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2019 Alberta Book Publishing Awards Shortlists
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2019 Alberta Book Publishing Awards Shortlists

By 49thShelf
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tagged: alberta, awards, 2019
Congratulations to all the nominees! The Book Publishers Association of Alberta is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2019 Alberta Book Publishing Awards. The following list of titles represent the best of Alberta book publishing as adjudicated by experts and professionals in the field of book publishing from across Canada. The winners of the 2019 Alberta Book Publishing Awards will be announced at a gala reception, held at the Varscona Hotel on Whyte in Edmonton on September 13, 2019.
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edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Book of the Year, Trade Fiction
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Twin Studies
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Book of the Year, Trade Fiction
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Amma's Daughters
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Book of the Year, Trade Non-Fiction
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Homes

Homes

A Refugee Story
edition:Paperback
tagged :
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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Book of the Year, Trade Non-Fiction
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Magnetic North
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Book of the Year, Trade Non-Fiction
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Ruba'iyat for the Time of Apricots
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry
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That Light Feeling Under Your Feet
Excerpt

SATURNALIA OF THE SEAS

When the trumpet sounded everything on earth
was prepared and Jehovah distributed terra firma
to Coca Cola, Anaconda, and Ford Motors;
entailed tides and saltwater currents to SSL

marketing itself to the jubilant percussion
of steel drums and sunblock-slicked pleasure
of Calypso and dark rum, and when swelled
with the takeover of independent cruise lines,
demanded marine infrastructure and tithes
from the tourist-desperate ports of developing nations
where sweat-shop labourers long for the freedom

of the red smokestack conga line employing unregulated
overtime and tip skimming -- but room and board, all
medical expenses paid -- so experienced diasporics flock
from the South China Sea: slender bar staff females
swinging waist-length locks, male machinists, paint-spattered
sailors and disaffected galley workers grateful for toil --

and pale English-speakers lured by cash-paid earnings
cycle through Spas, Casinos and Duty Free shops --
the UK, True North, South Africa and the Eastern Block --
marginalized laissez-faire ants hustle, hustle, hustle
as obnoxious vacationers down cocktails with secret
extortionary fees, and after eat-all-you-can buffet,
belt out ear-numbing karaoke, serenading late nite
body gyrating discotheque affairs

under flags of convenience Saturnalia disembarks,
vessels brim-filled with souvenir-glutted tourists,
Cadillac-cushioned backs turned from local sunsets,
from Indigenous eyes following their departure,
willing the return of fun ships to their paradisal horizons.

CROWD CONTROL TRAINING

First thing, my name:
very simple,
ran and deep.
Think of a man
who has run
a too-long way
in blue flip-flops
to escape hunger --
that always-empty
pit of a tiger's belly --
across tides
to this fleet.

Forget home:
Saturnalia is your family now.
In a year when
your contract ends,
you will go back
to your slow-routine village
crammed with bicycles
and beggars, the odour
of goats and gutters hanging
in the air like jasmine and
mingling with the spicesof your favourite meal;
you will sleep poorly
on a bed that does not rock --
this torture until
you are again at sea.

Most importantly:
inside your head
you are angrily saying,
"Randeep, this can never
be a thing that will happen to me."
But I have been here seven years --
Saturnalia is mother
and brothers; my wife
visits me less and less
time every year.
She fills my cabin with flowers,
makes chapatti, becomes
cross with my drinking
in crew bar and leaves.
All I'm telling is true --
one day you will forget
there hasn't always been
a light feeling
underneath your feet.

CHUNKS AHOY

the Staff Mess has rules

1. Only Staff and Petty Officers allowed
2. The wise avoid the Mahi-Mahi
3. Follow the Milk Protocol:
a. Open carton
b. Sniff thoroughly
c. Shake for chunks

Casino dealers suffering doldrums
pass the word through the Romanians
and with the fish and the 2%:
actualize that Russian Roulette
scene in The Deer Hunter --
nothing's illegal in international waters.

the newly signed-on or hungover
learn the scoff and bolt choreography:
cardboard spout to lips
rapid gulp and swallow
cheek bulge
jazz hands protestation
dash for the oil drum garbage bin.

no point yelling
at the galley workers
-- it's not their job
to read expiry dates
or keep the dairy cold --
but they will learn
what time you come to eat:
the buffet trays will be buoyant
the steam table lukewarm
heat lamps callously dark.

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry
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