates are clarified. Congratulations to all the nominees, especially fellow short fiction writer Kris Bertin!

New Brunswick Book Awards

Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush has been nominated for a New Brunswick Book Award! I’ll be attending the awards gala on May 24th in Fredericton. Details of the event can be found at the NB Book Awards website.

Malahat Review and Atlantic Books Today

Two new reviews of Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush have been posted online recently, one by Trevor Corkum at the Malahat Review, which you can read in full here, and one by Lee Thompson for Atlantic Books Today, which can be read in full here. Both reviews were written by excellent writers, and I’m really grateful for their insightful comments and close readings.

Throne Speech and National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards committee has been keeping tabs on their previous winners and nominees, and included a brief piece on my work in their yearly round-up (posted below). It was also lovely to receive congratulations for my Governor General’s Award nomination from Jocelyne Roy Vienna, the Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, in her throne speech in December.

Kerry-Lee Powell got nods from the three big literary awards this year for her debut collection of short stories, Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush (Harper Avenue/Harper Collins)The east coast poet was longlisted for the Giller Prize and shortlisted for both the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction and GG’s Fiction awards. Back in 2011, Powell was a finalist at the NMAs for two poems, “The Lifeboat” and “The Emperor.” The poems — scrawled down one night in a harrowing stupor — were in response to her father’s post-WWII PTSD and ultimate suicide, and her own struggles with mental illness.

“One of the after-effects of working in a busy bar is that you never really leave. It could be four o’clock on a Sunday morning. The pigeons are ruffling their oily feathers on the windowsill and the bedroom pales to a washed indigo as you launch into the slow drift towards oblivion. But it’s no use. The insides of your eyelids burn with visions of Saturday night. It’s a scene from the Inferno. Red shapes beckon and bang their glasses on the bar. They reel into shadows and surge forward again, a many-headed monster throwing punches in the air. The only thing is to wait for them to disappear. Except they never do.”
— Kerry Lee Powell, Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush

In addition to her debut collection of shorts, Powell has also written two poetry collections, Inheritance and The Wreckage.