While it may be stretching it a bit to suggest that The Park’s Fish population might be in ascendance, it is safe to say that our aquatic kin made their presence felt at this year’s Chitter Radio Literary Awards.
For the first time since the awards were established eighteen years ago (as The Park Literary Awards), almost every category included at least one entry from our Piscine population.
The humour category overflowed with Fishy fun and foolishness, from the darkly humorous, “Roll Over and Stare” to the somewhat frothy “Flash Fish.” While neither netted first prize in the category (that honour went to “Trooping the Collar” by Clement Samuel Tervuren), their nomination served notice to both the judges and The Park’s readers that aquatic humour has evolved.
Indeed, in her book, “Brevity and the Wit of Sole,” which was nominated in both the humour and memoir categories, Evangeline Solea writes with poignancy about her early career in comedy and humour writing and her fight against the “Flatfish stereotypes.”
“Everywhere, the view was that Fish weren’t funny…particularly Flatfish. And, in the first few years of my career, I was baited constantly, but I refused to give up,” she writes in Chapter 3 of her book which she titled, “Swimming Against the Current.”
Solea’s book won in the memoir category and another Piscine author took home a prize, as well. For her critically-acclaimed work, “The View from Under the Plastic Palace,” Barbara Puntius Everetti was declared the Most Promising Newcomer.
Declan Wolfhound’s critically acclaimed “The Upward Curve” took the prize for best novel, while poet Gwendolyn Slang’s “Locomotion” won the poetry award and short story writer Tedesco Tuatara took home the prize for his twentieth collection, “The Long and Short of It.”
As expected, Tab Tricolore’s most recent volume, “The Feral Roots of our Festive Cuisine,” won in the non-fiction category. It was also no surprise that the award for the best political work went to Dante Reginald Kodiak’s controversial best seller, “If We Chain the World: How Fences Alter the Way We See Ourselves and Others.”
Veteran playwright Imogen Aardeekhoorn, author of the highly acclaimed “Mixed Nuts,” received the prize for her most recent work,”Truffles.” She was also honoured for her efforts on behalf of the Park Repertory Theatre.