A memoir on a woman’s experiences as a sex trade worker, writer, student, and activist is the winner of the 2013 City of Vancouver Book Award.
Amber Dawn's How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir (Arsenal Pulp Press) uses poetry and prose to recount a 10-year period of her life in Vancouver. At times brutal and bitter and at other times deeply reflective and occasionally funny, How Poetry Saved My Life explores dialogue as vital to overcoming deeply held power dynamics of class, sexual orientation, and violence.
Dawn is also the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning novel Sub Rosa. She is currently working on a novel about the amusement park in her hometown of Crystal Beach, Ontario.
The City of Vancouver Book Award was presented in a ceremony at TELUS World of Science on Friday, November 22, in conjunction with the Mayor's Arts Awards/
Four other titles were shortlisted for the prize by an independent jury:
- The Ballad of Mrs. Smith (Hedgerow Press) by Jancis M. Andrews
- Inventing Stanley Park (UBC Press) by Sean Kheraj
- Ink on Paper (Nightwood Editions) by Brad Cran
- Exploring Vancouver (Douglas and McIntyre) by Harold Kalman and Robin Ward
The City of Vancouver Book Award has been awarded annually since 1989 to recognize authors whose works demonstrate excellence and contribute to an appreciation and understanding of Vancouver’s history, unique character, or achievements of its residents.