PEI Poet Laureate David Helwig Wins National Writers’ Award



David Helwig, appointed PEI’s Poet Laureate late last year, has received another honour in recognition of his literary achievements.

On April 1, the Writers’ Trust of Canada awarded Helwig the Matt Cohen Award. The Award, which has a monetary value of $20,000, is given to the writer whose life has been dedicated to writing as a primary pursuit, for a body of work. The jury was quoted as saying, “Helwig has made a significant and lasting contribution to Canadian literature, and has lived the writing life.”

Several other Canadian authors were also honoured at these seventh annual Writers’ Trust Awards.

Burlington native (and recent writer-in-residence at UPEI) Lawrence Hill was awarded the $15,000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for his harrowing novel “The Book of Negroes,” about a forgotten chapter of black history.

Toronto author Anna Porter won the $15,000 Nereus Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize for “Kasztner’s Train: The True Story of Rezso Kasztner, Unknown Hero of the Holocaust,” a comprehensive account of a Hungarian Holocaust hero.

Five other authors received awards for their excellence in literature: Craig Boyko, Martha Brooks, Michael Crummey, Graeme Gibson and Diane Schoemperlen.

In total, eight prizes were awarded with a combined value of $123,000, making the event one of the richest awards nights in Canada.

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