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Métis author Michelle Porter wins ArtsNL 2019 Lawrence Jackson Writers' Award

Author Michelle Porter.
Author Michelle Porter. - ArtsNL
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Métis author Michelle Porter has been named the recipient of ArtsNL's 2019 Lawrence Jackson Writers’ Award. 

Porter, who calls St. John's home, picked up the honour for the first draft of her novel, "Crooked River", which was developed in part thanks to an ArtsNL grant.

The novel tells the stories of four generations of Métis women — Porter herself, her mother, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother — and explores "Métis identity and the experiences of urban Métis", while also looking at the "differing life experiences and commonalities across generations."

The award is normally presented in person during an A.C. Hunter Library Book Club gathering. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was cancelled and Porter accepted the award via video.

“I'm thrilled to be chosen as this year's recipient – it was totally unexpected,” Porter said in her acceptance video.

“My first book of poetry came out last year and I was able to write that in shorter bursts, but a novel takes a different kind of long-term commitment. And this award has given me the bit of encouragement I need and the confidence to return to my desk every day and tell my story.”

The Lawrence Jackson Writers’ Award, which comes with a $500 cash award, encourages and promotes original and creative thought in all genres of writing. It honours the memory of writer Lawrence Jackson. It is sponsored by his wife Laura, and children Willow, Holly and Ben, with generous contributions from family and friends to the Lawrence Jackson Trust Fund.

Other recent winners include Susie Taylor (2018), Alex Saunders (2017), and Nathan R. Elliott. The inaugural award in 2000 was presented to Labrador's Them Days magazine.


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