The Peace Liard Regional Arts Council is delighted to announce that Billy-Ray Belcourt will be a feature writer at the 2019 Wild Words North in Fort St. John. A writer and academic from the Driftpile Cree Nation, Billy-Ray is a Rhodes Scholar with a Masters from the University of Oxford and Wadham College and, currently, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Alberta.
Billy-Ray’s debut book of poems, This Wound is a World (Frontenac House 2017) was a national sensation. The book won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize (making him the youngest winner ever) and the 2018 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize. Named the Most Significant Book of Poetry in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer at the 2018 Indigenous Voices Awards and the best Canadian Poetry collection of 2017 by CBC books, the book was also a finalist for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, the 2018 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and the 2018 Raymond Souster Award.
In 2018, Billy-Ray was named by CBC Books as one of “14 Canadian poets to watch,” one of “18 emerging writers to watch,” and a “Writer to know.” His sophomore book, NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, is being released in September with House of Anansi Press. His third book, A History of my Brief Body, essays and vignettes on grief, colonial violence, joy, love, and queerness, is due out in May 2020 with Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Canada.
At Wild Words North, Billy-Ray will be presenting Notes on Poetry in the Canadian Context, giving a reading from his work and participating in a panel discussion.
For more information on the Words North festival, visit https://www.peaceliardarts.org .