Penguin Canada editor David Ross has commissioned Billy-Ray Belcourt, the youngest ever winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize, for a book of essays. Drawing on intimate personal experience, A HISTORY OF MY BRIEF BODY is a meditation on grief, joy, love, and sex at the intersection of indigeneity and queerness. It will be published under the Hamish Hamilton imprint and is currently scheduled for a May 2020 release.
Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He is a Ph.D. student and 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar in the Department of English & Film Studies at the University of Alberta. His first book, This Wound is a World, won the 2018 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, the 2018 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize, and a 2018 Indigenous Voices Award. It was also named the best “Canadian poetry” collection of 2017 by CBC Books.
“Billy-Ray Belcourt is one of the most exciting new voices in Canadian literature,” says Ross. “His writing is simultaneously devastating and beautiful, and I’m humbled to be working with him as he experiments with form and genre. I can’t wait for the power of his words to reach whole new audiences.”
The deal was arranged by Stephanie Sinclair.