RENEE Sarojini Saklikar’s book “children of air india: un/authorized exhibits and interjections” won the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry, which recognizes the best full-length English-language book of poems for adults by a Canadian writer. The CAA Award for Poetry winner receives $2000 and a silver medal.
In the long-held tradition of writers honouring writers, the Canadian Authors Association announced the winners of its 2014 Literary Awards at a gala reception in Orillia, Ontario, on Saturday, June 21.
Saklikar was 23 years old when her aunt and uncle were murdered on June 23, 1985, in the bombing of Air India Flight 182. In her first book of poems, “children of air india: un/authorized exhibits and interjections,” (Nightwood Editions, $18.95) Saklikar presents a powerful and deeply personal collection. These poems offer a fresh perspective on a heartbreaking chapter in Canada’s history—the bombing of Air India Flight 182, which killed all 329 passengers and crew, including 82 children under the age of 13.
Saklikar breaks new ground in her approach to the Canada / Air India saga. The collection is animated by a proposition: that personal and shared violence produces continuing sonar, an echolocation that finds us, even when we choose to be unaware or indifferent. These poignant poems invite us to help bear witness to an aviation disaster that continues to resonate around the world, decades after the original event.
Saklikar, whose work includes poetry and non-fiction, also writes thecanadaproject, a life-long poem chronicle about her life from India to Canada, from coast to coast. Work from thecanadaproject appears in literary publications including The Georgia Straight, The Vancouver Review, PRISM international, Poetry is Dead, SubTerrain, Ricepaper, CV2, Ryga: a journal of provocations, Geist and Arc Poetry Magazine and in the recent anthologies, Alive at the Center: Contemporary Poems from the Pacific Northwest and Force Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia.
Introduced in 1975, the Canadian Authors Association Literary Awards honour Canadian writers who achieve excellence without sacrificing popular appeal in the categories of fiction, Canadian history and the poetry.
For more information about the Canadian Authors Association Literary Awards, refer to their website at: www.canadianauthors.org