Looking back over the past year, there has been lots for the MFA to celebrate. Almost a dozen books were published by our grads in 2015, along with presentations of theatre works and short films. Much has been going on in the community—and we probably don’t even know the half of it—but here’s a year-in-review snapshot of some well-deserved recognition received by our graduates.
Kathleen Hepburn's Never Steady, Never Still appeared at the Toronto International Film Festival and Vancouver International Film Festival, capturing the most promising director award (Canadian Short Film) at VIFF, and being selected for inclusion in TIFF's Canada's Top Ten mini-fest. Mark Marczyk's SummerWorks performance Counting Sheep was also recognized by Now Magazine for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Ensemble.
As the winner of the international Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for her short story collection The Best Place on Earth, Ayelet Tsabari made waves south of the border, while Natalie Helberg's poetry was honoured with the Capilano Review’s Robin Blaser Award. Eight of our graduates also participated in the International Festival of Authors.
Liz Howard’s debut poetry collection, Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent, graced the Globe & Mail’s 'Globe 100' year-end list, and was a BookThug Editors’ pick of 2015—in addition to being a Governor General’s Award finalist. Fellow grads Jeff Latosik and Shane Neilson were both anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry 2015.
On the fiction side of things, Elisabeth de Mariaffi’s The Devil You Know was both a ‘Globe 100’ book and #13 on the National Post’s list; reviewers Kerry Clare and Stacey May Fowles also noted the book among their personal favourites of the year.
We were also thrilled to see fiction instructor Russell Smith’s newest collection, Confidence, on the ‘Globe 100’ and National Post’s lists; in addition to making the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize shortlist and the Giller longlist.