Nancy Jo Cullen Receives Dayne Ogilvie Grant

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Nancy Jo Cullen has been named the 2010 recipient of the Dayne Ogilvie Grant, which is awarded annually to an emerging gay or lesbian writer. The award is administered by the Writers' Trust of Canada and will be presented this year at Pride Toronto on Sunday, July 4 at 5 p.m. on the Proud Voices Stage in James Canning Gardens Park.

From our friends at the Writers' Trust:

The Writers’ Trust of Canada announced [on May 19] that Nancy Jo Cullen is the 4th annual recipient of the Dayne Ogilvie Grant. The $4,000 grant, funded by an endowment established by Robin Pacific, is given annually to an emerging gay or lesbian writer who demonstrates great literary promise through a body of work of exceptional quality.

Nancy Jo Cullen is the author of three collections of poetry published by Frontenac House: Science Fiction Saint, Pearl, and Untitled Child. She has received an Alberta Book Award and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry, the Writers Guild of Alberta’s Stephan G. Steffanson award for poetry, and the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. Born in Calgary, Cullen lives in Toronto where she is at work on a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph–Humber.

The winner was selected by a jury composed of writers Brian Francis, Don Hannah, and Suzette Mayr. They said of Cullen’s work:

Nancy Jo Cullen's poetry combines a remarkable blend of accessibility, depth, precision and honesty. She tackles dark corners without false dramatics or pretensions. There is a genuine realness in her language. This is a writer who feels like a friend.

The jury also selected two writers to receive an Honor of Distinction: Lisa Foad and George K. Ilsley. Each writer will receive $250. Both recipients are eligible to receive the Dayne Ogilvie Grant in the future.

Lisa Foad is a Toronto-based writer whose debut short story collection, The Night Is A Mouth, was published by Exile Editions in 2009. The jury called her debut “a provocative, fearless book, the language surreal in its violence and sensuality. All of the characters -- even the despicable ones -- are heart-breaking and whole.”

George K. Ilsley is the author of the story collection Random Acts of Hatred and the novel ManBug, both published by Arsenal Pulp Press. Originally from Nova Scotia, he now lives in Vancouver. The jury said of his work: “Ilsley isn’t afraid of the dark, and he doesn’t shy away from being sexy and funny either.”

The Dayne Ogilvie Grant will be presented during Pride Toronto on Sunday, July 4, 2010, at 5:00 pm on the Proud Voices Stage in James Canning Gardens Park. The event will include a panel discussion featuring the winner and finalists, jurors, and grant founder.

About the Grant
Dayne Ogilvie was a highly respected freelance book editor and writer. His close personal friend, Robin Pacific established this grant after his death in 2006. Writers who identify themselves as gay or lesbian are eligible and while no age restriction exists, the grant is intended for developing writers.

About the Writers’ Trust of Canada
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that supports Canadian writers and writing through various programs, including literary awards, financial grants, workshops, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. For more information visit: www.writerstrust.com.

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