Writers’ Trust names Michael Crummey inaugural recipient of $50,000 Fellowship
Newfoundland novelist and poet honoured as leading writer of his generation
November 25, 2015 – Toronto – At a gala event tonight in Toronto, the Writers’ Trust of Canada named novelist and poet Michael Crummey the recipient of the inaugural Writers’ Trust Fellowship. Intended to free writers substantially from financial concerns and provide a window in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible, the Writers’ Trust Fellowship comes with an award of $50,000. In total, three Fellows will be announced over three years, culminating in Canada’s sesquicentennial and a total of $150,000 distributed to Canadian writers.
The announcement was made at the Writers’ Trust Gala, a black-tie fundraiser held at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, attended by more than 400 guests, including more than 50 guest writers. The event, which was hosted this year by comedian and author Steve Patterson, annually raises more than $200,000 for the Writers’ Trust.
“The Writer’s Trust Fellowship was so unexpected, so extravagant and unlikely, that I'm still in shock,” said Michael Crummey. “It means time to work of course, something all writers fight for. And, given the literary talent in this country, it’s a huge honour even to have been considered.”
Of the cacophony of voices carrying across the wind from Newfoundland and Labrador in recent years, none is so vibrant, so perceptive, and so damn fun, as that of Michael Crummey. A poet of tremendous skill and a novelist of the truest heart, his books capture the outports and villages, the islands and waters, the people and language that make the province unlike anywhere else in Canada. Yet his work is universal, too. He writes about family and loneliness, love and loss, childhood and aging, with a storyteller’s flair for the dramatic and a poet’s ear for words. Simply, he is a beautiful writer.
About Michael Crummey
Michael Crummey is a poet and fiction writer. His writing often draws upon the history and landscape of Newfoundland and Labrador, where he was born and raised. Initially, he found recognition through his poetry winning the inaugural Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award for young unpublished writers in 1994. His first novel, River Thieves, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In 2007 he received the Timothy Findley Award recognizing his body of work. His recent novels, Galore and Sweetland, were finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Next spring he will publish a collection of poems, Little Dogs, with House of Anansi Press. Crummey lives in St. John’s.
“The Writers’ Trust is thrilled to recognize Michael Crummey’s original talent and work with this inaugural Fellowship,” said Mary Osborne, executive director of the Writers’ Trust of Canada. “We look forward to the many stories Michael has yet to tell, and to welcoming more of Canada’s finest writers to the new community of Writers’ Trust Fellows in the years to come.”
The Writers’ Trust Fellow is invited to attend a two-week, self-directed residency at the Leighton Artists’ Colony at The Banff Centre.
Fellows are selected through a two-tier adjudication process involving recommendations from a panel of Canadian literature experts and a final selection committee. Jurors and the selection committee are guaranteed anonymity. Beginning in 2016, the Writers’ Trust will accept nominations for the Fellowship. Nomination forms will be available at that time.
About the Writers’ Trust Fellowship
The Fellowship is part of a three-year plan initiated by the Writers’ Trust to award $150,000 to Canadian writers to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Writers working in the categories of fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, or literature for young people, and at any stage of their careers, are considered. The Fellowship will be awarded to a writer who has demonstrated exceptional creative ability by producing an outstanding body of literary work and displayed the promise to add to that work. Writers are considered without regard to whether or not they have been or are likely to be recipients of other literary honours or achieve commercial success. More information about the Writers’ Trust Fellowship.
About the Writers’ Trust
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs that includes literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.
For more information and interview opportunities, contact:
Becky Toyne, 416-871-0502