Jillian Christmas wins Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers
The award was announced during a virtual ceremony on June 23, 2021.The Dayne Ogilvie Prize is presented annually to a Canadian writer from the LGBTQ2S+ community who demonstrates great potential in the early stages of their career through an exceptional body of work. It was established in 2007 by Robin Pacific in honour of her late friend, who was a respected editor, writer, literary manager, and passionate lover of all the arts.
This year's jury was comprised of writers Daniel Allen Cox, Eva Crocker, and Danny Ramadan. About Jillian, they wrote: "Whether on stage or on the page, the work of Jillian Christmas strikes at the very core of what it means to be human. A writer of exceptional skill who circles back on memory and consciousness, she challenges us, through her own compassion and vulnerability, to confront oppression and to imagine new possibilities for justice and belonging. The Gospel of Breaking is an unforgettable book that speaks to lineages of Black queerness while showing how poetry and cadence can inhabit a body. Christmas’ voice is a deeply necessary one."
The Gospel of Breaking, Jillian's debut poetry book, was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, both from the League of Canadian Poets. She is the 2021 winner of the Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award, also from the League of Canadian Poets, bestowed on writers with a history of achievement and performance in spoken word.
Congratulations to Jillian as well as to fellow finalists Kama La Mackerel and jaye simpson!
You can watch the virtual ceremony here: