The Nelson and District Arts Council and Elephant Mountain Literary Festival are thrilled to announce this year’s recipient of the Richard Carver Award for emerging writers. Writer and poet Rayya Liebich has been chosen by an arms length jury to receive the award this year.
Of Rayya’s writing, the jury had commented “Both (her) poems and (her) essay were very powerful; the writing was beautiful and evoked so much. We are inspired by (her) commitment to (her) craft and by (her) community involvement”. Rayya’s 2015 publication Tell Me Everything has been met with critical acclaim and admirers of her work anticipate her upcoming publication Min Hayati in 2021
Her letter of nomination highlighted her work and community involvement: “Rayya delights in sharing her creative pursuits with children, youth, and adults. She is passionate about engaging with other writers in the community – volunteering is what keeps her going with her own writing.”
The award will be handed out at the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival’s event ‘Saturday Night Live!’ on Saturday, July 13th at 7:30pm in the Hume Room of the Hume Hotel.
The Richard Carver Award was created in 2009 by the Arts Council and has been awarded six times. Children’s author Darcee O’Hearne was the recipient in 2013, followed by poet Jane Byers in 2014. In 2015 the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival became a partner in the award, and that year the award was split between two deserving authors, Susan Dancer, and Avi Silberstein. The recipients in 2016 were Donna MacDonald and Alanda Greene. In 2017 the recipient was Diana Morita Cole and in 2018 for the 6th annual award it was split again and bestowed on Morty Mint and Ernst Hekkanen.
Richard Carver was invested in the community as a lover of the arts and the Kootenays. He was a mover and shaker on the board of the Nelson and District Arts Council, and the primary sponsor of this award named in his honour. His daughter Jocelyn Carver, an arts lover herself, has continued the family’s generous support of this award.
The Nelson and District Arts Council and Elephant Mountain Literary Festival would like to thank all of the nominees, nominators, and the jury for all their work and commitment to the literary scene here in the district.