April 7, 2021 – We’re pleased to announce that the 2021 Blue Metropolis / Conseil des arts de Montréal Diversity Prize has been awarded to Nicholas Dawson for Désormais, ma demeure (Triptyque).
Dissecting depression. Mixing poems and symptoms, other writers’ words with one’s own. Kneading photographs, images, metaphors, distress. Turning it into a confection to freely interrogate just what it is that bubbles up through the self and splatters reality. Calling the creation a story, calling it literature. This is the triumph of every page of Désormais, ma demeure.
Members of the 2021 jury are Ghayas Hachem (novelist), Oana Avasilichioaei (poet and translator), Gabriella Kinté Garbeau (bookseller) and Katia Grubisic (poet and translator).
Here are just a few of the comments they made about the award-winning title:
“A truly innovative, vulnerable, and frank approach to helping us understand a difficult and often little-understood subject, namely depression. The range of forms and the honesty of the writing is impressive and moving.”
“Désormais, ma demeure takes on an important subject, depression, through the eyes of a queer, racialized person. As Nicholas Dawson says in his book: ‘Melancholy is not strictly a white condition.’ Thankfully, he lets us in to witness the issues and challenges that intersect this illness and its multiple identities.”
“This novel-cum-essay-cum-autofiction touches on immigration, roots, gender identity, and a sense of belonging to family and place. Borrowing at times from English and the author’s native Spanish, the story is at once political and unifying—fully conscious of the fact that the voyage outside of one’s country, and within the self, ‘are an endless process, like exile, like memory, like love.’”
Born in Chile, Nicholas Dawson is a writer, editor and doctoral candidate in arts studies and practices (UQAM). He is the author of La déposition des chemins (La Peuplade, 2010), Animitas (La Mèche, 2017) and Désormais, ma demeure (Triptyque, 2020). He oversees the Poèmes collection at éditions Triptyque. In 2021, he became the editor-in-chief of the journal Moebius.
The two other Diversity Prize finalists are:
- Kama La Mackerel, ZOM-FAM, Metonymy Press
- Sadia Messaili, Still Crying for Help, Baraka Books, translated from French by Aleshia Jensen
“Not only has the Conseil des arts de Montréal supported the Festival since its inception, 20 years ago, but we’re especially proud to partner on the Diversity Prize once more,” says the Council’s Director General, Nathalie Maillé. “Blue Metropolis gives pride of place to Indigenous voices, multilingualism, and to social issues that spark discussion and reflection.”
The Blue Metropolis / Conseil des arts de Montreal Diversity Prize rewards Quebec writers from immigrant communities in Montreal. Each eligible author’s work can include up to three titles published in Quebec, written in or translated into either English or French. All literary genres are eligible. The Prize is awarded by the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Blue Metropolis Foundation in collaboration with the Cole Foundation and McGill University.
About the Conseil des arts de Montréal
A dynamic partner of Montreal’s professional arts community, the Conseil des arts de Montréal identifies, accompanies, supports and recognizes excellence in the creation, production, and dissemination of the arts. The Conseil fosters openness, audacity, and a spirit of exploration at the heart of Montreal’s artistic community. Since 1956, the Conseil des arts de Montréal has contributed to the growth of “Montreal, cultural metropolis.”
Director General, Programming and Communications
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